Almost 600 Nottingham City Transport drivers will strike on May 27. Drivers say they plan to repeat the strike every Saturday if pay negotations continue to fail.
The strike, which will run from 4am Saturday to 4am Sunday, is the first for more than thirty years, and will affect students living on the University Park campus, as well as those in surrounding areas such as Lenton and Radford.
Transport and General Workers Union branch secretary Colin Gell noted: “We were offered 20p an hour extra in April but it is not enough. The majority of drivers here will work six day weeks because they can not afford the money [paid for] 39 hours’ [work]. It makes life very difficult. Everything has gone up. Gas, electric, council tax, fuel. We want a reasonable wage so we can live without having to do six days a week. “When it boils down to it, it is the drivers that bring in the vast majority of the revenue that the company takes. You don’t see the managing director here or anyone else here after midnight. We have to fight our corner. It is an inconvenience to passengers and we apologise for that. But why should we have to subsidise the transport system in Nottingham?”
The current average pay for drivers is just under £20,000. This comes with a final salary pension, free network travel and a health scheme.
Managing director Mark Fowles explained: “Unfortunately NCT cannot afford to offer any more to staff this year. Other sectors of our work force have appreciated this fact and have recently settled at this level. We are disappointed that our drivers, who have had disproportionate increases in previous years, have not appreciated our current financial position. Although the strikes are planned for Saturdays, we anticipate there will be a consequential effect across the week for our services for which we apologise in advance.”