Casual bus drivers benefit all parties

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Re: Response to letter by Dave Adamson, Manx Independent (July 1).

I WOULD like to respond to your letter regarding the recent bus dispute. Whilst I accept a number of your views, I also feel that your opinions are very one-sided.

For example, you quite rightly, raise your concern of the lack of controls of casual staff already having other driving jobs, ‘driving lorries and taxis’, thereby increasing the risk to the public.

On the other side of the coin, I would like to ask you what systems are currently in place to ensure that full-time bus drivers are also not involved is similar second jobs, i.e. is it possible that a bus driver could have been driving a taxi throughout the night prior to coming on duty the following morning, thereby leaving the public in an identical, high-risk situation?

I also take offence to your over-generalisation that ‘there is not a person in the world that would take on a zero-hours contract unless they either had another job that could fit in, were rich or simply greedy’.

For your information, I (like many) fit into that category of taking on casual jobs. Let me explain a little bit about my background. I left school at the tender age of 15, joined the Royal Navy, and left with an exemplary discharge after 20 years’ service. On leaving the Armed Forces, I then served in the UK/IoM prison service. Under the terms of my contract, I retired at 60 years old in 2009.

During that 45-year period, I was never unemployed, not even for a single day.

Under current DHSS regulations, as I was under the age of state pension, I could have applied for supplementary income benefits until the age of 65.

I decided not to follow up this option and instead I got off my backside and went out to find alternative means of income. After a successful interview, I now have taken up casual employment. This arrangement suits me perfectly, i.e. I can select whenever I am available/willing to work with the added benefit of supplementing my previous full-time employment pension. The employer, in turn, benefits from only having to pay wages when I actually work.

End result: I am happy, DHSS is happy and my employer is happy.

This arrangement makes me neither rich nor greedy. On behalf of the many individuals who, for varying reasons, have taken up casual employment, I really do feel that you should withdraw that sweeping comment, although I will not be holding my breath!

Lastly, like you, I am also the holder of a HGV and PSV licence and non-bus driver. However, after reading your article on the pay and conditions, maybe I should apply for a casual bus driver’s job myself!

ANONYMOUS

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