Bus drivers plan Tynwald Day strike

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BUS drivers are planning to strike on Tynwald Day next Tuesday and the following day.

It is the latest stage in the row between drivers and Bus Vannin over terms and conditions.

The Unite union has insisted the dispute is not about pay but about working conditions since the imposition of a new timetable. It says drivers have to spend more time behind the wheel and there is reduced break time.

However, more talks are due to take place tomorrow (Thursday).

David Cretney MHK, Minister for Community, Culture and Leisure, said: ‘I hope agreement can be reached and the dispute resolved but we believe the department has made a fair and reasonable offer to “buy out” some historic terms and conditions.

‘This will make the organisation more efficient and as a result produce a significant ongoing saving to the taxpayer.’

The proposed strike would affect those wanting to travel to St John’s by public transport for Tynwald Day and would also hit school bus services the following day.

Mr Cretney said: ‘We are flagging up the possibility now so people who have important journeys to make – such as trips to the airport, to hospital, to work and of course to Tynwald Day – can be aware of the likely need to make alternative arrangements.’

The Department of Education and Children says schools will be open on Wednesday as usual. A further statement following tomorrow’s negotiations is expected on Friday.

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