Bus drivers’ deal details

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BUS drivers are set to receive a £1,100 payout for accepting revised working conditions and dropping the threat of a strike.

They were initially offered £1,500 compensation to accept working three hours 45 minutes without a break and reducing sick pay to a 37-hour week basis.

But after last minute talks bus chiefs improved the offer on sick pay to a 42-hour week which bus drivers accepted and a strike scheduled for Tynwald Day and the following day was averted.

When the deal was struck the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure said the compensation offer had been altered but no information was given on exactly how.

iomtoday sought clarification on the compensation deal and obtained confirmation it had been reduced by £400.

Drivers were initially also offered £250 compensation to accept a move from being paid weekly by cheque to monthly BACS (Bankers Automated Clearing System). Drivers have agreed to move to weekly BACS.

One bus driver contacted Isle of Man Newspapers to dispute figures provided by the department on how much bus drivers earn.

He said the basic wage for a driver excluding overtime is £27,300 not £27,500.

A department spokesman said its figure took into account a year is ‘normally calculated as 52.2 weeks’, that a bus driver’s week is any five days out of six, and that Saturdays are paid at a higher rate.

The DCCL said the average driver takes home £37,800 per year, including overtime but the driver said the real figure was £29k-£34k.

The DCCL has clarified figures were taken from last year’s pay records and are gross pay figures, not take home pay. And that about 45 per cent of drivers (44 in total) earned more than £37,000 (gross).

The driver said not all Bus Vannin bus drivers get a paid one hour lunch break plus two-20 minute breaks or a further one hour break depending on the length of their duty.

The DCCL said a number of rest days were classed as ‘starred duties’ and were optional – Sundays and bank holidays – where the pay was £19.02 per hour and some feature a 30 minute break.

‘These duties fall outside some parts of the formal agreement but have been worked with the drivers’ agreement since the new timetable was implemented.’

A spokesman said there would be provision for ‘other albeit shorter facility breaks’ and would normally be ‘when the overall duty is less than 7 hours 24 minutes long’.

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