BUS drivers have overwhelmingly rejected for a third time proposed changes to their terms and conditions that would mean they would lose their paid lunch breaks.
In a third ballot, 87 Unite union members voted against the latest offer with only two in favour.
With no resolution in sight, the next move could involve dismissal notices being sent out to drivers which is likely to lead to industrial action.
Eric Holmes, regional industrial officer for Unite, said the deal being offered had been brokered by the staff representatives but was actually worse than that which the union had recommended the members accept at the second ballot.
He said the issue would now be handled by Unite’s national officers based in the North West of England. He said he still hoped the issue could go to arbitration.
Mr Holmes said no decision had yet been taken by the management to issue redundancy notices to drivers.
Under the offer rejected by the Unite membership, drivers’ lunch breaks will no longer be paid, sick pay will reduce to being based on 37 hours per week and maximum driving time will increase from 3 hours 45 minutes to 4 hours 10 minutes,
Community Culture and Leisure Minister Graham Cregeen MHK has warned that drivers could lose their jobs if the new terms and conditions are not adopted.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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