First Bus Workers Strike Action

First bus drivers, engineers and back office staff, who are part of the RMT Union are taking part in a 24 hour walk out today. 

The dispute is linked to pay. 

The RMT Union say: Industrial action scheduled to take place on 8th November 2012 was suspended to allow for a consultation with members on a revised offer from the company.

The overwhelming consensus from the shop floor was to reject the offer on the grounds that the company are refusing to honour back pay. RMT believes that the company have deliberately dragged out the negotiations in order to dilute the first year of the offer by not including the crucial back pay element. The action follows a rock solid strike on the 26th October where even the company admitted that only a tiny fraction of buses ran and comes after a massive rejection of this year's long overdue pay offer. 

First Group say: We are incredibly disappointed and frustrated that the Union has called for this action for a second time and that they are preparing to walk out again on Thursday 15 November, despite an improved offer being put to our staff. 

This action is deeply regrettable and extremely disappointing, not least because measures like this cause undue disruption and anxiety for hard working people, who rely on our local bus services to get to school, work and leisure destinations. As a nation we are all facing tougher times. We have, however, offered the Union a good deal guaranteeing staff pay rises from December this year and April next year and yet despite this they are now preparing to strike again. 

First hope to run the following services: 

In Cornwall:

  • Contracted services to Truro College (ie all 900 services) A shuttle bus service between Falmouth and the Tremough Campus/ They hope to run this on a half hourly basis throughout the day if possible Eden Rider service (includes Park and Ride and Service 101 from St Austell) 
  • On Service 2, we will operate buses between Penzance and Goldsithney and back again. They will run hourly from 0945 until 1545, with the exception of the 1245 departure, when the driver will be having a break. In addition, buses will operate between Helston (Tescos) and Porthleven on an hourly basis from around 0900 hours, with a break at midday to allow the driver to rest. Buses will operate as close to the scheduled timetable as possible, although the last bus will be at 1358 from Helson Tesco, and 1429 from Porthleven 
  • On Service 18, we will operate a journey from Camborne to Truro at 0727 hours, and a return journey at 16.05 hours. In addition, during the day (ie between 0900 and 1500 hours) we hope to operate an hourly service from Truro to Camborne, with buses leaving both locations on the hour. Service 18C from Mousehole to Cornwall College: we will operate the 0740 departure from Mousehole (The Coastguard) to Cornwall College, and the return journey at 1650 from Cornwall Collegel, Mousehole, Service 37/34: A journey to and from The Lizard and Cornwall College: at 0725 hours from The Lizard, and 1645 from Cornwall College Service 38, this Helston town service will operate between 1030 and 1430 hours, keeping as close to the normal scheduled timetable as possible between these times, 
  • Service 39: A journey to and from Helston and Cornwall College: at 0740 from Helston and 1645 from Cornwall College, Service 45: A journey to and from Camborne and Helston School: at 0745 from Camborne and 1530 from Helston School. 

In Devon 

  • A reduced Park and Ride Service in Plymouth (with buses running up to every 15 minutes, rather than every 7 minutes on normal days).
  •  Service 2: We hope to run a half hourly service on in Plymouth (City Centre, Mountbattern Pier via Plymstock and Hooe). This will operate every 30 minutes, departing city centre and Mount Batten on the hour and 30 minutes past. Between 1130 and 1330 the service will only operate hourly, this is to allow the drivers on the route to have the necessary breaks. The last bus will leave the city centre at 1800 hours. 
  • Service 86: A journey to and from Plymouth to Tavistock College: at 0720 from Plymouth, and 1505 from Tavistock Service 89, Tavistock town bus: we hope to operate the normal timetable throughout most of the day albeit with break around lunchtime to allow the driver to have a necessary rest period.