Tasmanian bus driver strike called off

A bus driver strike in Tasmania tomorrow has been cancelled following 'fruitful' talks

March 7, 2013

A bus driver strike in Tasmania tomorrow has been cancelled following Metro Tasmania’s announcement yesterday that recent talks with the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU)
were ‘fruitful’.

Metro today announced the RTBU had cancelled stop work meetings planned for tomorrow as part of ongoing industrial action over driver pay.

Metro Tasmania has previously offered workers a 2 percent wage increase per year for three years.

has been pushing for
a 3 percent wage rise per year for three years.

Metro Chief Executive Officer Heather Haselgrove says talks with the RTBU over the pay dispute have been positive, but an agreement has still not been reached.

She says a key point discussed with the union
has been
what happens in the third year of the new Enterprise Agreement.

"Currently Metro is offering 2 percent each year over the three years but we are prepared to look at what happens in the third year if inflation rises at a faster rate than expected,"
Haselgrove says.

"Among the options discussed were having a two year, rather than a three year agreement or some mechanism to consider an increase greater than 2 percent in the third year if inflation is running higher."

Haselgrove says in return the union is willing to consider greater flexibility in the use of satellite bus yards to make the provision of services more efficient and cost effective.

Haselgrove says during talks the union also agreed to lift the overtime bans imposed for Friday and Saturday.

She say Metro and the union
will talk again
late next week
after Metro
examines costs and the union consults drivers.

The most recent talks follow a strike of more than 300 drivers last week and other industrial action including restrictions on overtime and non-wearing of uniforms.

Metro’s fleet stood still during the strike, affecting up to 13,000 commuters.

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