By: Fabian Cotter

BREAKING: BUS DRIVER WAGE NEGOTIATIONS with CDC Victoria have stalled after it “tabled a disrespectful and insulting offer”, which was rejected by the CDC TWU-BUS EA Committee, according to the Transport Workers Union – Vic/Tas Branch.

Disruptions have been forecast as hundreds of drivers are set to take a stand over wage negotiations with CDC Victoria.

In excess of 500 workers are expected to strike for 24 hours on Tuesday, July 10, after they received a text message alerting them to a Fair Work Commission-approved stoppage that commences from the return of the last bus on Monday, 9 July, to the first bus scheduled out on Wednesday, 11 July.

According to the union, "strength and unity of TWU members will win a fair deal – and it has been a powerful start with a ballot for protected action counted on Monday ending up with over 90 per cent approval for industrial action."

CDC has offered a fixed-wage increase that is less than what TWU members have averaged for more than the last 12 years, it’s claimed.

Picket lines will be in place at Wyndham, Ballarat, Geelong and Oakleigh. Sunshine depot members will join the Wyndham picket, organisers state.

CDC Victoria says it is expected to face significant disruptions to all its route services on the 10th due to the TWU-led industrial action.

The industrial action will affect all CDC Victoria Bus routes, impacting on 49 route services across the western and eastern suburbs of Melbourne and 25 route services in Ballarat and Geelong.

CEO of CDC Victoria, Nicholas Yap, said: "While we respect the right of all employees to take lawful industrial action, CDC Victoria is disappointed that this will cause such a disruption across our bus services. Our drivers do a very important job and we feel this wage offer demonstrates our support for them. We sincerely apologise to all customers and the community for disruptions that these actions will cause."

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CDC Victoria encourages all passengers to plan alternative travel arrangements and to allow extra time for their travel, it states. Passengers are encouraged to check the CDC Victoria website for more information and follow its Twitter account @CDCVictoria to get up-to-date information regarding the disruptions.

According to CDC Victoria, it has re-invested every dollar earned in Australia back into Australia and into the community that it serves. The most recent of these investments is its new $15m Wyndham depot and the future commitment of an order for 50 hybrid buses ($28m) over the next two years. This represents the largest hybrid-bus order in Australia to date, putting Victoria "at the forefront of delivering sustainable public transport."

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