Drivers and passenger escorts on school buses for disabled children in Hackney accepted a financial settlement today (Wednesday 9 October) as they started strike action in their dispute over payments for working split shifts.

Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today its 38 members, who drive and assist the children to and from school on a daily basis, accepted the offer on the picket line as they started a 48 hour strike.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Last night (Tuesday 8 October) Hackney council made an offer which we took to the picket line this morning. Members agreed to accept the package, but will stay out on strike today returning to work tomorrow (Thursday 10 October).

“The financial offer includes a consolidated lump sum each year together with the conciliation service Acas going into the workplace to look at the issues raised by our members during this long-running dispute.

“This is a significant victory for a lowly-paid, but dedicated, workforce doing vital work helping some of the most vulnerable children in the borough.

“I would like to pay tribute to the solidarity and perseverance of our members as they fought for pay justice in one of the world’s most expensive cities.” 

The dispute centred on a claim for compensation for the split shifts, backdated to July last year when the issue was first raised. Unite said this claim is based on the next grade in the Green Book national agreement which the union believed was the correct one for this group of workers.

Today’s strike followed six 24 hour strikes over the summer.

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065. Email: [email protected]

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.