Strike action that has affected the entire First Manchester bus service has ended after drivers accepted a vastly improved pay offer.

Pay increase

The 300 plus drivers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, have accepted an improved offer which will see pay rates increase by 8.9 per cent.

In addition to the increase in basic pay the drivers will see all other payments increase by the same percentage and they will also receive a one off payment of £750.

United workforce

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is an excellent result for our members at First Manchester. By standing together and remaining united they have secured a substantial pay rise.

“This deal puts down a strong marker for other bus companies that Unite will fight for decent pay increases that reflect the cost of living crisis. We are determined to defend members’ jobs, pay and conditions – it is Unite’s number one priority.”

Strike action taken 

In total bus drivers took eight days of strike action since the beginning of the year in the dispute, which caused considerable disruption to bus passengers throughout Greater Manchester.

The drivers recorded a 70 per cent yes vote to accept the improved pay offer.

Negotiations successful

Unite regional officer Dave Roberts said: “From the beginning of this dispute Unite made it clear that strike action could be avoided if First Manchester was prepared to table an offer that met our members’ aspirations. Once the company understood this, a deal was agreed and the dispute ended.

 “It is hoped that following this pay deal, relations with First Manchester can be strengthened and further disputes can be avoided in the future.”

Bus driver shortages

There is a growing shortage of bus drivers throughout the UK. A recent survey of Unite members revealed that 99 per cent of garages had shortages and that low pay was identified as the primary reason for workers leaving the profession.


Notes to editors:

First Manchester bus strikes suspended following new pay offer

First Manchester bus drivers announce fresh strikes in pay dispute

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.