Industrial action to take place over failure of company to improve pay offer or sign up to Good Employment Charter


Bus drivers in Greater Manchester who transport the elderly and disabled have been forced to take strike action over the low pay by Greater Manchester Accessible Transport (GMAT).


Members of Unite, the country’s leading trade union, are paid just minimum wage to do a physically and mentally demanding job. They provide an invaluable service, transporting the elderly, infirm or disabled from their homes across Greater Manchester to vital medical appointments, for essential shopping or for leisure and entertainment.


GMAT pays the lowest wages of all bus companies in the region and the registered charity has not signed up to the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter, despite being run by Transport for Greater Manchester and owned by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), both of whom are members of the charter. The charter aims to raise employment standards across Greater Manchester through factors like security of work and fair pay [1] – including a commitment to the real living wage.


Around 7000 users depend on the service and Unite has encouraged the employer to come back to the negotiating table with improved terms above the below-inflation offer made to-date. Currently drivers receive just £10.42 per hour.


Following a successful industrial ballot, members will be taking strike action in the coming months with dates to be announced in due course.


Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “GMAT should be ashamed of themselves – a charity paying poverty wages to drivers performing a vital service to vulnerable residents across Greater Manchester.


“Unite’s unrelenting focus on jobs, pay and conditions means our members at GMAT will have the full backing of the union in their fight for a fair wage.


Unite regional officer, Colin Hayden, added: “GMAT is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and yet fails to adhere to the very standards that local councils have set to be a good employer.


“Our members have been left with little choice but to take this action in response to such a poor pay offer and we encourage GMAT to come back to the negotiating table with an improved offer to avert strike action.”



For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications adviser David Carnell on 07718 666592.

Email: David Carnell


  • 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.