Bus drivers threaten industrial action

BUS drivers are threatening industrial action and calling for CT Plus' contract to be scrapped following an escalation in the dispute over their terms and conditions.

Bus drivers are threatening industrial action
Bus drivers are threatening industrial action

BUS drivers are threatening industrial action and calling for CT Plus' contract to be scrapped following an escalation in the dispute over their terms and conditions.

Just two weeks before the UK firm is due to take over the service, the Unite union yesterday issued a strongly worded statement calling for the contract to be rescinded and warning that all drivers were being balloted over action. The result of the ballot will be revealed on Friday.

And the union revealed that its members initially only agreed to sign their CT Plus contracts after stamping the documents 'under duress'. They claim they were then 'pressured' into signing new contracts without the stamp.

CT Plus said it would not comment as it was abiding by an agreement with the Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service not to discuss the dispute.

Comments for: "Bus drivers threaten industrial action "

Stupid Union

Surely this has all be resolved by now, it just seems from the outside that the union are causing more problems and its likely to be there members and the island that suffer.

If they don't like the new contracts then maybe they should take a look at the job market and have a think again

James Wiley

Come on Unions grow a pair and have a real strike!

This namby pamby one day holiday business just shows you aren't really committed to the fight.

Go on strike for a month and lose that month's wages and I might start taking your concerns seriously.

You obviously aren't that bothered about it if you are ready to sacrifice to the cause.

Snapper

I think the minority of bus drivers that are not happy and need to suck it up and be thankful that they still have jobs.

Maybe the union should publish what the old employment conditions were and the new conditions/contracts that have been offered.

Bus drivers may loose what little sympathy they had when the public realise what it's truely all about

Tony B

Going to be an intresting situation. You can have all the buses in the world, but without anyone to drive them? So when will all the detractors be lining up at the Weighbridge (I'm old fashioned)to sign on with CTPlus?

Unless they intend to do what Arriva did when they took over in Malta, then sacked all the locals, basically force and coerce drivers from England to go over and drive.

PJ

My sentiments also Tony B, the union will only be stirred up by its members, if the minority don't like it, leave or shut up. As it stands, the majority of drivers are such a miserable rude bunch I am surprised CT Plus have even bothered to employ them, there again, this has stemmed from the days of the JMT when drivers thought they where in charge and still think they are with their bully boy tactics as they spit the dummy!!!!!!!!!

Tony B

As I drive a bus for a living in London. My sympathies are entirley with the drivers. They are the ones who take responsobility for every pasenger, they are the ones that spend an awful lot of time avoiding acidents others stupidity create. And they are the ones that get the ones that face the bad tempered public for things that are well beyond thier control. Driver's have bills to pay, tax to pay and familys to keep the same as everyone else. You don't go on strike on a whim!

jerseythepartiesover

I am with the Unions on this one. The State and Companies in Jersey think that they can do whatever they like but at the end of the day the workers in any industry in Jersey did not cause all these problems and in this case it is a change in terms and conditions that have not been fulfilled. How would you feel in in your job if that happened to you? Rotten governments and greedy companies are at fault not the workers.

PJ

Health and Safety is one that springs to mind, how many hours driving can they do right now? This practice is not allowed anywhere but Jersey, they are only safeguarding the drivers and Jo public, would love to see your post if a driver fell asleep at the wheel!

Thirtysomething

Humm,

the new contract has put in place a maximum of 54 hours a week.

This shows that there was not any limit previously.

JJ

They need to have a cap on the hours they can drive! I know its not what they want but it is for health and safety!! If you have someone not paying due care and attention when driving thats when serious accidents happen!! I almost lost someone in my family because of one of the bus drivers....god knows how many hours they had been working! Surely they can see the right part in reducing hours?? Again....i am sure there are plenty people out there more than willing to take their job off their hands if they feel they are ebing mis treated!! !

joker

jerseythepartiesover

“…change in terms and conditions…”

You must be referring to the incredibly generous terms and conditions, including the ability to swap 20 days sick leave in addition to their annual leave as a right.

net

Just to let everyone know, my husband is one of the bus drivers so we know exactly what is going on. Firstly the drivers WANT the terms published so that the general public can see just how completely different what they were offered is. Secondly the argument is over the fact that tts have not followed through with the terms and conditions of the tender, that state that incoming service provider MUST employ all current staff with existing terms and conditions (at the time of tender),as was pointed out by Chris Lewis on Jersey radio a while ago, and flies in the face of the Transport Ministers comments in the JEP in July that all employees WILL be transferred with existing terms and conditions, this info concerning transfers of T and C for all employees is freely available on the states website in a Judicial Greffe report dating back to Aug 2005. The tender process is totally flawed and if this is proved then TTS have broken the law and could potentially cost us, the tax payer, hundreds of thousands of pounds. If anyone wants to see this info for themselves go to www.states assembly.gov.Je go to the sub heading marked Hansard and type in bus tender or bus contract. See for yourselves.

PJ

As you quite rightly pointed out Net, this all dating back to 2005, we are 7 years on, things change, CT Plus will have abided by all the T&C's put before them for the tendering process and everyone had an equal chance at submitting their tender, so why are the drivers blaming CT Plus and TTS?

If there where substance to the drivers claims, surely the unions would have sought a court injunction as is the case with public sector employees?

net

@PJ. I know we are 7 years on PJ but this rule about terms and conditions was put in place then when Connex took over and it is in the transfer agreement now too DEPUTY LEWIS HIMSELF states that this WILL happen in recent States Sittings like I said check the documents and see for youself. CT PLUS had to stick to the tender agreement by law so you explain why, they and TTS are not sticking to it, that's why its being taken further and not just possible strike action.

To Net

Net, this is the same issue as other companies have had coming into the island. The package of each employee is way above average for their industry and the new firm is trying to bring it back under control/in line. Funny how we don’t hear anything when a company comes in and awards large pay rises because local employees have been under valued. Does it suck that your husband will no longer bring home the money they once did? Yes. Is it a sign of the times? Yes! Would the bus drivers get the kind of packages they are on now ANYWHERE else? No. Sadly I think you’ll need to deal with the fact that you were lucky to ride the white whale while it was around, firms who have allowed their overheads to get out of control are going bust.

To Net or Not To Net

@To Net

No, it isn't the same issue as other companies have had coming into the island. There is a clause in the outgoing company's contract regarding the terms and conditions of their employees. If this clause is not respected, it will cost Jersey millions if Connex sue...and they will sue!

The following was taken from: 1240/5(7196)

WRITTEN QUESTION TO THE MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT AND TECHNICAL SERVICES BY DEPUTY G.P. SOUTHERN OF ST. HELIER

ANSWER TO BE TABLED ON TUESDAY 6th NOVEMBER 2012

(ii) I refer you to items 1 to 5 of my previous answers to written questions 1240/5(7151) and 1240/5(7152) reproduced below.

The 2002 Connex Contract

2. Clause 18.3 of the Connex Contract states: "On expiry of the Contract or early termination for whatever reason, the Committee shall or shall procure that any other body issuing tender documentation shall require in any tender documentation that the incoming service provider submit proposals that ensure that all of the Contractor's staff, with the exception of the general manager and any director of the Contractor, as at the date of the issue of any tender documentation ARE TAKEN ON BY THE INCOMING SERVICE PROVIDER ON THE SAME TERMS AND CONDITIONS AS APPLY AT THE DATE OF THE ISSUE OF ANY TENDER DOCUMENTATION and use its reasonable endeavours to facilitate the transfer of the staff from the Contractor to the incoming service provider provided always that the Contractor shall fully co-operate with both the Committee and the incoming service provider by providing them both with such employee information as is reasonably necessary for the Committee to compile any tender documentation and for bidders properly to price their bids and for the incoming service provider to take on the Contractor's staff."

3. There were two key elements to Clause 18.3, namely that:

(a) TTS should require in any tender documentation that the incoming service provider submitted proposals that ensured that all of the Contractor's staff, with the exception of the general manager and any director of the Contractor, as at the date of the issue of any tender documentation were taken on by the incoming service provider on the same terms and conditions as applied at the date of the issue of any tender documentation (June 2011); and

(b) TTS should use its reasonable endeavours to facilitate the transfer of the staff from the Contractor (Connex) to the incoming service provider.

Jsy Lawyer

That may or may be true, but the point is that the bus drivers are trying to protect dangerous and antiquated terms & conditions. It is nothing short of outrageous that the bus drivers think they can cling on to driving those huge buses for numbers of hours that patently create a danger of death on our roads, and being a cyclist having a 2 and 5 year old I shudder to think about it. Good on CT Plus for standing up to this nonsense, the website shows it is a not for profit organisation ultimately and they are not objecting just for fun.

Jersey Layman

'That may or may be true'

Typical lawyer, although I have my doubts that you are one, everything couched in ambiguous terms, notwithstanding whereas!

James

Wow, protectionism written down. You can understand the complaints, but at some point in time a break has to be made from such nonsense. The capitalised condition above should not have been included in the first place.

To Net or Not To Net

@To Net

"May", does not enter into the question...it is a clause is the contract.

If this clause is not fulfilled, Connex will sue the States of Jersey and win; and, moreover,you and every other taxpayer will pick up the multi-million pound bill.

Tony B

Net, give the guys my best! Terms and conditions have been fought for by workers for years. You don't give them up withopt a fight. CTPlus have a bad reputation in London, the Last Chance Salon. They have displaced Stagecoach as the company you least want to work for.

Tony B

JSY Lawyer. The statistcs you have to prove Jersey bus drivers are dangerous are?

JP

This says the drivers have all signed? why are they striking if they have signed?

jerseythepartiesover

Wow PJ or JP (you are the same person, a very poor change of identity if I may say so, don't go working for MI5 will you), get over it people are now supporting the workers now the balance against them has gone too far the wrong way.

PJ

No, don't need another alias

So you will be supporting the states employees in their plight for a wage rise?

I'm not supporting these greedy few bus drivers nor are many other people, and I agree, this has gone way to far, but as the news has said, the majority have signed their new contracts and sorry for laughing so much, " under duress"!!!!

It is the hardcore few that have tried to dictate, fortunately they will lose out

To Net or Not To Net

Connex staff were forced to sign the new contract under threat of losing their jobs. If that is not duress then I don't know what is.

Point 21.1 of the new contract states that CT Plus reserve the right to change the terms and conditions of the contract at any time.

Do you really believe Connex workers would have signed such a 'non-contract' if they hadn't been threatened with dismissal?

And..!

Oh what a shame forced to sign new contracts of employment in the current economic climate...Bless them...

There current terms are so unrealistic its about time someone had the balls to stand up to these drivers and union....you have no symapathy whatsoever with Joe Public....

Sick and tired of all these threatened bus strikes( as a regular bus user) and the total lack of communication from the bus drivers and Unions about the real issues apart from innuendo.....if you have a problem be transparent and report it...but methinks you cant really do that can you....!!!!

wan

The world around us is changing rapidly and they want to keep the status quo because they had cosy jobs with perks. Get real and on with it !

bus driver

drivers, inspectors, reception, mechanics, all being hung out to dry by underhanded scheming minister in collabaration with ct plus in a done deal . terms and conditions shredded . most people know , you can have pay freezes or cut in hours but this is taking the ... do i want to strike ? absolutely not, should i ? yes because its wrong not to honour your terms and conditions and drive back your wages 25 years from when i first started, how much i hear you say , not much for shifts late night saturday sundays abuse lastly some FACTS 70K NO 60K NO 50K NO BECAUSE YOU ARE FED LIES

dogged

so £40k then? seeing as you stopped at saying no to £50k.

It is a new company, connex could have realistically made everyone redundant (which would have been awful for everyone involved) and then when the new company came into force, it could have employed all new staff on their own terms and cond. Im sure that majority of staff would still have re-applied even if the terms were different, and the wages. The problem is, is that they took on the staff (yes they may have promised this and that and not delivered) and tried to keep the same staff, in hindsight i bet they wished they'd just recruited new staff where there could be no quibble of contracts.

unemployment is an awful thing, and there are people out there willing to work and do the bus work, for whatever terms and cond they are offering now. The island seems to be suffering when there is yet another strike, I just wish you would all either agree on something or leave. Stop holding the island to ransom.

I Pasdenom

bus driver,

"...lastly some FACTS 70K NO 60K NO 50K NO BECAUSE YOU ARE FED LIES..."

It is Public record that under the new contract a driver could earn £40kpa; are you saying that the Minister lied when stating this in the states?

net

Just to point out we sat and worked out the figures and to earn circa 40,000 you will have to work 54 hours including EVERY weekend in reality you won't be doing that so earnings will average circa 28,000 so how is that 40,000 a year, do the maths and work it out all rates of pay are on CT plus website

I Pasdenom

The Union claim their members are faced with a drop in earnings of £12,000pa

The basic rates of pay are increased, and the working hours remain unchanged save for the limit on overtime to 15hrs per week.

The drivers have agreed a contract, they've been offered a better contract; but it's the perks that weren't in the contract they're striking over!

They're just using bullying to line their own pockets.

Tony B

£28,000 is a figure most English drivers would agree with.

And..!

So publish the said parts of the new T&C's you disagree with...and i doubt very much what you claim....

However £28k a year for driving a bus, seems to me more in line with reality and the real world and worth of the job, than what i know certain bus drivers are currently earning....

And..!

Get with the real world...there are drivers earning £70k, £60k and less at the moment...i know....

Im sorry but this is not a realistic or reasonable wage for....driving a bus.!!!!!....and the new company quite rightly wishes to change this.....whats the problem...you have had it good for too long (at the tax payers expense) now welcome to the real world....

JP

Amusing, as I'm not PJ! :)

looking for work

I understand your frustrations busdrivers, honestly I do. Being offered your job on less money and less benefits is insulting. However there is truth in what others say about Be thankful you have a job at the moment. I have been made redundant recently and I have a mortgage to pay and my wife is expecting our first child. We are petrified we may be out on the street if I don't find a job to pay my share of the mortgage.

To Net or Not To Net

Then apply for a job as a bus driver, no-one is stopping you. However, there is a problem, you already live in Jersey and CT Plus are recruiting in the UK.

bystander

From what I have gathered one of the main issues with the T&C's is the new requirement for a cap on hours of 54 hours (and limiting earning potential) As this is a new Law any T&C from any company running the bus service would be effected. So it doesnt really matter if it was CT Plus or Connex they would both have to comply with the LAW!

Tony B

Although no one has clarified yet wether Drivers are being paid sign on to sign off, or Driving hours only. The diffrence is that you can be 54 hours on duty but only be paid for about 37. That's the current way CTPlus work.

net

The cap on hours IS NOT law this was something TTS decided to direct specifically on bus drivers because where is the cap on coach or taxi drivers, nurses,teachers, heavy goods drivers or anyone who works a 12 hour shifts oh look there isn't one therefore it can't be the law. Please please get your facts straight before comments like that.

noah

Totally agree with you there NET it is definitely not law. And as you say all the other professions that work longer than 40 hours should be limited if this be the case.

Hope the drivers and other staff stick to their guns CTplus has already broken their promise of a seamless transfer they also said that fares would be frozen for 2013 but now say cash fares might increase.

Their contract should be rescinded until they stick to what they agreed when tendering for the contract.

Where is our gutless government when you need them ???

Thirtysomething

Quote from the Hansard report on the website you recommended.

"For information, the 54 hour working week maximum being applied to this new contract has been introduced for health and safety reasons to protect both the public and drivers, in accordance with advice we have received from the Health & Safety Inspectorate. It is in accordance with recognised UK best practice and consistent with the Unite Union’s current ‘A Safer Way’ campaign. "

So, No it is not law (yet). It was done under advice and agreed with by the union.

So now the union members are striking, not because of CT+’s terms and conditions, but because of a particular term their own union agreed was the way forward?

Makes the strike look even worse now.

So, what exactly are these terms that are such a problem? What are the facts?

To Net or Not To Net

That's a strange question coming from you, I thought you knew all the facts...

Sadly, you are a propagandist for a company whose contract you know nothing about.

Read 'To Net or Not to Net' at 5.

As you said on the other thread: a contract is an agreement and must be respected.

Thirtysomething

To Net or Not To Net.

Do you refer to Clause 18.3

In short, when Connex contract comes to an end, TTS will ensure that any tender must be for the same terms and conditions,. And TTS will try to help in the transfer of staff.

I thought the tender process was over and the new agreement has been finalised? CT+ is running the service next month.

Perhaps you haven’t realised that the UNITE unions current ‘A Safer Way’ campaign does not agree with the existing contract with CONNEX and would require an alternative contract with the new company to comply.

bystander

Ok Net, my mistake, its not law, (just best practice and consistent with the Unite Union’s current ‘A Safer Way’ campaign. (thanks THIRTYSOMETHING )

so the cap is in place as part of the contract, so either way going back to my point if connex would have won the contract they probably would have had to apply the same cap, wouldnt they?

I can understand and sympathise with anyone who faces a change in hours and lose of income, but there appears to be a large amount of anger vented at CTPlus but the other question that could be asked is if Connex had won the contract would the same restrictions be placed on them and the changes to T&Cs to go with it?

Bystander

Net, since you seem close to the subject and have the facts, are you able to answer a couple of questions? Changes to T&Cs will effect everyone but how many will actually be disadvantaged by the changes and how many have the possibility to actually gain under the changes?

Now for a hypothetical question, with so many staff apparently working lots of hours of overtime (otherwise the cap, salary wouldn't be such an issue) it is not better to employ more staff to 1, reduce these hours, 2, cut unemployment, 3 make safer and healthier working condition through less overworked staff and 4, increase cover for sickness?

jsybean

@net - no there may not be a cap on hours but there should be, when you see the state of some of the drivers due to lack of sleep, as I have done quiet a few times now !!

Don't get me started on what some of the drivers look like when they have been at work from 6 am to 7 pm !! with just a couple of 15 min breaks here and there or so I am told that's all they get and that came from a bus drivers own mouth !

Trouble is they want it all their own way as well they want the money as we all do - times are hard - but money is not every thing there is a thing called health and safety ! - lets be honest how can a bus driver carry on with family life and work the shifts they are working and do it safely - they cant - eventually something gives and it wont be till some driver falls asleep at the wheel has a crash that action will be taken and then it will be the bus driver who gets the blame is that right ? no I dont think so ! but that is what will happen.

CT Plus, TTS and every one needs to just come clean and show their cards so every one can see what all the fuss is about.

Strike

If this is about maximum hours worked then the Unite Union are on a little bit of a dodgy footing as they had a high profile campaign in 2010 to reduce bus and coach drivers working hours, for the same pay I may add, on the grounds of health and safety.

There are obviously several bus drivers or relatives contributing here, I for one would be interested in hearing how your T&C's have changed so much as to make you strike, why doesn't Unite publish this, they haven't been very good at putting the case for the workers as far as I am concerned, so it therefore makes people without that knowledge suspicious that the T&C's were unreasonable in favour of the workers taken the financial climate we live in at the moment.

Remember the tax payer funds the bus service to the tune of £8 million a year. So if that money is being mis-spent TTS has a obligation to the taxpayer to rectify the situation.

All Unite seem to say is TTS is lying, well presumably you have the tools and information to prove that, I would if someone was lying about me and I could prove them wrong.

Tony B

The main concern Unite had is and still is the amount of driving before compulsory rest. For International hours and a route over 50 kilometers or coaches, you have a maximum drive of 4 hours. Under the UK 'Domestic rules' that most stage fare, the sort of bus you catch, work are 5 1/2 hours. So after 4 hours if I'm pulling a load of manure, I must rest. However if I'm carrying 75 odd passengers , hey the Goverment say I'm safe to drive 5 1/2. Go figure it, I can't.

James Wiley

All mouth, no trousers the union will never go on strike because they know they are onto a good thing and they wouldn't want to lose any money.

Why not just have more drivers working a normal 37 hour week? There are plenty of unemployed.

So much for solidarity with the working man, they are just out for themselves.

jsybean

totally agree get some more drivers in so they all work 37 hour weeks that way every one is happy

OH NO they wont be because then they wont have any over time silly me .......

Publish the terms and conditions for now and for future then let the public see what they really are cause at the moment every one is up in arm about a lot of things they don't understand or even know about !

As for the strike go for it if you think you have something to prove and see how many stand by you ! playing a very dicey game as they will recruit in the UK and just ship drivers over they wont care about the locals. I would rather keep my job then lose it that's for sure.

Flymo

Can someone tell me when a strike actually achieved the results that were being looked for?

Marcel

Guernsey Airport Firefighters a few years ago.

Skeptical Charlie

Who cares we are only 9 x 5 walk or get a bike.

your having a laugh

well to all the drivers who are striking, the public dont give a monkeys about what you want, we the paying public want a first class service as we are paying for your wages via our fares, so if you dont like the new terms and conditions, dont sign them , dont have a job because , because there are hundreds of unemployed ready to stand in your shoes i for one do not care about you greedy lot.

acard1

Sorry i dont want to upset anyone on here who is a bus driver or related to a driver,I have been driving buses in and around merseyside for the last 10 years seen bus companies come and go.Had everything said to me and everything thrown at me from bricks to a dead squirrel,I have always found nearly every company will get every hour out of you they can, sometimes i have averaged nearly 72 hours a week for 8 pound an hour.Drove in horrendous conditions with people giving me grief about being late or the last bus never turned up.If you are wondering what im getting at its this a lot of drivers like me from merseyside would love the chance to work in a beautiful place like guernsey and be on that kind of money,Yes a company should stick to its contract of employment but remember the company can throw the tender back after a couple of months as did the place i was working for and they still got to keep the money and we lost are jobs,striking will only hurt you as drivers and turn the public against you,LOOK at what you have and what you have to lose good money and a decent way of life, Believe me you dont want to LOSE IT good luck in your dispute and hope it all works out for you the drivers and the people who rely on your service.

To Net or Not To Net

@acard1

You are right, acardi, CT Plus can throw the contract back at the States in a couple of months. As, in the same way, the States of Jersey can throw the contract back at CT Plus for not honouring one of the main clauses: the Current Terms and Conditions of Connex workers.

But, this is Jersey, the island where transparency is just a dream and citizens are not allowed to know the truth.

Jersey's politicians could ask for a new tender to be carried out in the spirit of real transparency but they won't.

And why? Simply because such a request would be tantamount to admitting their total incompetence and personal failure, as Hayek said:

"Everything which might cause doubt about the wisdom of the government or create discontent will be kept from the people. The basis of unfavourable comparisons with elsewhere, the knowledge of possible alternatives to the course actually taken, information which might suggest failure on the part of the government to live up to its promises or to take advantage of opportunities to improve conditions--all will be suppressed."