Dunedin bus drivers go on strike

bus driver
Ritchies says it hopes a resolution is reached in a timely manner. Photo credit: File

Dunedinites might need to find a different way around town as some of Ritchies' bus drivers go on strike.

A day-long demonstration starts at 7am, as drivers protest a breakdown in pay negotiations. The 24-hour-demonstration will also involve a picket at the Octagon at 10am.

First Union spokesperson Paul Watson says they're not making extreme demands.

"In the end, bus drivers around the country - like at Ritchies in Dunedin - are not getting paid enough. We are certainly campaigning for there to be at least the living wage."

Ritchies says it will endeavour to engage with its Dunedin-based bus drivers as pay negotiations continue.

Mr Watson says the company is undervaluing its staff, offering only $19 an hour and no backpay.

"They are underpaid. They need to have a decent living wage - currently around $20.55 - and that's at a minimum… We initiated bargaining back in May… and they have refused to backdate any pay increase."

Ritchies says it hopes a resolution is reached in a timely manner. First Union says the Public Transport Operating Model - under which transport contracts are offered - is a "race to the bottom on wages" and needs to be scrapped.


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