First bus strike: services cancelled Monday 24 and Wednesday 26 January

Date published: 21 January 2022

First Manchester is again giving customers advance notice to plan alternative travel arrangements as all its bus services will be cancelled due to continued industrial action at its Oldham depot on Monday 24 and Wednesday 26 January.

All dedicated school services are expected to run and details of routes can be found on the Transport for Greater Manchester website

Ian Humphreys, Managing Director of First Manchester, said: “The company has offered a substantial increase to £13 per hour linked to the 2021 pay review. This is in response to the trade union’s request for parity with another large bus company in Greater Manchester and which we were advised met their aspirations.

“We have also included a lump sum payment as part of the new agreement and offered to equalise the rate for school bus drivers with that of local service drivers, which would mean an even greater increase for this group of colleagues. These offers have been recommended for acceptance by the trade union and we remain unclear as to the reasons why they have been rejected.  

“There are no changes to our colleagues’ conditions and whilst reference has also been made to rota patterns, this is simply about the introduction of an agreement signed in March 2021 between the company and the union in which there was a shared plan to update recruiting and working practices to fulfil the company’s commitments to diversity in the workplace.

“A third week of industrial action and the possibility of further dates in February is not the way forward to finding a resolution. We need to be building for the year ahead and remain ready to commence discussions on the 2022 pay review.

“I would like to apologise sincerely to all our customers in advance for the further disruption and inconvenience next week’s industrial action will cause.”

Customers with pre-bought tickets for both dates will be given a refund or replacement tickets to use for future travel. Further information can be found on the First Manchester website here.

Taxis are also on strike across the Rochdale borough the same Monday (24 January), as all local firms protest the proposed minimum standards for private hire drivers.

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