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Union says latest meeting over Auckland drivers' pay had 'better outcome'

A bus driver at Auckland's New Lynn depot on Tuesday 11 July 2023.
A bus driver at Auckland's New Lynn depot on Tuesday 11 July. Photo: RNZ / Jordan Dunn

Drivers for NZ Bus in Auckland will today find out what their employer's newest offer looks like, after six hours of emergency talks on Friday.

The First Union's bus driver members have rejected a pay offer of $31 an hour, rising to $33.20 from next April.

Bus drivers belonging to First Union had earlier said they would start giving passengers fare-free travel, and would do so for a whole week, after refusing the company's latest pay offer.

On Thursday night, NZ Bus responded by announcing all its services in Tāmaki Makaurau would instead be cancelled.

After that it was announced that the strike notice had been withdrawn and emergency talks scheduled. Auckland Transport later confirmed that all bus services would run as normal on Friday.

Union delegates and the company held emergency talks for about six hours on Friday.

Further industrial action by drivers has been withdrawn for now and the union says it has a new offer for drivers to consider.

First Union organiser Hayley Courtney said NZ Bus was more willing to co-operate with drivers at the emergency meeting.

"We felt happy that it was more productive than what it has been in past negotiations, they engaged with us more and we had AT sitting at the table as well and helping facilitate it.

"So I think all in all it was a more positive day and we have come out with a better outcome."

Courtney said members would be able to voice their thoughts on the new offer at a union meeting next week.

"We will be going for an all-up meeting with the union members on Wednesday, after Wednesday we will know more on how the members, the wider membership are feeling with the offer the company has made."

On 10 and 11 July, NZ Bus drivers in Auckland went on strike from 4am until 8am leading to hundreds of bus trips being cancelled.

NZ Bus operates around 35 percent of Auckland's bus routes.