Bus drivers overwhelmingly vote to ballot for industrial action

Posted On 03 Jun 2016 at 10:32 am

Bus drivers have overwhelmingly voted to ballot for strike action over claims of bullying and harassment at work.

Unite ballot

In a consultative ballot held last Thursday, 497 Unite members at Brighton and Hove Buses voted in favour of a full industrial action ballot, with just 33 voting against.

The union is now consider the options and formulating a plan of action. However, talks between the union and management are continuing.

Managing director Martin Harris said: “We met with Unite last week and discussed a number of matters that they raised, and have positively committed to several measures as part of our constructive response to their concerns. We are continuing that dialogue with Unite.”

After Brighton and Hove News reported the consultative ballot last month, drivers commented about poor management practices, including drivers being called while off sick, and being asked in the middle of the night to do early shifts starting in a few hours’ time.

One said: “Having worked for the company for several years, I can truly say that this is the lowest I have ever seen morale.

“Drivers are feeling the pressure from services missing from routes due to no take over drivers or lack of buses. The company’s answer – let’s harass everyone to do more.

“Then when they fall ill from over doing a physical amount of work and go sick, the company’s answer – let’s call them at home and make them feel guilty until they come back to work.”

Brighton and Hove Buses is owned by the same parent company, Go Ahead, which is currently in dispute with the RMT union on behalf of their members working as conductors on Southern services.

  1. Bazzawag Reply

    What a shame I work at the hospital at least your understaffed but get paid a decent wage, I’ve had to do a degree to get into nursing you had to pass a driving test. I get texts and calls all day everyday asking for people to go in for shifts. Do you realise the disruption you could cause by striking? Hence why nurses haven’t striked yet ?

    • Ron Reply

      Driving a bus as not easy you might think. There is 5 test you have to pass to become bus driver. Also if you are too much stress at work you might put one or two lives in danger and for bus drivers this number could be higher. So they do deserve respect.

      • Mrs P Winyard Reply

        They do work hard having to put up with some really nasty customers aswell stupid inconsiderate motorist and cyclists through this stupid road systems in the rush hour the bus company are asking to much of their staff it is an accident waiting to happen

    • John Reply

      Well more fool you! Sit there and do nothing about your terms and conditions. Just don’t moan when other people refuse to sit on their hands and take some action to change things. Doesn’t sound like degree level thinking to me.

  2. Paul Reply

    Sit on there bums all day , getting paid can’t be bad !!!

  3. Emma Reply

    All we had to do is pass a driving test how about eight tests and undergo even more training a rigorous medical now I’m not on here to say anything bad about nurses but please get your facts straight before you start saying things you know nothing about

  4. Jason Reply

    So basically bazwag. Your saying its ok to be treated like crap at work.its not just the drivers that are suffering its across the board. Below management level.so dont have a pop

    • Mrs P Winyard Reply

      Well said

  5. SugarPop Reply

    Don’t underestimate the drivers job. Yes you help save lives but the drivers keep lives safe. The fact is if they are overworked I’ll or stressed how are they supposed to drive safely? Then risk losing their jobs because of an accident after pressure to work. You should get off your high horse. If the role is effecting you that much then maybe you should strike! The junior doctors did! I use the buses daily and would feel better knowing the drivers are well rested and can safely get me to work.

  6. johanna thomson Reply

    I have been living in Brighton for over twenty years and in my experience bus drivers are either really nice or really horrible. The really horrible ones are probably that way because they hate their job so how they get treated has a knock on effect as to how they treat passengers. They are particularly horrible to women with children. They are unhelpful and unkind. When I asked one bus driver why he was so unhelpful and rude he told me it was because he had not had a pay rise for three years. Neither have I! I now use City Car Club to avoid the risk of coming accross a horrible driver. I know many people who feel the same way. I do feel for them tho… the bus company has an overcomplicated and very expensive ticketing system. Particularly the Kid’s Bus ID System. All public transport is free for children in london. I think they are a greedy penny-piching bunch who have created a culture of misery for both the drivers and the passengers. They try to make out they are so “fun” with their jolly-looking liveried buses but nothing could be further from the truth. And how much are they spending on these “fun” looking buses? Someone needs to sort it out and if the bus drivers going on strike makes that clear to the bosses then I think they should do it. Happy bus drivers equal happy passengers.

  7. Chris Reply

    It’s no co-incidence the bus company is owned by the same company as Southern trains, namely Go Ahead. It is quite clear there is a policy by Go Ahead management to try and crush unions. I am not a union member, but I will stand up and together with a persons right to have fair working conditions, Seems the company won’t be happy until staff work a 16 hour day!! What will happen is with the punishing work schedule the drivers have to cope with, will mean another accident like the one in North Street last year. Same with the NHS, staff are expected t work long hours.

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