The Go North East (GNE) strike which has severely affected bus services in the region for more than a month will end tomorrow after workers accepted a pay offer.
More than 1,300 members of the Unite union began an indefinite strike on 28 October.
The union announced this morning that members had voted to accept a headline pay increase of 11.2%. This includes a backdated rise of 10.5% from 1 July 2023 and a further 0.7% rise in January 2024. A further increase in line with the retail price index and subject to a minimum of 4% will follow on 1 July 2024.
This pay award has been awarded to drivers, as well as all engineers and administrative staff earning up to £40,000.
The deal means drivers who were previously on £12.83 per hour will earn £14.17 backdated to July and then £14.27 from January 2024 onwards. An inflation level of 4% in July 2024 would see a further increase to £14.84.
Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham says: “Go North East workers should be congratulated on their victory for better pay. They stood together in unity until their employer returned to negotiations and made an improved offer.
“Make no mistake, Unite Is here to fight for workers, I will do whatever is needed to help workers secure good pay deals, that commitment has been clearly demonstrated during this dispute.
“Unite the union keeps winning across the passenger transport sector and securing better pay for our members.”
Unite National Lead Officer Onay Kasab adds: “I’m delighted our members have secured this substantial pay increase. Thanks to their tireless efforts on picket lines and at protests they have secured the pay increase they deserve.”
A statement from GNE says: “We are pleased to confirm that this morning our latest pay offer was accepted by Unite members. This means there will be no further industrial action across the region.
“All Go North East services will now operate as normal from Saturday 2 December.”
The Go-Ahead Group-owned operator had previously offered a 10.3% pay increase which had been rejected. School services and certain contracted services were kept running, with a skeleton service being available elsewhere via office workers and managers with PSV licences and regular drivers who had returned to work.