Greater Wellington offers facilitation between bus operators and drivers' unions

Council urges all parties to redouble efforts to reach agreement.

The Greater Wellington Regional Council met today regarding the GWRC contracts with public transport operators, urging all parties to seek agreement regarding collective employment agreements. 

Speaking after the meeting, Chair Chris Laidlaw urged the Tramways Union and bus operators the Council understood were in negotiations over drivers’ wages and conditions, to take up the Council offer to facilitate discussions. 

“We are urging the employers and the unions to sit down together, redouble efforts, and finally reach a workable agreement that meets the needs of workers, passengers and the bus companies. 

“We have already written to the operators and the unions and the Council is very serious about our desire for this to occur quickly.

“As adjustments are made to its initial performance, we want the travelling public to experience the bus network improvements and this also means the unions and the employers trying their hardest to come together and reach an agreement. 

“This was the same situation in place when contracts were negotiated under the previous network. 

“However, because it is not the employer, the Regional Council is unable to direct employment negotiations, nor use ratepayers’ funds to pay bus drivers directly.

“In the meantime the Council wants to do all it can within the law to help reach a workable agreement and we are ready to do all we can to facilitate this,” Laidlaw said.