Hamilton bus services will be disrupted tomorrow morning due to industrial action by bus drivers.
First Union members have given notice to Go Bus Transport that they will strike on Monday, 14 May. About 50 per cent of Go Bus drivers in Hamilton are members of the union, so this action will impact on bus services from early morning until around 10am.
Waikato Regional Council – responsible for managing bus service contracts in the Waikato region – said the strike was an employment matter between Go Bus and its employees.
“We understand First Union is advocating for a living wage for bus drivers,” said Waikato Regional Council’s chief financial officer, Mike Garrett.
“Our focus today has been on minimising the inconvenience to passengers as much as possible, and we’ve worked closely with Go Bus to do that since receiving notification of the strike this morning,” he said.
All regional services – 20 Cambridge, 21 Northern Connector, 22 Morrinsville/Paeroa, 23 Raglan and 24 Te Awamutu – will run as normal. The Orbiter, 4N Flagstaff North, 5 Chartwell, 11 Fairfield, 13 University and 29 Hamilton Gardens will also run as normal.
The CBD Shuttle service will not operate until 10am.
There will be disruptions to all other Hamilton bus services. For details, see the note below.
Ministry of Education School Bus and Specialised School Transport Assistance services will not be affected.
Passengers are encouraged to keep an eye out for updates on the BUSIT Facebook page – BUSIT Waikato – and online at www.busit.co.nz(external link). They can also call 0800 205 305 for information.
“It’s possible we’ll have to make last minute changes in the morning. If that happens we’ll post updates to our Facebook page and website. We’ll also have staff at key stops tomorrow morning, and our call centre will be able to give people the latest information,” Mr Garrett said.
Waikato Regional Council received a petition on behalf of bus drivers regarding the living wage late last year.
“Go Bus was awarded the Waikato contract in 2016 through a competitive tender process, and no restriction was placed on bus driver wages,” Mr Garrett said.
“The issue of a living wage for bus drivers extends beyond our region – it’s a nation-wide issue. Our council therefore recommended that the petition received be forwarded to central government, including the NZ Transport Agency, for their consideration as joint funders of public transport.”