Bus drivers threaten action over hours, pay

BUS drivers will work to rule from Monday unless CT Plus backs down over a dispute about working hours and pay.

BUS drivers will work to rule from Monday unless CT Plus backs down over a dispute about working hours and pay.

The rebelling employees, who voted in favour of the industrial action, predict it will result in cuts to services.

The action means that drivers will do the minimum required by their contract and refuse to work any extra hours, including through their lunch break, do overtime or cover any other drivers. They have also threatened full strike action in the coming weeks if the bus operator refuses to compromise.

CT Plus said talks were ongoing and it would be inappropriate to discuss them through the media.

Comments for: "Bus drivers threaten action over hours, pay"

rachael

..hmmm is it a bit of a coincidence that this morning several bus routes have been cancelled due to bus drivers suddenly being ill then this news is announced?

Royston Gauno

Another Anglo Inspired Fiasco ..

Smug

These drivers should be thankful that they have jobs. Perhaps CT Plus should be taking a harder stance and getting rid of a few of them, I'm sure there are other people out there that are able to do the job.

Most of the drivers are rude, some barely speak English. A few people I know have had to help the driver along his route because he didn't know the way!

dang

Great Idea! Treating the grunts to a harder stance will increase staff morale resulting in more polite drivers and greater staff retention with fewer new drivers who don't know the routes. The mistake was probably allowing them to eat meat and grow strong and bolshy.

Phil

Spot on Dang, we should be paying these guys more than they currently get, ineptitude deserves reward after all doesn't it?

PLP

"Tis not madness, Ma'am, it's meat.

Meat, ma'am, meat! If you kept the boy on gruel this would have never have happened."

Whatever you say, Mr Bumble!

Scarlett

Sometimes the best solution to morale problems is just to fire all of the unhappy people.

Joe

I'm not sure if you're ignorant or just stupid? Lucky to have a job? In the same way 6 year old Chinese kids working in sweat shops are lucky to have a job? I work for the buses, so know what I'm talking about. Anyone fancy a 5am rise for a 6am start, then to work over 14 hours, returning home at 9pm only to do the same the next day? Working most weekends and having a thousand pound pay cut within a year. There's a reason we are here, no-one from Guernsey can, or will, work under those conditions. All these racist big mouths should come and try driving round the lanes in St Martins at 9pm on a dark rainy night with steamed up windows. You wouldn't last a day. Prove me wrong, come and drive the buses then.

Island Wide Voting

Fair comment Joe

Laura

Completely agreee with Joe! - stop saying they should be fired, they're working ridiculous hours and guessing not much pay?

I've done 12 hour shifts before and it's hard to stay happy trust me, let alone 14 hour shifts, what about social life, I bet you lot ocmplaining probably see your friends or have a hobby or go to town each week, they wouldn't have the time!

Backchat

Don't worry all is not lost, the States will come in soon with a gift of tax payers money to sort it all out.

to the vale

sack all the ones that dont want to work and kick them off the island they came here to work so what more do they want ct plus should get there act together

States House

Exactly!

Send them back home. Going on strike or refusing to work, surely they can get sacked?

If they have no work with the firm they will lose their licence. They want to remember why they came in in the first place.

Train up some unemployed as bus drivers.

Hartley

So now we're assuming that all bus drivers are obviously immigrants?

Go, Guernsey! Home of tolerance and respect for the fellow man.

madnursie

I agree well said Hartley

These are people with families and as we dont know the full story of what is happening within the organisation we cannot yet make a full judgement

Scarlett

I think a considerable percentage of them are, Hartley, yes.

Laura

Scarlett, not all of them are though!

Ed

Do you seriously think that some unemployed individual will wholeheartedly assume the role of a bus driver ? Hardly likely ! Even if they attempt the job there is a strong probability that they will do it with minimal enthusiasm and they will have scant regard to the feelings of the customer- perhaps if they were to be subject to extensive, rigorous training they I may accept this idea.

The only unemployed individual that will willingly assume the role of a bus driver is one that has a genuine interest in doing some kind of work- not one who has intentions of continuing their leech like existence.

Furthermore, ideas such as wishing to "send them back home" (the bus drivers) or "kick them off the island" possess slight taints of chauvinistic patriotism, even fascism. That is if you are insinuating that they ought to return to their nation because of ethnic/cultural reasons.

wineman

Ed

Your best ever post to date well said.

Ectopudding

They have been advertising for Bus Drivers in the Benefits Office for most of last year. There must be some local people who would be willing to do it.

I'm not sure how some of the present foreign drivers who don't know the way even got a Public Service Vehicle Licence in the first place. The licence requires a test about Guernsey and if you don't know the way round you'd have no chance in passing it!

Laura

Why would someone opt to work 14 hours for rubbish pay though? I certainly wouldn't!

CSR

States House,

Your post has to be one of the most ignorant I've read on this forum in a long while. The right to withdraw one's labour is a basic employment right, and like it or not, the drivers may have cause to do such a thing. Before you jump in with both of your oversize xenophobic boots, you should consider for a moment that those drivers who are considering withdrawing their labour may in fact be 'local', so your comments are meaningless.

As for training up the 'unemployed' as drivers, you sound like its a process that takes about 5 minutes and can be achieved by anyone with the ability to sign their own name... I suggest you do your homework and find out actually what is invloved in achieving the PSV qualifiaction before tapping out such drivel in future.

Joe

Once again I have to come back on. Good idea, sack all the drivers and only employ local people. From where? Will people swap jobs to be a bus driver? No. The unemployed? Put down your vodka bottle, switch Jeremy Kyle off and come try it then. I'm sure the roads will be safer with a whole new bunch of local drivers. Not. Start training now and you might be ready in 6 months to take a bus out on the road, though I doubt it.

The levels of downright racism being thrown at us drivers is disgraceful. Would you have all foreigners leave? We'll take the finance industry with us, as well as all the foreign nurses and doctors. Not to mention the tourism industry and airport contractors, etc. These small minded people can go back to picking tomatoes if they so wish.

As for our concerns, these idiots better pray that a tired driver doesn't knock down and kill one of their kids after a 14 hour shift. Pretty sure their attitude would soon change. We're not asking for more money, just to stop hammering us with cuts to our pay and conditions.

Grala

Joe

Please don't think that the replies on here are indicative of the attitudes of the whole Guernsey population - I have been getting the bus to and from work every weekday for the past 7 years, and whilst the bus service is not perfect, it's not down to the drivers, who in the main I have found to be polite and helpful, and I'm sure I'm not the only one to feel this way.

I've heard about the rubbish working conditions that the drivers have to endure, and whilst I hope it doesn't come to a strike (I realllllly don't want to walk to work on Monday!), I fully support any actions that the drivers feel they need to take in order to ensure fair working conditions. So please be assured that there are people who are firmly on your side!

bcb

Joe while you are rightly annoyed at those who throw insults and have every right to retaliate what you have posted is just as bad if not even worse.

"I’m sure the roads will be safer with a whole new bunch of local drivers. Not. Start training now and you might be ready in 6 months to take a bus out on the road, though I doubt it".

What on earth is that supposed to mean? are you suggesting locals cant drive? maybe to thick to learn?.

I would imagine every local and many non local reading that would be just as offended as you are. If that is your true thoughts of Guernsey people then maybe this isn`t the place for you?.

If i have misunderstood your post then i apologize.

Joe

Dear bcb, you have my word it was not my intention to offend anyone. 'Local' was not the derogatory word, 'new' was. Bus drivers have been coming here from abroad for over 20 years now. Why? Maybe because locals didn't want to drive the buses then, as they don't now. You can't force just anyone to drive a bus. I'd say firstly, you have to want to drive a bus. Someone not wanting to learn, but being forced by threat of withdrawing benefits will never make a good driver. It's far too dangerous just to throw anyone behind the wheel of a 30 foot bus. Can I just add, I love living here and I love the people. The vast majority are friendly, warm and welcoming. But, there is a very small number who seem to think it OK to spout what I can only call xenophobic comments at us.

bcb

Thanks for the reply Joe and you make some good points.

Laura

I'm local and by no means offended as to what he's said.

It's takes a long time for some people to drive a car, let alone something as big as a bus!

Toby

Great Idea

Replace the possiblity of limited disruption for a short time ( if they strike ) with the certainty of long term disruption ( whilst you try and replace the sacked drivers )

Harry

Does anybody actually know how much a bus driver is paid per hour and how many hours they are expected to work?

Island Wide Voting

Harry

It can't be all that attractive otherwise all the locals on benefits would be clamouring for the work ... wouldn't they?

TED

If they strike,so few people use the buses who is going to notice!!!

Laura

I know the use of buses is delclining but a lot of people use it! - figures compared to the islands population of course will be low but how many times have you got a bus? Many a people use them throughout the day..

What if you go to town one night, drink too much and are over the limit the next day? drink and drive or get a bus? Recently I've done that and gone for the bus!

soph

Hang on, most replies are very harsh here! Most of the drivers affected (by 'flu or similar) lived in same premises. Would you like to have one feeling really bad or spreading the bug as your bus driver?

Not me!!

john

Is the point here that people who are mostly non local and who are only here to get as much as they can out of the Island.

They do not care about any hardship they will cause or even that fact that it is the islanders laughably pay.

What happens when the bus services closes due to lack of use as the passengers will not return once disillusioned.

Personally I say sack any driver that takes industrial action and if they are here on licence then it should be revoked.

SaintsBay

Ed - you seriously misunderstand the composition of the unemployed.

Not all are "leech-like". There are hundreds of newly unemployed that possibly will not apply to be bus drivers as they almost certainly will feel that this is beneath them.

They have driven a bank or trust company desk for the last few years and the penny has not yet dropped that jobs in the financial la la land are evaporating fast.

Wait until the redundancy money runs out - then you will get "local" drivers although they may well be ex-finace jockeys here on licence from the UK.

They could of course wait until the new jobs arrive at the Data Park. As if.

Ed

But I didn't say that they were all leech-like. Read twice before you make judgments.

Laura

I think everyone here seems to be making judgements!

Oh Dear

The level of ignorance you're all displaying is monumental!

Get rid of anyone who isn't local, WHAT? How backward can you be, everyone is entitled to their own opinion but this is ludicrous. If you were being treated poorly by your boss and the general public I think you'd want more money and fewer hours too. Most of the bus drivers are English or local. Those of you who are complaining clearly don't actually use the bus.

Are you so short sighted that you can't see how this will affect everyone going to town? If there is a strike I will have to get to work by driving, if every passenger of every bus that's heading to town does this, can you imagine the congestion?

I can't believe the amount of xenophobic views being portrayed here. I like to think Guernsey people are welcoming to people of all walks of life clearly I am mistaken.

I think all those who are moaning should think a little harder about the situation. The view of, oh well it doesn't affect me, is insanely ignorant. Especially since potentially this could affect the island as a whole, not just those who get the bus.

End rant.

bcb

Dont change your view because of a few nasty remarks on here and for what its worth i agree with the rest of your post.

Oh Dear

Don't worry I'm not as naive to think that the people who post on here make up the majority of the public's opinion.

I was just appalled that people still think that way.

What really needs to be done is a complete revamp of our bus system. Obviously in our current financial climate it's not really viable.

It's worrying that CT Plus have had these sort of problems before though.

Did the States know this when they took them in?

We need more and smaller buses, shorter gaps between buses at each stop with a realistic timetable.

At the moment it's taking me anywhere between 25mins and an hour to get to work via the bus. (even on days when the traffic isn't horrendous).

Oh and one final thing, if anyone here happens to break down outside Rocquettes hotel, push the car into the car park so as to not hold up half the island. Thanks :-)

Grala

I have a lot of sympathy for these drivers, from what I have heard from various drivers and a co-worker whose husband is a driver, the conditions really are pretty poor. I really hope it doesn't come to a strike, but I don't think they are asking their employer for too much at all.

I am aware that I have no way of knowing if people are being truthful or exaggarating but from what I hear, the pay is abysmal and the hours are terrible with not enough breaks-and that's important for passenger safety and the safety of the other people on the roads, not just the driver.

I am just concerned that if a strike does happen, we won't be told in good time which would result in a lot of poor souls (including me!) stood at the bus stops like muppets.

islander

I symathise with drivers if they have signed a contract of employment and conditions and management has or tried to change without consultation of any new working conditions.

I think the drivers have grievances with the travelling public and the media`s remarks forcing them to take action.

Lets see what comes out of these talks between management and staff.

I prefer the old system of fare charging whereby its was fare stages.At the moment you get charged £1 from bus terminus to next stop being the States office.You get on the bus at the bus terminus and jump off at the airport for £1.

Let taxpayers give less for the bus service and allow the bus company to run as a self financing company

Lets hope GT and the employees come to better working relationships

CSR

Good post Islander, I remember the old 'Fare Stage' concept well from my youth, and walking to the next stop so as to reduce the amount I needed to pay:-)

I think the flat fare can be seen as a little unfair to passengers on 'short' journeys, but it definitely speeds up the process of getting passengers on board as drivers don't have to work out where they are in relation to the 'Fare Stage'. Swings and roundabouts I guess.

There will always be numerous suggestions as to how to run a viable bus service, but adverse comments (generally unfounded) through this forum and the media are unhelpful to finding an actual solution. Let's hope such a solution can be found so the island benefits from a good, stable and viable bus service in the future.

Jeff

They said on the radio that the illness was due to staff sharing living accommodation - does this mean that the only drivers that are 'ill' are those from the UK/overseas?

Does anyone know how many drivers CT+ have employed from the UK/overseas compared to numbers of local drivers?

Toby

How do you know all the people sharing accomodation are from overseas ?

Martino

I just want to put on record my thanks for the excellent customer service given to me by a CT Plus driver who saved my bacon on the way to a work appointment this afternoon, following a scooter breakdown.

This driver, who clearly wasn't a 'local', waited for me at the stop when I flagged him from behind and then dropped me between stops, thus helping to get me to said appointment almost on time.

The alternative would have been to call a taxi, which would not have got me there any quicker, and would have cost me a bomb.

I hope the drivers don't strike and I'll be disappointed if they do but let's not slag them off unnecessarily for doing a largely thankless task.

PLP

Well said Martino, particularly the last part. Driving those oversized monsters around the island for hours on end, for low pay for customers who all too rarely give a friendly smile let alone a hello is hardly conducive to a cheery disposition and yet my experience of buses is largely positive, or neutral at worst.

local passenger!

Have a think please about what you are saying.I know a lot of the drivers. Local and other. They are polite hard working and they have more respect on the roads towards other vehicles. I wish I could say the same about traffic who have no respect for the bus drivers. On more than one occasion, I have nearly had accidents after I have left the bus. I would love any person within reason who is UNEMPLOYED. Get off your backside and put your money where your mouth is and learn to drive a bus.

john

I have driven about this island and have seen that the buses are to large for the roads and the drivers are poor. From the number of times they cut corners etc it is obvious that the majority have fallen into the lazy I've got the bigger vehicle so everyone else can move out the way attitude.

I wasn't born here but remember the quality of the drivers in the 70's, it has drastically allegiance then.

As I said I am not local so I do feel at ease to say that the bus drivers who go on strike should be sacked and if they are not local they should have their licences revoked and told to leave the island.

bridge

I don't know much about the bus service, but I do know it is sub-standard. This is not the drivers' fault though, it is down to bad management.

Hardly anyone uses the buses because the service is rubbish - one bus an hour is very little use to most people, especially busy commuters, which is surely the market that the bus service should be seeking to capture. The buses are a menace on our roads and the whole thing is a shambles. This why everyone continues to drive to work and the bus service can't make any money.

The States needs to step in and inject cash into the service to get it working efficiently and actually provide a proper alternative transport system to the island's population.

As to the comments about drivers being "sent home", (whatever that is supposed to mean),these remarks are purely a reflection of the mind-numbing ignorance of the people that make them.

Toby

Given your comments you might like to read the Billet for March 2006 ... ( http://www.gov.gg/article/5509/2006-March-29th-Billet-VII )

As reagrds the size of the buses,

see section 4.5 .... in particular 4.5.2

"At the time that tenders for the fleet were sought, the buses were the narrowest

low floor bus available that could also comply with the other requirements of

the tender specification. At 2.359 metres in width, the new fleet is wider than

the vehicles it replaced, but is narrower than the maximum permitted on the

Island’s roads. At 9.669 metres in length, the buses are shorter than the

maximum permitted on the Island’s roads. Although approximately one metre

longer than the Optare Metroriders that they replaced, they are shorter than the

old Bristol LH coaches that were employed by the former Guernseybus on the

scheduled services for many years."

as regards service frequencies , section 4.2.5 might be of interest.....

I would wholeheartedly agree that whatever the faults with the bus service , the blame does not lay to any great degree with the drivers. They do a difficult and necessary job, working antisocial hours, and deserve our thanks and support, not our scorn and disrespect .....

Bridge

Thank you for your constructive and interesting feedback. I remain of the opinion however (probably along with a number of other readers) that irrespective of this or that legislation/policy/billet, the buses are too wide for our roads. End of.

But thanks for the info - it's always nice to get constructive feedback.

Toby

If the buses are too big then so are hundreds of other vehicles ( skip lorries , JCBs, delivery vans et al. ) - yet nobody seems to complain about them.......

Alan

Who gives a r--s a--!!

Stiletto

@Alan

Not sure why you troubled to make your comment, a bad day, nothing going your way? comes to mind.

I had been unable to drive, due to injury for 4 months and had largely relied on bus transport. I have only just read through this thread, but would like to say how much I appreciate the bus drivers' help, taking time in my getting on and off a bus, on a couple of occasions, helping with my zimmer chariot.

Quizzed

It is difficult when employees have to negotiate their conditions.

I don't understand the ins and outs of this but hope that all stakeholders can arrive at an amicable agreement/way forward for the sake of:

The Staff

The Islanders that frequently use the service

The Islands infrastructure

The Islands confidence that the states can co-ordinate this issue to satisfaction.

@islander

Very interesting post there! Number 12!

Copied and pasted below.

12

(I symathise with drivers if they have signed a contract of employment and conditions and management has or tried to change without consultation of any new working conditions).

I whole heartedly agree with you on that one!Funny though, as in the pensions forum, which is a change to peoples contract of employment (due to it being compulsory)and conditions without consultation 'from Ed Freestone'or anyone else for that matter, you simply posted:

Close the public pension scheme

Joe and the bus gang....... good luck with your talks.