Go North East offer drivers “inflation-busting” pay rise

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A pay rise of £2,400 per year has been offered, and if accepted will guarantee a further pay rise next year.

Bosses at Go North East, the region’s largest bus operator, have offered their drivers an increased pay by £2,400 per year, despite making losses of £4.3 million in its most recent published accounts.

Go North East, who run a network of bus routes across the North East, including in Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham and surrounding areas, are said to be offering an “unprecedented offer” to those who drive for the bus service, will be backdated to Saturday, July 1, if the proposal is agreed, as well as a guaranteed further pay rise next year.

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The proposal, which is said to be “inflation-busting”, also involves some standardisation of working practices across Go North East’s six depots across the region.

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Go North East business director, Ben Maxfield said of the pay rise: “The two most talked about inflation measures, CPI and RPI, are currently running at 6.4% and 9.0% respectively. Our offer of 9.11% beats both these figures and means our driver pay package will be among the very best in the region.

“Unite the union are so far refusing to engage with the offer and are balloting on industrial action.”

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Go North East

Maxfield continued: “Unite is claiming without any attempt at justification, that driver pay is not keeping up with inflation. Quite simply, it is a false flag, and one that could lead to unnecessary industrial action and needless disruption for passengers. Unite would be striking for something they have already been offered.”

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