Disruptions to Metro services on 18 October
Approval to support public transport drivers to receive the Living Wage was given by Environment Canterbury Council in July this year. We are working with operators to finalise and agree the amount of funding required, and a process to provide surety that drivers receive this funding.
The Amalgamated Workers Union (AWUNZ) has a planned stop work meeting on Monday 18 October between 5am and 9am which means urban and school bus drivers may not be available to drive Metro services.
We understand the stop work meeting is in response to delays in drivers receiving the Living Wage rate adjustment.
In July this year, Environment Canterbury Council approved funding that would enable operators to pay their drivers a base wage equivalent to the revised Living Wage that came into effect on 1 September 2021.
Once the necessary contract variation process has been completed, funds will be passed onto operators to pay their drivers. Council will backdate funding to ensure drivers are paid any wage difference from when the Living Wage increase came into effect.
Impact to network disappointing
Environment Canterbury CEO Stefanie Rixecker says staff engaged early with bus operators and organisers of the stop work meeting, so is disappointed that delays in contract approvals will impact customers in this way.
“We’re working through the details of the meeting with the urban and school bus operators and hope to be able to provide our customers with more details in the coming days” she says.
“We understand that this will be concerning for our customers who rely on our network to get to work, school and undertake other essential trips.
“We’re asking that in the meantime, it is a good idea to make a contingency plan if you can,” she said.
Support for driver wage increase
Environment Canterbury supports the move to ensure driver wages reflect the role they play in this essential service.
“Our drivers are consistently getting high satisfaction ratings from our customers, so we understand how important their role in the public transport experience is, and their role in keeping Greater Christchurch moving forward,” Rixecker says.
“We want to be able to support our operators to provide a wage that reflects the important role that drivers have in providing a positive experience across the network.”