Bus Vannin drivers to reapply for jobs

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Conditions of employment suffer as Isle of Man attempts to save £300k

Bus drivers in the Isle of Man have been told they need to reapply for their jobs.

The Department of Community, Culture and Leisure (DCCL), which runs Bus Vannin, confirmed 98 drivers had been issued with notices of termination for existing contracts in an attempt to save £300,000. The DCCL must save £1m in the current financial year.

Drivers had been offered new pay terms and conditions twice by the department which have been rejected at ballots. Under the offer rejected by the Unite membership, drivers’ lunch breaks will no longer be paid, sick pay will reduce to being based on 37 hours per week and maximum driving time will increase from three hours 45 minutes to four hours 10 minutes. According to the DCCL the average salary for a bus driver in the island is around £38,500.

Nick Black, the department’s Chief Executive, said: “I have now given notice to all permanent bus driving staff of the termination of their employment on current terms and conditions.

“All drivers are being offered immediate re-employment on new terms and conditions, which are based on those which were recommended to them for acceptance by their union but were rejected at ballot.

“Following the unsuccessful conclusion of a third ballot of bus drivers on October 11, the department had no other choice but to issue notices of termination of the existing contracts.”

The notification period depends on length of service of each individual and ranges from two to 12 weeks.

Eric Holmes, Regional Industrial Officer for Unite, said the deal being offered had been brokered by the staff representatives but was worse than the deal recommended at the second ballot. He said the issue would now be handled by Unite’s national officers based in the North West of England and hoped the issue could go to arbitration.