Go North East offers £2,400 pay rise

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The £2,400 per year rise has not met with approval from Unite. RICHARD SHARMAN

Under a cloud of tension with trade union Unite, Go North East has made its drivers what it says is an ‘unprecedented offer’ to increase pay by £2,400 per year, backdated to 1 July, despite reporting losses of £4.3 million in its most recent published accounts. If the proposal – which it says also involves ‘some standardisation of working practices across its six depots’ – is accepted, the firm says drivers will also be guaranteed a further inflation-linked pay increase next year.

Go North East Business Director Ben Maxfield said: “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 is so far refusing to engage with the offer and is balloting on industrial action. 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.”