Wellington Bus Strike


Here we go again.

Industrial action affecting bus services in Wellington.

With shades what also happened in Auckland late last year, the unions are taking strike action over negotiations with NZ Bus.

The Tramways Union and Manufacturing and Construction Workers Union have given notice to Go Wellington.City Line (Valley Flyer) and Mana bus services of a strike by union members next Wednesday.

Strike action would hit Wellington bus commuters hard

The strike will take place to allow union members to meet at 10.00am to discuss further industrial action with regard to collective agreement negotiations that have not started more than two months after all three companies received notice from the unions requesting initiation of bargaining.

The unions have sought a multi employer regional agreement covering most of Wellington’s public passenger transport drivers.

Secretary of the union’s Wellington branch , Kevin O’Sullivan, said that the employers (NZ Bus & Mana Coach Services) have “refused to agree to a realistic process for negotiations, a process which has not been an issue previously.

“The delaying tactics used by the employers need to cease so that positive and constructive negotiations for the drivers of Wellington’s buses can commence.”




  1. Jeremy Harris says:

    Oh dear lord, when will we just buy these assets back..?

  2. Cierat says:

    Why is everyone always trying to extract as much out of public transport as they can? Its the poor old ratepayers and taxpayers that always end up footing the bill. :(

    I have a few questions… Where are the productivity gains and savings from Snapper? Why should there be a blanket collective here? Most importantly, where are the performance incentives for customer satisfaction?

    In my experience with Wellington buses, good drivers seem to be a minority (and there is actually a couple of truly awesome ones) who still get the same pay as the rude and smelly ones who I think must be relying on union pressure to avoid the chop. I would really like to see the staff putting the customer first being rewarded and the drivers with low customer service ratings being put on notice and getting paid less, honestly guys, this is first and foremost a customer service job!

  3. Welly says:

    Cierat, it’s really no surprise that some drivers are less than perfect. NZ Bus treats its drivers very poorly so the likely flow on is that some drivers will treat NZ Bus’s customers in the same fashion. Check out their treatment of Auckland drivers last year!

    It would be hard to pay some drivers less as you suggest because the hourly rate is not that much above the minimum wage. Go figure. Some of these guys with families would get the same on the dole or DPB.

    And lets face it - they’re not even asking for more money yet - just trying to get NZ Bus to the negotiating table!!!!

  4. Cierat says:

    I don’t think making excuses for rude and obnoxious drivers is the right way to go. The issue is that good drivers are not being rewarded for doing a good job! The second issue is that bad drivers keep their jobs and keep on being nasty! Something is very wrong here.

    The union could take some lessons in basic politeness too. A simple sorry would have been nice.

    Pay is a difficult issue, but as with any other job, to get paid more, a person should do more in their role, why should bus drivers be a special exception?

  5. The issue here is NZ Bus is losing money and paying the drivers more means even lower profits. Of course they are going to stall talks for as long as they can.

    However, the larger issue is their attempts to make more money are laughable. Here in Auckland they want to cut service and charge more. How is that going to increase ridership, and therefore, profits?!

    It won’t.

    What NZ Bus has to realise is their entire service plan must be revamped so it’s more convenient for everyone to use public transport, not just people without any other choice.

  6. Welly says:

    I don’t know why you think NZ Bus is making a loss Nat. Infratil’s last annual report showed $20m EBDITA. And remember they get around $100m of subsidies from regional councils and a further subsidy from you - the tax payer in the form of their drivers getting their wages topped up by Working For Families and Family Support.

    Infratil is a hard nosed and greedy outfit - if you don’t believe me, just try parking your car at Wellington Airport.

  7. JAFA says:

    Sigh, can you imagine if the unions try this multi employer agreement tactic in Auckland? NZ Bus, Ritchie, H&E, Pavlovich etc. If the union decide to strike, the entire city would be paralysed. ATM if the union decide to strike at NZ Bus, the other companies can still continue to operate. I don’t know if Mana, Go Wellington and Valley Flyer are your only bus companies in Wellington, but what happen if your union decide to strike because all three companies would not agree to increased salary?

  8. Welly says:

    People walk like they used to from the Jurassic age until 150 years ago!


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