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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Unite ballots Translink bus workers in pay dispute

Translink Northern Ireland bus

Unite the union, which represents more than half the entire Translink workforce, is today commencing a five-day consultative ballot on pay.


The union’s ballot process follows Translink management informing the union that there was no funding to cover any pay increase for the 2023-2024 year. Management made clear that not only were they unable to offer a pay increase but no date was forthcoming for further pay negotiations.


Unite is balloting more than 2,000 members who work for Translink as bus drivers, engineering and conciliation staff on Ulsterbus, Metro and Glider services. The ballot will close on Friday 13 October and is the first stage in the process of moving to industrial action. 


The union is recommending its members vote ‘yes’ for a strike ballot and to reject the zero per cent pay offer. 


The other representative trade unions at Translink, the GMB, and SIPTU, are set to follow suit and conduct industrial action ballots.


General secretary of Unite Sharon Graham said: 

“It is nothing short of a disgrace that because of the failure to properly fund public transport in Northern Ireland, our members have been told that they can expect a pay freeze – in the worst cost of living squeeze in a generation. 


“This is not acceptable. Bus workers are essential workers. They deserve and demand better. I urge all members to send the strongest possible signal by coming out in large numbers to vote ‘YES’ for a strike ballot. They will have the full support of my union in their fight.”


Unite’s Regional Officer Albert Hewitt added:

“This is in reality a massive pay cut for workers at a time when prices are rising faster than they have for decades. We are encouraging a ‘yes’ vote to proceed to ballot for industrial action as the only appropriate response.


“Unite represents more than half the entire workforce at Translink, and combined with the other unions, any strike action in the public transport system will result in transport lockdown. Those in authority need to wake up and smell the coffee about what that will mean. They need to fund public transport services properly so that workers and their families don’t face financial misery.”


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