Wigan bus services to resume tomorrow as drivers offered 11.1 per cent pay rise by Arriva

Bus drivers who have been on strike for almost a month will return to work tomorrow after an improved pay offer.

Around 1,800 workers from Arriva North West have been taking industrial action since July 20 in a dispute over pay.

It has seen disruption to bus services in Wigan and further afield cancelled.

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Wigan buses are still off the road as Arriva drivers continue strike action
Arriva North West has made an improved pay offer to staff

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Trade union Unite announced on Wednesday that staff will return to work from tomorrow and be balloted on the new pay offer.

The ballot will be conducted over two days, with the result declared on Friday.

The one-year 11.1 per cent offer, which will be backdated to April, applies to more than 2,000 Unite members.

Unite regional officer Dave Roberts said: “Following our members’ very strong rejection of the company’s offer yesterday evening, Arriva have seen sense and met the demands of our members by tabling an 11.1 per cent pay deal. Unite’s negotiating team is recommending the offer be accepted and it is being put to members in a vote.

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“The strike is suspended pending the outcome of the ballot and drivers are to return to work tomorrow to serve the needs of the community and public.

"The determination and resolve of our members has been solid throughout the industrial action and we thank those who have provided support and assistance to secure the offer from the company.”

George Patterson, GMB organiser, said: “After weeks of unnecessary industrial action, Arriva bosses have finally come back with an offer that meets GMB members expectations.

“Industrial action will now be suspended while members vote on this new deal. If they accept, the strike will be officially over.”

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A spokesman for Arriva said: “Arriva North West is today able to confirm that following ongoing discussions in recent weeks, all parties have come to an agreement on an unprecedented pay deal for Arriva North West drivers.

“Following a meeting today, in which the agreement was reached, unions will now take this recommended offer to our colleagues.

“Furthermore, it has also been agreed that industrial action across Cheshire, Lancashire, Manchester and Merseyside will be suspended from 3am on Thursday and all parties will now work together to progress the pay offer.

"Arriva would like to thank our customers across the North West region for your continued patience in recent weeks.”