Wellington Scoop

Drivers from 2 companies starting rolling strike on Tuesday

Report from RNZ
Bus drivers in Wellington will begin a rolling strike next Tuesday. The strike will include drivers from two of three companies that run bus services in the region – Tranzurban, and Uzabus.

An agreement has been struck between the union and NZBus, and a vote to ratify it will be held at a stop work meeting tomorrow.

Striking was the only option left to union members, Tramways spokesperson Kevin O’Sullivan said.

“We have exhausted every possible way of avoiding that, no one has really wanted to listen and so we’ll just have to see how it pans out.”

The union had offered an olive branch to the two companies, Mr O’Sullivan said. If Tranzurban and Uzabus had allowed their employees to go to the stop work meeting tomorrow, the strike action would have been suspended.

“They’ve told us today they’re not going to do that, so industrial action will start at 2 o’clock on Tuesday morning.”

One hundred and ninety drivers from Tranzurban and Uzabus were unionised.

Services on 11 routes would be cancelled between 9am and 3pm tomorrow due to the stop work meeting, and other services could also be affected, Metlink said.

News from MetLink
Metlink has been advised of a Tramways Union stop-work meeting on Friday. This means some bus services will be reduced or cancelled in Wellington City and Hutt Valley between 9am and 3pm. All off-peak bus services on routes 2, 3, 12, 14, 18, 18e, 20, 21, 22, 81 and 83 will be cancelled. Other off-peak services may also be affected.

Here’s what you need to know:

School services shouldn’t be affected
Normal services will operate until 9am
All off-peak bus services on routes 2, 3, 12, 14, 18, 18e, 20, 21, 22, 81 and 83 will be cancelled
Other services may also be affected
Normal services are expected to resume for the afternoon peak

Those who use the affected routes are advised to consider alternative transport options. Metlink would also like to alert you to intended industrial action called for by the Tramways Union from Tuesday.

News from Wellington Regional Council
Some bus operations in the Hutt Valley and Wellington could be affected by industrial action involving the Tramways Union and operator Tranzurban next Tuesday.

While the Council is preparing for all possible disruption scenarios, it is still encouraging the union and operator to continue to make every effort to work towards resolution.

It is keeping passengers updated through its website and social media channels, as well as public information on radio and newspapers. “The key message for our customers is to please check before you travel. Use Metlink’s app or website to check for any cancelled services,” a spokesperson said.


  1. greenwelly, 18. October 2018, 15:54

    I expect the membership will approve the NZBus deal tomorrow, (they have said it pretty much gave them everything they asked for). But it appears Tranzit and Uzabus members are going to strike….

  2. Bus Driver, 18. October 2018, 22:46

    Given that both NZBus and Tranzit have said that having Tranzit’s rate AND NZBus’ conditions would drive them broke, it seems unlikely the Union got everything they asked for – unless they weren’t asking for much. Wanna bet the details of the NZBus/Union agreement aren’t made public?

  3. greenwelly, 19. October 2018, 9:29

    @Bus Driver…As was reported on Wellington.Scoop:
    “The Tramways Union has reached a provisional settlement with NZ Bus. Tramways Union Secretary Kevin O’Sullivan says the settlement will be put to the union members for ratification on Friday. He said the union negotiators will recommend that the settlement be accepted. The NZ Bus agreement “is a really good settlement … It gave us practically everything that we asked for.” He said over the next two years the drivers will get a 4 per cent pay rise. More important than that was that the settlement includes an extra week’s holiday, a shift allowance and a bargaining process agreement.”

  4. Roy Kutel, 19. October 2018, 9:54

    Bus Driver – But Tranzit has said that they pay the same wage overall! Don’t you believe them? The outcome will be that Tranzit pays drivers more and GWRC (aka ratepayers) pays Tranzit more. And lawyers do especially well (as always).

  5. greenwelly, 19. October 2018, 12:30

    @Roy, the council are on the record as saying “The outcome of the tender is expected to reduce operating costs by several million dollars a year”
    It is left as an exercise for the reader to work out where these “reductions” have come from….

  6. Driver, 20. October 2018, 8:40

    The offer of NZ Bus to drivers was insulting. Drivers would be on the minimum wage within 4-5 years if they accepted it. The penal rates are there for a good reason. Drivers have to give up valuable time with their families to work the weekend shifts.

  7. Bus Driver, 20. October 2018, 16:19

    Critical details are missing. 2% a year raise on what – are NZBus drivers getting the Living Wage yet? I do like the idea of an extra week’s holiday – is that from 3 to 4 or 4 to 5 weeks? How big a shift allowance – 50c or $5?
    To Roy: Given that Transit must have undercut NZBus to get the contracts, GWRC can hardly be paying more. But if they really want to save money they should run it in house – oh that’s right, GWRC employees don’t work for such paltry sums.