Abellio gives London bus drivers 18% pay rise

london bus

Transportation business Abellio has given 1,800 bus drivers in London a pay uplift of 18%, putting an end to long-running industrial action.

The drivers, who are members of trade union Unite, voted to accept a pay increase which will see those with two or more years of service become eligible for an £18 per hour pay rate, an increase of 18% on the business’ basic rate. This offer was also made to drivers who transferred to Abellio under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE), which was not previously the case.

Abellio also agreed to increase all rates, including overtime and rest day working, new starter pay, and weekend working rates.

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The agreement also included a commitment to immediately negotiate scheduling arrangements, including matters regarding rest breaks and start times.

The pay deal followed a total of 20 strike days taken by Abellio bus drivers in South and West London during December 2022 and January 2023. The original pay deal, according to Unite, not only failed to meet employees’ demands, but left drivers with under two years of service on £3.29 less per hour than those with more.

Sharon Graham, general secretary at Unite, said: “This is an important pay victory. Workers have stood firm and with the support of their union, Unite, they have secured a richly deserved pay increase.

“Unite’s constant focus on the jobs, pay and conditions of our members is continuing to deliver increased pay awards for workers.”

Guy Langston, regional officer at Unite, added: “This pay deal could not have been secured without the hard work of Unite’s reps and the commitment of its members. Unite will be looking to build on its increased industrial strength in future pay negotiations.

“The pay victory at Abellio is a further example of why those wanting better wages and working conditions should join Unite and get their colleagues to join as well.”

A spokesperson from Abellio London said: “We are delighted that our drivers have now accepted the substantial pay rise we put in place in early January. This will see an increase in pay for all of our drivers, with a base rate rise of as much as 18% for some grades, equating to around £100 per week increase.

“We are proud that this makes us one of the highest paying operators in London with a new starter salary of c£32,000 moving to c£40,000 after 2-years’ service. It was disappointing that strikes unnecessarily continued into February despite this fantastic offer being made at the beginning of the year.

“It brings to an end a difficult period of industrial action which has been tough for the company, our drivers and our customers. With the issue now settled we look forward to continuing to offer Londoners outstanding service on our routes while making innovations on sustainable public transport.”