Go North East workers have secured a pay increase after weeks of striking and negotiations.

Bus drivers, engineers and administrators will receive a 11.2% pay increase.

Unite, their union, took the deal to the membership and it was accepted.

Details of the new deal include:

  • A backdated pay rise of 10.5% from July 1, 2023
  • A further 0.7% rise in January 2024
  • There will be another increase to pay on July 1, 2024

In real terms this means that a driver currently on £12.83 an hour will now be getting £14.17 backdated to July and then be receiving £14.27 in January.

The same pay award has been secured for all engineers and administrative staff earning up to £40,000 a year.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: "Go North East workers should be congratulated on their victory for better pay.

"They stood together in unity until their employer returned to negotiations and made an improved offer. 

"Make no mistake, Unite is here to fight for workers, I will do whatever is needed to help workers secure good pay deals, that commitment has been clearly demonstrated during this dispute.

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"Unite the union keeps winning across the passenger transport sector and securing better pay for our members."

Onay Kasab, Unite national officer, said: "I’m delighted our members have secured this substantial pay increase.

"Thanks to their tireless efforts on picket lines and at protests they have secured the pay increase they deserve."

Cllr Martin Gannon, Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, said: “It is great news that this industrial dispute has been resolved and buses will serve our communities once again.  

“I hope local people get back on the bus without delay – especially in the run up to the busy Christmas period. I understand that Go North East will be making travel free for the next seven days which is a move that I welcome and support."

Cllr Gannon acknowledged the harm the strike action has caused to the local economy and public confidence in public transport and said: "Go North East’s failure to provide bus services during the strike period will have undoubtedly caused lasting damage to peoples’ confidence in using buses, and the impact will be profound, worsening the long-term decline in bus use which was accelerated during the pandemic.  

"I sincerely hope that the operator now looks closely at how to regain the trust of the public. I have long held the view that the current commercial bus system - which removed the ability of local councils to regulate or control bus services - is wrong and works against the needs and wants of local communities and passengers.

"The new Mayoral Combined Authority will have powers to deliver bus services differently – and this is already happening in Manchester. I have asked for a report into the options and I and my fellow Leaders and Mayors will be looking at them very closely indeed."

We have approached Go North East for a comment.