Coach drivers in the North East are set to receive a significant pay increase of nearly 20 per cent over the next two years, Unite the union has announced.
Prolonged negotiations between the union and the employer, Go North East, which operates services on National Express's behalf, included the threat of industrial action when negotiations stalled.
Drivers will receive a pay rise of more than ten per cent back-dated to July 2023 and then further rises in July of this year and January 2025 bringing the total increase to 19.6 per cent over two years until the next anniversary in July 2025.

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Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: "National Express drivers in the North East are rightly celebrating this hefty pay rise that they, and Unite, worked hard to obtain.

"This proves once again that Unite is the winning union and the power that collective bargaining brings to workers."

Unite regional officer Dave Telford added: "I'm delighted for our members at National Express who do a highly skilled and stressful job driving long distance coaches and having the responsibility for the safety of hundreds of passengers every day.

"This is a well well-deserved rise that they fought hard for and that Unite backed them every step of the way."

A spokesperson for Go North East said: "We are pleased to have agreed a strong pay deal for our drivers that secures wages for two years."