London bus drivers who switch employers will in future be able to retain their current salary level after a “landmark deal” between Transport for London, bus operators and Unite the union.
While TfL sets fares, safety standards and bus timetables, all of London’s 25,000 bus drivers are employed by private contractors hired by TfL to operate the services.
At present any driver moving between bus operators risks losing their current pay grade and having to start at their new employer’s grade for new drivers.
However, delivering on his manifesto pledge, Mayor Sadiq Khan has brokered a deal which will in future allow drivers to start at a pay grade equivalent to their level of service and experience.
Announcing the deal, Mayor Khan said: “London’s bus drivers do a crucial job, ensuring Londoners can get around our city quickly and safely at all times of day and night.
“I’m determined to ensure all of London’s bus drivers are treated fairly as professionals, and I’m delighted we’re now addressing a situation where a driver with the same level of knowledge, skill and experience could get paid significantly less, simply for working on a different route or moving company.”
TfL’s Director of Bus Operations, Claire Mann, added: “This is a good deal for London’s 25,000 drivers and we’re delighted to have been able to work with Unite and all the bus companies to agree it.
“Bus drivers are very often the unsung heroes of London’s transport network, and we can forget they deal with tough situations in tough conditions in a very busy city, day in, day out.
“Good bus services, with fairly treated staff, play a key role in encouraging more people to switch from their cars to public transport, which is good for the whole city.”
Len McCluskey, Unite’s General Secretary, said today’s deal showed “what can be achieved when employers, politicians and trade unions work constructively together.”
Today’s announcement builds on the previously announced minimum starting salary for new drivers which was introduced to stop operators slashing driver salaries in order to maintain or boost their profits.