Topics: Employment, Health

Health & safety of main concern to NZ Bus drivers

By Numia Ponika-Rangi

To add more inconvenience to the traffic conditions in central Auckland today, the city's bus drivers under Tramways and FIRST Unions went on strike and met to discuss concerns about their new contracts by their employer NZ Bus. One of the main concerns is drivers' Health and Safety.

The brakes were put on the majority of Auckland City buses at 9am this morning.

Charlie Rakuraku, Union rep for Wiri says, "We're meeting to discuss our concerns about our latest contracts and look at revising some of the clauses because we're unhappy with what our bosses have come up with."

Nearly 300 bus drivers stopped work to voice their concerns about NZ Bus new contracts and the governments rules on driving.

Perry Davis, Union rep for Tramways says, "Drivers' health has deteriorated based on these five and a half hours, drivers getting unwell, cancer and passing away and all these things contribute to the unrealistic hours given by the government."

At the conclusion of this morning's meeting, the drivers voted a unanimous "NO" to the current claims.  The bus drivers returned to their jobs at 2:30 this afternoon.