NZ Bus, which is the principal bus company for Auckland, announced today that it had been advised by FIRST Union and the Tramways Union that its members proposed taking strike action between 4:30am on December 7 and 4am on December 24.
During this period, the roughly 800 drivers intend not to collect fares or work the electronic ticketing systems. The unions are calling for a fairer contract process, saying the current model is resulting in drivers having to take pay cuts and work in poor conditions. First Union and Tramway members who work for Go Bus - another bus company - last week committed to not collecting fares. But NZ Bus says it "cannot afford to operate while no fares are collected". "Unfortunately, this means that NZ Bus will need to suspend all services until this industrial action is resolved, which means that striking workers will be suspended for this period," a statement said. "NZ Bus is unable to pay driver wages for the sustained period of time indicated in the strike notices, while no fares are being collected." The company has a long-term contract with Auckland Transport with a 36 percent market share. "NZ Bus is contractually obliged to collect fares on behalf of Auckland Transport. If our drivers do not collect fares, then we cannot afford to operate the buses," said chief executive Barry Hinkley. He said that the company was open to finding a solution with the unions and wanted to meet with them on Monday. Hinkley said NZ Bus drivers are currently the highest paid of any urban bus drivers in Auckland. "We have a higher base rate and we also make sure that overtime is compensated for too. We value our team and we want them to be happy working for NZ Bus. "We are in communication with Auckland Transport to ensure that passengers understand the situation and we apologise to those affected by the disruption. We would like to see this situation fixed as quickly as possible." Auckland Transport released a statement confirming the suspension and said an offer from NZ Bus to the unions on Thursday had not been accepted. "NZ Bus operates some of Auckland Transport’s busiest routes along Dominion, Sandringham, Mt Eden and Manukau Roads, as well as other routes across the wider Auckland region and the LINK services." More information about what routes are affected can be found on Auckland Transport's social pages and website. Jared Abbott, FIRST Union secretary for Transport, Logistics, Operations and Manufacturing, said drivers had received massive support over the last week. "We've had constructive conversations with drivers and operators over the last week, as well as stakeholders like Auckland Transport, and we're hopeful that a resolution isn't too far away," he said. "We're hoping that negotiations over the coming weeks will be focused on lifting the standards for all Auckland bus drivers and fixing the broken system that put them in this position."
* STOLEN CAR ALERT *
Mazda Demio 2006 greyscale/ black registration KZR921 stolen last night in Tauranga between 3.40pm-10.30pm on Dive Crescent.
The car was currently still in Tauranga at 2.40pm this afternoon, person inside the car doing burnouts on Esmeralda Street and has been sited in the Welcome Bay Area of Tauranga, but no still on the run.
Please if you know anyone in Tauranga, please share the information and ask them to keep an eye out. Keep everyone safe and if you do have information please call POLICE ASAP they are searching for the car and please message me ASAP please!
I am going to talk about a matter that I posted on Neighbourly some years ago but this time I will hold back on referring to the skin colour of the people involved.
Earlier today I went to the local liqour outlet for a bottle of wine.
Whilst there a ute turned up and parked at a funny angle in the Disabled Parking area.
Another member of the public was angry at this and accosted the people who had popped into the local liqour for booze.
What the offending people did was pure ignorance and nastiness. They started yelling that we were racist and wouldn't pick on anyone of a different skin colour.
I had gone to the defense of the member of the public and said to the people "Actually he is right and you are wrong. You should not park in the disabled parking area". I spoke quietly and calmly.
They turned on me and the woman became all aggresive. I ended up shaking and I said that I am in my late 50s and could have needed that parking area due to a disability. They did not have a disabled parking sticker and their behaviour showed to me how lazy they were when it came to respecting others eg the disabled.
They carried on yelling the F word frequently to the point where I thought the F word is probably the ONLY word they can speak because they think it sounds all smart and intelligent.
I cannot stand hearing anyone use the F Word because it shows a low intelligence and a lack of proper vocabulary.
Fortunately when it looked like the aggressive woman who claimed we were being racist seemed to be looking like she would attack me one of the local homeless guys came along and told the people to "F off". He has known me a long time as I am always friendly towards him and give him food and sometimes money.
I told him that all that, what happened, had me shaking all over.
Out of all this there is one thing that really angers me and it's the incredible laziness of so many able-bodied people that park in the disabled parking areas. But when a person or persons react aggressively because they are in the wrong by abusing and calling others racist then that really does bother me.
I just remembered one more 'gesture' the woman who became very aggressive did and that was she went up to the guy complaining and presented a finger that one can assume is the Up Yours gesture.
And so all that i.e the frequency of the F word(please be aware I do use that word myself but it's 99% directed at the traffic congestion of Auckland)and her hand gestures shows to me the lack of intelligence of the offender and her colleagues(all of whom were also behaving irrationally aggressively perhaps because they knew they were in the wrong but wanted to be right).
A disabled person must be able to park in a disabled parking area with the relevant sticker appearing on the windscreen area. Not have to contend with lazy able bodied people who think they are more worthy of the spot than a disabled person.
Beachgoers thought the sea creatures looked like aliens, but they were just barnacles attached onto a driftfood.