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Translink: Bus and rail strikes suspended after latest pay offer

by Staff

Image caption,

Public transport will be running as normal this week

A 72-hour strike by bus and train workers in Northern Ireland, planned for later this week, has been suspended.

The Unite, GMB and Siptu unions had notified Translink that they would take the action on 27, 28 and 29 February.

However, following talks on Sunday the unions said there had been an improved pay offer from Translink.

The three public transport unions said they will now ballot their membership on the new offer.

In a statement, they said: “Pay negotiations between the transport unions and Translink management were reconvened today [Sunday] following the rejection of an initial pay offer by management on Thursday [22 February].

“Following the receipt of an improved pay offer for all Translink employees workforce reps suspended the planned 72-hour strike action set for 00:01 on Tuesday (27 February).”

A spokeswoman for Translink said it welcomed the decision to suspend the strike.

It is understood it could be later in the week before the outcome of the ballot of workers is known.

Image caption,

Union representative Peter Macklin said he was “encouraged” by the offer

Peter Macklin, GMB regional organiser, described the offer as “satisfactory and enough for us to suspend the strike action”.

However, he would not give any further details of the pay offer before it could be communicated to union reps and members.

“We are encouraged by [the offer], but ultimately the members will have their say,” he said.

Mr Macklin said the offer would go to GMB members with no recommendation to vote either for, or against.

Public sector pay dispute

He said he hoped to get ballots out to members this week.

Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd welcomed the suspension of the strikes, describing it as a “positive development”.

Mr O’Dowd said he wanted to thank the unions and Translink management for their “determination to find a resolution to this dispute”.

The minister said that resolving public sector pay quickly “has been a key priority” for the new executive.

Image caption,

Transport was one of the sectors affected by a huge public sector strike in January

Public transport workers in Northern Ireland cancelled a strike that would have brought bus and rail services to a halt on 15 February.

That was to give political leaders space to make an improved pay offer, unions said.

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