National -Agreement for Municipal Bus Workers
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FOLLOWING lengthy negotiations, a national agreement for municipal motorbus workers, of whom there are over 30,000 in this country, has been reached between the Municipal Tramways and Transport Association and the Transport and General Workers Union. Previously, municipal motorbus employees have been working under an adaptation of the tramways agreement.
The new arrangement, which refers to provincial undertakings, •provides' that not less than 90 per cent, of the staff shall be guaranteed a 48-hour week of six days, but, to allow for the difficulties which often arise in compiling rota schedules, a variation between a minimum of 46 hours and a maximum of 53 hours is allowed. No daily duty shall be less than seven hours:
In the event of a stoppage in the bus system, whether complete or partial, Irons causes beyond the control of the management, only the actual time worked shall be paid for. Should breakdowns, fog, snow, or other causes beyond the control of the management cause delays, the time in excess of the schedule shall be paid for at ordinary rates.
Should any dispute arise in connection with the stoppage of a bus system, the question shall be remitted for settlement by a joint committee consisting of an equal number of representatives of the M.T.T.A. and the T.G.W.U., pending the formation of a National Joint Industrial Council.
It is understood that discussions concerning the formation of the council will commence shortly and the Union hopes that private bus operators will participate. The Union would like to see the establishment of permanent conciliation mac.hinery for the employees of -both municipal and private undertakings.
The question of spread-over duties, 3338 the most thorny problem for passenger. transport workers, has been left in abeyance, so that each undertaking can confer with the Union with a view to reducing them to the minimum. Negotiations will commence next month, resolutions of protest having been received from many provincial centres concerning increases in spreadover duties and their length. The men feel that special payment should be made for at least some part of the time.
The agreement also deals with overtime payment, special rates of pay on Sundays for night work by drivers and conductors, work on the four national holidays, Christmas Day and rest days. Added rates of pay shall not be taken into consideration for the purpose of making up the guarantee.
After 12 months' continuous service, employees shall have at least eight days' annual holiday with pay, excluding rest days. Garage day staffs shall be granted a 47-48-hour week, and garage night staffs a 48-hour week, including a Meal-time allowance of not less than 30 minutes nightly.
The agreement comes into force as fioni the beginning of the first full pay period in January and shall be terminable on three months' notice being given by either side.