Auckland bus drivers call off strike

Bus strikes that threatened to disrupt the plans of more than 130,000 Auckland commuters on Monday have been called off.

Drivers for NZ Bus, which operates lines including Metrolink, Go West, Waka Pacific, Northstar and the inner-city Link routes, including school bus services, were planning to strike every Monday for the next eight weeks over a pay dispute and recent contract and rostering changes.

The 650-strong fleet normally carries about 130,000 passengers a day, including 10,000 school children.

However, this afternoon the two parties reached an agreement and all future strike action has been cancelled.

"This agreement will see NZ Bus drivers amongst the highest paid in the industry" Shane McMahon, NZ Bus chief operating officer, said.

"We are delighted that agreement has been reached and changes to the ratification process agreed. NZ Bus is committed to continue to invest in our people and resources to see public transport in Auckland grow."

Gary Froggatt from Tramways Union and Karl Andersen from First Union said they welcomed the agreement.

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