Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Talks planned to avert Isle of Man bus strike

Talks between the Isle of Man government and bus drivers are due to take place in an attempt to avert a strike.

Nearly 100 Bus Vannin employees have agreed to walk out on 5 and 6 July in a row over terms and conditions.

However, the strike is "not a foregone conclusion" according to a union official.

The regional representative of Unite, Steve Salter, said talks with treasury officials will take place on 30 June.

Mr Salter said: "This is the last throw of the dice to try to get the department to re-jig the offer that has been made and to take a more balanced view of things.

"The average earnings of bus drivers on the island is in the region of £36,000 a year but when you look at the hours that these guys put in, it doesn't equate to a lot."

'Fair and reasonable offer'

A final decision on strike action is expected by 1 July.

If the walk-out goes ahead it will affect passengers travelling to St John's on the Tynwald Day bank holiday but the government said schools will open, as normal, on 6 July.

David Cretney, minister for Community, Culture and Leisure, said: "I hope agreement can be reached and the dispute resolved but we believe the department has made a fair and reasonable offer to buy out some historic terms and conditions.

"This will make the organisation more efficient and as a result produce a significant saving to the taxpayer."

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