Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man bus strike: Drivers reject government offer

Isle of Man buses
Image caption The Department of Community, Culture and Leisure is looking to save £1m

Bus drivers on the Isle of Man have started a 12-day strike, their fifth since December.

Unite union bosses rejected a final offer from The Department of Community, Culture and Leisure on Friday afternoon.

Nick Black, DCCL chief executive officer said contingency plans are in place to prevent transport disruption during the island's TT Races.

Unite blamed "unreasonable" timetable expectations not pay for the strike.

Bobby Morton, National Transport Officer of Unite, said: "We are ready for further talks, I don't think the two sides are that far apart."

Bus Vannin, run by the DCCL, has been affected by government cuts and is aiming to save about £1m a year.

A series of cost-saving measures were implemented when the UK brought an end to a VAT-sharing agreement, which left a £75m-a-year hole in the island's income.

Minister for Community, Culture and Leisure, Graham Cregeen said: "Striking will not change the necessity for the department to meet its financial obligations.

The strike could also disrupt students as it coincides with GCSE and A-Level examinations.

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