The Mayor of London has taken the next step towards fulfilling his manifesto pledge to provide a new fairer deal for London’s 25,000 bus drivers.
The introduction of a new ‘Licence for London’ puts an end to the previous system where bus drivers moving from one bus company to another would be paid the lowest driving wage as if they were starting their careers, even though they might have driven for many years with another company.
From now on drivers can start at a new company at a pay grade equivalent to their level of service and experience.
The landmark deal has been brokered by the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, with Unite the union, Transport for London (TfL), and the private bus companies who operate bus services in the capital on TfL’s behalf.
Drivers will now take with them their qualifications and driving record in the form of an enhanced reference for their new employers. All of London’s bus operators have signed up to Licence for London and have committed to apply it. Passengers will benefit from the retention of the most skilled and experienced bus drivers continuing to work across the bus network.
The follows on from the Mayor working with the bus companies and unions to secure a new starter minimum wage of £23,000 for drivers working across all of London’s bus companies.
The wage, which was introduced last year and applies to all contacts awarded after April 2017, is designed to prevent a ‘race to the bottom’ in terms of pay, and addresses the large variations in pay between drivers employed by different companies.
The Mayor unveiled the new ‘Licence for London’ at the Go-Ahead bus garage in Merton, where he met drivers, alongside Unite representatives, to discuss the benefits of the new scheme.