Further wage increase agreed for Greater Christchurch bus drivers

We are pleased to announce a further wage increase for public transport bus drivers in Greater Christchurch.

“We are committed to investing in the public transport driver workforce in Canterbury,” says General Manager of Public Transport Stewart Gibbon. “The increase leverages central government funding, with $61 million allocated in the budget nationally to address driver shortages across the workforce.”

The agreement for Greater Christchurch services will see driver wages increase to between $29.06 and $30 per hour from 1 April 2023. This means Canterbury drivers are among the highest paid in the country.

The increase for Greater Christchurch drivers follows the signing of an agreement with bus operators Go Bus and Ritchies, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and the Amalgamated Workers Union (AWUNZ).

An agreement for Timaru-based bus drivers is also in progress, with an announcement expected soon.

Supporting driver recruitment

Gibbon says the government support will help bus operators recruit more drivers.

“After working closely with AWUNZ and operators, we’re pleased that drivers in Greater Christchurch will receive the benefits of this latest funding support,” he said. “Like other regions around New Zealand, the bus driver shortage is still affecting some of our services.”

“Following the wage increase six months ago, we’ve seen an increase in new recruits, and these drivers have been starting on routes recently. As a result, we’ve seen improvements in service, with missed trips decreasing to an average of 6.4% in February compared to an average of 8.2% missed trips last November.

“It will take time to restore the workforce to pre-pandemic levels, and this additional wage increase will help us attract more drivers and recognise the valuable contribution they make to our community,” said Gibbon.