A STRIKE by Stagecoach East workers has been averted after a new pay deal was accepted.

Industrial action had been on the cards after an earlier deal was rejected but Unite Scotland have confirmed this threat has been averted after its members accepted "a significantly improved" pay offer.

Earlier this month, around 600 Stagecoach East workers rejected a previous offer with Unite stating at the time that there was "some distance to go" to meeting the pay demands of its members.

The workers involved in the dispute are drivers, engineering staff, administrative workers, and cleaners.

Dougie Maguire, Unite regional coordinator, confirmed their members in Stagecoach East Scotland had now accepted a "significantly improved offer" of a wage increase.

"Strike action will now not be necessary thanks to the solid stance taken by our members, who it should be remembered, have kept the country moving during this pandemic," he added.

"The message for workers is clear. You can succeed in improving your terms and conditions at work, join Unite and be prepared to challenge your employer.”

As reported previously by the Press, employees in both Fife and Tayside were last week offered two-year deals which would increase pay by an average of 7.5 per cent over the period covered by the agreements.

They had earlier rejected a pay offer of 2.4 per cent backdated to May 2021 by 90 per cent.

The trade union had warned that unless there was a “significant shift” in Stagecoach’s pay offers across its Scottish divisions, then strike action by the end of October would be “inevitable”.

Unite has demanded the bus company meet its “fair” pay claim of the Retail Price Index inflation figure (3.8 per cent – July) plus one per cent.

The trade union and company went back into discussions last Friday after the rejection.

At that time, Douglas Robertson, managing director of Stagecoach East Scotland said: “We have had constructive discussions today (Friday) with Unite.

“We are pleased to have put together positive pay packages for our people that are strongly supported by the union.

“Throughout our discussions, our priority has been to protect jobs, ensure our people who keep our communities connected are properly rewarded, and secure the long-term future of bus networks in east Scotland.”