First Glasgow raises bus driver pay in bid to attract new recruits

First Glasgow has introduced a pay increase for all bus drivers in a bid to attract new recruits.

This will see the firm pay drivers £13 per hour across Glasgow services, while those working across Greater Glasgow will also see their pay increase to £12.35 per hour.

The move, which First Glasgow hopes will also increase retention of current drivers, means the rate of pay standardised for all drivers, removing the time-served increases that were in place previously.

First Glasgow, which is the largest bus operator in the Glasgow area and one of the biggest employers, believes this change will turn the tide in overcoming significant driver shortages it has been experiencing over the last nine months.

It currently has vacancies at Blantyre, Overtown, Scotstoun, Dumbarton and City Centre (Caledonia) depots.

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Drivers can earn more than £30,000 per year with overtime. There is the opportunity to work two, three, four, five and six day weeks in addition to more flexible part-time shifts such as a 25-hour working week (five hours a day) across the Greater Glasgow area, which have been introduced to reflect an improved work life balance.

Duncan Cameron, managing director for First Bus Scotland, said: “Our recruitment campaign is continuing at pace, and we are making every effort to attract new entrants to the industry with a number of different initiatives including flexible working patterns for drivers in Glasgow.

“We have been actively looking to make our remuneration level as attractive as possible while making the application process easier than ever for anyone wishing to apply.

“This increase will hopefully start to grow our driver numbers which, in turn, will allow us to increase our service levels as we see some really positive passenger return rates following the pandemic. The benefit of a hardworking and agile bus network has been highlighted during the recent rail disruption.

“First Glasgow has lots to offer our drivers including our new increased entry level pay, flexible working patterns, the opportunity to work with new state-of-the-art zero emissions electric vehicles, and much, much more. There has never been a more exciting time to join First Bus.”

Mick Dowds, Unite First Glasgow convenor, said: “Unite shop stewards negotiating committee have been working tirelessly to see an improvement in pay in the last year, this has seen an end to progression, with all employees receiving the same rate, double time payments for all drivers working additional days off and better flexible working arrangements.

“These changes are welcomed by our members as they improve our livelihoods whilst attracting new drivers and making First Glasgow an employer of choice. Unite driver shop stewards committees aim has and continues to be to protect jobs services and the pay and conditions of our members.

"Unite driver shop stewards committees aim has and continues to be to protect jobs, services and the pay and conditions of our members. Whilst our work is not done, we continually review the challenges our drivers are facing and will have no hesitation to address these.”

To find out more about the opportunities available at First Bus depots across Greater Glasgow and how to apply, visit firstbus.co.uk/recruitment.