A long-running bus drivers' pay dispute and strikes are over after workers accepted an improved 14% pay increase offer.
A series of walk-outs have taken place since early September, after 600 members of the Unite union in Kent voted to take industrial action over a pay dispute with bus company Arriva.
Arriva Kent and Unite today announced the pay increase – over inflation rates of 14% – has been accepted by Unite members, which means no further industrial action across the county.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham called the decision a "tremendous achievement" which "demonstrates what can be achieved by workers sticking together and acting in unity".
“This pay victory at Arriva Kent is a further example of how Unite’s complete focus on enhancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members is paying financial dividends for workers," she said.
Bus drivers took six days of industrial action affecting dozens of services across Kent during the dispute with several more planned days called off at various stages during talks and the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
During a breakdown in talks last week members rejected the latest offer, strikes were due to go ahead during this week's half-term.
But in another twist at the weekend, the walk-out this week was suspended when another pay offer was put towards members in a vote on whether to accept or reject the terms.
Unite regional officer Janet Nobbs added:“This is a great achievement and I would like to thank the Unite stewards who have worked extremely hard to achieve an offer our members accepted - they have stood strong throughout.
“This pay increase is the first step in tackling the pay erosion that bus drivers have experienced for many years and Unite will look on building on this victory in future wage negotiations.”
An Arriva statement said: "We are pleased to confirm our pay offer has been accepted by Unite members, this means no further industrial action across the region and Arriva services will continue to operate as normal across Tunbridge Wells, Gillingham, Maidstone and Northfleet."