There are fears that major disruption to a Aberdeen buses could return next week with a driver shortage looming.
Scores of First Bus Aberdeen staff are expected to be off the clock next week due to holidays or long-term sickness and it is understood many are unwilling to pick up the slack because of slashed pay rates.
This had led to concerns that some services could be cancelled as a result.
A dispute between the transport operator and unionised bus drivers broke out earlier this year over contract changes.
A total of 10 days of strike action was held as members of Unite claimed that signing the new contracts would mean agreeing to a £5,000 pay cut.
Last month a “final offer” was accepted by 60% of members to end the row which included a reduction in overtime rates.
Previously, drivers picking up shifts on a Saturday, when they were scheduled to be off, were rewarded with 2.25 times their usual hourly rate. It is claimed that the new rate could be up to £7 lower per hour.
The union’s First Aberdeen convener, Graham Gavin, said: “I know we are quite a number of drivers short at the moment.
“There are strong indications that drivers will no longer be willing to work weekends for lower rates.”
David Phillips, First Aberdeen operations director, said: “Staff shortages and absences due to illness or any other reason are part of the everyday challenges we are faced with as the number one provider of city bus operations in Aberdeen.
“As a result we have a number of contingencies that can be put into practice in these types of scenarios to limit any disruptions to service for our customers.”
He added: “The previous rates of pay were simply no longer sustainable and so the changes made were done so in the best interest of the entire operation to secure jobs, avoid redundancies and help to secure the long-term future of the business within the city of Aberdeen.”