Bus drivers are embroiled in a pay dispute with bosses after turning down a 2% rise in wages.

Unite the Union members at Brighton and Hove Bus Company have now been handed an improved offer of 2.15%, which will be decided on in the coming weeks.

However, one driver told The Argus the decision on the new deal was “by no means cut and dry”.

If rejected, the union representative said they would “take stock” before deciding on their next course of action.

She said there were no plans at present for industrial action.

The pay dispute goes back to last month when staff were offered a 2% rise in wages.

Around 80% of union members turned down the proposal, leading bus bosses to prepare a revised offer.

One driver, who asked to remain anonymous, said there was ill feeling between many members of staff and the chief executive Martin Harris after he proposed changing previous flexible shift patterns to a standard working week.

He said: “Many of the drivers have families and they look after the kids during the day before going to work in the evening.

“That ties in with what their partner is doing.

“The new proposals were not popular at all and I think they had an impact on the vote.”

He said it was difficult to say how the new ballot would go, but said there was a feeling among staff that they were not getting a fair deal.

He said: “If we are bringing in these huge profits in such difficult economic times then I think we should be rewarded. We are the ones who go out there and earn them that profit.

“They are not reducing the fares and the money is certainly not going to staff. It is all going to their shareholders. So all this money being spent by people from Brighton in Brighton is not staying in Brighton.”

Janet Henney, Unite rep for Brighton and Hove Buses, said members would be voting on the proposals in the near future.

She added: “We are in ongoing negotiations with the bus company and they have put forward an offer.”

Kevin Carey, operations director at Brighton and Hove Buses, added: “Discussions have been held with our staff representatives over several meetings.

“Staff will have the opportunity to vote on this offer when it is taken to ballot and it would be inappropriate to comment further while staff representatives continue consulting with their members”.