METRO bus drivers will decide later this month whether to undertake 24-hour strikes to ramp up industrial action against company management over a pay dispute.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union branch secretary Samantha Simonetis said drivers would vote on March 26 on whether to take the action.
The 24-hour strikes were discussed at stopwork meetings in Launceston, Hobart and Burnie yesterday.
Mrs Simonetis said next week she would attempt to bring together a vote of no- confidence in company chief executive Heather Haselgrove.
Meanwhile, Unions Tasmania yesterday encouraged Metro bus passengers to refuse to pay bus fares every Thursday during industrial action.
Secretary Kevin Harkins said this measure meant buses could run during a pay dispute between drivers and Metro management.
"Drivers could face disciplinary action for refusing to accept fares that are offered but that doesn't stop the public from showing support by refusing to pay," Mr Harkins said.
But Ms Haselgrove said a refusal by any passenger to pay a bus fare would be illegal.
"Collecting fares is also part of a driver's duties and therefore non-collection may put them in breach of their duties, which could carry penalties for the driver," she said.
Ms Haselgrove said Unions Tasmania's call for fare refusal by passengers would reduce revenue further, making it more difficult to pay the wage increase of 2.1 per cent over three years now on offer.
Unions are demanding a 3 per cent pay increase each year for the next three years.
Ms Haselgrove said Metro would put forward a revised offer next week in an attempt to stop industrial action.