Potential school bus strike in Toronto averted
Parents in Toronto can breathe a sigh of relief.
The union representing school bus drivers who provide services for TDSB and TDCSB has reached a tentative agreement with Stock Transportation, averting potential strike action.
Drivers had voted 95 per cent in favour of strike action and could have been off the job as of Thursday.
"We’re pleased that we were able to negotiate a new collective agreement with Stock Transportation as part of Unifor’s ongoing work to ensure that school bus drivers are given both the respect and compensation that they deserve for the challenging work that they undertake each school day," said Unifor Local 4268 President Debbie Montgomery.
The new three-year agreement covers Stock Transportation drivers working under two collective agreements in the Toronto East Division and Toronto North Division.
"Concrete gains in school bus driver contracts are needed if we hope to address chronic issues with recruitment and retention," said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi. "While improved working conditions with individual bus companies remains a priority we will continue to push for much needed restructuring at the provincial level to address the systemic problems that continue to plague the school bus industry."
The tentative contract is supported by the union Bargaining Committee. Details of the collective agreement will be released upon ratification, which will take place in the near future.
"The drivers are appreciative of the tremendous support received from parents and the general public, who appreciate that our members need to earn a fair living and that operating a school bus is not a volunteer position or a hobby job," said Unifor Director of Road Transportation Len Poirier.