Laval bus drivers vote 56 per cent for ratifying tentative agreement

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Laval's bus drivers voted 56.1 per cent in favour of their union's agreement in principle from April 29, averting further striking this spring.

The agreement provides for a new eight-year employment contract, from August 2019 to July 2027.

The union says it's also pleased to have managed to include a clause on job protection in the agreement, which would protect its members in the case of the use or acquisition of self-driving buses.

Under the agreement, the drivers will be entitled to wage increases of two per cent, 2 per cent, 2.5 per cent and 4.5 per cent for the first four years of the agreement -- an amount will be paid to them retroactively.

For the next four years, their salary increase will vary according to the All-items Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The two parties will now agree on the contract's official text.

The negotiation process was a rocky one, with the drivers striking last November, while still providing essential services.

The Administrative Labour Tribunal also ordered the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents the 625 drivers, to take all measures to ensure that its members ceased their concerted refusal to work overtime and that they kept doing assignments on school bus routes.

Another strike was scheduled for May, but it was called off when the tentative agreement was reached.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 16, 2022.

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