TORONTO, March 25, 2018 /CNW/ - School bus drivers at First Student Canada and Parkview Transit, members of Unifor locals 4268 and 1285, have voted to accept new collective agreements.
"Unifor worked diligently to achieve significant gains in these two contracts as part of the union's ongoing work to raise standards for school bus drivers across Ontario's student transportation sector," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
Unifor Local 4268 represents more than 120 members at First Student Bowmanville. The drivers voted 94.5 per cent in favour of a new three-year agreement, officially ending a three day bus strike. Full service to schools in the Durham and Kawartha regions will resume on Monday March 26.
"These were difficult negotiations but the drivers stood firm in the demand for compensation that matches their responsibilities," said Unifor Local 4268 President Debbie Montgomery. "This contract achieved a major pay raise, with more than a 15 per cent increase in year one, as well as a significant reduction in unpaid work."
The Parkview Transit drivers, new members to Unifor Local 1285, voted in favour of a first collective agreement that will cover approximately 450 drivers in the Brampton region. The three-year contract delivers a 17 per cent average wage hike in year one and also contains a significant key-to-key pay structure.
"This is a major gain for these drivers and will help to address the ongoing practice of unpaid driving time in the industry," said Vito Beato, First Vice-President of Unifor Local 1285.
Both agreements include signing bonuses and the union also achieved access to Paid Education Leave and Unifor's groundbreaking Women's Advocate Program, which trains representatives in the work environment to assist women with issues of harassment, intimate violence and abuse.
"For too long driving a school bus has been treated as a hobby occupation but make no mistake - it's work and it's hard work," said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi. "As Ontario's school bus driver's union Unifor will continue to fight for respect and fair treatment for our members."
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
For further information: Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O'Keefe at [email protected] or 416-896-3303 (cell).