TORONTO, May 6, 2019 /CNW/ - School bus drivers who work at Stock Transportation in the Toronto North Division and the Toronto East Division ratified a new three-year collective agreement on Saturday, May 4.
"I am proud of the resolve of the bargaining committees, who negotiated a payment system that recognize all working time associated with performing the daily duties of a school bus driver," said Debbie Montgomery, Unifor Local 4268 President. "Drivers will now be paid from the time they start working and until they finish each of the split shifts they do every morning and afternoon."
Unifor represents more than 575 school bus drivers who provide services for TDSB, TDCSB and Franco school boards. Driving a school bus is an all-day commitment with split shifts of work between 7:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
The new agreement includes an 8.1 percent increase to the base driving wage over three years and guarantees a minimum of four hours pay. More importantly, it means drivers will be paid for all hours worked, when their routes or duties extend beyond four hours.
The agreement will result in more paid hours for drivers. For example, a driver who had a route that had considerable travel time before or after the students were on and off the bus who was working 5.5 hours a day but only paid for 4 hours of route time will now be paid for the full 5.5 hours.
"For those not in the Industry it is hard to imagine a setup that did not consider all your time as working time but the student transportation system in Ontario has many shortcomings that contribute to the consistent shortage of drivers. Stock Transportation has stepped up to the plate and I hope other carriers are watching," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.
There were other functions of the job that also were not previously compensated, such as mandatory training or meetings that will now be paid for under the terms of this collective agreement.
"We believe properly compensating drivers for all their time will go a long way towards addressing a shortage of bus drivers in Ontario and we hope Stock Transportation will soon have regularly assigned professional drivers for all of their routes," said Unifor Director of Road Transportation Len Poirier.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including 2,900 school bus drivers. 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: please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O'Keefe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).