Central Okanagan buses still running despite strike notice

The bus union is set to weigh in on the deal that triggered the strike notice Tuesday night and a job action plan will be decided on then.

Transit workers issued 72 hour strike notice

Public transit users have a little more time to figure out an alternate form of transportation.

The Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1722, served 72 hour strike notice Thursday, after contract talks ground to a halt and were in a position to take job action as of Sunday. They’re waiting, however, for the membership to weigh in on the deal that triggered the strike notice.

That will be done Tuesday night, said Scott Lovell, president of ATU local 1722.

“Then at that point we will present a strike action plan and the membership will judge what they are comfortable with,” he said.

“We regret we may have to withdraw our services, but we must take action due to the inability of First Canada to negotiate a fair collective agreement with us.”

The 217 transit workers in the Central Okanagan have been without a contract since April 1 and the Lovell said they were close to reaching a deal Wednesday night, then an offer from First Canada that didn’t meet even their most basic needs came in and that triggered job action.

“We are not being treated fairly, or like drivers in anywhere else in B.C.” said Lovell. “It’s embarrassing and sad.”

One of the main sticking points in contract negotiations has to do with what he calls a “bus is a bus” system.

In other cities, like Victoria, the size of the bus doesn’t affect wages. Locally, if a driver is assigned to drive a smaller community bus, he or she is paid about $4 per hour less while driving the smaller bus, despite licensing requirements being the same.

“It’s incredibly unfair,” said Lovell, adding that First Canada didn’t even touch that issue with their latest contract offer.

Nor did they offer much in the way of wage increases.

“We are being paid about 15 per cent less than what they make in the Lower Mainland and when you add in the pension we don’t get that puts us at another 10 to 12 per cent less than them — and we have a similar cost of living,” he said.

Lovell added that local drivers aren’t asking for parity with their counterparts in other areas of the province, rather just a raise of 2.5 per cent, which was also denied.

In September, 92 per cent of the Local 1722 of the Amalgamated Transit Union’s membership voted in favour of strike action.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Flooding water at West Kelowna Tim Hortons closes lane on Highway 97

This story has been updated with more accurate information. Water flooding from… Continue reading

Flooding water at West Kelowna Tim Hortons closes lane on Highway 97

This story has been updated with more accurate information. Water flooding from… Continue reading

Okanagan team leads animal rescue efforts in Australia

Brad Pattison’s team arrived in Sydney on Monday

Pedestrian struck in front of West Kelowna Walmart

Paramedics and emergency crews responded to the call around 1:30 p.m. Friday

Kelowna grandmother scammed of $14,000 in phone scam

RCMP warn of Grandparent Scam in the Okanagan after December incident

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Campfires no longer permitted at Kelowna scout camp

City of Kelowna said they rejected Camp Dunlop’s fire permit due to stricter bylaws

Province’s oldest practising lawyer shares advice at her 100th birthday party

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

Avalanche danger closes Highway 1 near Chase

The highway is closed in both directions east of Chase

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Melted snow uncovers problematic potholes in Vernon

Temperature swings, precipitation behind cracked pavement, city says

Alumni trumpet band strikes emotional chord for Vernon girls

Vernon Girls Trumpet Band will be tooting their horn for the 60th Winter Carnival parade

Most Read