THUNDER BAY – City and officials of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 966 met today as work continued towards negotiating a new collective agreement.
“Some progress was made in terms of non-monetary and language issues and the City’s bargaining team made a concerted effort to address the Union’s concerns, particularly as they relate to the health and safety of our Operators,” said Tim Commisso, City Manager.
The City has also requested that the Union provide a response to the City’s proposal to settle monetary issues. “The Union has not tabled a wage position,” said Commisso, “and it’s imperative that it do so if we’re to reach an agreement.”
The City Manager also clarified several issues being addressed by the parties in order to set the record straight, stating that, “the City is not proposing that full-time positions be replaced with part-time positions. The City is requesting that the number of part-time staff be increased to 12 from 10 to allow Transit Administration more flexibility to cover unscheduled absences. And in addition, the City seeks to amend the existing work schedule for one additional mechanic shift on Saturday to better accommodate Transit’s seven-day operation.
“As well, the City continues to achieve minor changes to the benefit plans, consisting of measures that have, for the most part, been put in place for the majority of City employees already,” said Commisso. “We are not proposing any amendments to the sick leave plan.”
In the unfortunate event of a work stoppage, Thunder Bay Transit services will cease. “We will not attempt to run our buses without our Operators, and having said that, we’ll be requesting that the Union give us 24 hours notice of a withdrawal of services so that the public and our customers can begin to make alternate arrangements.”
Information on Transit service is available through the Transit Information Line at 684-3744.