THUNDER BAY – City officials and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 966 met today with the assistance of a Conciliator and the Union has given notice of a strike deadline on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010 at 12:01 a.m.
“We’ve previously presented a revised package in an effort to resolve all matters and the Union refuses to table a position on monetary items,” said Tim Commisso, City Manager. “In terms of the bargaining process, the City has repeatedly requested that the Union advise us of its wage increase expectations and, until that happens, we are at a roadblock in terms of reaching an agreement.”
Alan Hjorth, Manager of Human Resources, said that the City’s package includes a wage increase in each year of a two-year deal that “recognizes the public sector is in an era of restraint.” The package also includes minor changes to the drug and dental plans similar to what has been agreed to by the majority of City employees already.
“We share concerns with respect to the work environment and our deal includes a number of initiatives designed to promote a safer working environment for Transit Operators and members of the public who rely on this important public service,” said Hjorth. He also noted that the City withdrew its requests for an increase in the number of part-time staff and the creation of a Saturday shift for mechanics.
“While a strike is not in anyone’s best interests, in the event there is a work stoppage, we won’t attempt to run buses without our Operators,” said Commisso. “Transit services will cease.”
Information on Transit service is available through the Transit Information Line at 684-3744.