March 1, 2018
PORT ELGIN- Unifor, the union representing school bus drivers at First Student Canada in Owen Sound/Wiarton and Port Elgin/Kincardine has reached a tentative agreement with the company, averting a strike set to begin Thursday morning.
"This is good news for drivers, and good news for parents," said Debbie Montgomery, President of Unifor Local 4268. "Despite a difficult round of bargaining, the bargaining committees have secured a deal that improves wages and working conditions.”
The bargaining committees, representing members of Unifor Local 4268, will present the deal to members for a vote in the coming days. Full details of the new collective agreement will be released after ratification. Unifor issued a strike notice last Friday, well ahead of the required 72 hours' notice, for 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
The union has previously stated that to combat the precarity and poor working conditions that are rampant in the industry, provincial change is needed.
"If adopted, this agreement will make a positive change for drivers in these communities, but in order to end the driver shortages and low wages seen across Ontario, the province must step up. Unifor has advocated for an increase in funding to the Student Transportation Grant and provincial measures to protect fair wages and job security for school bus drivers," said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director.
For more information, please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Sarah McCue at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-458-3307.