Bus drivers in Regina poised for 8.5% wage hike over 3 years
Regina's bus drivers and other transit workers are set to receive wage hikes totalling 8.5 per cent over the course of three years, according to a report prepared for city council released Friday.
The wage hikes are part of a negotiated settlement with the transit workers announced in November. The report says members of the bus drivers' union, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 588, have already approved the deal with 92 per cent in favour. City council members were given details of the agreement in a closed-door session Nov. 27. Formal approval, in a public meeting of council, is expected Monday night.
The first increase, of 2.75 per cent, is retroactive to the beginning of 2013. The next increase, effective Jan. 1, 2014, is for another 2.75 per cent. The final increase of 3 per cent takes effect in 2015.
The workers will also get an annual shoe or boot allowance of $150 to $200.
The city also won some concessions from the union, according to the report, which will apply to new employees hired after Jan. 1, 2014. Those new workers will not be eligible for enhanced severance pay or an annual bonus.
Existing employees will continue to get those benefits. The annual bonus is paid in December, around Christmas. The city calls it an "annual service pay" and it amounts to $60 to $300 depending on years of service.
If council ratifies the agreement, administrators will need to find $378,675 in the 2013 budget to pay for this year's wage increase. The report says the budget can handle it.
By the end of the third year, the total additional expense for the wage hikes will be just over $1.2 million of ongoing costs.
Once the bus drivers' deal is in place, the city will have concluded negotiations with all its employees whose collective agreements expired at the end of 2012.