British Columbia

Metro Vancouver transit workers ratify new contract with Coast Mountain

Metro Vancouver bus and SeaBus workers have voted in favour of a new three-year deal with Coast Mountain Bus Company. The union representing the 5,000 workers says 84.3 per cent voted in favour of the new deal, ending the weeks-long dispute. 

System-wide strike narrowly averted last week when union and management hammered out last-minute deal

A bus driver gives a thumbs up while driving in Vancouver, British Columbia on Wednesday, November 27, 2019. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Metro Vancouver bus and SeaBus workers have voted in favour of a new three-year deal with Coast Mountain Bus Company. 

Voting to ratify the tentative agreement took place Thursday night.

The union representing the 5,000 workers says 84.3 per cent voted in favour of the new deal, ending the weeks-long dispute. 

"It's not perfect like any agreement but our members are very happy," said Unifor regional director Gavin McGarrigle.

Unifor said members will see improvements to wages, benefits, and working conditions as a result of the agreement.

Transit operators and non-trades workers will receive a two-per-cent wage increase retroactive to Apr. 1, a one-per-cent increase effective immediately, and a three-per-cent increase in each of the next two years.

Shutdown averted

Bus drivers will see an immediate wage gain of 98 cents per hour, while SkyTrain trades workers will get an $1.95-per-hour increase.

The agreement also includes an improvement in benefits and a guaranteed 45-minute break per shift.

A complete shutdown of the region's bus and SeaBus service was averted just after midnight on Nov. 27 when the union and management hammered out a last-minute deal.

Unifor members began limited job action on Nov. 1 involving an overtime ban for maintenance workers and uniform ban for drivers.

The issues at the heart of the dispute were working conditions, salaries and benefits.

"Today's vote ends a challenging period for the company, our employees, and customers," said Michael McDaniel, president of Coast Mountain Bus Company in a statement.

With files from Karin Larsen

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