School bus drivers to strike, leaving 15,000 Montreal students in the lurch

Talks have broken down between the union representing 330 Montreal school bus drivers and Autobus Transco, leaving the parents of some 15,000 students scrambling to find alternative transportation Tuesday and Wednesday.

Starting Tuesday morning, drivers across the island will walk off the job for 2 days

Autobus Transco buses will be grounded on Jan. 30 and Jan. 31, as the company's 330 bus drivers stage a two-day strike. The drivers are seeking higher wages. (CBC)

Montreal parents whose children are bused to school will have to scramble Tuesday morning to find alternative transportation.

Starting Tuesday morning, 330 school bus drivers on the island of Montreal will walk off the job in a two-day strike.

This means there will be no bus service on Tuesday, Jan. 30 and Wednesday, Jan. 31.

The school boards that will be affected are:

  • English Montreal School Board (EMSB).
  • Lester B. Pearson School Board.
  • Marguerite-Bourgeoys School Board.
  • Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM).

"We will reluctantly kick off our two-day strike tomorrow morning, knowing full well that it will have an impact on the thousands of students we serve every morning, students whom we safely transport to their community schools," said STTT-CSN union president Carole Laplante in a statement.

"Our members have told us, almost unanimously, that they do not want to become poorer. We want our fair share of the money that school boards give to our employer in order to increase our wages properly," the statement said.

Union members rejected the last offer from their employer, Autobus Transco, by a vote of 98 per cent.

The decision to strike comes after a failed attempt at mediation between the two sides.

The EMSB has said that if drivers do strike, students can stay home without being penalized.

With files from Elias Abboud