New Brunswick

Union confirms Fredericton transit workers accepted city's final offer

Fredericton transit workers accepted the city of Fredericton's final offer on Saturday to avoid taking job action and interrupting service to the city's transit system.
Fredericton Transit workers will be voting on Sunday on whether to accept a final contract offer from the city. (CBC)

Fredericton transit workers accepted the city of Fredericton's final offer on Saturday to avoid taking job action and interrupting service to the city's transit system.

"After much debate over this offer, the union concluded an agreement to avoid negative impacts on those who depend on this service the most, the riders," said CUPE national representative Ralph McBride in a statement released Sunday. 

Canadian Union of Public Employees 1783 have been in a strike position since December. The 43 Fredericton transit workers who were making $22 an hour rejected the city's offer Jan. 10 and both sides ended mediation Jan. 12. 

The city's final offer to the drivers is a 1.75 per cent increase in each of the first three years of a new contract and 2.5 per cent annual increases in each of the final two years of a five-year deal.

The city will also increase biweekly payments for health and other benefits by $25, upping those payments to $200.

The city had rejected the union's counter-offer on Feb. 9. 

McBride said while the offer didn't correct all the transit drivers and workers concerns, they decided to do what was right and remain in the job. 

"Local 1783 has always taken the high road to try to bargain a better deal for their members. However, 
at this point, they felt that it was time to move forward and relief the stress of the ridership," McBride said. 

The union representative said the members wanted to thank transit users their understanding over the last few months.

The 43 Fredericton transit workers operated 28 buses on nine different routes throughout the city. 

On Saturday, city's communications manager Wayne Knorr confirmed a tentative agreement had been reached. He added documents would be prepared for signing and a joint statement would be issued at a later date.


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