Saskatoon

Advocacy group, Bus Riders of Saskatoon, calls for focus on better public transit

A group that speaks for Saskatoon’s bus riders is urging both sides in the transit labour dispute to shift gears and begin the journey toward a new contract, and better service.

Call comes as city and bus union head back to labour board

Bus Riders of Saskatoon is anxious to see better transit service in the city. (Dan Kerslake/CBC)

A group that speaks for Saskatoon’s bus riders is urging both sides in the transit labour dispute to shift gears and begin the journey toward a new contract, and better service.

Today, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 615, along with officials from city hall will attend a hearing in front of the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board. The hearing will focus on issues flowing out of the board’s declaration that the city had, in fact, illegally locked out members of the transit union.

They’re complicated issues. The union wants to know if pension reforms the city pushed through during the lockout are legal, and the matter of compensation the city owes for declaring an illegal lockout is also unresolved.

Bus Riders of Saskatoon isn’t taking sides in this dispute. Instead, spokesperson Cameron McMillan said the group is most concerned with the welfare of people who ride the bus each day.

"When the lockout happened it wasn't good for anyone.”

This week, Bus Riders of Saskatoon were at city hall to speak in favour of a new committee that will seek a broad range of thoughts on how to best improve public transit in the city. McMillan said he doesn’t think the ongoing labour dispute will delay that work. He does think, however, that it is time for the two sides to get to work on a new contract.

"Most people just hope that a reasonable agreement can be reached and we can all move forward with building our system."

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