Saskatoon Transit union launches job action Saturday

The union that represents Saskatoon Transit drivers has issued a "work to rule" directive and a ban on overtime to its membership.

Workers to start job action at 12:01 a.m. CST

Job action has prompted the city to adjust some bus routes. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

The union that represents Saskatoon Transit drivers will launch job action at midnight tonight, continuing a long-running dispute with the City of Saskatoon.

The workers, who are represented by the Saskatoon Amalgamated Transit Union Local 615, have been without a collective bargaining agreement since 2012. 

Negotiations in September and October failed to yield an agreement between the city and the union. 

On Friday, the union announced it would start job action at 12:01 a.m. CST on Saturday, Nov. 12.

It has issued a "work to rule" directive and a ban on overtime to its membership. 

'No alternative' 

"The intent of this directive is to provide the employer further incentive to resolve our outstanding collective bargaining agreement," said the union committee in a statement

"We believe that there is no alternative other than to act now to send a clear message that we are united and strong in our quest for a fair collective agreement." 

While the two sides have agreed that they have found some compromise on wages, the pension plan continues to be the dividing issue.

Meeting with the media on Friday, city manager Murray Totland said the city had presented an offer to the union Thursday that changed the language on pension in a way the city thought would give comfort to union concerns.

The union rejected the offer.

Totland went on to say the city has had no discussions of locking out transit workers as they take job action.

Staying informed

The city said the job action could impact some routes around Saskatoon, as there are a few hours of overtime usually put in by transit employees every day.

However, the city said it would keep customers informed by issuing service alerts about disruptions or delays. 

It said that information could be found at the Saskatoon Transit website, the city's website or its Twitter account. It also recommended using the city's Transit App or Google Transit. 

"Transit administration may not be aware of all immediate job action but will make efforts to inform the public of delays or disruptions as the information is made available," the city said in a statement. 

"During such times Saskatoon Transit will make every attempt to maintain an appropriate level of service based on the resources available, but may be forced to minimize service if required."

Individuals who do not have internet access can call the Transit Customer Service line at 306-975-3100, however the city said wait times may be longer than normal due to the job action.

Access Transit will continue operating as normal.

Impacted routes Saturday

In a release, the city said it is decreasing the frequency of several routes for Saturday, Nov. 12.

  • Route 17 between 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Route 5 between 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Route 23 between 12:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.
  • Route 86 between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Route 12 between 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.