Toronto

Toronto school bus strike averted as union reaches tentative deal with Stock Transportation

Approximately 575 school bus drivers will be getting behind the wheel Thursday, now that a strike that could have affected more than 8,000 Toronto students has been averted.

3-year agreement will cover drivers in the east and north divisions

In a press release late Tuesday, Unifor, which represents 575 bus drivers who provide services for Toronto boards, said it had reached a tentative agreement with Stock Transportation. (CBC News)

Approximately 575 school bus drivers will be getting behind the wheel Thursday, now that a strike that could have affected more than 8,000 Toronto students has been averted.

In a news release late Tuesday, Unifor said it had reached a tentative agreement with Stock Transportation, the company that employs the drivers.

"We're pleased that we were able to negotiate a new collective agreement with Stock Transportation as part of Unifor's ongoing work to ensure that school bus drivers are given both the respect and compensation that they deserve for the challenging work that they undertake each school day," said Unifor Local 4268 president Debbie Montgomery. 

The dispute revolved largely around work the union said drivers perform unpaid after and between driving their routes.

"Driving a school bus is now partially volunteer work — instead of regular paid employment," Montgomery said earlier this week.

The three-year-agreement will cover drivers in the east and north divisions.

Details of the collective agreement will be released when it is ratified "in the near future," the release said.

A strike would have affected approximately 4,105 students in the Toronto District School Board and 4,235 students across the Toronto Catholic District School Board, TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird said earlier this week.