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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Bus Driver Strike Averted

Owen Sound | by Kevin Bernard  

A tentative deal in the 11th hour, and schools buses will run as usual in Grey Bruce.

Some good news for parents who were worried about getting their kids to school today.

A strike by bus drivers in Grey Bruce has been averted.

Unifor, the union representing school bus drivers at First Student Canada in Owen Sound, Wiarton and Port Elgin and Kincardine reached a tentative agreement late last night. (Wed. Feb. 28th)

Local 4268 President Debbie Montgomery says this is good news for drivers, and good news for parents.

She says despite a difficult round of bargaining, the negotiating committees have worked out a deal that improves wages and working conditions for the bus drivers.

The bargaining committees will present the deal to Unifor members for a vote later this month.

Full details of the new collective agreement will be released after ratification. 

Unifor issued a strike notice last Friday, well ahead of the required 72 hours' notice, for 12:01 a.m. Thursday. 

The union has previously stated that to combat the precarity and poor working conditions that are rampant in the industry, provincial change is needed. 

Unifor has advocated for an increase in funding to the to the Student Transportation Grant and provincial measures to protect fair wages and job security for school bus drivers.

A strike would have impacted school bus drivers with First Student, as well as Owen Sound Transit and Bruce Power Shuttle drivers.

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