MIKE McDaniel, President of Coast Mountain Bus Company, on Friday morning urged Unifor, the union representing Coast Mountain Bus Company bus operators and maintenance trades, to return to the bargaining table and avoid today’s job action, which will impact transit users.
He said: “Our negotiators have repeatedly asked union representatives to participate in third-party mediation to help resolve the current situation, but they have refused to take part. We will make every effort to communicate any service disruptions to our customers as they occur. Coast Mountain Bus Company has put forward a fair and reasonable offer which boosts wages, benefits, and working conditions, while recognizing the important work of our employees.”
He also said that new analysis shows that union demands would amount to more than half-a-billion dollars over 10 years. This is funding that would otherwise be used for transit improvement and expansion.
He added: “Our current offer on the table is fair and reasonable, exceeding public sector settlements in British Columbia. Union representatives have repeatedly refused our suggestion of a third-party mediator to help resolve the situation.
On top of what CMBC is currently offering, the union is demanding an additional $608 million in wages, benefits, and working conditions over 10 years.
According to the company, under their current offer to the union, Maintenance Trade employees would see wage increases of more than 12% [12.2%] over four years and the the union Transit Operators would see wage increases of nearly 10% [9.6%] over four years.
In addition to the above, the company says it has enhanced the benefit package and improved working conditions – specifically targeting recovery time.
On Thursday, the company said: “Regardless of the job action, many of our services will be unaffected: SkyTrain, Canada Line, West Coast Express, HandyDART, West Vancouver Blue Bus and other contracted services will continue operating normally.
“We will do everything possible to keep our customers informed, as soon as possible, on service disruptions. To stay informed, customers can sign up for Transit Alerts (alerts.translink.ca) specific to their routes, follow @TransLink on Twitter and check translink.ca.”