Tuesday, January 21, 2014
The Town of Oakville and Unifor Local 1256 have scheduled four days of collective bargaining for next week in order to try and reach a fair, balanced and affordable contract settlement before the union is in a legal strike position. Earlier this month, the union requested a “no board report” from the provincial conciliator and as a result they will be in a legal strike position as of 12:01 a.m. on February 1, 2014.
“The town is committed to negotiating a fair contract that balances competitive compensation for transit employees with long-term affordability for taxpayers,” said Elizabeth Bourns, director, Human Resources for the Town of Oakville. “Over the past year we have successfully negotiated contract settlements with our two CUPE locals, and we will work to do the same with Unifor 1256.”
It is not unusual for labour negotiations to continue right up to, and even past, a strike deadline but the town is making contingency plans in case a strike should occur.
In the event of strike action taken by Unifor 1256, the town will work to ensure that Oakville’s care-A-van service for the physically disabled will continue to operate for medical appointments. All other regularly scheduled transit services in Oakville would be discontinued immediately.
“We remain optimistic that a settlement will be reached but we have been receiving questions from the public and we want to ensure our riders have sufficient time to prepare alternative travel arrangements,” Ms. Bourns said.
Negotiations between the town and the union representing 171 Oakville Transit workers including drivers and maintenance staff began in December 2013.
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