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school bus2 560MARCH 1 UPDATE: A tentative deal was reached prior to the February 28 deadline. See School bus strike averted


Unifor represented school bus drivers covering Owen Sound/Wiarton and Port Elgin/Kincardine remain committed to negotiations ahead of a 12:01 a.m. Thursday, March 1 strike deadline but at the time of publishing had not yet reached a deal.

In a Unifor media release February 28, the union anticipates bargaining will continue up until the midnight deadline with the goal of achieving a tentative agreement.

“It is a simple and fair demand that these workers should be paid for all of the time put into their jobs instead of being continually asked to work for free,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “It is our hope that a fair agreement can still be reached, but without addressing this substantial concern of all school bus drivers, we may not be able to reach a deal.”

The bargaining committees represented by Unifor Local 4268, for both Owen Sound/Wiarton and Port Elgin/Kincardine are working together internally to help achieve the objectives that will improve working conditions for all members.

In a February 27 telephone interview First Student Canada spokesperson Jay Brock said that First Student is continuing to negotiate in good faith. “Our goal is to hopefully provide uninterrupted service to everyone; the board schools, students, and parents that are involved,” he said.

“We appreciate being a part of the community and we respect our employees’ rights to collective bargaining.”

Should a strike occur, Saugeen Shores schools that would be impacted include: G.C. Huston Public, Northport Elementary, St Joseph’s, École Port Elgin Saugeen Central, and Saugeen District Secondary; as well as shuttle service to and from Bruce Power.

See also: Bus strike looming


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