Grand River Transit workers ratify new collective agreement
By Todd Humber
Unifor Local 4304 members working at Grand River Transit in Ontario’s Region of Waterloo have ratified a new collective agreement with the transit service, bringing strike action to an end.
“Unifor is the union for transit workers in Canada, and this collective agreement shows that we can negotiate the contracts that best address the needs of transit workers,” said Unifor national president Jerry Dias. “Our bargaining committee was committed to addressing the priorities of members leading into this set of negotiations, and that is reflected in the results. I would like to congratulate everyone involved on a job well-done.”
What’s in the agreement
The new collective agreement addresses the main concerns of the members leading into the negotiations, including:
- A commitment from GRT to equip every bus in the system with barriers for the drivers to help ensure their safety on the job, including meaningful discussion on the type and implementation of barriers.
- Improved disciplinary language
- Improved language on camera use
- Wage increases in each year of the collective agreement, and wage parity to local averages for skilled trades workers at comparable transit agencies
- Improved language on task completion for skilled trades
- Language improvements on the use of part time and casual employees
- Equalization of pay for part-time workers doing the same work as full-time workers
The new agreement covers Unifor drivers, mechanics, vehicle service attendants and dispatchers at GRT and will be in effect for three years and four months retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020.
As a reminder to the public any abuse of drivers upon return to work will not be tolerated by Grand River Transit, Unifor said.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.