Unifor transit operators and skilled-trades workers ratify contract with Coast Mountain Bus Company

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      Bus drivers and the workers who keep transit vehicles on the roads and SeaBuses on the water have officially ended their dispute with TransLink's subsidiary bus company.

      Members of Unifor Local 111 and Local 2200 voted 84.3 percent in favour of an agreement negotiated in late November between the bargaining committee and Coast Mountain Bus Company.

      Transit operators and non-trades workers will receive a two percent wage hike retroactive to April 1, followed by a one percent hike today. They will receive three percent wage increases in each of the next two years.

      That works out to 98 cents per hour in the first year, followed by $1.01 per hour and $1.04 per hour in the two subsequent years. That will lift wages of transit operators with two years' experience from $32.61 per hour before the agreement to $35.64 per hour by the third year.

      They've also been guaranteed 45 minutes of rest time, with the company paying double time for every minute that they aren't able to take due to scheduling.

      Skilled-trades workers will also collect a two percent hike retroactive to April 1. They received an additional $1.95 per hour today and a two percent raise in each of the next two years. Those who had completed four-year apprenticeships were earning $40.09 per hour under the last contract. 

      “Unifor members worked together to make these historic gains,” national union president Jerry Dias said in a news release. “Metro Vancouver transit workers will see significant improvements to wages, benefits, and working conditions as a result of this new agreement.”