In a last ditch effort to avoid strike action, mediated talks between the District of West Vancouver and the union representing West Vancouver Blue Bus drivers will go ahead this weekend.
And unless they come to an agreement, buses in West Vancouver won’t be running on Monday, affecting approximately 18,000 people.
West Vancouver director of community relations and communications, Jeff MacDonald says he is hopeful for an agreement.
“There’s going to be mediated talks on Sunday. We’re happy that the transit union has accepted our invitation to return to the table because we would really prefer that there is no strike. We don’t feel it’s necessary and it’s a huge inconvenience for people who use Blue Bus so we’d like to get it resolved.”
MacDonald says the district has made a fair offer including salary adjustments.
But he hinted there would need to be some movement on the part of the union.
“The repercussions for Blue Bus users are huge. We recognize that, we sympathize with that, so that’s why we’re really hoping that the transit union comes to the table with realistic expectations of their requests.”
Drivers with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 134 have been without a contract since March.
A summer of unproductive bargaining led to the appointment of a mediator at the end of August, with key sticking points being working conditions, benefits, and wages.
Drivers initiated job action this past Monday, with an overtime ban.