The union representing those who provide transit service to people with disabilities in Victoria says a tentative agreement has been reached with BC Transit’s service provider, avoiding a strike planned for Thursday.
HandyDART workers had voted 97 per cent in favour of a strike if necessary. However, the strike was delayed last week after First Canada, which is contracted by BC Transit to provide the service, has applied to the BC Labour Relations Board for an amendment to a previously agreed upon essential services designation plan.
The move prevented job action from happening on Jan. 22. and forced the union to re-serve a 72-hour strike notice.
On Wednesday, Unifor Local 333 said a tentative agreement had been reached to avert a strike planned for Thursday. Members will vote on the tentative agreement on Jan. 29. The union’s bargaining committee is recommending acceptance.
“We are very pleased to be able to avoid the disruption job action would have unfortunately caused for our valued handyDART riders and appreciate their strong support for our members in these negotiations,” Unifor Local 333 President Ben Williams said in a statement.
Unifor will not be releasing details of the agreement until they are presented to the members on Monday. However, Williams said ” the bargaining committee’s unanimous recommendation clearly indicates it feels that the outstanding issues regarding lack of permanent status for operators working full time and other concerns have been addressed.” Unifor had previously stated the main sticking point in its talks with First Canada involves operators who want to work full time being denied permanent status.
With files from The Canadian Press