Transit union concerned by city’s latest pushback as voting starts on contract offer
The Amalgamated Transit Union began voting Sunday on the City of Winnipeg’s latest contract offer, as it expressed concern with the city’s latest pushback.
The ATU has voted on and rejected three offers from the city, which has said this is its final offer.
“They say it’s the final offer but I’m sure there will be another offer after this,” said Aleem Chaudhary, President of ATU Local 1505 Winnipeg.
On Thursday, the city announced drivers would no longer be able to trade shifts or switch vacation time. They will also be assigned routes, as opposed to choosing them based on seniority.
Chaudhary believes the city’s new rules will cause safety concerns.
“We have written a letter to the integrity officer, because we find it’s against the code of conduct and we want that addressed,” said Chaudhary.
He said the union has been approached by at least two members, who said they’ve been assigned to drive articulated buses – which they haven’t been trained for.
“We have not seen any kind of schedule for training, for our members to be able to have that training before they start that work,” said Chaudhary. “It’s very important because you’re jeopardizing the safety of a lot of passengers, not only the safety of our members but the passengers that ride their buses.”
Chaudhary said articulated buses can hold up to 100 people at a time.
In an email to CTV News Sunday, a city spokesperson said:
“Before the fall schedule change takes effect on September 1, 2019, drivers assigned to a DART route or an articulated bus requiring training will receive it beforehand.”
The union says it will be voting throughout the week and will have an answer about the latest offer by Friday.