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City, transit workers at an impasse

The city has asked the province to appoint a conciliator to help with its contract negotiations with the union representing bus drivers and other Guelph Transit employees.
“We are hopeful that with the assistance of a conciliator, we will avoid a labour disruption that would have serious impacts on the thousands of people in our community who rely on transit to access employment, education, medical appointments and more,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge said in a news release Thursday.
Negotiators from the city and from Local 1189 of the Amalgamated Transit Union have met a total of 14 days since last fall to negotiate a new contract for the city’s 205 Guelph Transit employees.
Although the discussions to date have been respectful, they have not achieved the progress the city expects, the release said.
“The city strongly believes in competitively compensating these employees for their work and remains committed to negotiating a fair contract that balances such compensation with long-term affordability for Guelph taxpayers,” David Godwaldt, the city’s general manager of human resources, said in the release.
The 205 full- and part-time employees represented by ATU Local 1189 include vehicles technicians, drivers and others.

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