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Possible transit strike looms larger

The union representing city bus drivers will be in a legal strike position on Monday June 16 unless a new contract can be hammered out before then. And the city will be in a legal position on the same day to lock out its Guelph Transit workers.
A “no board report” related to negotiations between the city and Local 1189 of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), issued by the provincial Ministry of Labour, was received Monday by city hall. This makes June 16 the day when the ATU and the city are in a legal position to strike or lock out, respectively, a city news release said.
“The no board report in no way prescribes a deadline for the end of negotiations and does not predetermine any future actions for either the city or ATU Local 1189,” the release said.
“The city is working hard to avoid any disruption to local transit service and continues to negotiate towards a fair contract for Guelph Transit employees, one that balances competitive compensation for operators, reasonable prices for transit customers and affordability for Guelph taxpayers,” the city’s general manager of human resources, David Godwaldt, said in the release.
Further negotiations are scheduled for June 10, and the provincial conciliator will assist the two parties on June 11, 12, 25, 26 and 30 in the hopes of reaching an agreement, it said. The negotiation timeline and updates are being posted at guelph.ca/atu, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
The city asked the province in March to appoint a conciliator to help with the ATU negotiations, which have been going on since last fall. The city’s last contract with ATU Local 1189 expired almost a year ago. The local represents 205 full- and part-time employees including bus drivers, vehicle technicians and others.
The first scheduled day of conciliation was May 23, but the city issued a news release that afternoon saying the ATU had “attended with only half its bargaining team.” As a result, it said, the conciliator was requesting a “no board report” from the Minister of Labour on behalf of the City of Guelph.
A no-board report reflects an inability to reach a settlement through bargaining.

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