West Vancouver’s Blue Bus union is giving West Vancouver District a 30-day warning to either negotiate a new, fair contract or face escalating job action starting September 7.
The union has already implemented an overtime ban and a uniform ban after a BC Labour Relations Board mediator booked out of the dispute.
And Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 134 President Cornel Neagu said the union has sent the employer a counteroffer to consider in the failed talks.
Neagu also said two of the largest unions in West Vancouver – the West Vancouver Municipal Employees’ Association and the International Association of Fire Fighters – West Vancouver local – have both pledged their full support in their efforts to reach a new and fair contract that addresses the inequities facing Blue Bus drivers compared to all other Coast Mountain Bus Company drivers in the rest of Metro Vancouver.
“We want to give West Vancouver District some time to get back to the bargaining table and resolve the unfair differences our drivers face on breaks and shuttle bus operator wages compared to all other drivers in Metro Vancouver,” Neagu said. “We also ask our valued riders to tell the Mayor and Council it’s time to negotiate, not to posture and delay bargaining.”
Neagu said the counteroffer was issued after West Vancouver wrongly said the union was responsible for a lack of talks.
“Our union firmly rejected West Vancouver District’s last offer weeks ago – since then they have done nothing but posture instead of coming back with a better offer, so now they have no excuses,” Neagu said.
And Neagu added that the employer has been emailing ATU Local 134 members’ personal emails with a West Vancouver District position on the dispute that is inaccurate and attempts to undermine the union.
“Our members are not fooled by West Vancouver’s tactics – they want a fair contract, not emails that change nothing,” Neagu said. “If they can’t do any better than this, we will see escalating job action in September – count on it.”
ATU Local 134 has 150 members who operate and maintain West Vancouver’s Blue Bus system of 64 buses that transport about 18,000 passenger trips per day.