Amalgamated Transit Union Local 134 (ATU 134), which represents the drivers and mechanics of West Vancouver’s Blue Bus system, has filed an Unfair Labour Practice complaint with the BC Labour Relations Board against the District of West Vancouver.
In a press release, the union said their action stems from West Vancouver’s troubling failure to enact a new collective agreement despite an arbitrated settlement that was reached earlier this year.
Veteran mediator and arbitrator Vince Ready arbitrated the terms of a new contract in January of 2023, clearly delineating the wages and conditions under which the union members should operate, the press release states. “Regrettably, the District of West Vancouver has demonstrated an indefensible delay in transcribing these terms into a mutually signed collective agreement, thwarting any progress towards upcoming contract negotiations slated for December 2023.”
“In a climate where cooperation should be the modus operandi, the District’s continued indifference to our repeated requests for collaborative action is deeply unsettling,” stated Geoff Devlin, spokesperson for ATU Local 134. “We are hindered in preparing for the next round of negotiations because the District has left us in an untenable position, with no written contract upon which to base our proposals.”
The union’s legal team filed an Unfair Labour Practice complaint last Friday. The complaint underscores that new collective agreements must be promptly formalized and executed after their terms are decided. It further grants the Labour Relations Board the authority to conduct an inquiry and issue orders when there is a failure to settle a collective agreement or when such failure incites “industrial unrest.”
“We are now urging the BC Labour Relations Board to not only recognize that the District has committed an Unfair Labour Practice, but to also intervene and offer actionable recommendations to resolve this glaring issue. This marks the second instance in just two years where the District has compelled our union to resort to such formal complaints, underscoring an ongoing pattern of conduct that disrespects both the legal framework and the spirit of unionized labour,” the union said.