New contract good to 2019
STO workers accept latest offer
Good news for transit users, the conflict between STO’s management and the drivers and maintenance worker union is virtually over. Roughly 68% of union members voted to ratify the latest collective agreement offer. Results of this vote were unveiled, September 15, after two days of voting.
In two days, 356 members voted for, while 168 voted against; two ballots were rejected, with a total of 526 votes cast. The union has about 550 members. The new agreement will expire on December 31, 2019. The previous agreement had expired December 31, 2014 – almost three years of working without a contract.
The new deal includes a salary hike of 9.8%, over four years, and includes back pay. Members received other benefits, but their working conditions, a major sticking point during negotiations, remain unchanged.
In short, drivers are unhappy with the scheduling and argue their breaks are too short. These are two reasons, say the union, why employees adopted pressure tactics and triggered a rotating strike this past winter.
Once the results were made public, management issued a short press release indicating their satisfaction with the outcome. The STO board, which includes Aylmer councillor Josée Lacasse, must now officially ratify the agreement.