December 5, 2011

YRT/Viva contracted operators reaching out to resume labour negotiations

Movement toward negotiations follows York Regional Council’s announcement to not request provincial legislation to end the dispute

NEWMARKETThe Regional Municipality of York has been advised that contracted operators Veolia Transportation, Miller Transit and First Canada are prepared to meet with ATU Local 1587 and Local 113 regarding the resumption of negotiations in the ongoing YRT/Viva strike.

Contracted operators have, or are in the process of, reaching out to union representatives.

The movement toward negotiations follows a York Region press conference last week where Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch stated York Regional Council will not request back to work legislation from the provincial government, and called for the immediate restoration of transit service and a return to negotiations between the Region’s three contractors and two unions.

"We are encouraged that YRT/Viva contracted operators are prepared to meet with the unions to resume negotiations," said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. "Neither back-to-work legislation or arbitration are an acceptable answer to a refusal to negotiate. We hold our contractors responsible for negotiating a fair and reasonable contract with their employees and we expect the union to resume negotiations in good faith, for the benefit of their membership and the riders they serve."

Regional Council will not intervene in the current dispute between the contractors and unions and will not become involved in any negotiations, which could lead to extraordinary tax rate increases for all regional residents, higher transit fares for commuters, or both.

Potential costs to York Region taxpayers would be as much as $10 million each year or up to $40 million in the life of the transit contracts. This would result in either a $26 annual increase to property taxes for every average household or a 45-cent fare increase for transit riders in addition to the fare increase scheduled for January 1, 2012.

Regional Council continues to insist on a return to negotiations using previously appointed mediators and an immediate restoration of service.

"We are now in week seven of the YRT/Viva strike," added Chairman Fisch. "For the sake of our residents, families and businesses who continue to be the unfortunate victims of this strike, we hope to see an immediate return of transit service as negotiations resume."


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Media Contact: Patrick Casey, Director, Corporate Communications, York Region
  1-877-464-9675, ext. 1235 . Cell: 905-715-8211.
Founded in 1971, The Regional Municipality of York is made up of nine municipalities
and provides services to more than one million residents, 29,000 businesses and 495,000 employees.

 For more information visit us at Follow us on : York Region   @YorkRegionGovt  
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