Union states they will recommend offer to membership and arrange vote for Thursday
NEWMARKET - The Regional Municipality of York has been notified that a tentative agreement has been reached tonight between Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 and YRT/Viva contracted operator York BRT Services. According to the ATU, the union will recommend the offer to their membership and arrange a formal vote for Thursday, January 26.
“This tentative agreement demonstrates how meaningful negotiations between both parties can result in successful resolution,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “Progress is best made at the bargaining table and I thank the provincial mediator for assisting both the union and contractor. This tentative agreement should mark the beginning of the end of this prolonged dispute.”
Viva routes operated by York BRT Services remain unavailable at this time. Should an offer be ratified, York Region will provide further details on a phased-in return of service.
Operators represented by ATU Local 113 rejected York BRT Services last offer by 75 per cent at a Ministry of Labour supervised vote January 17. Similarly, operators represented by ATU Local 1587 rejected Miller Transit’s last offer by 83 per cent during a Ministry of Labour supervised vote January 6. Earlier tonight, Miller Transit completed the third day of negotiations with ATU Local 1587 and will resume talks tomorrow.
To begin restoring service options to riders during the ongoing dispute, York Region terminated its contract on January 16 with First Canada, operator of 29 YRT/Viva routes in northern York Region, and is working to complete a new contract with a different contractor to operate these routes.
Route 98 on Yonge Street will begin service February 5 between the Towns of Newmarket and Richmond Hill with additional North Division routes to follow. Additionally, York Region has introduced 60-foot articulated Viva buses to YRT Route 99 to increase capacity for riders.
Miller Transit and York BRT Services were also tasked with providing detailed service recovery plans outlining potential measures to begin restoring additional services in the event of an ongoing strike. In the event of an ongoing strike, the Region will evaluate these proposals and determine appropriate next steps.
York Region does not have the contractual right to order the parties to arbitration, and Regional Council has been clear in its position not to request back-to-work legislation from the Provincial Government or support arbitration as a means to end the YRT/Viva strike.
YRT/Viva continues to assist transit riders with travel options through the Customer Service Centre at 1-866-MOVE-YRT (668-3978). Ongoing updates are available on www.yrt.ca
Residents can also follow York Region on Twitter @YorkRegionGovt and Facebook www.facebook.com/YorkRegion
Media Contact: Kim MacGillivray, Corporate Communications, York Region
1-877-464-9675, ext. 1209 • Cell: 905-251-6412 • firstname.lastname@example.org