Union to fight changes to Winnipeg bus driver shift, vacation, route scheduling

WINNIPEG — The union that represents hundreds of Winnipeg Transit workers says it will pursue all options to block a city move that will halt the ability of bus drivers to trade shifts or switch vacation times.

The change, effective Saturday, comes amid ongoing and sometimes bitter contract negotiations.

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The new measures will also see drivers assigned to routes instead of them being parcelled out on a seniority basis.

Michael Jack, the city’s chief corporate services officer, says the changes are being made to get the Amalgamated Transit Union to accept the city's final contract offer before the fall.

That offer will be voted on by union members starting Sunday.

The ATU says it's disappointed with what it calls an unfair labour practice.

"This (change) isn’t a retaliatory move," said Jack. "This move is being instituted solely to get to a negotiated collective agreement. This is simply to provide the incentive to get this thing done."

The previous collective agreement expired on Jan. 12 of this year. Since then the city has provided the ATU with four offers.

The ATU is in a legal strike position.

"I guess the city finds it easier for them to intimidate the operators than fix the problems they're facing out there each and every day, " said ATU president Aleem Chaudhary. (CTV Winnipeg)

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