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HRM and ATU bargaining teams unanimously endorse tentative agreement; ATU members to vote on ratification

 

(Sunday, March 11, 2012)  Halifax, NS – HRM today tentatively agreed to
accept a counter offer from ATU Local 508 in an effort to end the
transit strike after more than five weeks. The tentative agreement comes
after both sides spent most of Friday, Saturday and Sunday back at the
bargaining table with the assistance of a conciliator.
 
If ATU’s membership votes to accept the tentative agreement, the deal
must return to Regional Council for ratification, which could happen
through a special meeting of Council.
 
While terms of the bargaining teams’ tentative agreement will not be
released until after ATU and HRM Regional Council each have an
opportunity for ratification, HRM remains committed to efficiencies that
protect taxpayers and transit users from bearing excessive ongoing
costs.
 
“I commend both bargaining teams for their determination in breaking a
significant impasse and working towards a deal that is hopefully
acceptable to both parties while respecting financial impacts on our
taxpayers,” said Mayor Peter Kelly. “Council and I have listened to many
citizens and we’ve held firm in our position that binding arbitration is
not the solution for the future.”
 
“We are very encouraged by the news that the ATU bargaining team is
unanimously recommending this deal and taking it back for a vote,” said
Metro Transit Director, Eddie Robar. “If ATU’s membership accepts it, we
hope that transit service will be back on the road in the very near
future, possibly in a few days if it is ratified by Council. We know
many have been suffering from the consequences of the transit strike and
had high hopes for the latest round of talks.”
 
Should ATU members and Regional Council both ratify the tentative
agreement, more information will soon be provided on the return of bus
and ferry services and how customers who still possess February passes
will have them honoured. Interested citizens should check regular
communication channels including:  www.halifax.ca/metrotransit; Twitter
@hfxtransit; Transit Retail Outlets; the HRM Call Centre at 490-4000 and
local media outlets.
 
Metro Transit is the primary transportation service provider in HRM and
the largest public transit system in Atlantic Canada comprised of over
300 buses and three ferries. In addition to its conventional fixed route
service, with 61 routes including the premium MetroLink and MetroX
services, it operates three Community Transit routes, the harbour ferry
service and the door-to-door Access-A-Bus service for persons with
disabilities.
 
Source: Release

 

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