(Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012)—After more than 48 hours at the table and significant movement on the part of HRM’s bargaining team, there is still no agreement with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 508. If an agreement is not reached this week, ATU Local 508 will be in a position to legally strike at 00:01 on February 2, 2012.
“The ATU was crystal clear about their issues to the public: They wanted no changes to contracting out language and no part-time transit operators. Those issues are no longer part of the HRM proposal,” said Metro Transit Director Eddie Robar. “Our team is still here to get an agreement for the benefit of the employees, transit users and taxpayers.”
"There is no need for a strike," says Mayor Peter Kelly. "Let's continue to negotiate and get a deal done. My understanding is that talks have not broken down and we have not been advised otherwise."
HRM put forward a new proposal Monday morning that would see Metro Transit operators be the highest paid in Atlantic Canada, while removing previous proposals around contracting out language and part-time bus operators.
Mr. Robar said Transit’s 96,000 daily riders—including many HRM employees—are counting on the two sides to reach a timely agreement without a work stoppage.
Metro Transit customers are advised to check the Metro Transit portion of the HRM website at www.halifax.ca/metrotransit for updated information. Information will also be shared by @hfxtransit on Twitter and through the HRM call centre at 490-4000.
Metro Transit is the primary transportation service provider in HRM and the largest transit system in Atlantic Canada, comprised of over 300 buses and three ferries. In addition to its conventional fixed route system 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.