There’s still not a lot to share with some parents worried about how they will get their children to school in the wake of a potential bus strike from some 200 Toronto Catholic and the Toronto District drivers.
School bus drivers with First Student, Markham Division, were in a legal strike position as of 12:01 a.m. November 3, and if they do strike, roughly 8,500 students would be left without their usual ride to and from school.
At Noon on Wednesday, First Student Inc. did not return to the bargaining table, a move that left the union guessing as confirmed in a social media post.
However, Unifor Local 4268 President Deb Montgomery around 5:30 P.M. told reporters that First Student had returned and that talks were resuming.
When asked what the main sticking point was she said “money”. Montgomery also said talks might go past the midnight deadline if the two parties were close to a deal.
At 12:01 a.m., there was still no deal, however Unifor said talks were continuing over night through another social media post.
Deadline has passed but school bus driver talks continue between Unifor and First Student bus company.
— Unifor Canada (@UniforTheUnion) November 3, 2016
Over the last few weeks, both boards have asked parents to make alternate arrangements for their children.
The possible strike comes on the heels of a bus driver shortage, which still affects some routes.
“In a year when both boards were hit with driver shortages, it is more important than ever that we reach a deal that will help to both recruit and retain drivers in this city. Drivers want to be behind the wheel, helping children get their school day started, and home at the end of the day. We are looking for recognition of the important work and responsibilities taken on by drivers, day in and day out. We cannot continue to have hours a week go unpaid and unrecognized. All hours worked need to be compensated, with these hours EI eligible.” – Unifor Local 4268 President Deb Montgomery.
From the TCDSB website:
From the TDSB website: