JUNE 14, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sea to Sky Transit Workers Headed Back to Work After Acceptance of Special Mediator Recommendations
Whistler Transit Ltd./Diversified Transportation can confirm that a new Collective Bargaining Agreement has been agreed to and the company is currently working through the planning process to safely return transit operations to the Sea to Sky corridor. Special Mediator, Vince Ready met with the parties on June 6, 2022, to review the outstanding issues and accept proposals for a resolution. He subsequently submitted recommendations to the parties and the Minister of Labour late last week, which the Company accepted yesterday prior to the Union conducting a vote of its members.
Whistler Transit agrees with Ready’s statement in the recommendations that it is “a daunting task” to resolve a dispute following the rejection of a mutually agreed and acceptable tentative agreement because the parties are “at the point when they have already exhausted all available compromises.” In the hope the recommendations would be accepted, we understood why the Mediator added a Letter of Understanding (LOU), “unique to the circumstances,” that could possibly lead to a wage top-up in the final year of the agreement. While this was more than could be offered in negotiations, the Company will abide by the term as laid out in the LOU.
It’s important to note that following his analysis, Ready found “no compelling reason to alter the wage increases and signing bonus” from the original tentative agreement because “wage rates . . . meet and exceed wages paid to transit drivers covered under collective agreements with competitor employers,” and “the yearly wage increases already agreed to by the parties in the tentative agreement of 1.5%, 2%, 3%, 3% and 4%, plus the 2% signing bonus also meet and exceed the general level of wage increases negotiated in collective agreements in different sectors/industries throughout the Province of BC.”
The Company would like to thank Vince Ready for his assistance throughout the Special Mediation process.
Further details on the timing of operational start-up will be communicated in the near future by BC Transit.