City of Saskatoon’s plan to end transit lockout fails

Despite the transit union and city coming together with a famed mediator, the lockout will continue. Vytai Brannan / Global News

SASKATOON – The City of Saskatoon offered a plan to the transit union to end the lockout, but both sides said they are far from reaching an agreement and the lockout will continue.

The city offered three requirements to end the lockout:

  • the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 615 (ATU 615) would have to agree not to strike throughout the winter and until both sides have a new collective agreement in place.
  • it would have to accept the pension changes that have already been approved by city council.
  • it would have to withdraw the labour relations board application that challenges the legality of the lockout.

FULL COVERAGE: Saskatoon Transit lockout

Famed mediator Vince Ready – who recently helped end the B.C. Teachers strike – flew in to help with the negotiations.

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The city said little headway was made and he was back on the plane at 8 p.m Friday.

The city said its contract offer has remained the same: a 10 per cent wage increase over four years.

The union’s last proposal is for just under 19 per cent and the city says it will not be accepting that offer.

“We remain a very long way apart between what ATU is looking for at what the city has offered, and the city has offered to ATU the same package that was accepted by eight of the nine unions in the general plan,” said Jeff Jorgenson, with the city.

In a video post on Facebook, transit union president Jim Yakubowski said the city was more interested in talking about processes than pensions Friday.

The city said no more meetings are scheduled through the weekend and Ready is booked to come back to the table late next week.

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