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Saskatoon Transit union contract talks with city stop

Negotiations have stopped between the city and the union that represents Saskatoon Transit bus drivers. File / Global News

Negotiations have stopped once again between the City of Saskatoon and the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 615, which represents Saskatoon Transit bus drivers.

On Monday, the union indicated to the city it was not prepared to take forward an agreement for the membership to vote on.

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According to the city, progress was made as the ATU agreed on the 10 per cent wage increase over four years, but a clause in the pension plan remains the outstanding issue of the contract dispute.

The city said it wants the flexibility to be able to re-negotiate pensions down the road, in the event there is a funding shortfall due to pension forecasting.

“The one outstanding is the language of the pension agreement, not the amount of money employees would get. It’s what discussion would happen down the road if there was a shortfall,” said Catherine Gryba, general manager of corporate performance at the city.

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“We are not or would not have been recommending acceptance of their last offer based on the fact that they refuse to move off their pension proposal in any capacity. We told the city ,we would take it back, but would not recommend acceptance, but they declined to accept our language enabling us to have the arbitrator rule on the grievance,” said ATU president Jim Yakubowski in a press release.

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The tranit union has been in a legal strike position since 5 p.m. CT on Sept. 18. No form of job action has been initiated by ATU at this time.

On Monday, Yakubowski said no contract talks had been scheduled.

Union members of Saskatoon Transit have been without a contract since 2012.

Jacqueline Wilson contributed to this story

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