The Winnipeg Blue Bombers could soon be paying more for charter buses at its games.
When Investors Group Field opened in 2013, bus drivers agreed to forgo any layover time pay while waiting for Bombers games to end.
But the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1505 has had a change of heart, verbally notifying Winnipeg Transit late last year that it wanted drivers to now get paid for all layover time. Written notice was received in March.
“It’s been in our contract for years,” explained Everett Rudolph, Executive Vice-President of Local 1505. “The agreement was, until the stadium was built, they were to stay on the road. Now that the terminal is built, it’s time that they enforce the contract. It’s due time.”
Charter buses are required to stay outside the stadium in case of an emergency evacuation, so drivers would have to stick around. They were allowed to go into the stadium to watch games but would have to go back to their buses before the fourth quarter would begin.
Whether they would be allowed to continue to do so while being paid is unclear.
“That’s still not really sure because of WCB issues that might come into play. We haven’t gotten any answers. We’re kind of putting that onto the city,” Rudolph said. “We just want them to be paid for the time that they are there. They don’t actually take up a seat. They just watch, come in, they’re buying 50/50 tickets, they have to go back to their bus anyway.”
City staff recommend that the city absorb the extra $87,000 this will cost for the 2018 season, since the Bombers haven’t received much of a heads-up about the change.
If the plan goes through, it would be up to the football team to cover the cost starting in the 2019 season.
At Tuesday’s public works committee meeting, Acting Director of Winnipeg Transit Greg Ewankiw indicated that nobody from Transit had discussed the change with the Bombers.