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More than 8,300 TDSB, TCDSB students could be impacted by possible school bus drivers strike

Click to play video: 'Labour negotiations continue between Stock Transportation, Toronto school bus drivers' Labour negotiations continue between Stock Transportation, Toronto school bus drivers
WATCH ABOVE: Some Toronto school bus drivers could be in a position to strike come Thursday. The major sticking point is around compensation. Erica Vella has reaction from the union and its drivers – Apr 30, 2019

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) is warning that more than 8,300 students could be affected by a possible school bus workers strike.

In a statement released by the TDSB on Monday, officials said they were notified by Stock Transportation that unionized drivers with the company’s north and east divisions will legally be in a position to strike as of Thursday.

If a strike were to happen, the TDSB said approximately 4,235 of its students and 4,105 TCDSB students would be impacted. Most of the schools serviced by the two divisions are east of Yonge Street.

READ MORE: School bus drivers in communities east of Toronto walk off job

“Parents whose children would be impacted by a possible strike will receive a letter from their school to advise them of the situation,” the TDSB statement said.

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“In the event of a strike, families are encouraged to make alternative arrangements for their child(ren) to get safely to and from school, and to report any absences in the usual manner.”

When asked about the state of negotiations, a Stock Transportation spokesperson told Global News in a statement Monday evening that the company is negotiating in “good faith” and that contract negotiations as scheduled to continue on Tuesday. Chief Operating Officer Terri Lowe said the most recent contract proposal from Unifor, the union representing drivers, came Friday evening, adding it was assessed over the weekend.

“We do not comment publically (sic) on the specific details of our ongoing labor negotiations but are hopeful we will reach resolution soon,” Lowe wrote.

READ MORE: School bus drivers strike could impact Peterborough, Northumberland County and Durham region

“We certainly hope the union will give us time to review their proposal rather than disrupting the school day for thousands of our students across Toronto with a work stoppage.”

Unifor released a statement on Monday saying its two divisions voted 94 and 95 per cent in favour of a strike if negotiations are unsuccessful.

“We will be working hard to resolve this impasse but at the end of the day these drivers have a huge responsibility and the employer, school boards and the provincial government need to recognize and appropriately compensate them for their work,” Naureen Rizvi, the Ontario regional director with Unifor Ontario, wrote.

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Unifor Local 4268 president Debbie Montgomery said compensation is a major issue for drivers, adding they are “expected to fulfill various unpaid tasks before, between and even after their routes.”

WATCH: TDSB says government education funding will leave them with $21M shortfall. Travis Dhanraj reports.

Click to play video: 'TDSB says government education funding will leave them with $21M shortfall' TDSB says government education funding will leave them with $21M shortfall
TDSB says government education funding will leave them with $21M shortfall – Apr 29, 2019

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