Metro Vancouver transit strike: Disruptions to bus service expected Monday

WATCH: Day 18 of the Metro Vancouver transit strike saw more cancellations and disruptions for commuters. Grace Ke has the details, and what might be ahead.

The Metro Vancouver transit strike continues Monday with bus drivers, SeaBus operators and maintenance workers refusing overtime.

As was the case on Friday, the ban is expected to slow service on some bus routes.

Four SeaBus sailing were cancelled in the morning, and TransLink says eight additional sailings were cancelled for the afternoon rush.

  • The 4:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 7:32 p.m. and 8:47 p.m. sailings from Lonsdale Quay will be cancelled
  • The 4:15 p.m., 6:15 p.m., 7:46 p.m., and 9:01 p.m. sailings from Waterfront will be cancelled.

TransLink spokesperson Ben Murphy says five to 10 per cent of bus service will be affected Monday.

“It’s looking comparable to Friday, around that five to 10 per cent mark of services, which will be cancelled,” he said. “So the best advice for transit users is to check their individual route.”

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TransLink says a detailed schedule with adjusted departure times will be available on its website and Twitter account.

Unifor western regional director Gavin McGarrigle continues to threaten a full-scale shutdown of the system.

READ MORE: SeaBus schedule mostly restored as TransLink resolves staffing shortage linked to transit dispute

“We’re going to take it day by day,” he said. “We’re going to see how it goes. Right now, we know that this is having an impact and we know that the public is speaking out, so we haven’t picked any specific date yet for that.”

The union, which represents 5,000 bus drivers, SeaBus operators and maintenance workers, has been locked in a bitter contract dispute with employer Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC), with talks breaking down multiple times since October.

The two sides remain far apart in contract negotiations, with working conditions and wages being the key sticking points.

When talks broke off again last week, CMBC said the wage gap between what the employer is offering and what the union wants is about $150 million over 10 years. That’s down from a projected $600-million gap when job action began.

Major escalation begins on day 15 of Metro Vancouver transit strike
Major escalation begins on day 15 of Metro Vancouver transit strike

TransLink says transit operators have now been offered a wage increase of $6,000 for drivers and $10,000 for skilled trades workers over four years at the top end of their salary grids.

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The union says that’s not good enough and that transit operators’ pay should be looked at in comparison to Toronto’s transit system, while the pay of trades workers should be looked at in comparison to their counterparts in the SkyTrain system.

— With files from Sean Boynton