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Grand River Transit talks to resume Tuesday in bid to end strike

The union representing many Grand River Transit workers will resume talks with the public transit provider on Tuesday. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

The Region of Waterloo and Unifor Local 4304 will return to the bargaining table on Tuesday in an attempt to negotiate an end to the week-old Grand River Transit (GRT) strike.

“We are going back to the table tomorrow at 11 a.m. in hopes of bargaining a fair collective agreement,” Unifor Local 4304 president Tim Jewell told Global News.

This will be the first time the two sides have met since the day after the strike got underway on Jan. 21.

READ MORE: Striking Grand River Transit employees rejected pay increase, safety barriers, Waterloo Region says

GRT drivers, mechanics, vehicle service attendants and dispatchers walked off the job on Jan. 21 after rejecting a deal their bargaining team had tentatively reached with the region.

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After the strike got underway, the region released some of the details of the rejected agreement.

READ MORE: All you need to know about Grand River Transit bus strike

It said the proposed deal included a six per cent wage increase over three years for bus operators, dispatchers and service attendants and a 15 per cent increase over three years for mechanics.

Later in the day, it noted that the agreement included installing safety barriers on 278 buses over three years at a cost of $1.7 million.

In a statement released Monday, the union said, “throughout the negotiations, the bargaining committee has reflected member’s demands to the employer, including improvements on driver safety, and end to heavy-handed, excessive discipline and unfettered use of video surveillance, and wages.”

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