School bus company, union reach tentative agreement to avoid strike

Children arrive by bus at Portage Trail Community School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

A tentative agreement has ended a threat of strike action by some 500 Scarborough school bus drivers this week.

Unifor Local 4268 said in a statement Wednesday that it had reached agreement with school bus operator Stock Transportation. The union represents drivers that serve routes for school children with disabilities.

Stock Transportation said Unifor represents staff at its Scarborough location that manages around 455 routes. Unifor is the largest private sector union in Canada and represents 315,000 workers, including Global News.

The drivers serve Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board, French and private schools.

Read more: Strike action threatened by 500 Toronto school bus drivers

“I congratulate the bargaining committee on negotiating a tentative agreement for these frontline workers who provide such a vital service to students across Toronto,” Unifor’s Ontario regional director Naureen Rizvi said.

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The strike was set to take begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday if an agreement had not been reached.

The union said the tentative agreement will now need to be ratified by drivers “in the coming days.” Details of the deal will be released after it is agreed by members.

When it threatened to strike last week, the union said its drivers wanted “fair wages, guaranteed minimum hours and safety on the job.”

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