School bus drivers’ strike possible in April
Bus drivers are ready to put a stop to school transportation for students in Outaouais. Students in the Portages-de-l'Outatouais and Draveurs school boards could suffer the consequences of a labour dispute at Autobus Campeau by the end of April.
After unanimously refusing the offers from management, the drivers of Autobus Campeau gave themselves an unlimited general strike mandate. The drivers' collective agreement expired on August 31, 2017.
"This is the end of recess for school transporters. When employees who make $20,000 a year want to go on strike, it's a sign that they really have had enough," said Jean Chartrand, President of Teamsters Local Union 106, in a news release. The $1,200 that the employer wants to recover by cutting benefits to workers is equivalent to between 6 and 10 grocery orders per year. And 2% increase per year (proposed increase by the employer, according to the union) is the equivalent of a few extra coffees a week once taxes are removed."
As is often the case in this type of labour dispute, the owner of the bus company has declined to comment publicly on the negotiations, apart from acknowledging that negotiations on this employment contract have not yet been concluded.
If drivers use this strike mandate, the responsibility for driving children to school would fall on parents. By the time the union is on strike, there would be only about two months left on the school calendar.