Fraser Valley bus drivers to halt service Monday, Tuesday in contract dispute – BC

Transit commuters in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley could find themselves temporarily without service as early as Monday, with unionized bus drivers and their employers Contract negotiations between the

CUPE 561, which represents 213 transportation and support workers in the Fraser Valley, announced Friday, Monday and Tuesday that it will begin to withdraw all normal services.

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The HandyDART service will not be affected, according to the union.

The 2-day outage occurs within an ongoing contract issue. The unions have said that if no deal is reached by February 28, “work action will escalate in the next few weeks.”

Public transit workers have been embroiled in a long-running contract dispute with US-based First Transit, which contracts BC Transit to provide services in Chilliwack, Abbotsford, and surrounding areas.

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Fraser Valley transit drivers give 72 hours notice to strike

The union stopped collecting fares on February 2 and warned at the time that the dispute could escalate to withdrawal of service by the end of the month if the dispute persisted.

“While we hoped to reach a fair collective bargaining agreement without service interruption, First Transit had another idea. said like this.

“When this job action began, we made it clear that we wanted to cause as little inconvenience as possible to the riding public. We wanted to make sure residents were well informed of what was going to happen.”

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Global News is seeking comment from First Transit.

Members of CUPE 561 have not signed a contract since March 31, 2020, according to the union, but the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed negotiations until late spring 2022.

The union claims its members are paid up to 32% less than members in Metro Vancouver and have no pension scheme.

Workers are planning a rally outside Abbotsford City Hall at noon Monday.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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