No Transit Strike!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A tentative agreement between the City of Guelph and the nearly 140 union workers of Guelph Transit was reached at around 2:20 am last night after a provincial mediator was called in to help negotiate. The strike deadline had been pushed back a day so that negotiations could continue in good faith, it was originally set to start Thursday at 12:01 am. The details of the agreement won't be released until both sides have ratified the agreement, but for now happy riding.
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From Wednesday October 11th,

As many of you are aware, Guelph Transit was under a strike deadline of midnight tonight should a new contract with the city not be reached. As it stands at 7 pm on Wednesday night, transit workers will not go on strike - for a day at least.

A new strike deadline of Friday morning has been declared after both sides requested a provincial mediator who has proposed a media blackout until 2 pm tomorrow when we should find out how talks are proceeding. The main issues are wages, scheduling, and working conditions. The 140 drivers, dispatchers and mechanics have been working without a contract since their old one expired on September 30th.

The U of G administration offered some tips and advice for transit dependent students, faculty and staff should it come down to a strike. In a press release the Communications and Public Affairs office had this to say...

"Both sides have indicated a willingness to continue talks until Friday in hopes of reaching a settlement, but we want to ensure that students, faculty and staff are aware of the situation in the event that it becomes necessary to make alternative arrangements for travel to and from campus.

If there is a transit strike, there would be limited public transportation throughout the city of Guelph, with only disabled transportation services continuing. The University is ready to deal with the situation and, in the event of a strike, will work hard to minimize the effect on students, staff, faculty and other members of the campus community.

U of G would remain open and continue to provide services. Students, faculty and staff who use public transportation would be encouraged to carpool to campus, and an online “carpool information centre” (they mean the Cannon's ride board) has been set up by the Central Student Association.

The University would also make more parking available on campus by waiving requirements for parking permits for the duration of the transit strike (except in premium, metered, medical and disabled parking spaces) and by opening, temporary parking lots.

Updates and additional information will be posted on the University website as it becomes available. People are encouraged to check the website in the morning prior to leaving for work or school, and are also encouraged to monitor the Guelph Transit website regularly."

Reportedly, both transit officials and the city are cautiously optimistic that a strike can be averted. In the event of a strike though, the Cannon will be offering help through the ride board to coordinate car pools for students. Stay tuned for more info and keep your fingers crossed.

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