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Strike averted: Metro Vancouver transit supervisors, bus company accept mediator's plan

CUPE 4500 and Coast Mountain Bus Company have accepted recommendations proposed by special mediator Vince Ready, avoiding a 72-hour strike planned for this weekend.
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CUPE Local 4500 members picket outside the SeaBus terminal in North Vancouver, Jan. 22, 2024, following a strike targeting TransLink’s Coast Mountain Bus Company. | Paul McGrath / North Shore News

Coast Mountain Bus Company and the union representing Metro Vancouver transit supervisors say they will accept the recommendations proposed by mediator Vince Ready.

This means transit commuters will not be impacted by any further strikes, as CUPE 4500 had been planning.

“CUPE 4500 thanks Mr. Ready for his thorough and comprehensive review of the issues at the heart of this dispute. His recommendations show there are compromises that can be made on both sides of the bargaining table,” says Liam O’Neill, spokesperson for CUPE 4500.

“While they don’t completely address our issues, these recommendations are clearly our best path towards a mutually acceptable settlement. We are calling on Coast Mountain to accept them and avoid any further disruptions for transit users,” O’Neill said Thursday afternoon.

Shortly after, the bus company, a subsidiary of TransLink, also stated it agreed to the terms.

"We accept the recommendations put forward and thank Mr. Ready for his work," said president and general manager Michael McDaniel.

"As the special mediator noted, labour disruptions in the Lower Mainland’s public transportation system lead to significant public hardship and negative economic impacts. Without public transportation, commuters are left stranded, unable to get to work, school or medical appointments. For many, paying significant costs for alternative forms of transportation isn’t an option, and without public transit there is increased traffic and congestion for many.

"As recommended by the special mediator, the next step will be to sign a memorandum of agreement before the ratification process," said McDaniel.

Terms of the contract have not yet been disclosed.

Ready was appointed special mediator last week after the union shut down services across the region for two days following a collapse in negotiations for a new deal.

The union had sought a 25 per cent wage increase over three years whereas the company offered 13.5 per cent.

gwood@glaciermedia.ca