Negotiations dead-ended between bus drivers and SEGESCO

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Maryam Amini

OUTAOUIS – A zoom meeting between representatives of SEGESCO, the company that owns the Outaouais’ school bus lines, and Teamsters Local 106, the union representing Outaouais school bus drivers, was held May 23 in an attempt to further negotiations related to the school bus strike that has been ongoing since May 1. About 2,300 Outaouais students are affected by the strike, making it difficult for many parents to get their children to school. Salary is the main issue.

Tara Betts, Teamsters Local 106 representative, told the Journal about the zoom meeting: “Denis Oullette was our representative and Lyn Langois was present from SEGESCO. There was also one mediator. SEGESCO doesn’t want to change anything and didn’t offer anything new during the meeting. We are back to the first step in April. We’re hoping they will want to negotiate something so students can go to school easily again, but if they don’t offer anything new, we continue the strike. There’s no other way,” she explained.

Marc-Andre Gauthier, the communications director of Teamsters local 106 union, said the conference was a spokesperson meeting that happens at the beginning of any conciliation.

“Basically, it’s the meeting where the conciliator is introduced to the people negotiating on behalf of the union and the company. Further negotiations with Autobus Lasalle will take place soon. Let’s hope they come to it in good faith,” he said.

The Journal contacted SEGESCO for a comment, but they did not respond.

Meanwhile, the Centre de services scolaire des Hauts Bois de l’Outaouais (CSSHBO) is offering parents of students within the board reimbursement for costs incurred in transporting their children to school; $0.52 per km. To receive the reimbursement, parents can fill out the related form on the CSSHBO website.