Striking school bus workers reach settlement

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Lynne Lavery

MRC PONTIAC ­– After nearly two months on the picket line, an agreement was reached, Monday, June 26, when local school bus drivers, who are members of the Teamsters Union, voted on the revised offer submitted to them by Sogesco, the owner of Autobus Lasalle. According to Tara Betts, the local Union representative, 81% of the members who voted accepted the new offer.  The drivers had been without a contract since last year making the 6 year contract good until 2028.

Marc-Andé Gauthier, the Teamster’s Director of Communications, told the Journal the accepted offer was similar to one accepted by Autobus Bigras drivers in Gatineau. It includes a wage increase to $26 an hour and will be indexed to inflation over the next 5 years. As well, a sticking point over eligibility to EI benefits during the summer months was resolved; even though the drivers may not have worked the required 700 hours to collect EI due to the strike, the contract will guarantee 700 hours of work, making them eligible for the benefits.  “We’re all very happy,” concluded Gauthier.