The Beach Mountain Bus Company issued a statement in response to a statement from Unifor, the union representing bus operators and transit maintenance workers, to move the next steps in a transit strike Friday.
The FBI says it is disappointed that a deal on the bargaining table cannot be reached and that its "improved" proposal includes guaranteed recovery time, as well as previously offered pay hikes. It further notes that these wage increases are more generous than other public sector settlements in British Columbia.
"This improved proposal is directly focused on working conditions. This is the exact issue that the union has not asked us to improve on, ”says Michael McDaniel, president of the Coast Mountain Bus Company.
"The pay and over pay increases we have already offered will be detrimental to customer service. We need a deal that is realistic. It is time for the union to be ready to compromise. "
The statement points to the fact that the latest offer includes new measures to address working conditions, something Unifor said is a top priority.
The FMCB says that once the company's proposal is fully implemented:
- Transit operators would be at least guaranteed 40 minutes recovery time for each scheduled shift.
- In regular road conditions, transit operators would be pay double time for every minute of recovery time they do not receive less than 40 minutes.
The FMCB says the offer also clarifies that "operators are allowed to use the bathroom when needed" and that is based on improvements in working conditions and salaries in previous proposals.
- The highest annual salary for operators will increase by about $ 6,100 over the next four years, bringing their annual salary $ 69,900
- The highest annual salary for skilled trades will increase by about $ 10,000 over the next four years, bringing their annual salary $ 88,000
The FMCB says it wants the union to be more realistic about wage demands because the current offer "far exceeds the public sector settlements in British Columbia".
Unifor chief negotiator Gavin McGarigl and other Unifor officials held a news conference in New Westminster earlier this week.
MacGarrigl mentioned how, "TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond can see his salary increase by 25% to nearly $ 500,000 a year, while the head of the Toronto Transit Commission earns $ 150,000 less each year."
"CMBC President Michael McDaniel has been in the job for about a year and a half and can see his salary up 18% to about $ 372,000," he said.
McGarrigle added that "both transit directors do more than the prime minister."
"Translink just doesn't treat its workers fairly. They divide their workers into separate companies and tell skilled trades not to compare their salaries with each other. In the employer's mind, comparing Toronto's transit system is good for executive salaries, but it's kind of an offside for transit operators, "said Gavin McGarigl.