Statement from CAO Ann Pappert
RE: ATU Local 1189 members have rejected the offer ratified by Guelph City Council and backed by union executive. As a result, Guelph Transit service is suspended as of 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 21 and the members of ATU Local 1189 have been locked out.
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I am extremely disappointed by ATU’s rejection of the offer ratified by our City Council.
Every effort has been made to avoid a disruption to our Transit services. We had reached a tentative agreement with ATU leadership; however, it is clear that the union’s membership remains unmoved.
As a result, Guelph’s transit riders will be left without service until the agreement is reconsidered and accepted by the ATU membership. We know this will create enormous hardship for transit riders and our community. I’m equally concerned for our Transit employees, because this will be a hardship for them and their families.
During this negotiation, the City has been consistently transparent and has shared information at every milestone while respecting the bargaining process.
On Saturday, July 12, we were approached by the union president and agreed to meet the following day. We had a shared interest to avoid the lockout and resulting hardship to those who rely on public transit to navigate their lives.
Both teams worked throughout the day. The negotiations were respectful, productive and focused on the best interests of our employees and the community. A tentative agreement was signed increasing wages from 6.4% over four years to 6.8%—still within Council’s negotiating envelope.
For the City to move any further would drive transit rates up, along with property taxes to an unacceptable level from one service, entrenching that hardship long-term. We also readily addressed the ATU’s publicly stated main concern over workplace respect and working conditions, which fall outside the confines of a collective bargaining agreement.
Guelph City Council ratified the agreement shortly thereafter on Monday July 14th. From that time, ATU leadership has followed through on their legal obligation to recommend the tentative agreement to their members.
Now that ATU members have chosen not to ratify the offer, the hardship to our riders will be significant.
Therefore, we are announcing refunds for the second half of July for all pass holders, not just affordable passes, and will share the details soon. Through a contractor, mobility service will operate for pre-booked medical services only. But we know that won’t make up for the inconvenience.
Visit guelphtransit.ca for updates about picket lines, service disruptions and transportation alternatives.
We’ll let you know the minute there is movement.
Chief Administrative Officer