VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Talks to create a new contract for SkyTrain workers have reached an impasse.
Negotiations broke down Tuesday after CUPE 7000, which represents around 900 SkyTrain employees, was unable to reach an agreement with employer BC Rapid Transit Company after more than 40 bargaining sessions.
Ongoing action by transit workers with Coast Mountain Bus Company is unrelated, as they are represented by a different union, Unifor.
Talks to get about 900 #SkyTrain workers a new contract have reached an impasse, with discussions breaking off yesterday. CUPE 7000 says it's been left with no choice but to ask their members about next steps. Some key issues included inadequate staffing, forced OT & fair wages.
— Ria Renouf (@riarenouf) November 13, 2019
CUPE 7000 President Tony Rebelo says workers want to see changes to wages, the sick plan, staffing levels, and overtime, but the company’s latest offer isn’t addressing their issues.
“We reached an impasse at the table yesterday late afternoon, and we still have some big issues on the table we’re apart on,” he says.
You may be thinking worst-case-scenario right now in light of the #BusStrike, but CUPE 700's president says he doesn't want people to worry about them striking as well – members haven't met to discuss the latest offer from the employer or discussed next steps yet. @NEWS1130
— Lauren Boothby (@laurby) November 13, 2019
Members are meeting Thursday and Monday where workers will decide what will happen next.
But Rebelo says he would like to reassure transit users that there aren’t any plans to see service disruptions on SkyTrain.
“Our goal is to get a deal done without any kind of service disruption to our passengers,” he says. “We want to make sure that our passengers get to where they need to get to safely and quickly as they do every day on SkyTrain, and want to continue to do so while we deal with this bargaining issue.
“They shouldn’t be worried about a strike on SkyTrain right now, no. That is not in our short view right now. We are still committed to get a deal done at the table without service disruption.”
CUPE 700 represents around 900 SkyTrain workers, including attendants, control operators, administration, maintenance and technical staff.