TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2023 /CNW/ – Unifor members of First Student Bus – which provides school bus services for English and French language schools in the Cornwall, Ont. region – voted 94% in favour of strike action on Nov. 14.
“School bus operators are an integral part of the public education system with important responsibilities and yet they continue to be paid less than other professional drivers,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “They deserve decent pay and working conditions and the union is determined to fight for them.”
The unit is comprised of 65 members of Local 4266, who are mostly drivers and two mechanics.
Their collective agreement expired on June 30. Members will be in a legal strike position as of Nov. 29 at 12:01 a.m.
The First Student drivers have been taken backwards with the loss of several benefits, including 10 paid sick days, when the company switched from being regulated from a federal jurisdiction to provincial.
“Our school bus driver members have been undervalued and underpaid,” said Unifor Local 4266 President André Desjardins. “They are vital to the families in their communities and deserve respect from their employer.”
Unifor represents 20,000 members across the road transportation sector, with over 2,000 of them school bus drivers.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad and strives to create progressive change for a better future.