Toronto School Bus Drivers Vote to Strike, if Necessary

April 21, 2011, 2:15 PM EST

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CAW members who drive school buses for the Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board and the Toronto French School Board have voted 91 per cent in favour of taking strike action, if a fair and equitable first contract cannot be reached.

The vote was held yesterday evening. Drivers will be in a legal strike position as of April 28, but may extend the deadline depending on the pace and success of negotiations.

CAW Local 4268 has been in negotiations with Stock Transportation (contract service provider for the school boards) since mid September, with little progress in reaching a fair contract.

"We are extremely hopeful that a strike can be avoided," said Debbie Montgomery, CAW Local 4268 president. "Our members deserve to be treated fairly, they provide a crucial service for the city's education system, including for the largest school board in the country."

CAW members provide service in the north and eastern areas of the city to all three school boards.

"We do not want a disruption in service for Toronto students. If that does occur though, it will be caused by the unwillingness of Stock Transportation to negotiate an equitable collective agreement for our members," said Montgomery.

Outstanding issues include compensation related to hours of service.

The union encourages the parents of children who use the bus service to contact the school board and Stock Transportation with their concerns.

CAW Local 4268 represents approximately 600 workers at Stock Transportation.

The CAW represents 17,000 members in the road transportation sector, including thousands of school bus drivers and public transit operators.

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