Oakville Transit strikes moves into Day 11 with no end in sight


Published February 28, 2022 at 12:17 pm

Because of the ongoing strike, Oakville Transit's specialized care-A-van service is operating, but only for medical trips with dialysis appointments given first priority. OAKVILLE TRANSIT PHOTO

It’s Day 11 of the Oakville Transit Strike and the two sides are no closer to a solution than when members walked out on Feb. 17.

Both the Town and Unifor Local 1256, the union that represents the more than 180 bus drivers and maintenance workers, have expressed a willingness to continue negotiations, but there’s been no agreement as to when to resume talks.

“At this time there are no scheduled talks between the two parties, but the Town remains willing and prepared to meet with the union to reach a resolution and get Oakville Transit services back on the road,” said Phoebe Fu, Commissioner, Community Infrastructure.

The collective agreement with the union expired on Jan. 31, 2022.

The Town said its bargaining team and the union had reached a tentative settlement on Feb. 8, however despite being recommended by members of the union’s bargaining team the settlement was rejected by its members in a ratification vote on Sunday (Feb. 13).

The union members are seeking higher wages, top-up pay for drivers who, if they work 38 hours, will be topped up to 40 hours, better language for casual workers and more paid sick days.

The strike has been frustrating for local residents who usually rely on Oakville Transit to get to work, school and necessary appointments.

The Town says it recognizes that the strike is disruptive and inconvenient to local residents.

“I get a lot of calls from seniors, ‘Hey, legislate them back.’ Obviously a lot of people aren’t really aware of what our powers are at the municipality, but we need a partner to barter with and I think that’s the frustration a little bit,” said Oakville Ward 1 Regional and Town Councillor Sean O’Meara.

“They have a legal right to be doing what they’re doing and while I respect that there are a lot of people who are on the margins of our community who rely on transit and we can’t lose focus of those people.”

Currently, all regular bus and Home to Hub service is suspended.

The specialized care-A-van service is operating, but only for medical trips with dialysis appointments given first priority.

Given the staff shortage, Oakville Transit say it can’t promise same-day trips for medical appointments (other than dialysis) and will work with customers to find a time that works best for them.

To book a trip, customers can contact 905-337-9222.

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