The union representing Saskatoon transit workers said it won’t take any job action until at least Friday.
The news comes in the wake of contract talks between the city and the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) union.
In a release to members late Monday, ATU said it will wait for the outcome of a tribunal hearing where the union’s essential services agreement will be discussed.
The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday.
“We will keep you apprised as events unfold, but as of now there will be no forms of job action initiated by your executive,” the release stated.
Previously, Union local president Jim Yakubowski said he would inform city management in advance of any job action.
Union leadership also said other forms of job action—a work-to-rule campaign, an overtime ban or a partial withholding of service, among others—would come ahead of a full-on walkout.
The union issued a 48-hour strike notice last Friday. The city said the sides bargained for most of the weekend and made progress towards a collective agreement.
Saskatoon Transit workers have been without a contract since 2012.
‘Better deal than anyone else’
In a news release Monday, the city said wages and other issues have been resolved with the exception of one major point.
“All that remains between us reaching an agreement is the Transit union’s demand for a better pension deal than anyone else received,” the release stated.
The city stressed employees still have their pensions, which will continue to be part of a “very good plan.”
As for what’s next, the city said it cannot move on the pension plan.
“We have a responsibility to current transit employees, others in the pension plan and tax payers—the Transit union executive doesn’t.”
In the same release, Catherine Gryba, the general manager of corporate performance, said the city remains open to discussion and is interested in reaching an agreement.
“A ten per cent wage increase is very fair and in the current economic downturn, it’s certainly above what many workers would receive elsewhere in the marketplace,” Gryba said.
The city is proposing to pay employees who obtain the Professional Bus Operators Certification an additional $0.45/hour effective the first month after ratification.
The move would make those operators the highest paid of Regina and Winnipeg at $26.78 per hour. Based on 40 hours per week, it makes an annual income of $55,702.40.