City of Peterborough and transit union local reach tentative agreement on new contract

A transit strike on Saturday has been averted, although it could still happen on Monday if transit workers vote to reject the deal

A Peterborough Transit bus. (Photo: City of Peterborough)

A day before a possible strike, the City of Peterborough and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1320 have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract — although a strike could still happen if transit workers vote against the deal.

“I am pleased to announce that after long negotiations and unwavering solidarity from our members, we have reached a tentative agreement that not only honours the hard work and dedication of our workforce but also sets a benchmark for fair and equitable treatment,” said ATU Local 1320 president Cory Macleod in a media release on Friday (November 17).

ATU Local 1320 represents 103 full-time and around 20 part-time transit workers. The city and the union have began bargaining since May, including meetings with a provincially appointed conciliation officer. Contract talks broke down mid-September, with union members voting 99 per cent in favour of a strike mandate.

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On November 1, the city received an official notice from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, known as a no board report, that started a countdown toward a legal strike or lockout date as of 12:01 a.m. on Saturday (November 18).

The two sides scheduled two days of bargaining meetings this week, resulting in the tentative agreement.

“Thank you to city council, our city bargaining team and ATU Local 1320 leadership for their dedication to achieving a fair and reasonable agreement for Peterborough Transit workers and for our community,” said Jasbir Raina, the City of Peterborough’s chief administrative officer, in a media release.

The union membership is expected to vote on the agreement at a ratification meeting on Saturday. If members reject the agreement, a strike will happen on Monday. Otherwise, the deal will be ratified by city council as soon as possible.

Details of the agreement will be released after the union’s ratification meeting.