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Transit union members vote to ratify new contract

Union president Ken Wilson said he can't get into the specific details at this time but 98.5 per cent of members were in favour of the agreement
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A Halifax Transit bus (Meghan Groff/HalifaxToday.ca)

It's expected to be business as usual for transit users after members of the union representing Halifax Transit drivers and ferry workers ratified a new deal.

Member of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 508 voted in favour of the contract with the municipality over the weekend after months of back and forth negotiations.

Union president Ken Wilson said he can't get into the specific details at this time but 98.5 per cent voted in favour of the agreement. 

"We were quite happy, the membership seemed pleased," he told NEWS 95.7's The Rick Howe Show. "You know, you can always do better, but understanding the environment we're in today, the membership overwhelmingly accepted the offer that we brought back to them."

The deal came together with the help of a conciliator and Wilson said, while wages were a part of the talks, they weren't the main issue.

"There were other contentious items on the table that took ... 21 months of conciliation to get them off the table and our membership was content with what they saw Sunday."

Halifax council will now have to sign off on the deal and Wilson said that could happen as early as next week.

"It was the employer's final offer that we accepted, so how can council not ratify it? It was their offer," he stated. 

Transit workers last went on strike in 2012, a labour dispute that left Haligonians without service for 43 days.

Wilson said this is a 60-month deal which, if approved by Halifax Regional Municipality, would bring labour peace to transit users until August 31st, 2021.

With files from Meghan Groff




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