NS: Halifax transit strike — now it's 'wait and see'

Jennifer Taplin
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Metro Halifax

The tentative deal reached Sunday by Metro Transit and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 508 will need a vote by union members and a ratification by council — both expected to happen on Tuesday.

Transit workers on the picket line at Halifax Grand Parade last month.

[HALIFAX, NS] — Buses and ferries could be operating by the end of the week if a tentative contract is approved.

After three long days of negotiations, Metro Transit and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 508 came to a tentative deal at shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday night. 

The deal will need a vote by union members and a ratification by council — both expected to happen on Tuesday. The union executive is recommending the deal.

“To the public, we’re getting them back,” Mayor Peter Kelly told reporters. “Hopefully the buses will be back on the road by Friday and the ferry, depending on who’s in and who’s out, maybe a bit before.”

Ken Wilson, union local president, didn’t talk to reporters much before he left the Holiday Inn in Dartmouth for the last time Sunday night.

“I’m happy with it,” he said. “It’s not the best deal but I think it’s liveable and manageable. I can’t discuss it with the media right now because the membership has the right to hear it first.”

Eddie Robar, director of Metro Transit, said there was give and take throughout the process. He wouldn’t release any details either, including the length of the tentative contract until after it’s ratified.

“It’s been a long few days but it’s been worth it so we’re happy to be finished,” Robar said.

There were some face-to-face meetings as well as back and forth through the provincially-appointed conciliator.

Robar said he’s optimistic the deal will pass the union's ratification vote since it was unanimously supported. Kelly added the deal was in the parameters set by council, so hopefully it will pass there as well.

Kelly has called council in for a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday which will include a vote on ratifying the deal.

Organizations: Metro Transit and Amalgamated Transit Union Local, Holiday Inn

Geographic location: Halifax, Dartmouth

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