June 26, 2019

Winnipeg
27° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

After contracting out failed, WSD bus drivers get 22.7% raise

School bus drivers in the Winnipeg School Division are getting an overall 22.7 per cent raise.

DAVID LIPNOWSKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

School bus drivers in the Winnipeg School Division are getting an overall 22.7 per cent raise.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/11/2015 (1329 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeg School Division trustees have awarded school bus drivers an immediate raise of 15.7 per cent.

In a closed-door meeting Monday night, trustees approved a contract with Local 32 of the United Food and Commercial Workers that runs till June 30, 2019, with an overall increase of 22.7 per cent.

The division says the raises are to bring bus driver salaries closer to the city average.

The board and division could not immediately release salary levels in the new deal, which is the first collective agreement since the division ended contracting out about two years ago.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/11/2015 (1329 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeg School Division trustees have awarded school bus drivers an immediate raise of 15.7 per cent.

In a closed-door meeting Monday night, trustees approved a contract with Local 32 of the United Food and Commercial Workers that runs till June 30, 2019, with an overall increase of 22.7 per cent.

The division says the raises are to bring bus driver salaries closer to the city average.

The board and division could not immediately release salary levels in the new deal, which is the first collective agreement since the division ended contracting out about two years ago.

Trustee Chris Broughton revealed the key percentages after insisting on debating the decision when the board ended its closed-door session to approve its decision.

"I’m quite concerned about this. This will cost us nearly $3 million," said Broughton, who said the negotiating committee exceeded its mandate, and the board had not been made aware of promises made to the union by the previous board, which had six trustees who didn’t run in the last election.

Was it rushed?

Broughton accused the board and union of trying to get the deal done before trustee Mike Babinsky returned from a month-long suspension Tuesday morning. "It appears this item was rushed," Broughton said.

Babinsky was barred from board and committee meetings for a month after an independent investigation concluded he had harassed a senior employee.

Babinsky had unsuccessfully called on police and justice officials to step in over his allegations bus drivers were leaving kids standing at bus stops in freezing weather. He was unhappy the administration had handed drivers a two per cent raise after ending contracting out of bus operations.

Broughton and Dean Koshelanyk voted against the deal. Babinsky was absent.

Finance chairwoman Sherri Rollins and board chairman Mark Wasyliw argued the jump in pay is necessary to remain competitive with other school divisions and to retain bus drivers.

Wasyliw said the private operator underpaid its drivers and gave them fewer benefits.

"It’s always difficult when you’re entering into a new agreement... being competitive in a city that has other divisions they could work for," Rollins said.

"We hope it will mark the call to bus drivers to come to this school division."

Wasyliw said Wednesday the division had to catch up to the city’s other school divisions, and the majority of trustees opted to make the jump to the city-wide average salary in the first year of the deal.

"We’ve had a chronic problem because we had a privatized operator before," Wasyliw said.

"They missed routes, they didn’t pick up kids, they didn’t show up," he said.

The division didn’t control those drivers, so the company could move them at a moment’s notice or drivers could leave when a better job opened up.

Even with that two per cent pay hike immediately after contracting out ended, nine school bus drivers left in the last school year, he said.

Broughton said the experience with the private contractor has nothing to do with collective bargaining.

Not a precedent

"I have no problems with bus drivers having a competitive salary. It’s about how the Winnipeg School Division does business," he said Wednesday.

"You’d have to look at the unique circumstances," Wasyliw said. "(Broughton) would have liked to see more of a gradual increase. How many problems would we have, how many drivers would we have lost? It’s hard to recruit drivers."

Wasyliw said the 15.7 per cent should not be a precedent for other bargaining units, which will recognize why the division gave bus drivers such a high raise.

Countered Broughton: "They’d be silly not to" use it in their next round of bargaining.

While the division has been dominated by a left-wing, pro-union majority for decades, Wasyliw said a former board had contracted out to keep taxes down in the face of what he said was provincial underfunding.

"Boards were very deferential to administrators’ recommendations," he said.

But going private isn’t the answer, despite the lower costs, Wasyliw said: "The private sector can’t provide the level of service the public demands."

nick.martin@freepress.mb.ca

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us