Winnipeg School Division Bus Drivers are Back Behind the Wheel

After nearly three months of being on strike, on November 9, UFCW 832 applied to the Manitoba Labour Board (MLB) to have the Winnipeg School Bus Driver strike end using the settlement process outlined in the Labour Relations Act. Last week the MLB confirmed that process would go forward and the Winnipeg School Division Bus Drivers returned to work earlier this week.

A deal has not yet been finalized through the settlement process and will be worked out over the next 60-90 days.

“The School Division was absolutely not prepared to come back to the bargaining table to work on a resolve to this strike,” said Bea Bruske, UFCW Local 832 Secretary-Treasurer. “Without the settlement process in the Labour Relations Act this strike would go on much longer. The School Division would have to be prepared to bargain a fair contract or agree to go to binding arbitration, and as we’ve already seen, this employer would rather deny parents of bus service instead of bargaining or letting a third party resolve this strike.”

The Union had proposed binding arbitration at the end of September, however, the School Division refused. Under the current Labour Relations Act, after 60 days the Union was able to apply to have the settlement process imposed by the MLB. Bus drivers have returned to work, and the Union will go through the settlement process with the employer to get a new collective agreement imposed.

It’s important to highlight that this settlement process is slated to be removed from the Labour Relations Act next year by the Pallister government. If this strike had taken place without this settlement process in place, there would be no end in sight for bus drivers and parents.

UFCW 832 represents over 90 bus drivers for Winnipeg School Division. Their contract expired on June 30, 2019.