Bus drivers for the Winnipeg School Division to take to the picket lines

By | September 9, 2020

WINNIPEG — Bus drivers for the Winnipeg School Division (WSD) are set to hit the picket lines on Wednesday morning as the strike continues.

The drivers went on strike on Tuesday, Sept. 8, after months of negotiations between the division and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 832 (UFCW), the union representing the drivers.

This means there will not be any bus transportation in the division, except for wheelchair services.

According to the union, the main issue is Bill-28, which was passed in 2017, but never proclaimed into law.

The bill called for a two-year wage freeze for public sector workers, followed by a 0.75 per cent increase in the third year, and a one per cent increase in the fourth year.

A Manitoba judge ruled against the bill in June 2020, and the Manitoba government is appealing the decision.

Radean Carter, senior information officer for the division, said it’s willing to negotiate, but not on wages.

“Winnipeg School Division has offered as much as it can actually afford to offer,” Carter said.

“We have to be, understandably, fiscally responsible at any time, but especially right now with a lot of extra expenses.”

Carter noted the division is offering several contingency plans for students impacted by the strike, including before-and-after school programs, virtual learning, and allowing students who are bussed to language programs to attend their catchment English-language schools during the strike.

– With files from CTV’s Mike Arsenault.

Bus drivers at the picket linesSource: Gary Robson/CTV News

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