HandyDART riders will see no service disruption, after a tentative agreement was reached Wednesday between the union representing drivers and the employer, First Canada, a contractor to BC Transit. News file photo

Victoria handyDART strike averted

Union recommends approval of tentative agreement, members to vote next Monday

The union that represents BC Transit’s handyDART operators has reached a tentative agreement with BC Transit contractor First Canada, effectively avoiding a strike that was scheduled to begin tomorrow morning (Jan. 25).

HandyDART provides transit services to people with disabilities in Victoria. The service has 102 drivers who man about 50 handyDART vans. Members will vote on the tentative agreement on Monday and Unifor Local 333’s bargaining committee unanimously recommending acceptance, according to local president Ben Williams.

“We are very pleased to be able to avoid the disruption that job action would have unfortunately caused for our valued handyDART riders, and appreciate their strong support for our members in these negotiations,” he said.

The sticking point in negotiations was a dispute over giving some full-time workers permanent status, and the benefits that entails. That issue, affecting 25 of the 102 handyDART drivers in the region, has been resolved, said Williams.

Unifor will not be releasing the details of the proposed agreement until after the vote, but given the union’s recommendation, it is likely to be ratified.

editor@vicnews.com

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