City transit workers will get a series of three per cent salary increases as part of a new contract that runs to April 2010.
The deal reached last week and ratified by both sides since then includes a 3% pay hike on Oct. 1, 2006, another on Oct. 1, 2007, another on Oct. 1, 2008, another on Oct. 1, 2009 and a final 3% increase on April 1, 2010. Benefit improvements were also part of the settlement, said a city hall news release on Tuesday.
City council approved the deal Monday evening with Local 1189 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents about 140 drivers, mechanics, dispatchers and other Guelph Transit workers.
The deal reached at 2:20 a.m. Oct. 12, after a strike deadline was extended at the suggestion of a Ministry of Labour mediator, averted a threatened shutdown of city bus service.
Local union president Stephen MacNeil had said one issue in negotiations was union concerns about bus runs being too long and drivers not having enough time to do them.
Transit manager Randall French said Wednesday that Guelph Transit's scheduling committee, which includes drivers and supervisors, will continue to work on solutions to the bus system's "growing pains."
Routes might not have got much longer, but bus drivers are having to cope with more traffic as well as more lights and other traffic control measures, he said.
Making routes shorter or adding more running time are two possible solutions, but both pose their own difficulties for Guelph Transit. "There has to be a comfortable blend of the two to see how we can come up with a system that best serves the community," French said in an interview.
"There will be changes, and they will be phased in over time and addressed in a staged approach," he said.