NEWS RELEASE: handyDART Driver and Staff reach tentative agreement with Employer

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Greater Victoria handyDART bus drivers and staff in Unifor Local 333 reach tentative agreement with employer Canada First; 12% wage increase over 5 years, 33% increase in RRSP contributions over 5 years and contract language improvements; ratification vote Wednesday February 5, 2014.

VICTORIA – The union for Greater Victoria handyDART drivers and staff has reached a tentative agreement with employer Canada First that will see a 12% wage increase over five years, a 33% increase in RRSP contributions and contract language improvements if ratified.

Unifor Local 333 [formerly CAW Local 333] President Ben Williams says the tentative agreement came after members approved a renewed strike mandate last week and both sides returned to the table today.

“We believe this is a win-win agreement for the drivers and staff, the employer and most of all for people with disabilities who depend on handyDART services to travel in the Greater Victoria region,” Williams said.  “Now we have long-term stability to provide needed transportation and a contract that, if ratified, will ensure well trained and very experienced handyDART workers are helping their riders get around.”

Williams said a ratification vote will be held on Wednesday February 5, 2014 and the union bargaining committee is recommending acceptance to the 90 members.

The proposed wage increases will be 2% retroactive to April 1, 2013; 2% in April 2014; 2% in April 2015; 3% in April 2016 and 3% in April 2017, Williams said.  RRSP contributions would also rise by 33% over the five years of the contract, he added.

First Canada works under contract to BC Transit, the provincial crown corporation, in Victoria and other BC locations, Williams said.