Tri-Board school transportation workers will address Limestone District School Board trustees today, in advance of April 3 strike deadline
KINGSTON, ON – Representatives of the seven employees who work for Tri-Board Student Transportation Services plan to ask Limestone District School Board Trustees to intervene, at their meeting tonight, to avoid a strike.
The affected workers are members of CUPE Local 1479, and they are poised to walk off the job in a legal strike on Monday, April 3 if their proposal for a fair wage increase is not accepted.
They are on the agenda to plead their case at Wednesday night’s meeting at 6:00 p.m. at the Limestone board offices (220 Portsmouth Avenue, Kingston).
Also on the agenda to speak are members of CUPE Local 1480 – education workers like educational assistants, early childhood educators, custodians, clerical staff – a majority of whom have endorsed a letter to Trustees asking them to pay the Tri-Board workers a fair wage.
“Tri-Board transportation planners are the lowest-paid of similar transportation planners across the province, earning 19% below the average,” said Liz James, President of CUPE Local 1479. “Trustees should use their power to direct Tri-Board to pay their workers a fair wage. It would cost them a tiny fraction of their budget.”
Tri-Board employees and CUPE Locals 1479 and 1022 – representing education support workers at Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic DSB and Hastings & Prince Edward DSB respectively – requested to speak at the other two transportation consortium controlling school boards’ Trustee meetings this week, but were denied permission to make delegations.
The strike deadline is 12:01 a.m. Monday, April 3. The employer and workers’ bargaining committee have not scheduled a negotiating date before then but are working with a mediator appointed by the Ministry of Labour.
- Tri-Board is a transportation consortium that is jointly controlled by Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB), Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) and Limestone District School Board (LDSB).
- Tri-Board transportation planners design over 620 school bus routes in the Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, Prince Edward, and Hastings counties of eastern Ontario.
- The cost to settle this dispute and avoid a disruptive strike is a tiny fraction of each of the three school boards’ budgets: less than $20,000 or only about $6,500 per school board – less than three one-thousandths of one percent of each board’s budget.
|School Board||2022 Budget||1/3 of Wage Adjustment||Percentage of Total Budget|
|Limestone DSB||$270 million||$6,500||0.0024%|
|Hastings and Prince Edward DSB||$222 million||$6,500||0.0029%|
|Algonquin and Lakeshore CDSB||$177 million||$6,500||0.0037%|
- The Tri-Board managers filed for conciliation after only two days of bargaining last July. Three days of negotiations, with a conciliation officer appointed by the Ontario Ministry of Labour acting as an intermediary, took place January and February 2023. A fourth conciliation meeting between the two parties on March 17 did not result in an agreement.
- A fair labour market adjustment wage increase is the major outstanding issue. The workers have already voted down a tentative agreement the included a lower wage offer from the employer.
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