“The city has entered into mediation in good faith, although it is at an impasse with the union,” said Michael Jack, Chief Corporate Services Officer. “Unfortunately, after two days of mediation and despite the fact that the city has submitted an offer of settlement, the parties are no closer to an interim agreement. We assume that the ATU will strike during the fall schedule when it is most troublesome for passengers and residents. The ATU had previously proposed an overall wage increase of 2.75 per cent per year over four years. This increase would eclipse every annual salary increase negotiated over the past three years with each union in the City of Winnipeg, including the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the United Firefighters of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Senior Officers Association, the Winnipeg Police Association, the Winnipeg Police Officers Association and the Manitoba Employees Union. It should be noted that the first general increase in wages took place after 12 months in the duration of each collective agreement. Last Thursday`s COUNTER-offer from the ATU reconditioned most of its previous proposals, the variants of which, under a four-year contract, will cost taxpayers up to $50 million. Funding a scheme of this magnitude would require a significant increase in property taxes, transit charges or both. The ATU is still in a legal strike position and has carried out a legal strike, which means that its collective agreement is officially terminated. The City of Winnipeg will now consider all options available to the employer under the Labour Relations Act to close this file. While several working conditions proposed by the union in mediation have progressed, the parties are very far apart with respect to general wage increases and the union`s request to increase the mechanics` wages by $10 per hour.
The city`s latest proposal calls for an overall wage increase of 2 per cent per year in January 2020, 2021, 2022 and a 2 per cent increase at March 31, 2023. The proposed duration of the collective agreement is four years and two months. The ATU has been on a legal strike since 31 May 2019. The overtime ban introduced by the ATU in June 2019 was consistent with the definition of a strike under the Labour Relations Act. This ATU strike officially ended the old collective agreement. However, so far, the city has operated according to the old collective agreement. It is also important to note that, in an earlier collective agreement, ATU negotiated a position called payment in The Place of Rest Breaks.