‘Such a hard time:’ Hamilton Mayor ‘disappointed’ transit deal not reached
Published November 8, 2023 at 7:08 pm
Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath is “dissappointed” the city and and the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 107 could not come to an agreement, noting it will make “such a hard time” more difficult for many.
Last minute talks between the city and the ATU, which represents 800 Hamilton transit workers, broke down just ahead of a Nov. 9 strike deadline. Since February the city and the ATU have met 28 times for negotiations.
The crux of the disagreement came down to paycheques. The city raised its offer to a $79,726 after four years, a 12.75 per cent increase, as well a benefit package boosts. However, the union felt this was not enough.
They’ve held firm at a request of a $86,860 salary after four years, a 21.69 jump. The city has mantained their offer is “reasonable and fair.” It would keep Hamilton’s transit workers as the third best paid in Ontario, after Mississauga and Brampton.
Conversely, ATU Local 107 president Eric Tuck called the offer “insulting” and noted the union’s demands were in line with raises for other city workers. Some 1,100 non-union staff, such as managers and project managers, earn $120,000 to $160,000, Tuck said.
On Nov. 8, just before the strike goes into effect, Horwath said she was “disappointed that our city will experience a transit disruption.” She added, “This is such a hard time for so many people and I know the disrruption of transit will add more stress.”
She continued that Hamilton’s transit workers are “hugely important to the people of Hamilton and it’s unfortunate that a resolution has not yet been reached. But I know we can get through theis quickly, kindly and in a way that’s fair to transit workers, our other unions, and Hamilton taxpayers.”
“This is a labour town,” Horwath said, “and I believe deeply in the collective bargaining process and continue to encourage both side to engage meaningfully.”
Horwath has taken point for providing updates to residents, starting on Nov. 9. These updates will be available online.
inthehammer's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising