Unifor and First Student Bus form agreement to protect members’ seniority during contract flip

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TORONTO—Unifor is pleased to come to a voluntary recognition agreement with First Student Bus during a contract flip, which protects the seniority of Unifor Local 4268 members, who currently service bus routes at Stock Transportation in Toronto.

“Far too often, we see examples of contract flipping in this sector,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. 

“Each time a contract for a bus company flips, workers are forced to reapply for their job with the new company, often with significant wage cuts and reduced benefits. It shakes their stability. Sincere thanks to National Secretary-Treasurer Len Poirier’s steadfast efforts working with the local to make this agreement happen.”

In mid-March, Unifor leadership were notified by upper management at First Student Bus that they had been awarded a substantial number of school bus routes, currently serviced by around 200 Local 4268 members at Stock Transportation’s eastern Toronto location. 

Unifor’s immediate concerns were to protect the union’s members and their employment.

The union held virtual meetings with members in early April and received overwhelming endorsement from them to engage in discussions with First Student.

The voluntary recognition agreement gives affected members an opportunity to accept employment with First Student under the same terms that they currently enjoy. 

“Contract flipping has destabilized the school bus sector, as it has others, and has a significant demoralizing effect on a growing number of workers” said Unifor Local 4268 President Debbie Montgomery. “We are pleased that our union has been able to create a safety net for our members in this case.” 

There will be meetings held in the future to provide more information to members and a ratification meeting to endorse the terms that have been agreed to. 

Unifor will continue to support members and to ensure qualified bus drivers and mechanics in student transportation are available to the students, parents and school boards affected by this contract flip.

Local 4268 will continue to support the membership at Stock Transportation and follow all terms and conditions within the collective agreement.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For more information, please contact Unifor National Communications Representative Jenny Yuen at: @email or (416) 938-6157.

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Jenny Yuen

National Communications Representative