Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
A city bus waits at the Water Street terminal on Sunday evening. Earlier in the day transit union workers voted 76 per cent in favour of the tentative contract that had been agreed to with the city on Saturday.
City transit workers are one step away from having labour peace for the first time in 18 months.
Members of local 966 of the Amalgamated Transit Union met on Sunday and voted in favour of the tentative agreement that had been reached with the city on Saturday morning.
Local president Sheila Kivisto said via email that the agreement was approved by 76 per cent of workers.
Transit union workers had been without a contract since June 2012 and had been getting increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of negotiations. They voted 99 per cent of job action in October and would have been in a legal strike position as of Monday.
Union officials had been vocal in the week leading up to the strike date that they would have pursued job action if negotiations were unsuccessful.
That talk worried transit users across the city.
Desiree Zeleniak-Green, a student at Lakehead University, said the threat of a strike was causing her stress throughout the week.
She said she relies on transit services for transportation across the city, as do many fellow students. She added the cold weather and snow-covered sidewalks would have only made matters worse for those who would have had to travel on foot.
“I’m glad they were considerate enough to make a deal,” Zeleniak-Green said while waiting for a bus at the Water Street terminal early Sunday evening. “I didn’t think they were going to (strike) but I was worried.”
That just leaves the city’s end before the contract takes effect. Council will be presented with it for approval on Monday.