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Parties in Sea to Sky transit strike will have up to 10 days to secure deal before union vote

Special mediator Vince Ready appointed to help land deal
Unifor national representative Gavin Davies, right, addresses local transit workers, who held a rally in Whistler on Friday, May 6 outside the Lower Mainland Local Government Association conference.

As the Sea to Sky transit strike looks set to break the record for longest transit strike in B.C. history, Victoria has appointed a special mediator that will work with the two sides for up to 10 days in the hopes of striking a deal. 

Special mediator Vince Ready was appointed only a day after Unifor Local 114 members turned down the latest offer proposed by employer and BC Transit contractor Pacific Western Transportation (PWT) in a narrow 36-32 vote. Now, the parties will have 10 days to come to a mediated settlement. If a deal cannot be reached in that time, Ready will offer his non-binding recommendations that Unifor has already agreed to put to a vote to its members. 

“After two years of bargaining and failed sessions with a mediator, it’s clear a more structured process is necessary,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western regional director, in a release. “We look forward to making submissions to the mediator about the high cost of living and wage disparities.”

Pique will have more on this story in Thursday's print edition.