June 14, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Halifax, Canada – Bus mechanics here will get C$256,000 (about U.S. $192,000) in back pay under a settlement announced June 8 by Halifax Transit and Local 508 of the Amalgamated Transit Union.
The settlement ends a five-year dispute about overtime pay for the 131 workers who maintain and repair the city’s fleet of buses. The union argued that if mechanics didn’t get the required 1-hour break before they started an overtime shift, their contract entitled them to time-and-a-half pay for the full day, while city officials said the clause was “ambiguous.” After the grievance went to mediated arbitration, the city agreed to pay 78% of what the union wanted. “It’s the biggest settlement in our history,” Local 508 President Ken Wilson told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “We’ve been here for 109 years.” Individual workers’ shares will range from $76 to $11,000, he added, depending on how much overtime they worked. Read more