The union representing bus drivers and mechanics working for the District of West Vancouver's Blue Bus system has filed a complaint against the district with the B.C. Labour Relations Board.
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 134 (ATU 134), issued a press release Monday saying it filed the unfair labour practice complaint because its members are still waiting to see a new collective agreement, despite the terms already being agreed to months ago.
Union spokesperson Bill Tieleman said veteran mediator Vince Ready arbitrated the terms of a new agreement in January and, while there is nothing left to negotiate, the district has yet to put the terms officially into writing.
"There is nothing there, so it's like the arbitration happened but it's not been written into the contract and that just doesn't work in labour relations," said Tieleman.
In a written statement, the District of West Vancouver said it was disappointed about the complaint and that it has already implemented changes that were agreed upon in January.
The statement said employees who are ATU 134 members received wage and working condition improvements at that time.
"There has always been a collective agreement in full force between the parties," said the district's statement.
"The collective agreement is still in the process of being drafted, and the district expects this draft to be provided to the union shortly."
According to the union's release, its legal team filed the complaint Friday and it focuses on how collective agreements must be promptly formalized and executed after their terms are decided.
The union is urging the Labour Relations Board to intervene and provide recommendations.
Having nothing in writing now could become a problem down the line, said Tieleman, as the collective agreement that has yet to be seen will have to be renegotiated by the end of March.
Those negotiations can begin in December and Tieleman says the union wants to get a jump on it this winter.
"You would think the employer would want to start negotiations on time," he said.
ATU Local 134 represents 150 members who operate and maintain a fleet of 64 buses in the West Vancouver Blue Bus system, running about 18,000 passenger trips per day.
Tielemen said one of the primary concerns for members during contract negotiations has been wage disparity compared to drivers and mechanics who work for TransLink, the transit company that services the rest of Metro Vancouver.
He said the wage difference is around three dollars an hour and, with West Vancouver already being an expensive municipality, this makes it hard to recruit and retain employees for Blue Bus.
"It's a problem for the employer, but they don't seem to want to address it," said Tieleman.