The policy change impacts all routes and service in the Kelowna Regional Transit System, route 90 between UBC Okanagan and Vernon, and route 70 between Penticton and Kelowna. (Contributed/BC Transit)

Vernon and Salmon Arm transit workers serve strike notice

Pension plan sought as employer asked to close the gap between Kelowna and Kamloops

Brakes could be put on local bus operations now that a strike notice has been served in Vernon and Salmon Arm.

Unionized transit operators, office staff and mechanics in the two North Okanagan-Shuswap communities have been negotiating a new contract for more than a year.

“Without a fair offer from management, we had little choice but to take a strike vote and serve notice to possible strike actions,” said Unifor Local 114, which represents more than 60 transit workers across 16 different community in the region.

The union is asking the employer to “close the gap” with transit workers in Kelowna and Kamloops and introduce a pension plan.

“Like you, we’re finding it difficult to make ends meet with the region’s high cost of living and the housing crisis,” Unifor said.

“To make matters worse, 25 per cent of us are not allowed to qualify for the current RRSP benefit. We are fighting to fix that with a proper pension for all and increase the amount of work life balance for the workers in the transit sector.”

READ MORE: Drivers to stop collecting fares in Kelowna Regional Transit dispute

READ MORE: RCMP warn of Okanagan contractor fraud


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