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Transit talks resume today

Informal negotiations will resume again today with a revised mandate for city negotiators, after both sides of the transit strike walked away from the table last Friday.

Informal negotiations will resume again today with a revised mandate for city negotiators, after both sides of the transit strike walked away from the table last Friday.

The city and the union broke off informal talks on Friday when the federal mediator working with both sides decided they were too far from an agreement and it would be futile to continue.

On Saturday evening, after a five-hour emergency meeting called by Mayor Larry O’Brien, city council “updated” the mandate for city negotiators.

Details of those changes are not being made public, however city spokesperson Michael Fitzpatrick said council reiterated its position that any scheduling agreement must comply with federal work/rest regulations.

“We’ve contacted the union with news that we have an updated mandate and called them back to the table,” he said.

Amalgamated Transit Union international vice-president Randy Graham will be sitting down with a federal mediator and city representatives this morning, when he will learn the city’s latest position.

“They apparently have a new proposal and we’ll see what it is,” he said yesterday.

There had been no new offers from the union since Jan. 16 when it offered that all outstanding issues be forwarded to binding interest-based arbitration with the exception of scheduling, which would be forwarded to an independent fact finder.

 
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