With $7.9 million to spare in its operating budget, the Amalgamated Transit Union 1505 is calling on Winnipeg Transit to use those funds to improve driver safety.
Ahead of a city finance committee meeting on November 27, the surplus was announced Wednesday as part of an overall $9.5 city surplus.
“We’ve been told that the City of Winnipeg has no funding to invest in our transit system, or in our operators. For example, despite a strong push from our union, management has sat on a proposal to install shields on our buses after a trial that ended in August,” said ATU 1505 president Aleem Chaudhary.
“With our contract expiring on January 12, our members need to know if Winnipeg Transit is going to invest in and protect our employees, or if they simply don’t matter to Winnipeg Transit and its director, Greg Ewankiw.”
The union also says Winnipeg Transit has been sitting on its hands regarding a dedicated transit safety team, forcing the union to work independently with the Main Street Project to train members on de-escalation, addiction recognition and non-violent crisis intervention.
The Amalgamated Transit Union 1505 represents more than 1,400 transit workers in Winnipeg and Brandon.