Ward 4 News

Councillor - Christine Billings

Sunday Jul 20th - 2014

July 20th, 2014



Tonight, the members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189 voted to reject a tentative agreement ratified by Guelph City Council and endorsed by their own union executive.

With the tentative agreement defeated, the City has reinstituted the lockout originally set to begin Monday, July 14. Guelph Transit services are halted indefinitely until such time as the members of ATU Local 1189 reconsider the City’s offer.

The City of Guelph will be offering refunds to all Guelph Transit July 2014 pass holders for the second half of July. Details will be confirmed and shared in a subsequent media release.

A statement has been issued by the City of Guelph’s Chief Administrative Officer, Ann Pappert detailing the City administration’s level of frustration.

For details on picket lines, City service disruptions and FAQs, visitguelphtransit.ca.

For background on the negotiation process, visit guelph.ca/atu.

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Monday Jul 14th - 2014

Guelph's User Guide to Local Government a first in Canada
Guelph, ON, July 8, 2014 –

The City of Guelph has published an online User Guide to Local Government - believed to be the first of its kind in Canada - that outlines how the municipal government operates and the by-laws, legislation, policies and procedures that govern it.
Designed primarily as a resource for new members of Council, the User Guide has been made publicly available so that it can be used by residents who want to better understand how City Hall works and by people interested in running for Council who want to learn more about what would be expected of them. It will also serve as an ongoing resource and reference guide for City employees and members of Council.
The User Guide can be found at guelph.ca/userguide.

Thank you.


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Sunday Jul 13th - 2014

Guelph Transit lockout cancelled – buses will be running tomorrow


Guelph, ON, July 13, 2014—In a joint announcement, the City of Guelph and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189 are letting the public know they have reached a tentative agreement and the City has called off plans to lock out Guelph Transit employees as of 12:01 a.m., July 14.

Details of the agreement will be released upon ratification by both parties.

“I am happy to announce that Guelph Transit will be serving the people of Guelph as usual tomorrow morning,” stated Mayor Karen Farbridge.

“The members of ATU Local 1189 have wanted to continue to serve Guelph’s transit riders,” said ATU Local 1189 President Andy Cleary. “For many Guelph residents we are their sole source of transportation, and we look forward to continuing to support our community.”

A day-long meeting, with the provincially-appointed conciliator in attendance, resulted in the necessary progress to cancel the lockout and keep the buses running for Guelph residents. During the course of the day, better understanding was achieved on the key concerns underlying the breakdown in the relationship between City administration and ATU Local 1189.

“We believe this agreement is a key first step to repairing our relationship with ATU Local 1189 and ensuring that Guelph’s residents continue to have the transit service on which they depend,” continued Mayor Farbridge.

All Guelph Transit employees are expected to join the rest of their City of Guelph colleagues on Monday, July 14 as the City’s regular operations continue unabated.


For media inquiries

Stewart McDonough
Communications Specialist
519-822-1260  extension 3356




Andrew Cleary

ATU Local 1189 President


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Saturday Jul 12th - 2014

City of Guelph to lock out ATU Local 1189 July 14


Guelph, ON, July 12, 2014— On July 11, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189 members voted to reject the City of Guelph’s final contract offer.

The City believes it has exhausted all traditional negotiation options and, with the support of Guelph City Council, made the difficult decision to lock out the 205 members of ATU Local 1189 and suspend traditional Guelph Transit service as of 12:01 a.m. July 14. Guelph Transit Mobility Service for existing pre-booked medical appointments (for example, dialysis appointments) will continue during the labour disruption.

“We are very disappointed in the result of this vote,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge. “The decision to lock out our transit employees was not made lightly. We know this will create enormous hardship for transit riders, for our transit staff and their families, and for our community.”

The City is providing a refund to affordable bus pass holders for the rest of July available starting on Tuesday, July 15 at City Hall. Further steps will be taken for all pass holders depending on the duration of the lock out.

Council has been advised that ATU’s combined extra requests and wage parity with Grand River Transit would cost taxpayers 4.6 million dollars over the next three years. That equates to a tax increase of almost 2.3 per cent over three years – solely to fund the delivery of transit.

“Council cannot in good conscience contemplate such a financial impact on transit riders and property taxpayers,” continued Mayor Farbridge. “Our goal from the beginning has been to reach an agreement that balances fair and competitive compensation with affordability for transit customers and taxpayers.”

There is no good time for a service disruption, but City staff chose to make this decision now, when transit ridership is at its lowest, rather than in the fall when ridership goes up by nearly 60 percent. 

“It is my sincere hope that our transit employees will take a second look at the City’s final offer this weekend – it represents a fair and competitive contract for our employees and is respectful of those who pay for the service. We hope to have our community’s transit service up and running again as soon as possible,” said Mayor Farbridge.

The City’s final offer to ATU Local 1189 includes in total a 6.4% wage increase over the four years of the contract, including:

-          1.7% increase retroactive to July 1, 2013

-          1.6% increase effective July 1, 2014

-          1.6% increase effective July 1, 2015

-          1.5% increase effective July 1, 2016

The offer protects all employee benefits and vacation entitlements, which are consistent with those of the City’s other unions. The offer is also consistent with agreements that other transit unions in Ontario have negotiated with their municipalities including Sudbury, Brantford and Waterloo Region.

 “The ATU requests would require an additional 20 to 30 unionized staff – a 10 per cent increase to the number of unionized staff with no improvement to transit service as a result,” stated the City’s Chief Administrative Officer Ann Pappert.

The negotiations have included an 18-month process with 22 days of negotiations, including seven with a provincially-appointed conciliator brought in at the City’s request.

“Unfortunately, from the outset, we have been met with unexplained and lengthy delays from ATU – which signals one of two things: they are unwilling or unable to bargain,” continued Pappert

The City’s offer of a four-year deal that would add less than one million dollars to the City budget or an approximately 0.5 per cent increase to property taxes over the four years of the agreement.

“We recognize all of this is cold comfort to those who rely on transit in our community,” said Pappert. “We have taken the unusual step of providing two days’ notice before the lockout begins. This is the maximum amount of notice we can provide, to give transit riders time to seek alternate means of transportation while still maintaining the safety and security of customers, staff, and property.”

The City will continue posting negotiation updates at guelph.ca/atuor updates on service disruption, FAQs and transportation alternatives at guelphtransit.ca.  

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Friday Jul 11th - 2014

City preparing to lock out Transit union members on July 14

Transit riders receive two days’ notice before service disruption


Guelph, ON, July 11, 2014—Today, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189 members voted to reject the City of Guelph’s final contract offer.

The City believes it has exhausted all traditional negotiation options and, with the support of Guelph City Council, made the difficult decision to lock out the 205 members of ATU Local 1189 and suspend traditional Guelph Transit service as of 12:01 a.m. July 14. Guelph Transit Mobility Service for pre-booked medical appointments will continue during the labour disruption.

On Saturday, July 12, media representatives are invited to hear comments from Mayor Karen Farbridge and Chief Administrative Officer Ann Pappert explaining the reasons behind the City’s decision.

What: Media opportunity to ask questions about Guelph Transit union lock out

Who: Mayor Karen Farbridge

Chief Administrative Officer Ann Pappert

Where: City Hall Galleria, 1 Carden Street, Guelph, ON

When: Saturday, July 12, 11:30 a.m.

For more information

David Godwaldt

General Manager, Human Resources

519-822-1260 extension 2848



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Friday Jul 11th - 2014

New Traffic Control Signal:
Elmira Road South at 19 Elmira Road South (Costco)
GUELPH, ON, Thursday, July 10, 2014 –

Please be advised the new Traffic Control Signal at the intersection of Elmira Road South at 19 Elmira
Road South began operation on Thursday, July 10, 2014. This is the location of the main entrance to
With this installation, the City of Guelph now operates and maintains 186 traffic control signals.

Steve Anderson
Traffic Signal Technologist II
Traffic Signals
Operations, Transit & Emergency Services Department
T 519-837-5628 x 2037
E steve.anderson@guelph.ca

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