Metrolinx workers get pay hikes days before Ontario election

Metrolinx chairman Rob Prichard at a January board meeting. He wrote a letter to Toronto officials...

Metrolinx chairman Rob Prichard at a January board meeting. He wrote a letter to Toronto officials urging them to hurry up and finalize rapid transit decisions. (MICHAEL PEAKE/QMI Agency file)

Shawn Jeffords, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:43 PM ET

TORONTO — Metrolinx workers will receive an 8.45% pay hike over the life of a four-year contract inked just days before last month's provincial election.

A nail-biting set of negotiations, taking place a week before the province went to the polls in June, saw Metrolinx and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1587 avoid a strike with the deal.

The parties agreed to terms 2 ½ hours after a midnight strike deadline passed on June 2, just hours before what would have been a busy Monday morning commute for many in the Greater Toronto Area.

When initially requested by QMI Agency in mid-June, Metrolinx spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins said details of the agreement could not be released until ratified by union members.

Workers gave the agreement their stamp of approval earlier this month and Aikins confirmed this week the deal includes increases of 1.8%, 1.8%, 2.3% and 2.3%, respectively, in each year of the agreement.

"The four-year deal provides stability in GO Transit services and is affordable," Aikins said in an e-mail, adding the agreement will not impact the province's coffers.

"The deal will be funded through Metrolinx's operating budget and does not require additional funding from the province," she said. "It averages, over four years, to a cost slightly less than 2% annually."


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