School transport: an agreement in principle is reached at the last minute


Pierre Saint-Arnaud, The Canadian Press

It was one to midnight, but the parties finally came to an agreement that will ensure the resumption of school transportation at the same time as the start of the school year.

Quebec and the Bus Carriers Federation (FTA) announced on Friday that they had reached an agreement in principle « which provides reliable and safe transportation service to all students for the start of the school year and helps support school service centers ( CSS) and the school boards (CS) in the adoption of school transport contracts”, can we read in a press release published Friday afternoon.

The agreement, whose adoption will be recommended by the FTA board of directors, covers a period of six years.

However, no details have been made public for the moment, but the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, speaks of “significant investments” and adds that this agreement “promotes greater stability in the transport sector. school, guarantees the safety of the pupils and meets, all in all, several expectations of the carriers ».

If the details remain confidential, it is because the contracts are not signed by the government itself, but by the school service centers and school boards, many of which must now conclude agreements with their respective carriers.

Several of these contracts had expired since June 30 and, faced with the threat of a break in service, Quebec had appointed Me Claude Sauvageau as special negotiator in this file last Wednesday.

His intervention clearly paid off. Renewing contracts was complicated by the fact that school carriers were hit hard by inflation, particularly on the fuel side, one of the largest expenses for companies operating school buses.

Companies are also forced to raise wages in this sector where wage conditions are not very attractive and which is therefore hard hit by the labor shortage.


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