(Flickr)

Check on elderly neighbours as Metro Vancouver transit shutdown looms: care providers

Three-day lockout by bus operators is imminent if an agreement is not reached between Unifor and Coast Mountain

People in Metro Vancouver are being asked to check on their elderly neighbours should the impending transit strike shut the system down next week.

That’s the word from B.C. Care Providers Association vice-president of public affairs Mike Klassen ahead of a three-day lockout planned by bus drivers from Nov. 27-29.

“It can just be as easy as calling them or knocking on the door or leaving them a note,” Klassen told Black Press Media by phone Thursday.

The association said its members, who provide care for around 11,000 people each year, are busy making arrangements for the shutdown, which would halt bus and SeaBus service for three days next week.

At issue in the dispute is break time and a $150-million gap between wages offered by the Coast Mountain Bus Company and ones requested by the bus workers’ union. Talks broke down last week and had not resumed as of Thursday morning.

Klassen said the impact of a three-day shutdown on seniors needing home support workers could be significant.

“For some employers, up to 40 per cent of home support workers do use the transit system to meet with clients,” he said.

He said TransLink has been communicating with them, but the transit agency’s spokesperson has said there’s not much they can do to mitigate the effects of a full employee walkout.

Care providers have options in the event of a short-term strike, he added, but those alternatives could become too expensive if it drags on.

“When we had some major weather activity a couple of years ago, and the buses were not running in some parts, it required hiring cars and drivers to be able to get people around,” Klassen said.

“Those are the kinds of things you can do in the short term, but if it goes on for the long term, there’s a real risk someone could be sitting at home not getting the services they need.”

HandyDart shuttles, which is not affected by the strike, are only available to those who meet the criteria of physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities.

SkyTrain and Canada Line are not affected by the Unifor lockout, but SkyTrain workers are in the midst of their own contract negotiations, scheduled for set mediated talks in the coming days.

READ MORE: $150M sticking point: Coast Mountain, Unifor fight over wage gap as transit lockout looms

READ MORE: Workers union calls strike vote in SkyTrain labour dispute


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COLUMN: We don’t need an election. But it’s 2020, so we’ll probably get one anyways.

There are only selfish reasons for the NDP to trigger an election this fall

Plea deal results in guilty plea in fatal Langley shooting in 2017

First degree murder charge amended to conspiracy to commit murder

Say ‘Hi’ to the mountains (and rain): The smoke is gone from the Fraser Valley, for now

Saturday’s Fraser Valley air quality forecast at ‘moderate risk,’ but morning showers leave skies clear

Abbotsford considers hiking development fees for new houses – and schools and churches

City considers hiking development cost charges on new institutional and agriculture buildings

Machine pistol among 14 firearms seized from Alaska man at Abbotsford border crossing

Corey Scott Kettering faces charges of smuggling and prohibited firearm possession

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Mother-daughter charged in 2017 torched-SUV killing in South Surrey now allowed contact

Judge grants Manjit Kaur Deo permission to connect with Inderdeep Kaur Deo through a lawyer

Most Read