(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

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers and COVID-19 contact tracers must stop, Chilliwack soccer club says

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

The smaller eagle on the left side of the picture has been stolen from the Sq’ewá:lxw First Nation. If found, contact the community office at 604-796-6129 or email info@skwahlook.com. (Contributed Photo/Sq’ewá:lxw First Nation)
Eagle carving stolen from Sq’ewá:lxw First Nation

If seen, contact the First Nation community office at 604-796-9129

The Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation held its inaugural Grand Gala in November 2019 at Harrison Hot Springs Resort. This year’s event will be held online. (Submitted photo)
Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation holds virtual Grand Gala

Second annual event takes place online on Nov. 20, raising funds for local hospitals

Chilliwack has several railway crossings that can be hazardous to inattentive and unprepared drivers during the fall and winter months. (Martin Duperre photo)
CN Rail urges Fraser Valley drivers to be careful around railway crossings

The danger level jumps up during icy, windy fall and winter months causing a spike in accidents

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

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

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

It’s been eight years since Gordon Spencer (pictured), and cousin, ‘Lil’ Bruce Mayo, were gunned down in a home in Langley, and Spencer’s widow is hoping someone who knows something will step up (file)
Eight years on and still no answers in Langley double murder

Wife of victim makes public appeal for people with information to come forward

Langley resident Shaun Nugent, who died in 2019 shortly after he saved a swimmer from drowning, has been awarded a posthumous medal for bravery by the Royal Canadian Humane Association (Courtesy Nugent family)
Langley man who died after saving swimmer receives posthumous medal for bravery

Shaun Nugent rescued woman from Hayward Lake near Mission in July of 2019

Most Read