To the editor:
The City of Kelowna believes it is important to explain roles and responsibilities for the delivery of transit services in the Central Okanagan, given the potential for job action as early as Thursday, Nov. 10.
BC Transit contracts with First Canada to operate transit services for the Regional District of Central Okanagan, Kelowna, Lake Country, West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation and Peachland. Each municipality holds its own service contract with BC Transit and funding is cost shared.
On Friday, Nov. 4, the unionized employees for First Canada served 72-hour strike notice. Labour negotiations are between First Canada and its employees. The operating company, First Canada, is independent of BC Transit and local transit partners.
As such, we must respect the collective bargaining process and therefore not interfere with, or influence in any way, the negotiations being conducted between First Canada and its employees. The City of Kelowna is not involved in negotiations, as these are First Canada’s employees, not City employees.
City of Kelowna staff are monitoring the situation closely and are hopeful that First Canada and its unionized employees will reach resolution without disruption to transit services. We apologize to our valued customers for any inconvenience this matter may cause.
Customers can visit bctransit.com/kelowna or call 250-860-9121 for more information and updates.
Rafael Villarreal, P.Eng.
Department Manager Integrated Transportation
City of Kelowna