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A coalition of BC transit unions have scored a surprise victory on November 30 as the board of the newly-formed Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority voted nine-to-one to reject a proposal to carve up the region’s public bus system.

Members of CUPE Local 4500, representing BC Transit Supervisors, have been working closely with members of the Independent Canadian Transit Union (ICTU) as well as OPEIU and BCGEU since April in an effort to protect riders and workers. Two consultants’ reports were presented to the GVTA Board recommending that the system be split into two, and eventually six separate companies, and encouraging the eventual privatization of the bus service.

The Joint Union Committee on Transit (JUC) mounted a major communications campaign which included transit shelter posters, newspaper ads, and the distribu-tion of more than 125,000 leaflets to riders by bus drivers, SkyTrain and SeaBus attendants, and transit supervisors. CBC Radio cited the JUC campaign, planned and implemented by CUPE communica-tions staff, for the stunning reversal by the GVTA Board.