The seven employees who work for Tri-Board Student Transportation Services, members of CUPE 1479, are poised to walk off the job in a legal strike on Monday, April 3 if their proposal for a fair wage increase is not accepted.

Six of the workers are transportation planners who are substantially underpaid compared to the school transportation planners employed by other transportation consortia in Ontario, and this is the one outstanding issue in the labour dispute.

“Right now, Tri-Board workers are the lowest-paid of similar transportation planners across the province, earning 19% below the average,” said Liz James, CUPE 1479 President

Tri-Board transportation planners design over 620 school bus routes in the Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, Prince Edward, and Hastings counties of eastern Ontario.

“Our transportation planners organize safe, reliable, and efficient transportation to and from school for more than 30,000 students, over 600 vehicles, covering a geographical area of over 16,000 square kilometres,” explained James. “Their work is valuable and yet they are being paid 19% less than the going rate for it.”

Tri-Board is a transportation consortium that is jointly controlled by Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB), Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) and Limestone District School Board (LDSB).

Quick Facts:

  • The cost to settle this dispute and avoid a disruptive strike is a tiny fraction of each of the three school boards’ budgets: less than $20,000 – or only about $6,500 per school board.

School Board

2022 Budget

1/3 of Wage Adjustment

Percentage of Total Budget

Limestone DSB

$270 million



Hastings and Prince Edward DSB

$222 million



Algonquin and Lakeshore CDSB

$177 million



  • The Tri-Board managers filed for conciliation after only two days of bargaining last July. Three days of negotiations, with a conciliation officer appointed by the Ontario Ministry of Labour acting as an intermediary, took place January and February 2023. A fourth conciliation meeting between the two parties on March 17 did not result in an agreement.
  • A fair labour market adjustment wage increase is the major outstanding issue. The workers have already voted down a tentative agreement that included a lower wage offer from the employer.
  • Craig Young, the Limestone District School Board’s Superintendent of Business Services, Nick Pfeiffer, the Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board’s Superintendent of Business Services, and Breanne Bradshaw, Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board’s Superintendent of Finance and Business Services are the three people appointed by the three controlling school boards to be the Tri-Board Transportation consortium board of directors.
  • The next meetings of the three affected school boards are scheduled for the last week of March:
  • Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board

Monday, March 27

  • Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board

Tuesday, March 28

  • Limestone District School Board

Wednesday, March 29