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Sofia Zlatar is forced to pick up both her daughter and her friend' son after school on Thursday, September 15, 2016 in Toronto after getting a call from the school bus company that the bus would be one hour late to pick the children up from school. On Thursday morning, a strike was averted when Unifor, the union representing drivers, and bus company First Student reached a tentative three-year deal.

Christopher Katsarov/The Globe and Mail

Thousands of Toronto area school children won't have to find a way to school this morning after bus drivers reached a last-minute deal that averted a strike or lockout.

Unifor, the union representing bus drivers in the Toronto and York public and Catholic school boards, says it has reached a tentative three-year deal with school bus company First Student following all-night negotiations that went on well after the 12:01 a.m. deadline.

Unifor Local 4268 president Deb Montgomery says this contract will give comfort to parents of nearly 20,000 students that could have been affected by a strike or lockout.

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She says it's a fair deal that her members will be pleased with.

The union has called on the Ontario government to amend proposal process for school bus contracts because it says it has directly led to many problems within the industry.

In early September, more than a thousand students in Toronto either got to school late or not at all due to a bus driver shortage that has since been rectified.

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