“We’re far part on a certain issues. They are very important to us and I guess they are very important to them,” said Andre Cornellier, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union local.On his blog, Mayor Larry O'Brien discussed the possibility of a transit strike, and also the difficulty presented with trying to reward City-paid staff while also being fiscally responsible.
The main points are scheduling, contracting out work and, when it comes right down to it, respect and dignity said Cornellier.
"We have hard working and professional drivers. In conversations with them I believe all concerned think the city’s financial offer is fair, so the question is why would there be a strike? What is the disagreement? The City takes its responsibility in public transit very seriously. We have to.As I understand it, one of those "important tools" that O'Brien alludes to is the freedom to contract out work when deemed appropriate.
"There are a number of non-financial issues at the heart of the current negotiations. Without going into details one of the issues is about our management having the tools to improve operations of the transit system such as control of shift management and employee scheduling.
"Without these important tools the City loses much of the flexibility we need to manage the system in an economically efficient manner.
"It is always hard to find the balance between rewarding the drivers for outstanding service and looking after the interests of taxpayers."
As it stands now, though, it appears there will be strike beginning at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday morning.