Saturday, January 17, 2009

Council meets, counters union proposal

The Citizen reports that the City will agree to binding arbitration, but as you will read below, it's not what the union offered (emphasis ours):
Early Saturday morning, council unanimously approved a motion stating the city will enter binding arbitration — on three conditions. Council said they will enter the process if the union agrees that all issues, including scheduling, are part of it; that any final agreement addresses federal safety rules for drivers on hours of work and rest; and that the price tag of any agreement doesn’t exceed the overall amount represented in the city’s last offer, which was rejected by union members nine days ago.
So not very different from their earlier stance, except this time accommodating the union's call for binding arbitration.

Meanwhile, OC Transpo manager Alain Mercier said it will take a long time for buses to start moving again.
Mercier said it will take three-and-a-half months to get transit service running at full capacity once the strike is settled, because all the buses will have to be inspected to make sure they're mechanically safe before they hit the streets.
And no buses will be on the road during the first week following the strike's end.


Anonymous said...

So, after the ATU's announcement, a hastily called council meeting, that produced -3- conditions, you have to sit back and realize that Ottawa is NO CLOSER to having the buses back on the road any time soon. It is and will remain, a stalemate ! !
This city is a J O K E ! !

Ben said...

I'm glad that they finally agreed to an arbitrator. A couple weeks too late, though.

3 months to get buses back at full speed? I know the mechanics are on strike, but hire some people to start checking them now!

Anonymous said...

It is and will remain, a stalemate ! !

Not quite. The union is quickly losing leverage, both in its own membership who have now lost ~$5K in addition to the 2500 the city pulled back, and with its rideship, who have either gone out of business in December, or lost their jobs, or found other arrangements, and have faced the busiest season and likely the worst weather the city will face this year already.

Come February (meaning buses back by March), the union will have no leverage until next October. By the end of February, the members will be out 10K, Cornellier will be gone, and the city will get a deal much sweeter than the one the union rejected in December.

Anonymous said...

I think we're seeing the first opening to the ATU feeling the pressure of it's members. The residents of Ottawa we're rightly inconvenienced and angry, but have adapted thus their leverage is weakening. The council is holding firm forcing the ATU's hand.