"The city failed to change its key offers," says Andre Cornellier, president of ATU Local 279.Mayor Larry O'Brien, however, has disagreed, and is stating that the city is working on addressing the concerns the drivers have with the contract:
Cornellier says there is no evidence the city's bargaining team has a new mandate.
"The city has shown that it is willing to negotiate and compromise," O'Brien said. "The only way to end this strike is for both sides to work together. However, we would like to see the union come back to the table with those items they are willing to compromise on."And the city's much-discussed 'new mandate', which had been previously unknown due to a media blackout, apparently involves meeting the union's demanded pay raises and an offer to establish a joint committee to negotiate scheduling issues to reflect the demands of the city and the union:
The city also said to arrive at a solution, it removed the $2,500 signing bonus and replaced it with an additional 2% wage increase over two years. The city was originally offering a 7.25% increase over three years, while the union was asking for 9.25% over the same time period.
The city has also offered to set up a temporary joint management and union committee to devise a scheduling system that includes work-rest rules it argues would improve service reliability.