Friday, January 16, 2009

Union calls for arbitration, council might meet tonight UPDATED

Early this afternoon, local media moved a story outlining ATU 279's call for binding arbitration on every element of a new collective agreement except for the most contentious -- the scheduling issue -- which would be dealt with separately.

The story said that the union would go back to work if the City agreed to that arrangement, even without a settled contract.

CTV reported that if this offer were accepted, the strike could be over "within a week". The story added this note of caution:
Arbitration, however, can be very complicated and the city has historically come up short when using an arbitrator to settle labour disputes.
The Sun reports that council is expected to convene an emergency meeting tonight to discuss the union's proposal (UPDATE: The Citizen reports that the meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m.). It quoted a memo circulated by Mayor Larry O'Brien:
"Although I believe this is a positive development and a direct result of our unified stand yesterday, it would be wrong to speculate in any fashion in the media until after we (have been) briefed on the facts by staff," O'Brien writes.


Anonymous said...

The only problem with this is that it's completely disingenuous.

Anyone who's been around for a month knows that going to a mediator is exactly what the city wanted to do 40 days ago, and the very idea set the union to strike.

The Union wants to negotiate for scheduling because they want ADDITIONAL compensation for the scheduling issue. They want to agree to everything on the table, then say 'ok, well what will you give us extra for the scheduling thing?'. Except that the scheduling thing has already resulted in lots of extra money and benefits for the union members being incorporated into the current deal.

Screw 'em. Either sign in good faith or enjoy your strike pay fuckers. Come see us next winter.

Dwight Williams said...

I don't believe that the call for arbitration was what set the strike in motion. It was the scheduling issue that set'em off from the beginning. That and the maintenance policy of "wait until it falls off and then send as much of it as we can to private companies".

Anonymous said...

It sounds like the union is getting ready to crack. Let's go another two weeks and the city will be able to get what we, the citizens of Ottawa, want.

Anonymous said...

scheduling issue that set'em off from the beginning.

Wel then you, my friend, haven't been paying attention. The scheduling issue was set aside in March because it was going to be the problem. When the city asked to go to arbitration on the one remaining issue in conjunction with the others, they went to strike.

Basically, the union wants to go back to March, except keep all the gains they got until December.

It's probably going to be two weeks at least after the union votes before the commuters get a bus, so I think waiting two weeks is a great idea. Maybe the weather gets better.

Anonymous said...

And what exactly do you want (if you represent Citizens of Ottawa)?

You see, I wish for every worker in private sector to have decent working conditions as City and Government sector does, not for opposite.

Because I was working private sector for ~15 years before this job (as bus driver) and I can only sympathize with ANY worker out there.

But at the end Citizens will realize how wrong they were thinking City is on their side.

When we start doing our job as PER POLICIES of the CITY you will understand how much we drivers are using common sense in this chaos called OC Transpo.

Anonymous said...

I hope the city does NOT cave in on the scheduling issue. Only now am I realizing why some drivers drove past the stops or kept driving on the curb when turning corners; they were tired from working long hours. Let's make the buses safer for everyone. BTW a few years ago one driver crashed into a stalled car on the Queensway. Did the bus driver fall asleep at the wheel?

Dwight Williams said...

If the city gets what they say they want now, I fear that it's almost a certainty that the safety issue will backfire on the drivers. And us passengers as well, me among them.

I am not interested in union-busting.

Anonymous said...

With nortel going under (very likely at this point), there's going to be 6000 people in ottawa losing their jobs. I'm sure these people would love to work for OC Transpo at this point since any job is better than none. I think it's about time we get rid of ATU 279 and anyone who isn't willing to work by the city's regulations. The sad part is, OC Transpo employees have it sooo good that they don't realize that taxi drivers have it 10 times worse. Taxi drivers seem to always get the short end of the stick in ottawa but they never seem to complain about it. About 6 months ago, the city mandated each taxi to install a camera at a cost of $1800 to the driver. They didn't go on strike for 40 days... I just can't believe a bus driver in today's age makes anything over $40000 gross. I have my C license, it doesn't make me an expert at anything, LOL!

Anonymous said...

drivers are using common sense in this chaos called OC Transpo.

Based on your individual and collective posts, your actions, and barganing position please allow me to speak frankly:

The rest of us don't give a rats ass about the ill-conceived notion of 'common sense' that you highschool dropouts all have.

Fuck policy. It's your union's position they should be exempt from federal safety laws on operating motor vehicles. THAT's COMMON SENSE? Are you kidding?