Saturday, March 21, 2009

Agreement on work/rest rules reached, but not yet released

According to the Ottawa Citizen, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 279 and City of Ottawa officials have agreed to an as-yet-unreleased resolution of scheduling disagreements, in particular federal work/rest regulations.

The deal was made after both sides agreed to have the arbitrator working on the grander file of an overall contract for the union to resolve the outstanding issue of work/rest regulations immediately.

With this resolution in tow, rumoured work-to-rule tactics by union members should hypothetically come to an end. There should also be closure on OC Transpo driver schedules, which union members had previously refused to book until the issue was resolved.

9 comments:

Klaus said...

.....err......aaahhhh....I fail to comprehend.

An agreement has been reached but no one can talk about it?

Does this mean the Drivers will continue their Spring bookings with respect to current or future federal work rest rules?

Hmmmmm, The logical way forward for the arbitrator would be to rule that the old rules apply until such time the legislation is changed to remove the City's work rest rule exemption.

And as long as the City is following the current rules, the City is not liable for any harm if it is shown that the driver did not receive sufficient rest, especially since the City tried to enforce the proposed new rules before they are enacted.

That would likely be acceptable to the City.

I'm sorry, but for the arbitrator to say that there shall be no public discussion is what is more confusing than enlightening. And, I am surely not the only person who is confused.

Peter said...

You're certainly not the only one who is confused, I don't quite get it, either. As I understand it, both sides agreed to the arbitrated decision, but they haven't released details of the agreement yet.

Dougeh said...

Why would the drivers stop working to rule unless they know something the public doesn't?

Dean said...

Dougeh
Work to rule only works when you were already doing more than required before the job action. Working to rule also reminds the public what they can expect for their transit dollar. After a long strike and with a mostly unsympathetic public they may not have been getting the results they expected.

Klaus said...

So much for a news blackout.

And, why exactly could this have not been released earlier? Was it to give the Union an opportunity to have their membership ratify it?

Was it to focus on the "good news" that a settlement was reached, and not focus on the terms of the settlement as THE story?

For me the limitation to 17 hours seems like a negotiated "sawing this in the middle between 21 and 14 hours". It is still more than the federal safety guidelines - and I am assuming that there is research behind the 14 hour limit and that this is not an arbitrary number chosen for administrative convenience or that is just "sounded good".

When it comes to safety there is no room for politics or negotiations.

But if this is not about safety, but about curtailing overtime by some abusers, then this issue is open for negotiations.

What is the real story here and are people being dishonest with the public?

Anonymous said...

Of course this is all about curtailing overtime! This agreement the operators can still book double shifts, but no triple-shifts or anything quite so silly.

Dean said...

I don't get how the drivers union can effectively claim that they have a better understanding of sleep deprivation and fatigue than the medical community. We have seen reports lately from the Ottawa medical community that point out what the drivers want is unsafe.
We have had the drivers claim that using a microphone to announce stops for the blind is unsafe but driving long shifts on a few hours sleep is perfectly safe.

Anonymous said...

It is all about overtime, period! That is why operators will claim that they have a better understanding sleep deprivation. The operators want to continue to book their doubles, triples and 22 hours work days, so that they can continue to declare the maximum amount of overtime. Anyone tells the strike was about family time or safety, they are full of crap!

Dwight Williams said...

Not planning to buy this demonization, thanks.