Last week I wrote about the OC Transpo strike. I thought someone should check to see what other cities are doing.
Apparently, the Ottawa Citizen agreed with me. In today's article the Citizen looks at how some other Canadian cities do their transit scheduling. You'll have to read the article for details, but my summary is as follows: Ottawa is nuts.
In most places, a driver can expect to finish 12 hours after he starts. He may have a few hours of unpaid break in the middle. Ottawa wants to extend that to 14 hours. None of the other cities listed have that long of a stretch. Right now, some drivers volunteer to take shifts that spread over 14 hours. The city wants to make that mandatory. There's a big difference between volunteering to work a 14 hour spread, and being told to work one.
Right now, drivers are only guaranteed 6 hours of work per day. They want to be guaranteed 8. The city has offered 7. Most cities seem to be around 7.5 hours/day.
I don't agree with the city making someone work a 14 hour daily spread. I think 12 hours is much more reasonable. I think 7 hours of guaranteed daily work is reasonable. So is 7.5. So is 8.
7.5 is a good compromise.
I think the raise the union is asking for might be a bit excessive in our current economic climate. (However, we shouldn't confuse our current economic climate with that of the US.) I thought the city's offer was pretty generous.
Last week I said I was on the side of the bus drivers. I still am. But I hope the city wins financially. If they don't, then that will set the stage for further negotiations. And if all city employees get big raises, that will likely mean a tax hike for us.
If you go to my blog in a web browser (as opposed to a feed reader), you'll see I've posted a poll you can take to try and predict when the bus strike will end.