Friday, January 23, 2009

One Strike and We're Out! - Part 2

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.

1 comment:

Arthur said...

interesting poll, but it isn't really representative due to the lack of actual time frames. It also seems a little cynical... which makes it even more inaccurate. I think that either the city is going to get tired of getting complaints (which I certainly hope they're getting) or that the bus drivers will all declare bankruptcy due the the extreme lack of income and the city will hire new drivers who either agree with their rules, or just put up with them because hard times call for hard jobs...

All in all, I'm hoping it'll end soon because my drive in to school takes much too long.....