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Vague language in Contract - vote NO unless rectified
truespeak wrote in octranspo
On page one, paragraph 1 line (d)
"Management will maximize continuous straight runs"

They can add one run and say they "maximized" the straight runs!  There should be a percentage number in here such as 30 % of runs will be straights ..  as in previous contracts.   There should also be an updated DEFINITION of a straight run (not a 2 piece with a pay through but a run on the same bus.)

Paragraph 3 line C under Transit Maintenance Shift Distribution states "The employer will make every reasonable effort to maximize the number of Monday to Friday shifts available for booking" .  Again , this is vague and should have a specific minimum number or percentage of shifts.. 

On page 4 paragraph 8 says " Bargaining Proposals for the Next Collective Agreement"

The parties will not submit any bargaining proposals pertaining to any booking matter including Part Time Employees  or overtime, during negotiations for the renewal of the Collective Agreement expiring on March 31, 2011"

This means, if we don't like how management has "maximized straight runs" in the January Booking (which is a different board than the Sept-Dec board) we can't change it for the next contract.  Open your eyes ladies and gentlemen...  vote NO.  UNLESS they put percentages of straight runs in the agreement.

Please read the document carefully and think worst case scenario... Trust is important between parties who are in negotiations and clear language builds trust.


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I think this post jumps from a false belief to reach a pre-conceived conclusion.

When I looked up the word "maximize," there were three definitions:

1. to increase to the greatest possible amount or degree;
2. to represent at the highest possible estimate; magnify;
3. to make the greatest or fullest use of.

In all definitions, there is language of "greatest possible." Which means that there would be evidence if the City increased by only one straight run and there were others possible.

You can still reach your conclusion by other means, but I wouldn't want people persuaded by a misinterpretation of the contract language.

If you think that a definition would resolve a dispute, sorry no.

Years ago during a negotiation we used the word minimum. We had all intentions of it also being a maximum. The contract was voted in and the union members were not impressed when we only met the minimum.

Language and measurable numbers, ie 20% or minimum 200 somethings.

Assuming vague language is destine for disappointment.

Clear measurable numbers are very difficult to get in any labour contract, however a minimum number should be written.

Best of luck to those voting!

All I've seen so far from the city is misinterpretations of past contracts in their favor. You probably are not a driver.

No I'm not a driver, but do have experience negotiating contracts. It will be very difficult to get an employer to put hard numbers in a contract.

That being said, they should at least provide a minimum number of days off, types of work, etc...at least a minimum.

An employer will always interpret the contract in their favour. Then deal with it afterward. Hard numbers, facts, etc. not words like; try, meet with, discuss, minimum, etc

Send your execs back to try and get some numbers in print.

Good luck

(Deleted comment)
just thinking in my head...if Roadwarrior is right about the 'part timers', then the junior operators should vote YES because they can pay part timers less to do the work...which in turn they can eventually eliminate some full timers...and guess who's gonna get it? yup, the junior operators...and maybe I'm overthinking this...

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