ikarus8737 (ikarus8737) wrote in octranspo,

Why I've decided to vote no

 Although some of the proposals work for me, I have a problem with the following and will be voting no:

-Currently, when a Bus Operator is forced to extend their work day beyond their normal finishing time (due to weather, traffic), they are compensated irregardless of the various pay guarantees.
Under this proposal,  Operators are guaranteed 8 hours per day, but if they are forced to work until 8 PM even though they were supposed to finish at 7:30 PM, they do not receive any compensation because they only spent 7 hrs 30 min in the seat and got paid 8 hrs.
Under the pre-strike system, Operators spending as little as 7:01 in the drivers seat were paid 8 hrs (due to spread times over 12 hours) and received overtime for any time they were extended beyond their normal finishing time.
Working split shifts is very demanding on family life as well as mentally/physically. Pay incentives are built into these shifts in order to compensate for forced extra time spent away from home. This is standard in collective agreements for Transit Operators elsewhere and should continue.  A huge number of the total workforce of Operators drive split shifts and this will affect many lives.
Aside from that, this is also a bad deal for management and passengers because on snowstorm/transit chaos days, no one will volunteer to do extra work since they won't get paid anything more until they reach 8 hours in the driver's seat. The system wide disruptions will extend well beyond rush hour.

-4 years binding agreement on this proposed booking/scheduling system. What if it still needs tweaking? There should be room for negotiation in the spring.

-Withdrawal of the Saturday/Sunday overtime shifts. Yes, these can be removed by either party at anytime outside the collective bargaining process, but they are still being removed as a result of the memorandum of agreement that we will be voting on. These designated overtime shifts came out of the process following the 1999 shootings (as did the flexible booking system that we lost after the strike). These limited overtime shifts were set up so that junior employees with families could have time off on the weekends sooner (used to take 10 years to get one weekend off every 2 weeks, 20 years to get both weekends off) and so that senior employees could make a little extra money (since Bus Operators don't get paid more as they gain seniority.) A win win that has been very successful for the last 11 years and doesn't cost the City very much. Junior employees should think this one over carefully.

-The complete shafting of Transit Maintenance employees. Our mechanics, garage attendants etc. have just had the rug pulled out from under them with crazy changes in the way they are scheduled and the way their work is distributed. Their department is still new (after responsibilities were handed back from the City). The whole management team is new and they are playing fast and loose with the contract, making fast, radical changes. Morale is lower in Transit Maintenance now than with the Operators. The language relating to having their concerns addressed is vague at best. They deserve better and I support them after they stood in solidarity with us during the strike even though it was mainly over our issues. These are the people that put safe buses on the road every day.

-Vague language relating to the structure of the posted work and the continued lack of variety in straight runs. I want a firm percentage guarantee of straight runs, not an empty promise. There is still not nearly enough choice in the variety of straight (not split shift) runs as there was pre-strike. The relief points are still ridiculous (where you start being really far from where you finish or very inconvenient which eats up more of your day shuffling your car around-unpaid.)

-Spite. I thought I was above it, but I'm still angry. I want O'Brien to face the electorate in the fall as the guy who made a mess out of transit and perpetuated a strike that had, as profit, a ridiculous scheduling system that wound up costing more and causing a huge amount of cancelled trips. I want the City to wallow in the mess they created and I want the Councilors to be held accountable at election time for their ignorance during the strike. I want the new Mayor and Council to have a look at the performance of the OC Transpo management team. I want the arbitrator to rule on the violations. I'm mad that Operators will, in many cases, not be able to pick their own work if this is ratified. I'm mad that our acting union president has decided for us that this is a "good deal" prior to a vote.

Decide for yourselves, brothers and sisters. I vote no.
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