Transit service disruption

July 22, 2014


I am extremely disappointed that the members of the Amalgamated Transit Union rejected the tentative agreement that was reached by the City and ATU bargaining teams and ratified by City Council. I know this service disruption will cause a lot of hardship for the many people who rely on transit.

The City’s Chief Administrative Officer has released a statement that outlines the City’s position and explains some of the history. You can read it by clicking here.

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8 Comments on “Transit service disruption”

  1. Bill Hulet Says:

    I read in the Mercury that some of the core reasons for the rejection of the contract was that the long-term disability pay outs were going to be reduced and the hours for skilled-trade maintenance people cut. If true, they weren’t mentioned in the press release. Again, if true, I would submit that the city isn’t being forthright and honest with the public. Why did Anne Pappert only mention wages if these aren’t the reasons why the members wouldn’t support the agreement? This just seems like the same old game of “make unions look greedy” by refusing to mention anything else except wages.

    Why do labour disputes always end up in these sorts of petty, spiteful confrontations? Why can’t people simply put the books on the table and negotiate a compromise? I am so sick of people trying to “spin” the facts. In the long run, I don’t see how it is a better strategy than being honest and open, and gaining the trust of the other parties. From what I’ve heard, the reason why many people voted against the contract is because the drivers no longer trust and respect the people on the other side. What a wasted opportunity!

    I don’t see why the city had to lock out the workers instead of just negotiating back and forth until something comes up that both can agree to. Who cares if the talks take 12 years? The union would be just putting off their pay increase, so they have an inducement to settle.

  2. elizabeth Says:

    So disappointed you say.. the drivers want to keep driving while you allmighties try to figure stuff out! LET THEM DRIVE we need them! Are you going to pay for our cabs? Or should we sll stop working go on welfare and then your precious city tax money has to pay us anyways! I pay taxes in this city and am not impressed. Being new here so far I have to say this town sucks! You will NOT be getting my households vote this year.

  3. Bobbi Says:

    I totally agree. This is crap. I’m a single mom how am I supposed to pay rent, buy food, pay for cabs everywhere. I can’t. So I get to pick on feeding my children keeping a roof over there heads or trying to get to work

  4. Steve Mercer Says:

    The CAO’s statement touts the fairness of the City’s offer of 6.8% wage increase over four years. In the interests of openness, please provide the total wage increase percentage over the last four years for the following positions: Mayor, City Councillor, CAO, Executive Director Operations & Transit, and Guelph Transit General Manager.

  5. Kate Sullivan Says:

    Hi Steve,
    The wages and benefits for the Mayor and Council going back to 2007 are all posted on the City’s website here:
    I will have to look into the other positions you’ve listed.
    Kate Sullivan
    Mayor’s Office

  6. Joanne Morant Says:

    It is not the students who pay taxes but the local residents that can’t get to their jobs that do. Go figure and over accessible washrooms!!!

  7. Vikki Says:

    I am disgusted that the city has locked out the transit workers. Transit should be considered an essential service. I am stuck in the south end and can’t get to doctor appointments and other essential appointments. I don’t have friends who can drive me downtown for these things. And how am I supposed to get my transit refund with no way to any of the locations listed. It doesn’t sound like this is going to be resolved any time soon because they aren’t even negotiating right now. This is so frustrating!!

  8. Tim Allman Says:

    The only reason that I can see that the workers might legitimately be locked out is if they were taking ad hoc job action such as wildcat strikes or working to rule to the point that the ability of the employer to provide the service is compromised. As far as I can tell from reading the local press this was not the case. Someone please correct me if I am wrong. In fact, it appeared that there was a good working relationship between the union and the city before the vote. Why not make use of that relationship to let the union go back to the membership while keeping the buses on the road?

    The reason we have public institutions is to provide needed public services. Should not the provider, in this case the City of Guelph, consider closing down the service to be a last resort rather than a first action? After all, there are many more people affected by the loss of bus service than just the staff and they are affected badly.

    In a private situation a strike or lockout has costs on both sides. In a public sector strike the employer always wins because every day the service is not provided is a day that costs are not paid. Remember, Guelph Transit is primarily a social service and those from whom it has been taken are paying dearly in time, money and inconvenience as long as this situation continues.

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