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TTC as an Essential Service


t_harris01
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Sounds like a super hero. lol Dragon Ball Z or something :)

I brought that up because I thought we could use them to drive smaller buses, on like community routes or lower density routes. Someone mentioned paying the the drivers what we pay them now wouldn't make sense to offer the same pay, driving a smaller bus. Wouldn't the part-time workers be under ATU 113, but under a different contract, than full timers?

1 union, 1 contract. ATU 113 (or any union, for that matter) will not allow multiple contracts for their work.

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http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandg...8/16602491.html http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnis...8/16602581.html

Poor Robby Ford, he has absolutely no idea the can of worms he's opened up, but he will, soon enough.

Bob as a point, if you declare them esstential you might as well pay them the same amount as police officers, or pay them more.

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Bob as a point, if you declare them esstential you might as well pay them the same amount as police officers, or pay them more.

I think this whole "pay them the same amount as police officers" thing is being blown out of proportion.

It is unreasonable to suggest that transit workers should be paid the same as police officers and firefighters simply because they are all essential services. What instead should be the case is that transit workers should receive the same raises as did those emergency workers when they were declared an essential service.

If it happens that that raise makes transit worker wages equal emergency worker wages, then so be it, but it must be acknowledged that along with essential service designation comes an increased responsibility. Increased responsibility in the workplace should always be rewarded with increased pay.

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Bob as a point, if you declare them esstential you might as well pay them the same amount as police officers, or pay them more.

Do you even know how insane that remark is? Essential or not, you're comparing apples to oranges. Besides in all other cities where transit is an essential service in no way do the transit workers there make as much as the police, fire, EMS, etc,. there so why should it be the case here? It shouldn't. Do you really think cops and fire are going to stand by and watch being equated with bus drivers, much less being paid the same as them when their jobs are inherently more dangerous? When someone is breaking into your home and you call 911, do you expect a bus driver to show up and hand you a transfer? When you're injured or hurt and call for an ambulance, does a collector show up asking for $3.00 before treating you? Give your head a shake will you?

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I was being sarcastic and exaggerating. Of course not pay them the same amount as police officer, but you have to pay them more. They have no right to strike.

No, you don't *have* to pay them more.

But what is likely to happen is that that when the contract goes to binding arbitration - which is usually one of the benefits that the union will get in exchange for losing the right to strike - that the arbitrator will be more generous to the union. It doesn't necessarily have to happen that way, but historically it does.

Dan

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  • 1 month later...

Obviously there are different definitions of "privatization". ATU et al would presumably see any involvement by the private sector in duties carried out by TTC employees as privatization, and that while moving duties from unionized to non-unionized staff or breaking TTC into different operating units wholly owned by the City would not be privatization that it would be a precursor to doing so.

From where I stand, I would like to see the TTC become primarily a planning, supervising and capacity purchase organisation. The Commission would direct the level of service desired and the fare to the rider along with issuing all fare media. The CGM's role would then be to contract with the subway operator and one or more bus and streetcar operators to provide this service level (perhaps one contract issued per bus garage although the same operator might tender for multiple garages). In manner this would operate like the relationship Air Canada has with Jazz and Continental has with Colgan.

The expectation would be that these smaller units would be more innovative (although in size they would be equivalent to the entire transit system of substantial areas elsewhere) since under the capacity purchase agreement their responsibility would be solely to provide a specified number of driver/vehicle hours and operate the vehicle safely - should they come up with a better rostering system that TTC HQ previously dictated, or some other way of saving money (like turning off the bus when idling, or crewing arrangements which minimised vehicle time at loops) then the employees could profit-share knowing they would profit directly and not that the savings would be sucked back into the black hole that is the city Budget. Ideally these agreements would be dated to fall outside the municipal election period and not less than 9 months after the election to stop kneejerk reactions, but would also last only 4 years at a time to stop Astral-style 20 year lock-ins or crazy deals by bad mayors.

This would take years to do - there would be a need to ensure both existing TTC employees and new contractor employees had well funded pensions (and in the TTC's case that's not certain right now so it would force the City to face this sooner rather than later) but I think the vertical integration of TTC combined with political direction makes it difficult for the system to suitably modernise.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Kinnear Promises No TTC Work Stoppages During Contract Negotiations

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 president Bob Kinnear has vowed that TTC workers won't strike during this year's contract talks, but he wants a full consultation and public debate on whether the TTC should be considered an essential service.

Kinnear complained Thursday that no one from the city spoke to him about the essential service issue, and he hopes to sit down with mayor Ford and TTC chair Karen Stintz to discuss the issue.

"The union is opposed to a law that takes away our collective bargaining rights," he said, adding that both the union and management agree on the matter.

The current collective agreement expires on March 31st and the province is expected to declare the Toronto Transit Commission an essential service before that date.

Ontario politicians return from their legislative break on Feb. 22.

Kinnear thinks that's rushing an important decision and he doesn't believe the provincial government should impose legislation without proper consultation.

"We are asking for a fair process," he said. "At the end of the day if the provincial government enacts it, then we will have to live with it.

Stintz responded on Thursday, saying that although they remain committed to having the TTC named an essential service, she would be happy to sit down with the union to discuss the finer points.

"As was mentioned the city's interest in passing essential service legislation was clear. We want to have continuity of service for our riders," she stressed. "If we can achieve this objective by sitting down with the union and working something out voluntarily then it's in our respective interest to do so. But we do need to be clear, we will be pushing forward, we are committed to the legislation."

"We believe the riders of Toronto need to be able to rely on the TTC, they believe it is an essential service."

Kinnear promised that there was no threat of a TTC strike or service disruption during the up-coming rounds of collective bargaining. If a deal can't be nailed down, he hopes to go to arbitration while continuing with full service.

"If we are unable to reach a voluntary agreement with the TTC, we agree in advance to submit our unresolved issues to binding arbitration...my fellow union leaders here have agreed to this as well and we hope that the TTC will also agree."

"We will act as if an essential service law was already in effect," he said. "This will effectively give the mayor what he wants, but will also allow for more consultation...and it will also assure the people of Toronto that there will be no interruption to their TTC service."

"Since both Mayor Ford and TTC chair Stinz, have recently shown themselves open to public consultation on other issues, such as the city budget and TTC service cuts, we see no reason why they would be opposed to this."

Source: CityNews

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The change of heart is more than a little amusing. The horses however have left the barn a few times in the recent years. Closing the doors now is a bit late.

I wasn't really all that surprise the Union would do this. This is good news though for a lot of people. No Strike!! Hopefully they keep their word even though they don't have to. Soon, they may not have a choice. Bob didn't mentioned Work-to-rule either, so good job!

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Good News!

You didn't actually read the article, did you?

Kinnear only said that he wouldn't during this round of negotiations if - and only if - the City slows down their push to have the TTC declared an essential service. He wants a say in the process, which is something that he doesn't have right now. And the way things are going, Ford(s) and Stintz has no plans to slow the process down.

Which means that there is still a very good chance that we're going to have a Mexican Standoff in a couple of months time.

Dan

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You didn't actually read the article, did you?

Kinnear only said that he wouldn't during this round of negotiations if - and only if - the City slows down their push to have the TTC declared an essential service. He wants a say in the process, which is something that he doesn't have right now. And the way things are going, Ford(s) and Stintz has no plans to slow the process down.

Which means that there is still a very good chance that we're going to have a Mexican Standoff in a couple of months time.

Dan

I saw the video. He said he's going to treat it as if they are already an Essential service. I probably missed what you read. If thats the case, hopefully the TTC is essential before the contract expires.

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  • 3 weeks later...

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nation...article1918247/

Banning transit strikes is a bad idea

MARCUS GEE

Globe and Mail Update

Published Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011 7:36PM EST

Last updated Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011 8:01PM EST

To the ordinary person going to work on the Queen car every morning, it may seem a trifling thing that the streetcar driver is about to lose his right to go on strike. The driver is reasonably paid to begin with. Strikes are a pain for everyone. Why should one group be allowed to disrupt a whole city?

But it’s not a trifle to rob anyone of an established right. Unions fought for decades to win the right to walk off the job in protest without being thrown in jail or worse. On a field that is usually tilted in favour of employers, who deliver the paycheques and hold the right to hire and fire, it is the only real weapon that they have.

It is no accident that the world’s nastiest regimes ban strikes. “The right to withdraw one’s labour is a basic civil right in a free society,” says John Cartwright, president of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council. He is one of several union leaders who is fighting the provincial government’s move to declare the Toronto Transit Commission an essential service at the behest of Mayor Rob Ford.

“It is unacceptable to say that working men and women lose that right if somebody is inconvenienced. Declarations of essential service are supposed to be defined by risks to public health or safety, not convenience.”

He has a point. Governments can sometimes justify banning strikes by police, firefighters or hospital workers. They deliver services that are often a matter of life and death. Transit workers are not in that category. A strike at the TTC may be a massive inconvenience for commuters. It may even hobble the city’s economy while it lasts. It doesn’t put anyone’s life in danger.

If inconvenience is the standard, why not ban garbage workers from going on strike? After the silly 2009 walkout, we all know what a hassle that was. If the concern is about damaging the city’s economy, why not ban workers at the planning and building-permit departments from striking. In their absence, approvals pile up and builders lose money. Or what about daycare workers? They are vital for working parents. Should we ban them from striking, too?

Let’s remember what it means when we take away the right to strike, as the Liberal government is doing so casually and with such politically motivated haste. We already prohibit workers, quite rightly, from walking out during the life of an existing contract. Now we are saying they must stay on the job in all circumstances, regardless of how they feel they are being treated, or face prosecution.

The move to ban transit walkouts would make at least some sense if Toronto were coming off a traumatic TTC strike. In fact, the transit riders have endured only two brief stoppages in the past decade, one of them an illegal walkout – and essential-services legislation can’t guarantee against another one of those.

It can’t guarantee lower costs, either. When you take away the threat of a strike, it means that the two sides have less incentive to settle their differences between themselves. If they fail, a labour arbitrator usually steps in. Experience shows that arbitrated contract settlements are often more generous than negotiated ones.

There are at least two other practical reasons to think banning transit strikes is a bad idea. It makes work-to-rule campaigns and other labour slowdowns more likely, because workers have no other way to protest. It makes it harder to negotiate more flexible work rules that might improve customer service, because the decision usually falls to an arbitrator and most arbitrators shy away from making big changes to the status quo.

But the best reason is one of principle: it is wrong to take away a right. The right to strike is an important one. It shouldn’t be stripped away so lightly.

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The article has flaws in it.

1) Rob Ford is planning to contract out the garbage service. This will eliminate the possibly of a strike.

2) What about the people who rely on public transit to go to work? If they don't go to work, they don't get paid. They don't have the money to paid for food, rents and bills, et cetera.

3) Nothing is perfect. Arbritration will allow TTC hire part time staff hence reduce the needs of paying overtime to workers. The workers will get more time to spend with their families.

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The article has flaws in it.

1) Rob Ford is planning to contract out the garbage service. This will eliminate the possibly of a strike.

Care to explain that to YRT? They contract out their services, but yet seem to suffer from strikes still.

2) What about the people who rely on public transit to go to work? If they don't go to work, they don't get paid. They don't have the money to paid for food, rents and bills, et cetera.

Absolutely. One can also argue that since 65+% of TTC riders have regular access to a car that there would be more cars on the road during a TTC strike, thereby making it more difficult for the emergency services to get around.

3) Nothing is perfect. Arbritration will allow TTC hire part time staff hence reduce the needs of paying overtime to workers. The workers will get more time to spend with their families.

Huh? How do you figure that, exactly?

Dan

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Care to explain that to YRT? They contract out their services, but yet seem to suffer from strikes still.

Absolutely. One can also argue that since 65+% of TTC riders have regular access to a car that there would be more cars on the road during a TTC strike, thereby making it more difficult for the emergency services to get around.

Huh? How do you figure that, exactly?

Dan

ESSENTIAL IS BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The article has flaws in it.

1) Rob Ford is planning to contract out the garbage service. This will eliminate the possibly of a strike.

It does not. There is always possibilty of a strike.

2) What about the people who rely on public transit to go to work? If they don't go to work, they don't get paid. They don't have the money to paid for food, rents and bills, et cetera.

2 days of work stoppage in the decade. Is that really a massive inconvience?

3) Nothing is perfect. Arbritration will allow TTC hire part time staff hence reduce the needs of paying overtime to workers. The workers will get more time to spend with their families.

Makes no sense.

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Absolutely. One can also argue that since 65+% of TTC riders have regular access to a car <snip>

Dan, I've been having trouble convincing some friends that a majority of TTC riders are in fact "choice" riders, at least those who travel in peak. Where can I find a cite? Tried the Annual Report for 2009 and Operating Statistics...

-Ed

PS: Has anyone in York Region been calling for YRT to be made essential? ...And what about GO anyway?

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Dan, I've been having trouble convincing some friends that a majority of TTC riders are in fact "choice" riders, at least those who travel in peak. Where can I find a cite? Tried the Annual Report for 2009 and Operating Statistics...

-Ed

PS: Has anyone in York Region been calling for YRT to be made essential? ...And what about GO anyway?

There's a very big car culture in York Region, I'm not sure if the modal share is high enough or if they've had enough strikes to incite the fury of residents to get on the "essential service" bandwagon yet.

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It does not. There is always possibilty of a strike.

2 days of work stoppage in the decade. Is that really a massive inconvience?

Makes no sense.

1999: 2 days

2006: 1 day wildcat

2008: 2 days+

That's 5 days in a decade, depends on how you count it.  Considering that it costs the city MILLIONS of dollars in lost revenue each day, and prevents people from being able to travel to their destination. YES it's a big deal.

Doctors appointments for seniors, and pregnant mothers. TTC is the only affordable form of Transportation for a lot of people. Maybe you can say it's not a bid deal because you dont have to go to work and rely on the TTC to get there.

Even if you had a car, could you afford to pay $20-$30.00 in parking for each day of work? Plus your gas? Or take a TAXI? For some people that's as much as they make in a day.

But here is an interesting question. Some of those strikes were illegal, meaning that they were did not follow the rules of when they were allowed to strike. What part of making them essential would prevent that? Couldn't they just break the law and go on strike anyway? It's not like they would put the Union Leader in Prison over it anyways.

What penalties are in place if essential service goes on strike?

Turns out that Essential Service Designation does not prevent Strikes.

Health care workers in Alberta have not

had the legal right to strike since 1983.

But in the Spring of 2000 more than

10,000 licensed practical nurses and

other support staff at 159 Alberta hospitals

and continuing care facilities

walked out illegally for 48 hours. The

strike was settled with the personal intervention

of Premier Ralph Klein.

Under the permanent strike ban, health

unions and members engaging in illegal

strikes face heavy penalties, which

in this case came to a $200,000 3 fine

for the union and the suspension of

dues for two months, costing it an additional

$400,000. Despite these penalties,

the illegal strike paid off: though

the employers original offer was 9%

over three years, the union won a 16%

raise over two years for LPNs. Support

workers also won “no contracting-out”

language.

So in this situation they benefited from the strike, and even though they were fined heavily, it was worth striking for them. So a similar situation could occur with the TTC EVEN WITH Essential Service designation. Just imagine how mad we would be if that happened?

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