Talks with the Municipality and the ATU stalled on Tuesday around noon when they failed to reach an agreement, thou workers will be available to provide services on Wednesday as usual as the dead line is 12:01 Am Thursday morning.
The talks lasted all of 15 mins on Tuesday and they ground to a halt said Ken Wilson of the ATU. The Union had provided a new counter-offer on Monday night which was rejected by the city, as the city has stated, “Their final offer is on the table.” Metro had a chance; to “take it or leave it” looks like they plan on leaving it.
The main concerns to contract out jobs and include part-time workers had been removed from the original offer, many are still concerned for those workers who would take leave for medical or maternity and lose out on seniority when they returned, not to mention that the city is also asking to change how workers choose their shifts, leaving senior workers at a loss as they would no longer be allowed to pick their times even after working for the company for so long.
They also wish to be the highest paid workers in Atlantic Canada. The original offer the city made included a raise to the workers which had not been any concern to the workers at the time. Now that the offer has been made the city has included a 1.8 million dollar increase over 3 years, the union’s request would cost over 10 million in 3 years and the municipality isn’t about to do this even thou Mr. Robar’s own salary and raises are quite substantial. He also refused to comment when asked about this.
In all of this thou; Mayor Peter Kelly had stated he wasn’t aware that talks broke down for the ATU and the City, with a strike dead line just hours away many commuters were scrambling like mad to find drives and or get answers, I had one of my own friends call and ask me if I knew anything more (and I was happy to provide her with what I knew)
It apparent that the municipality has its own set agenda when it comes to the ATU and in retrospect I do feel personally that this is just an election stunt being orchestrated by the mayor so he can be re-elected in the next city election come October. The 11th hour will loom and he will finally let things be and the city will be “rescued” from the so-called “hostage grip” I’ve heard people call it, of Metro Transit and all will be well, as our wonderful Mayor sits in front of the cameras saying in not so many words,
“Look what I did for this great city.” A super hero he is NOT.
Kendall a commuter who uses the services has spoken to me during the Rally at Grand parade on Sunday evening and stated he had already written a verbally sound letter to our Mayor chastising him for his lack of support and it had been circulated around the office there. He lives in Dartmouth and he stated the cost of cab fare would cripple him as it would cost too much to get to work like that.
When I spoke to Gabe who spoke for many of the students of the city he stated that 40 thousand students had the U pass and many would find this strike disastrous as it would affect their lively hoods, from working to getting to class.
In all of this thou with the strike looming and the rallies I’ve attended I was quite pleased to see some faces that did support the drivers like Peggy Nash from the NDP party who believes that the drivers deserve better. The NSCEU, CUPE, The Public Service Alliance, The Canadian Union of Postal Workers, and the water commission ALL were at the rally supporting the workers in full force. Its backings and support like this that helps those who have unionized jobs to keep what they fight for, there are MANY who say there’s NO such thing as job security…but if you fight for what you believe in, you can still secure what you do have in your job!
All in all this blogger will be keeping her eyes and ears opened to what is transpiring. If I hear anything before the dead line you can be sure I will be on here posting even if it’s at 12:01 am!!!
Note that those who state, Well people on assistance live on less than what the drivers make, remember this if privatization was to come to the services here, even those on assistance won’t be able to afford a trip on the bus.
UPDATE: Shane O’Leary has stated as of 11:33 pm Feb 1st, 2012 the news is that the workers will NOT be walking off the job as of midnight tonight as the city has returned to the bargaining table to talk more about the contract that they are offering the ATU. I will be watching the outcome of this pending strike right up to the deadline and beyond.
11:58, with 3 mins left we’re still on board and watching… be prepared thou a strike is possibly only minutes away!
12:02 Am – So far so good, there isn’t a strike in the works as of yet as the team for the ATU Ken Wilson stated they have 4 hours left to hash out a deal with the municipality if not… they will be on the picket lines come 4:15 am… Keep your eyes and ears opened people… we’re in for a long one…
7:30 Am – unfortunately after an 11th hour offer the Municipality failed to come to an agreement with the ATU, even with the offers the Municipality made the ATU, with raises and other concessions. So the strike was a go. With over 70 items on the contract that the city had wanted to change, the ATU asked for things to remain where they were. The issue of privatization and part-time workers were taken off the list and a solution for the roistering was sorted but other aspects were still there that the city refused to move on and the ATU is adamant on saving drivers the stresses behind those proposed changes. So at 1:45 am Ken Wilson and Shane O’Leary were working on getting barrels setup and pickets started, 750 workers will now be walking the line hoping the city will move on some of the items they wish to change, Shane and Ken thou feel that the city is doing this on the back of the tax payer believing that they are only making the workers striking as so to save money and will then come back to the table once the money is there. Gas is now over $ 1.30 a liter, and traffic is horribly dangerous now. “If you can’t get to work, call Peter Kelly to drive you, he doesn’t take the bus and he has NO idea what we do on a daily basis”
Shelby Dawn Gay of Westville Nova Scotia Sent the following text to Mayor Peter Kelly once the strike started… “I really appreciate that you take it upon yourself to waste my efforts of the past year and my $12000 for school because you can’t give the bus drivers what they want. I will expect a personal check from you and an apology letter should the busses shut down” Shelby along with 40 thousand other students will be stuck without means to get to classes due to the strike and the city’s lack of negations.