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Archive for January 28th, 2009

The mayor asks a very good question

January 28, 2009 @ 20:32 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Transit strike

antiatu279.pngLarry O’Brien has written a blog entry asking what is the ATU willing to compromise on. He talks about the negotiations over the last couple of months, including the recent negotiations. The city has changed their offer from 7.25% over three years to 9.25% over three years. (As a point of reference, federal employees are only getting 6.8% over four years.) They’re focusing on the safety aspects and consequently have removed the $2500 bonus drivers were going to receive in recognition of efficiencies that would have been achieved by the new contract.

9.25% is what the union was asking for (even though they’ve said it’s not about the money) and still they’re saying no.

For the union to say that the city’s offer is basically unchanged from the original offer is ludicrous. True, the city wants to regain control of the schedule and they’re not budging on this, but they’ve sweetened the pot in return by giving in on the salary demands. (Management has the right and responsibility to manage. Without control over the schedule, they cannot exercise this right nor fulfill their responsibilities.)

Compromise is a two-way street. The city has compromised on some things, so what is the union willing to compromise on to reach an agreement?


Now you can write your own story about the negotiations between the City and ATU 279

January 28, 2009 @ 12:31 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Transit strike

Andre Cornellier certainly makes it easy for reporters to file their stories about the negotiations between the City and ATU 279, doesn’t he, because there’s really just a handful of phrases and quotes they need to use when writing their stories?

Now you can write your own story in five easy steps!

First, you need a headline:

  1. Talks break off again between the city and striking transit union
  2. Union negotiators walk away from the table
  3. ATU 279 still on strike
  4. No progress in negotiations between the city and transit union
  5. Day ___: Still no deal   (you’ll have to fill in the blank with the appropriate number)

Chose one of the following opening sentences:

  1. After returning to the bargaining table, talks between the City and Local 279 of the Amalgamated Transit Union have broken down once again.
  2. Once again, negotiators for Local 279 of the Amalgamated Transit Union walked away from the negotiating table.
  3. Bus riders are still stuck walking as the strike enters its _______th day in a row. (again, fill in the blank with the appropriate number)

Next, add a reason why the talks broke off:

  1. Union negotiators maintain that they have the right to determine their schedules.
  2. According to union officials the City’s latest offer is not substantially different from previous offers.
  3. City maintains it has the support of its citizens in pursuing its goals of reducing overtime and operating costs while improving safety.

Finally, you need some quotes. First, one from a random citizen of Ottawa:

  1. U. N. Owen, regular bus rider, said “I can’t believe they rejected this offer. It’s more than most people in this city are getting.”
  2. “Both sides are being spoiled rotten children,” said John upon hearing talks had broken down again. “They should be taken out to the woodshed and beaten with a switch.”
  3. “Looks like I’m going to be walking to work for a long time,” one rider was heard to comment.

And then one from the Union:

  1. “I’m just drooling,” Andre Cornellier told reporters.
  2. “It’s about maximum disruption and maximum inconvenience to the public,” reminded local president Andre Cornellier.

And voila! You’ve just written the next story about negotiations between the city and ATU 279!

If I’ve missed any options, please feel free to post suggestions below. 🙂