Guelph Transit employees reject tentative agreement; transit service suspended

Press release

Tonight, the members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189 voted to reject a tentative agreement ratified by Guelph City Council and endorsed by their own union executive.

With the tentative agreement defeated, the City has reinstituted the lockout originally set to begin Monday, July 14. Guelph Transit services are halted indefinitely until such time as the members of ATU Local 1189 reconsider the City’s offer.

The City of Guelph will be offering refunds to all Guelph Transit July 2014 pass holders for the second half of July. Details will be confirmed and shared in a subsequent media release.

A statement has been issued by the City of Guelph’s Chief Administrative Officer, Ann Pappert detailing the City administration’s level of frustration.

For details on picket lines, City service disruptions and FAQs, visit guelphtransit.ca.

For background on the negotiation process, visit guelph.ca/atu.

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10 Comments

Filed under City Policy

10 responses to “Guelph Transit employees reject tentative agreement; transit service suspended

  1. linda drew

    you people piss me off..your making too much money now and yet your bitching about more..talk about greedy..you try and live off of 12.oohr then youd hav somethin to bitch about..now thanks to you i cant get to work and may loose my job..theres somethin to bitch at..;hope all you guys are happy putting us thousands of people ourt of work cause theres some of us out there that cant afford a car and we rely on transit..

  2. C mac

    How do you know how much they are making? Assumptions probably. If you want their job go get a bus license and apply for the job. Stop complaining about fellow citizens making a fair wage…. do you want everyone making $12 an hour? Imagine what our city would look like then.

    Let’s ask about the raises and perks city council always allows themselves.

    • Ralph Cramden

      Hey buddy, she is aware that they are already making too much, she is the one who now cannot get to work because of this and the short notice. You sound like a transit grunt, get lost.

  3. Mark

    I have to agree with Linda Drew. Yes the ATU members work for a fair living, and that is exactly what they receive. It is sad that we live an economy where job security for many skilled workers is an unknown. I know people with PhDs, higher education and skills training that would love to find work, but cannot, and it burns me up to hear about what can only be described as greed from the ATU members. I hope this is a long and drawn out strike, and I hope the city does not offer anything more than it has already generously offered. Even the union executive accepted the offer.

    I also agree with C mac, council members should not make the wages they do, but there difference between politicians and greedy union members is that everyone recognizes that politicians are selfish.

  4. Steve

    First of all, this is a lockout, not a strike. It’s the city that took buses off the street and is inconveniencing those who rely on them.
    Yes, the union members rejected the offer but they have stated they are willing to continue working while their union and the city continue negotiations. The city said no to this and shut down service. Put the blame where it belongs.
    As for the fairness of the offer…it was a total of 6.8% over 4 years. The last 4 years of inflation have totaled 8.4%. Would you happily accept an offer like that? Is it selfish to want to at least keep up with inflation?
    (I am not affiliated with Guelph Transit, ATU, or City Hall. I’m just a citizen who wants to know why the city chose to inconvenience its citizens with a lockout when they obviously didn’t have to.)

  5. Rider

    Well said Steve!

    Also the city workers should have to pay for their own parking downtown like everyone else… If they depended on the buses like many of us do to get to work…

  6. Robert

    Ann Pappert, City Of Guelph C.A.O, not happy with the vote. Geez Ann lets look at your salary, $ 209,000 a year, divide by 52 weeks = $ 4,019.00 divide by 40 for your hourly wage = $100.48 per hour. Please ,no comment !

  7. Teunis

    Robert – it is completely ridiculous to compare Ann Papper’s wage to that of a bus driver. Anybody can drive a bus. It is a no-skill job requiring NO education. $26/hour is way more than it is worth, not to mention benefits, vacation, pension etc. Get a reality check.

    • End_the_lock-out_now

      Honest question for Teunis – where are you getting the $26/hr figure?
      In 2010 the average wage was $14.81 – perhaps you are quoting someone with seniority but it is still nowhere near the average from 2010, and minimum of $10.90.

      2010 Figures: Kitchener / Waterloo / Barrie / Guelph – Ontario Min:10.90 Average:14.81 Max:24.88 2010
      Source: http://www.livingin-canada.com/salaries-for-bus-drivers-subway-transit-operators-canada.html

      • Teunis is correct, that is approximately what Transit Ops make at at Guelph. That is about a $55k per year salary. About the same as a machinist, heavy equipment op, or journeyman tradesperson makes. It is less than a truck driver makes. Those other career choices all involve being able to piss when you need to, without fear of getting reprimanded.

        Teunis is also very incorrect in thinking that “anyone” can drive a bus. I have held a number of jobs over the years, and it is MUCH more challenging than people think. Bus drivers are expected to stay on post regardless of bad weather, and should an emergency crop up. They get assaulted verbally on a daily basis, physically threatened or assaulted commonly. Traffic cuts you off on average twice a minute all day, once an hour or so it’s a bad one… every couple of weeks you’re certain to have to pull over and kiss the ground. And on top of that is fare collection, direction giving, assisting higher needs clients, staying on schedule, not running into anything with a 55′ vehicle while doing 55 kph down the back streets (which is called unsafe by your bosses, who then in the same breath schedule you so that the only way you can possibly get back on time is to speed… this is also incredibly hard on the equipment, hence the trail of black oil everywhere GT goes). Then there’s the night driving (AKA what you get when you haven’t been working there for 20 years), with crowds of young drunk students running from the bushes straight in front of you, puking, alcohol poisoning, “don’t stop believing” at 130dB for 4 hours a night, threats, fare fraud, insults, more puke…. etc.. I’ve had my bus rushed by hundreds of students, GT not only doesn’t schedule extra supervisors on Hallowe’en, homecoming and St Patrick’s day, they generally schedule only inexperienced supervisors (because the experienced ones have seniority and get the day off).

        Instead of insulting the same people s/he’s angry over not having around, perhaps instead Teunis could try sitting behind a bus driver for 10 hours ONE TIME and see what a shift, one shift of thousands, is actually like. Of course, that would make it hard to just throw blame around without the slightest knowledge of what they’re talking about… I’d say most people wouldn’t last through their first shift.

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