Transit lock out.

A resident’s perspective.

Please, please resolve this dispute. There is an election coming up and transit riding voters will remember what was done on this side of the dispute. By saying that the ball is in the court of the union is all well and good for the city but does absolutely nothing to help come to a resolution. Because you locked out the transit workers would it then be possible for me to invoice the transit department for all costs incurred arising from the dispute? I doubt it, but as of today the bill is already over one hundred dollars with lost wages and taxi fees.

While not classified as an essential service, transit service is definitely essential to our family, and I am curious as to how many of you rely on transit to get around? I am guessing none or this would not have happened.

I will do my best to inform the residents of this city about your (in) action on this matter, and campaign against voting for incumbents in October.

You may have cost my family employment due to this lock out I will try my best to cost you your jobs also. MT



Filed under On the Buses

23 responses to “Transit lock out.

  1. An attack on transit is an attack on Guelph’s poorest citizens. Are they expendable because they don’t pay much in taxes and they tend not to vote? The Mayor and the CAO shoold be ashamed and should be forced to walk for the duration.

  2. Rider

    Well said Dis-a-Ray Antiques.
    Also the city workers should have to pay for their own parking downtown like everyone else… If they depended on the buses like some of us do to get to work…

  3. I challenge the City to do better for these employees. Behind the spin, the city is trying to claw back long-term disability benefits. If the City wants to save money on LTD benefit costs, they should do so by making sure that all employees get regular breaks and access to drinking water and the time to be able to get to the bathroom when needed (this means creating a work environment that ENCOURAGES healthy decisions). I worked that job for 5 years, and my body and heart took such a beating, I can’t even put it into words. The shifts are as much as 11 hours long, and you get one single 30 minute break in that entire shift, and your break is regularly cut short by customer needs, equipment failures, a lunchroom 7 minutes’ walk away, etc.

    Driver comfort is poorly addressed if at all. Stress is high, and management works diligently to increase it at all opportunities. Upper management is essentially non-present (I had one opportunity to talk to the GM in the 5 years I worked there, but was unfortunately working at that time), so they don’t have any investment in the drivers as people. The supervisors are given both too much and too little latitude, and so they’re typically frustrated, and poop rolls downwardly, as they say…

    I bet if the City of Guelph worked to foster a team environment, and started recognizing that the work of driving a bus is very demanding, and that the drivers should be treated as the valuable resource they are, that the taxpayers would enjoy very real savings, and the city would be presented with a few more friendly faces across the bargaining table.

    Jus sayin’

    • Both sides are at fault, even if the City is the more culpable of the two. Our society’s most vulnerable are being used as chips in a war between the well-paid and the over-paid. We need to declare transit as essential, and we then need to protect the workers through mediation. Anything less is

      • Bus drivers are paid somewhere between well and adequately, the salary is about $51,000 a year. Yes, this is a solid wage in today’s economy, and yes they enjoy relative job security (I was laid off while there, and now a couple of years later it’s a lockout). The city adds $27 ish thousand to that for benefits, the cost of which depends largely on the driver’s family situation. The bottom line is about $750 a week, since everyone loves to tell themselves how lavish the salary is, and since everybody seems to be afraid to talk real numbers. I certainly didn’t get to enjoy a jetset lifestyle of limousine rides and expensed fine meals! An entry-level home in Guelph is about $250k these days.

        Let’s remember as well that bus drivers are expected to stay on the job through snow and ice, tornadoes and whatever else nature throws their way, attend and assist higher needs customers, monitor fare payment, assist drunken students by the dozen, drive safely, watch for wanted persons, confront passengers who are harassing other riders, give directions (often to people who don’t speak English well), yada yada yada. I’ve had a number of jobs over the years, this one was incredibly demanding!

        Behind the scenes, morale is terrible and the city insists on an aggressive, “take no prisoners” approach, instead of good-faith bargaining. If you make transit an essential service, you’ll see salaries climb quickly. Because everyone knows that money makes up for anything.

  4. geo

    I pay 100% LTD, no choice in the matter. Bus drivers in Guelph are old, fat and spoiled. Time for some new blood. Some young people who would probably think they’ve died and gone to heaven if they could snag a full time job paying $20.00/hr plus benefits and a pension and you never get laid off!

    • Why not see yourself as under-compensated, instead of bus drivers as over-compensated? What’s with the hate?

      You try the job out for a bit, and then pop off about how easy it is. Just by the anger you’re displaying here, I can assure you, you’d crack in days….

  5. ernie

    Anne Pappert and Farbridge both need to be fired. The same with the rest of the management in the Taj Mahal; most of whom could be replaced by a broomstick and no one would notice.

    Geo: its not the union workers where your tax dollars are going. Its the unaccountable public sector management which are to blame. People like the bus drivers have zero say in how things are run (ie, mismanaged).

  6. geo

    “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone”

  7. Kooper

    I think it is appalling someone approved our tax dollars to have Italian paving stones shipped over for the freakish looking city hall building but can not provide proper toilet facilities for drivers or multiple keys for the one toilet they have in the “Must have” bus station our tax dollars will be paying off for years.
    As usual our city does everything half cocked and never thinks for future or actually counts our pennies. The people we voted for only think of their own wants and make excuses we can afford it or we need it.

    All the people that use the transit for work, for Doctor appointments, for special needs care during the day. I would not be surprised if we see an influx of Ambulance calls for emergency visits for small children since you can hardly push a baby buggy from one end of town to the other for medical care. We don’t have enough cabs to get people to work on time during the school year in the mornings and how can people pay $50 in cab far a day back and forth to work? One hospital run is $24 from where I live in town.

    Downtown is already a ghost town despite city counsel believing riders made no real impact on businesses.

    Large companies are already creating shuttle services to keep operations running but what about all those franchises and small business operations that can’t afford that? Owners of establishments going to their employees homes to pick them up for shifts….really ….
    A lot of jobs will be lost over this in a matter of a week to two weeks.

    I hear complaints over benefits and yet they probably are using the same insurance company we left which jacked up rates. If costs are so high make them accommodate the rates for product or find another carrier. If the money was spent like it was not theirs they would be protecting our tax dollar and assuring it worked for everyone. They lock themselves into contracts with no thought of future so they are under someone’s thumb then throw their hands up and roll their eyes.

    We need a new Mayor and an educated planning committee that is not part of the “old click” Guelph seems to thrive on. It is all good for those in it but everyone else pays dearly. We can’t afford to wait for them to die off for the future of our city. I am tired of watching the city I adore be laughed at by others for our lack of management and planning.

  8. ernie

    “We need a new Mayor”

    This next election, lets fire this entire council. That and more – we, taxpayers, need the ability to hire and fire key management, as these are the very people turning this city into a mess.

    • John

      Giving the public the ability to hire and fire city staff would be an unmitigated disaster.

      • Rider

        It appears we’ve given the City the power to get people fired who depend on public transportation to keep employment. Perhaps public transportation should be made an essential service – and if you disagree, consider all the highschool and U of G students who depend on it – in addition to those who need it to get to work.

  9. Paul is an excellent voice for the one side, I just wonder why we don’t get anyone from the City to respond? Is this whole horror show really just about lunchrooms and crappers? If it is that simple then it could be fixed in a second. Anyone know what is really going on?

    • I tried to link two stories here, Ray.. Looks like hyperlinks aren’t allowed, so I sent them to you on facebook..

      Behind the doublespeak from the city, they have removed some language from the existing contract that protects employees, so that they have more power over the drivers. As well, they are trying to reduce LTD benefits by 5% (as soon as someone can explain why the city prefers to beat up on the already sick, instead of working to save money by ensuring drivers are HEALTHY, I’d love to hear it… not that I’m holding my breath). These items, plus the ongoing antagonism towards employees by the city (for instance, I was called in for a meeting for my 6th sick day, despite the fact that my previous 5 sick days had been used up when I was ordered off work with a note by a doctor for neck muscle spasms – my application for STD coverage of these days was denied, WSIB also refused to cover them leaving me uncovered and looking at the typical 2 year WSIB appeal process for a couple of day’s pay. I was told that I wasn’t living up to their standards, and that my character was in question). They bought $150,000 software to track absenteeism, despite the fact that payroll is administered by a Kronos system that already tracks absenteeism.

      I know I’m just one disgruntled ex-employee… but I’d like to see HR print reports on turnover at Transit (which, considering how great a job it is, should be near 0%). In 5 years I was there, out i think 6 supervisory positions, there was only 2 supervisors working there when I left that were there when I started (only one retired, plus a couple came and went). They hire people with sexual harassment charges, the director’s position has been filled for the what, 4th time in 5 years? I ran DAILY into behaviours from management that would curl your hair…

  10. geo

    where is the mayor……………… stress leave?

  11. She doesn’t care about you. I think that this is all a pre-election warning shot, a bit of Fordism to show how she cares about taxes. You are just a bit of fodder in her election campaign.

  12. geo

    Such a tough job, the turnover rate must be astronomical……. what 0%

  13. Interesting thing is that the Mayor’s camp tries to paint Cam as a fiscal meanie, but he is too savy politically and too nice personally to wage a campaign on the backs of the poor. She really has to get better advisors.

  14. Steve

    The true fiscal conservatives are already voting for Cam. The true progressives have never really been on board with Karen but haven’t had a more appealing option (and still don’t). This lockout is costing her what’s left of the grudging support of the political Left in this city.
    Despite what her critics say, Mayor Farbridge is not a lefty. If she were she would have shown more concern for the poor, the marginalized, and the front line public work force over her tenure, instead of focusing on wellness programs, green energy collectives, tree canopies, and whatever the latest fad Initiative of the Month is in Modern Mayor magazine.
    Lefties care about actual people and don’t concern themselves with winning awards.

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