OC Transpo strike resolution

I occasionally like to email my local politicians with my thoughts on issues of the day. A little therapeutic political venting is good for the soul in my opinion. Seeing as how the OC Transpo drivers voted down the city’s revised offer by 75% last night, here’s what I think needs to be done:

Dear Mayor O’Brien,

Let me start by saying I agree in principle with the city demand for more control over drivers’ work schedules and route assignments.

It makes sense to me that the city should have control in these areas to run a cost-efficient, safe and reliable system.

That being said, I don’t think the union is wrong in thinking that giving in to the municipality on this demand will result in transit managers playing havoc with their quality of life.

Hence the stalemate.

What dismays me is the absolute position being taken by the city. If the shoe was on the other foot and city taxpayers were telling you to work longer, irregular shifts and make less money – how would you respond if presented with a take it or leave it offer?

The solution as I see it is this: give in to the union and let them control their schedule. Make that concession and the union loses its main objection to striking.

But in return they have to agree to no raises for the the length of the contract.

End result will be the city gets the money savings it wants through wage freezes instead of cost efficiency and the union gets to keep its control of scheduling.

And as a side note, you do yourself no favors when you manipulate vote numbers to claim 64% rejected the city offer in last night’s vote. Including all members regardless of whether they voted or not is a deceiving, underhanded tactic and by that exact same logic one could argue you did not receive 47% voter support in the 2006 mayoralty race once you factor in the fact that only 54% of Ottawa city residents voted.

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