Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Same Or Different

Does Windsor want to be the same as other Communities in Ontario or different.

I guess it all depends.

We have heard that the CUPE workers should not have PRBs for new hires because other cities do not have them. So we want to be the same.

Yet in the Firefighters Arbitration we learned that we want to be different:
  • "But the main focus of Saunders was an association proposal to reduce the average firefighter workweek from 48 hours to 42. The city's 257 firefighters would still work two 24-hour shifts, but the average shift workload annually would be reduced over the entire year to equal 42 hours per week.

    Windsor is the only major Canadian city not to have 42-hour workweeks, but also the only one to retain 24-hour shifts. In other cities, firefighters work a mix of 10-hour day shifts and 14-hour night shifts.

    "The salary for a first-class firefighter is $69,000. The average Ontario firefighter made $78,000 in 2008."

And we have fought to be different too:

  • "Gatineau transit officials are asking federal Transport Minister John Baird to reconsider his decision to impose commercial work/rest driving rules on federally regulated municipal transit drivers, but they aren’t anticipating success.

    Citing safety issues, Baird ended an exemption from the rules on Wednesday and gave the transit companies six months to comply.

    Céline Gauthier, head of public affairs at Société de transport de l'Outaouais, Gatineau's transit company, said "safety has never been a problem,” and that the new restrictions will mean the company has to hire 15 more drivers at a cost of about $1 million per year.

    “We are asking them to reconsider, but the decision has been made, so we don’t have great anticipation that they will,” Gauthier said.

    The transit systems in Ottawa, Gatineau and Windsor are federally regulated because they cross provincial and international borders.

    At the City of Ottawa’s request during last winter’s 53-day transit strike, Baird started a review of the transit companies’ exemptions from commercial rules on maximum shifts and minimum rest periods for drivers.

    City council wanted the changes because councillors thought ending the exemption would save OC Transpo money by limiting overtime, and that the safety of riders and citizens was being put in jeopardy as a result of the exemption — though the city produced no evidence that driver fatigue had contributed to any accidents.

    The striking transit union wanted to preserve the status quo, which permits some drivers to book very long work periods and rack up many hours of overtime along the way.

    Officials at Windsor, Gatineau and the Canadian Urban Transportation Association urged Baird not to make the changes."

Obviously, when it is convenient be the same, otherwise be different.

It's too bad that we did not have the ability to be the same as London and resolve matters with our Unions:

  • "The city of London has struck a tentative deal with its outside workers that would limit wage increases next year to one per cent and avoid labour strife of the sort that has led to a lengthy strike in Windsor, The Free Press has learned...

    While nothing has been said officially by either city hall or the union, sources say the potential deal has been a few months in the works and began when the city’s chief administrative officer, Jeff Fielding, approached Local 107 President Eric Townshend and asked if the union might agree to a contract extension that reflects how battered the local economy has been by a worldwide recession.

    The two side exchanged proposals before settling on the tentative deal that is being voted on today by outside workers."