Poasted July 26, 2014
The Mayor has invited the Amalgamated Transit Union workers to present a counter-offer in an effort to solve the current work stoppage. On the surface, it is a move to ferret out the real issues that the ATU is holding dear to their cause.
In other words, if you don’t know what they really want, how can you bargain constructively?
The union’s local president says his committee will discuss this latest attempt by the city to settle the dispute at a meeting to be held this weekend.
It’s not always a good idea to bargain in public. Bargaining a new collective agreement is a tricky and complex procedure. It requires give and take and there is bluster, intransigence and power tripping.
But the time has come offer solutions to the impasse. Here’s GrassRoots Guelph’s plan to end the work stoppage.
Past experience dictates that the invitation to counter the city’s last settlement proposal is the beginning of ending the strike/lockout. Sure there are political issues involved in this dispute.
The union wants to force the city to settle, on their terms before the arrival of 22,000 university students, beginning the last week in August. The city needs a quick settlement to save face with the public and get the buses rolling.
So, one wants a settlement on its terms and the other wants the buses to operate sooner than later.
Here’s a plan to resolve the dispute.
Following hearing a union counter offer, the city agrees to address the working conditions’ issues raised by the union. A committee composed of two union appointees, two city staffers, two public members, and an independent chairperson would be established. This committee, with the majority agreeing to an action plan within 90 days to resolve ATU working condition issues, will execute the plan within a year.
The city agrees to pay each member of the locked out ATU a contract-signing bonus of $800, based on agreement of the terms of the new contract.
The term of the agreement is four years, with an annual increase of base pay of 2 1/4 per cent.
The new collective agreement must be settled by Monday, August 18, 2014.
All the contract language, as previously proposed by the city, remain except for the stated changes.
This is a fair and equitable offer that benefits the union, with a commitment to resolve the working condition issues through a defined process. It also contains a new money package that includes an overall wage increase, totaling 10 per cent over the lifetime of the contract, plus an $800 signing bonus.
For the city, it means the transit system that the public can rely on, and will be running without interruption for the next three years.
It represents a win-win for each side and the public it serves.
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