Is it time for transit workers to do a reality check and look at the city offer again?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 7, 2105


When negotiating the idea is for each side to determine what they can give and what they just cannot give up or absolutely have to have.

The transit workers do not appear to have learned or understood that fundamental rule.

There was a time when a much larger bus termial existed 25 yards to the left of this small terminal onm John Street - it was where people met.  There were fewer cars, Burlington didn't have the wealth then that it has now.  We were a smaller city, as much rural as suburban.  The times have changed and transit now needs to change as well.

The transit terminal is open now – can the city and the transit union find a way to keep it open and avert a strike?

One of their issues is for those over 65 to be able to have access to the same range of benefits that those under 65 have, which is apparently not the case now – even though that right is said to be written into the existing collective agreement.

A reliable source reports that there is a benefit the transit workers have which they are not using – the city would like the union to exchange some of that benefit in exchange for the paying full benefits to those over 65.

The union leadership is reported to have recommended to their membership that they accept the offer the city has made – the membership said no – and everyone is now back at the negotiating table.

At a transit workshop several months ago dozens of people spoke of the high regard they had for transit drivers; young people spoke of occasions when a driver turned a blind eye to the person not having the full fare; adults told of drivers that would let them off a bus closer to their homes in the evening.

A reputation for courtesy and service was witnessed – that is not something one would want to lose.

Some union members feel they have the city between a rock and a hard place given the current city council schedule and the oncoming summer vacation.

Time to do some real negotiating and time for the union membership to do a fast reality check.

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2 comments to Is it time for transit workers to do a reality check and look at the city offer again?

  • James

    We as taxpayers pay them, so you better believe we as taxpayers have the right to judge them! I respect the job they do as much as the next person, but I’m not prepared to pay them more than they’re worth just to make them happy. I wish I made more money too, but sometimes the reality is that we’re already paid what the job warrants. They’re not going “out of their way” to drive us places, that’s their job! Don’t think for a second that they’re not replaceable either. Not happy about your employment situation, then find a new job! And don’t make the taxpayers suffer because of it. We didn’t force you into this position.

  • Dawn R

    Yes they had an offer and it wasn’t all of them that said no…quite a few i heard said yes. What right do we have to judge these ones? Are we God? NO…The transit drivers in burlington deserve some respect too. Burlington is a Good place to live so why shouldn’t the Bus Driver’s of this city we love get the same respect as other cities around us.? We need these kind, caring great driver’s. They try to go out of there way on a daily bases to get us safe and sound to our homes our workplace and anywhere else we need to be.. You care about the city you live in, manage, then care for the people who help make this city run! Our Bus Driver’s deserve that too! They are Needed like everyone else!