I’ve resigned myself to the strike dragging on for some time. I still feel more frustration with the union (not the bus drivers) than the city. Most unions seem to have lost touch with reality. Striking for more money or  more time with your family is NOT a right. It’s something that you have based on what your employer is willing to offer. If you don’t like it, find another job. Striking over your employer breaking laws relating to employee safety is a different issue. And yes, I get the fact that the bus drivers voted to reject the last offer, but the recommendation of the union will go a long way to how its members will vote.

So I’ve read the city’s position and the union’s position. The bus drivers could have worked to rule to get the sympathy of transit users. Instead, suddenly without warning and with one of the worst spokespersons I’ve ever seen interviewed, they are on strike. Here’s what I think the city should offer (if it’s not about money, the drivers shouldn’t have an issue with it):

First offer: Allow drivers to keep scheduling as is, keep benefits offered in last offer, no raise, no signing offer. If it’s rejected, offer drivers to keep scheduling as is, remove benefits, 1.5% wage roll back and no signing offer.

I am personally determined that if the buses are not back by the end of January to never take the bus again. If we can collectively make it through January, traditionally the coldest month in Ottawa, then we can make it through until Spring. After six months of striking, the city can ask for the union to be de-certified, and those people who have lost their jobs because of the unions selfishness can then apply to become bus drivers.

This is likely to be my last rant about the strike. I’ve started to adjust, and people in my office are looking out for each other. I can only hope that  it is happening across town. I’ll look at the positive side: I’m getting more exercise, getting to know my colleagues better, and seeing new things in my neighbourhood every day.

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