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Thread: YRT 2011-2012 strike

  1. #16

    Default YRT 2011-2012 strike

    The YRT strike, which began on October 24th, continues to drag on with virtually no response from the region. This lack of action is unacceptable, as those who rely on transit are forced to endure long walks, rely on the aid of others, and resort to using routes that while not impacted by the strike, are less convenient and overburdened by their increase in passengers.

    It is my belief that the union is fighting for realistic wages and are not simply being greedy. In York Region we have some of the highest fares in Canada, and as such the employees should be compensated justly and not middle man contractors who do nothing but gouge their employees, riders, and taxpayers while walking away with obscene profits.

    This page however is for people who want to see regular service resume, regardless of where they stand on this debate. The collective bargaining process has not worked, and back to work legislation will likely be needed sooner or later. If our councilors, the ones which are supposed to represent the views of the people, choose not to act we will not be voting for our incumbents in the next municipal election.

    Here is a list of York Region Councilors:

    Aurora
    Mayor Geoff Dawe

    East Gwillimbury
    Mayor Virginia Hackson

    Georgina
    Mayor Robert Grossi
    Danny Wheeler

    King
    Mayor Steven Pellingrini

    Markham
    Mayor Frank Scarpitti (2006-present)
    Jim Jones
    Jack Heath
    Joseph Virgilio - appointed to replace the late Tony Wong (died 2009)
    Gordon Landon

    Newmarket
    Mayor A.J. (Tony) Van Bynen
    John Taylor

    Richmond Hill
    Mayor David Barrow
    Brenda Hogg
    Vito Spatafora (2006-present)
    Vaughan

    Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua (2010-present)
    Joyce Frustaglio (2006-present)
    Mario Ferri (2006-present)
    Gino Rosati

    Whitchurch-Stouffville
    Mayor Wayne Emmerson

    Link to page: http://www.facebook.com/YRTBack2Work
    Link to petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/y...ork/signatures


  2. #17

    Default

    Gosh, is the strike still going? There's been barely a mention in the media. I guess that demonstrate just how minor transit is in York Region. I hadn't realised how low ridership is up there ... there must be individual TTC surface routes that have ridership almost as high as the entire YRT combined.

  3. #18
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nfitz View Post
    Gosh, is the strike still going? There's been barely a mention in the media. I guess that demonstrate just how minor transit is in York Region. I hadn't realised how low ridership is up there ... there must be individual TTC surface routes that have ridership almost as high as the entire YRT combined.
    Glad to see that you're enjoying the opportunity to take a stab at the 905.

    System ridership clearly adds up to more than the 56 700 trips per day taken on the King Streetcar. Viva Blue alone has a daily ridership of over 20,000, which would put it among the upper tier of TTC surface routes.

    This strike is also not directly comparable to TTC strikes because services are subcontracted to a variety of companies, so not the entire system shuts down. That said, I think this is the first time that multiple companies have gone on strike at once.

    Based on the list of affected services, it seems that some of the Viva-complementing local services (1 Hwy 7, 98/99 Yonge, 77 Hwy 7...) are still running.
    Last time there was a Viva strike, there was chronic overcrowding on those routes and it was all over the media, but I haven't heard anything this time. Is there no overcrowding this time, or does the media just not care?
    Last edited by reaperexpress; 2011-Dec-05 at 15:50.

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Electrify View Post
    In York Region we have some of the highest fares in Canada, and as such the employees should be compensated justly and not middle man contractors who do nothing but gouge their employees, riders, and taxpayers while walking away with obscene profits.
    People can and will have whatever opinion they have on this ongoing strike and I would not attempt to sway them one way or the other. That said, this line had me wondering......if there is to be a correlation between fares and wages....is that not a vicous cycle? With (from what you said....no personal experience here) amongst the highest fares in Canada they could afford to provide the current level of service within their budgets/contracts/etc....if wages go up...does service not have to go down or, alternatively, fares go up again....at which time aren't we back saying "the fares are higher so the wages should be to?".

    Not sure how the relationship between fares and wages works....or should work.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by reaperexpress View Post
    Glad to see that you're enjoying the opportunity to take a stab at the 905.

    System ridership clearly adds up to more than the 56 700 trips per day taken on the King Streetcar. Viva Blue alone has a daily ridership of over 20,000, which would put it among the upper tier of TTC surface routes.

    This strike is also not directly comparable to TTC strikes because services are subcontracted to a variety of companies, so not the entire system shuts down. That said, I think this is the first time that multiple companies have gone on strike at once.

    Based on the list of affected services, it seems that some of the Viva-complementing local services (1 Hwy 7, 98/99 Yonge, 77 Hwy 7...) are still running.
    Last time there was a Viva strike, there was chronic overcrowding on those routes and it was all over the media, but I haven't heard anything this time. Is there no overcrowding this time, or does the media just not care?
    Right, that was a very ignorant comment on his part ...
    YRT ridership is around 100K from what I remember, a bit less actually.

    Anyone have more recent statistics ?

    I actually don't agree with you that the fact there are alternative routes is why there is little media coverage, it wouldn't have mattered if the entire system is on strike. It's the silly media ... having said that, there was quite a bit of coverage last week.

    Also to the media's credit, there has been basically nothing to cover !! No progress, no talking, no nothing.
    If I had a penny for every time someone asked me why I was looking upů

  6. #21

    Default

    This strike demonstrates that there is a clear difference between simply privatizing a service and actually going non union. If any of the services that Toronto contracts out are to unionized companies, strikes are in theory every bit as likely as they are now. Without having politicians who want to be re-elected running things, what is the incentive to resume talks?

    Having said that, unions are dispicable. Every YRT driver was told their wages before accepting the job, and no doubt made aware that due to the nature of the position, split shifts would be the norm, not the exception. Jealous of TTC drivers that earn more? Here's an idea: apply for a job at the TTC. Don't like split shifts? Change careers.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    If any of the services that Toronto contracts out are to unionized companies, strikes are in theory every bit as likely as they are now.
    Not under essential services legislation they're not.

  8. #23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TOareaFan View Post
    People can and will have whatever opinion they have on this ongoing strike and I would not attempt to sway them one way or the other. That said, this line had me wondering......if there is to be a correlation between fares and wages....is that not a vicous cycle? With (from what you said....no personal experience here) amongst the highest fares in Canada they could afford to provide the current level of service within their budgets/contracts/etc....if wages go up...does service not have to go down or, alternatively, fares go up again....at which time aren't we back saying "the fares are higher so the wages should be to?".

    Not sure how the relationship between fares and wages works....or should work.
    York Region fares go up every year or two. In fact, they already approved a hike in January to make cash fares $3.50 and ticket fares $2.80. Service levels outside of the Yonge and Highway 7 corridors is pretty terrible, every 15-30 minutes during rush hour and every 30-60 minutes during off peak times.

    So we have the highest fares, low quality service, and employees who are paid below the market rate.

  9. #24
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    At the end of the day I think there's no doubt bus drivers in york region are paid well below the regional average ... taking into account benefits and wages.


    You can make the argument, well they should have known that before taking the job ... I don't disagree, but what's the point of the union ? Though I'm sure that could lead to an interesting debate all on its own.


    Here's my take: what's special this time around is the most important workers are on strike i.e. viva, along with others. The union has power now, clearly the majority of riders are effected, Blue and Purple are by far and large the most important routes.

    So they'll hold their own as long as they can I wager.
    If I had a penny for every time someone asked me why I was looking upů

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fiendishlibrarian View Post
    Not under essential services legislation they're not.
    In York, though, is transit an essential service? I mean practically not legally......how much differently is the region functioning with this strike?

  11. #26

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    This strike demonstrates that there is a clear difference between simply privatizing a service and actually going non union. If any of the services that Toronto contracts out are to unionized companies, strikes are in theory every bit as likely as they are now. Without having politicians who want to be re-elected running things, what is the incentive to resume talks?

    Having said that, unions are dispicable. Every YRT driver was told their wages before accepting the job, and no doubt made aware that due to the nature of the position, split shifts would be the norm, not the exception. Jealous of TTC drivers that earn more? Here's an idea: apply for a job at the TTC. Don't like split shifts? Change careers.
    As I pointed out, we have the highest fares, and lousy service frequency. That extra money is going straight into the hands of middle man contractors. I'm sure many do apply for jobs at other transit agencies, but is this how a transit system should be run? A revolving door of employees, thus requiring those who stay to work extra long shifts and/or give up their breaks while earning a below market rate?

    Many drivers are only making $15/hour. Think about that: people who have to merge 40-60 foot vehicles into live traffic on a regular basis, and are in charge of the safety of dozens to hundreds of passengers are being paid a little more than minimum wage.

    This isn't about greedy union folk trying to milk the taxpayer for all he's worth, this is about getting a decent wage respectable to the work they do.

  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by reaperexpress View Post
    Glad to see that you're enjoying the opportunity to take a stab at the 905.
    I'm merely surprised at how irrelevant transit still is there.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by nfitz View Post
    I'm merely surprised at how irrelevant transit still is there.
    Recent statistics from September, 2011:

    Weekday ridership (including contracted TTC) is 107,328.

    Total year-to-date boardings were up 12.2%.

    Please stop saying that transit isn't relevant in York Region. It's simply not true. Ridership has been increasing dramatically over the last few years.

    If you want to argue about the numbers, fine, but your posts aren't contributing anything to the discussion.

    Source: http://www.york.ca/NR/rdonlyres/gjwd...+ridership.pdf

  14. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by canarob View Post
    Recent statistics from September, 2011:

    Weekday ridership (including contracted TTC) is 107,328.

    Total year-to-date boardings were up 12.2%.

    Please stop saying that transit isn't relevant in York Region. It's simply not true. Ridership has been increasing dramatically over the last few years.

    If you want to argue about the numbers, fine, but your posts aren't contributing anything to the discussion.

    Source: http://www.york.ca/NR/rdonlyres/gjwd...+ridership.pdf
    Surely, though, one measure of relevance of transit (outside of the statistics) is the anecdotal evidence we get in our every day lives? So, for example, while I work with a fair number of York Region residents I have yet to hear one of them complain/state "man this transit strike is causing grief"....I have yet to witness a massive outrage through media....I have yet, really, to see any real impact (either first hand or through media/word of mouth/etc).

    Compare that to, say, if there was a TTC strike and you have a measure, I think, of the relative relevance of transit systems.

    Perhaps that is what Nfitz is expressing?

  15. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOareaFan View Post
    Surely, though, one measure of relevance of transit (outside of the statistics) is the anecdotal evidence we get in our every day lives? So, for example, while I work with a fair number of York Region residents I have yet to hear one of them complain/state "man this transit strike is causing grief"....I have yet to witness a massive outrage through media....I have yet, really, to see any real impact (either first hand or through media/word of mouth/etc).

    Compare that to, say, if there was a TTC strike and you have a measure, I think, of the relative relevance of transit systems.

    Perhaps that is what Nfitz is expressing?
    York Region Transit is pretty relevant along Yonge St, and Highway 7. Outside of those corridors, I doubt anyone really cares. York Region is a large municipality, the YRT ridership sounds nice, but it's quite trivial compared to Brampton, or Mississauga's ridership numbers.

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