I have long held the opinion for that the union is being screwed over in the present Moncton Transit dispute and I have also long been accused of my position being based solely on the fact that my father is a driver.
After many such accusations I thought it would perhaps be interesting to put a lot of these accusations to rest.
Most of you will not understand the long standing ongoing disagreements that have existed between my father and myself over my politics, and in all honesty the municipal election was the first time to the best of my knowledge that my father has actually considered voting for me. His vote was not because he managed to convince me to follow his thought process but instead that for once we found an issue that we agreed on politically (an extremely rare event, just ask my mother)
In fact to understand how willing my father is to let his differences in opinion from mine be known, you only have to look at my previous blog post, where he clearly questions my position that both sides should put the buses back on the road and hammer out a deal without the lockout or a strike affecting citizens to create a distraction and inconvenience the public
To understand the significance of my decision to support the drivers for the most part in this dispute you must understand a couple of things. The first is that as a general rule I am not a union supporter, in fact I find they are over the top.
The second thing that needs to be understood is that I have an IQ that generally tests between 130 and 143. For simplicity sake I generally accept the 130 as the more accurate of the two numbers, however that number alone is sufficient to put me in the top 2% this is something I have always been basically aware of since high school and something that for the most part I tend not to be over concerned with this except when people ignore my thoughts in favour of allowing emotions to get in the way of facts.
To get to my position I looked closely at the situation as it was playing out, I watched the actions of both sides as well as looked at as much detail as I could gather on both sides and realized that it was quite clear right from the start that someone was out to screw over the union, whether it was city council, city staff, the negotiator or someone else entirely I have not been able to determine simply because I am missing one or two facts. But to me the fact that it is the intent is completely clear.
I am giving up two positions that I want simply by the fact that I am holding this opinion.
I have applied for a position as a driver and I have indicated in the past (including to some members of council) that I want the position of GM when John Allain retires (supposedly at some point this year).
Because of my positions and how strong I support the Union and given that both of these positions are filled through HR for the city, the chances of me getting either of these positions have been directly affected by my position.
It is highly unlikely that I will even be considered for either of these spots given my position, and the reality is that it has likely completely eliminated me from contention for either position.
However I have taken this position knowing full well what the consequences of my actions will be and accepting them willingly simply because to me the overall point is black and white. The city has no interest in settling with the union unless it is at a significant loss to the drivers.
I will not say the drivers are perfect, they have made some mistakes during these negotiations, and they have not bent in their demands anymore then the city has. However of the two sets of demands I can see no point at which the city has offered a deal that is closer to the center instead they have maintained the same position even though they have consistently packaged it as a new deal.
Here are some facts that seem to get overlooked often.
- The original handshake deal would cost the public no more then they are paying now (this is something I have repeatedly pointed out that the mayor said when the deal was vetoed, often saying it in his presence and not once has he attempted to tell me, or anyone else, that I was wrong.
- The latest offer by the union would have cost the city half a million dollars a year less then the city was previously paying (a fact repeatedly stated by the union and not once denied by the council or the mayor)
- The union has been under a lockout position for so long that it will be impossible for them to make up the lost income over the length of the contract meaning that this is not an issue of money but of principle.