About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lockout Back On as Union Rejects New Deal

Here we go again. Another Sunday night and another lockout as the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1189 has rejected the tentative agreement reached between the City of Guelph and the union executive last Sunday that staved off the pending job action. It turns out though that it just delayed the inevitable. The union voted to ratify the agreement today, but the terms of the new deal were rejected, "forcing" the City to move ahead with its lockout plans. The news comes at the last minute for any commuters that need to make alternative arrangements, meanwhile, city officials are predicting that this lockout could last all summer long.

Information is still coming in, but to begin with, here's the press release about the lockout:
Guelph, ON, July 20, 2014—Tonight, the members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189 voted to reject a tentative agreement ratified by Guelph City Council and endorsed by their own union executive.

With the tentative agreement defeated, the City has reinstituted the lockout originally set to begin Monday, July 14. Guelph Transit services are halted indefinitely until such time as the members of ATU Local 1189 reconsider the City’s offer.

The City of Guelph will be offering refunds to all Guelph Transit July 2014 pass holders for the second half of July. Details will be confirmed and shared in a subsequent media release.

A statement has been issued by the City of Guelph’s Chief Administrative Officer, Ann Pappert detailing the City administration’s level of frustration.

For details on picket lines, City service disruptions and FAQs, visit guelphtransit.ca.

For background on the negotiation process, visit guelph.ca/atu.
That news was swiftly followed by the city sending out another release with information for anyone wanting to get a refund on their July bus pass, all July bus passes. This adds to the speculation that officials are expecting this to be a long, drawn out affair between the two sides. Here are the details:
Guelph, ON, July 20, 2014—The City of Guelph is offering refunds to all bus pass holders as a result of the lockout of Guelph Transit’s union employees and suspension of transit services.

Refunds for both regular and affordable bus passes will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at the following four City locations:
  • City Hall
  • Evergreen Seniors Community Centre
  • Victoria Road Recreation Centre
  • West End Community Centre
To receive their refund, pass holders have two options:

Option A: Hand in their July 2014 pass in exchange for receiving a refund for 50% of its value. The refund will be paid to the customer in the same form of payment as the original pass purchase. If the customer originally paid by cheque, they will receive a cash refund.

Option B: Hand in their July 2014 pass in exchange for using 50% of its value as payment toward a future month’s pass purchase. Must be used before the end of 2014
Of course, the first step in collecting your refund is figuring out how you're going to get to one of those four locations, but hey, we're transit users so it's not like anyone gives a crap...
I'll post more news here as it develops.


Anonymous said...

Do you think they'll be doing any refunds on student S14 bus passes?

Adam A. Donaldson said...

That's an interesting question.

First of all, the student bus pass is a unique deal btw the city, the U of G and the CSA, so it comes with its own separate issues in terms of admin.

Secondly, the failure of not reaching a deal now would be compounded several times over if they don't reach a deal by Sept. The number of people who use the buses goes up dramatically when U of G's in full-time business and the city knows this.

Although it won't help ppl to know this now, I predict that the lockout will definitely be over by Sept 1. (Hopefully sooner).

Steve Mercer said...

Interesting use of quotes on the word "forcing". The reality is that the city had several options and CHOSE a short (read: no)-notice lockout. They need to explain to the people of Guelph why they made that choice.

Siobhan Liu said...

It's really annoying for me because I'm trying to get to summer school every morning. This is inconvenient for me because I like to go places after school and my parents have to go out of their ways to take me, my brother and my cousin to school and back.

I just hope this ends soon. I can't drive and have no car to drive and my boyfriend is leaving for Ryerson University next month and I have to see him before he leaves.

Anonymous said...

How can a person who can just manage to use the transit can now get around the city? Is there going to be a service offerred by the city instead of the 50% refund?