The pilot was run on Wednesday, and I was surprised that all tables reached consensus that one day-off group out of the four available was the best over all choice.
Now if the Workshops on the 21st and the 28th reach the same conclusion, we will for the first time in many decades have a viable and potentially workable alternative to our current Day-Off system, the one that has the much maligned letter groups with 7 day stretches, one weekend off a month with single days off scattered here and there, number groups are worse in my opinion with hidden days off and only one full weekend every 6 weeks. That and the long days with large spreads very nearly pushed us into a strike last contract negotiations, a surprise strike vote that took the negotiating teams by surprise. They didn’t see the wave of discontent being fueled by a? membership that was sick of having no life outside of work, sick of giving up friendships because they took a job that precluded any social life outside of transit. Yes, ruined marriages and lost friendships, severed social connections with church and school and virtually any social activity that requires you to be off on the weekends or to be somewhere by early evening during the week, family life suffered with divorce rates higher than any other occupation, the main complaint echoed over and over was the antiquated day-off system conjured up from the turn of the century when workers were treated like property instead of people. IIRC we are the only property in Canada, possibly North America to still have seven day stretches, thats how far behind we are, were catching up in other areas but we could remain behind in this if we don’t accept a change in day-off systems. As mentioned many other issues that were raised have been addressed, but this was the big one and we now have a chance to fix it.
So please remember that this will be our one and only kick at the cat on this matter, over a million dollars has been spent on bringing to fruition the promise of a chance to change our day-off system. We now have the chance to achieve change here and we need to grab it and run with it, some may not notice any improvements or changes to their personal situation, particularly? if they have some level of seniority, and if that is the case please consider the people behind you in seniority, we have a chance to make the job better for many other people , never before have we had this chance so lets make the most of it and make it count, if not for us then for them.
I will post as many documents as I can get and convert them to pdf so they will be available to all, so whether you attended the Workshops or not you will be informed, as we will all be voting on this and I would like everyone to vote without fear or worry that the selected day-off scenario will effect them in a negative manner.
The selection process has been designed to be as transparent and bias free as possible, so that whatever is chosen is chosen for the right reasons, no pushing or bullying, no coercion or fabrication or manipulation of the information. Just the facts and the honest desire to help provide the tools to make an informed decision.
Thank you for reading this and see you on Sunday.
Bob Sawatsky #207