What's The Big Deal About OC Transpo Scheduling

The OC Transpo strike is not about the money. If the proposed changes to the scheduling system were taken off the table the drivers and mechanics would be back to work immediately and accept OC Transpo's wage offer without the signing bonus.

So what is the big deal about the scheduling system that gives drivers with more seniority better routes and schedules.

Perhaps, if your a new driver, you might think you could even benefit if the older drivers don't get the best routes and schedules. Until, of course, you realize driver fairness would not be a factor in scheduling, only administrative convenience.

As a newer driver under the current system you know you are going to get stuck with the worst routes and schedules now when you are young, to benefit from the system when you are older and family time is more important to you. If your an older driver, that did his time under the system, no doubt you are very upset to possibly lose the benefit that you paid for as a younger driver.

How does OC Transpo, the city and bus riders benefit from the current system. Well for one it is a great incentive for driver loyalty, and the more experienced drivers there are in the system the more efficiently the whole system will run, contributing to cost savings for the city.

The benefit of being able to choose your routes, even when your at the lower level, gives drivers a feeling of empowerment and belonging. For senior drivers the, system probably contributes to keeping the same drivers on the same routes, getting to know the routes and the regular passengers. It contributes greatly to job satisfaction, which is very important for workers who are dealing with the public on the front line, and that easily translates into rider satisfaction.

So why does the city want to change a system that works to everyone's benefit for some theoretical cost savings and put bus riders through a strike, that the city very well might lose, to try do it.


Anonymous said...

My neighbour that is a senior OC Transpo driver made $172 000 last year because with control over their schedules they can pre-schedule their overtime and then not work the holidays. So basically once you work 20 years you've got it made.

Yes, I understand that having the senior drivers on their respected routes is a plus because they know all the ins and outs, but if they're not training the new people, then who will take their place when they retire, which is supposed to be quite soon.

This also dissuades driver loyalty as no new drivers would stick it out on a crappy route with no overtime and having to work all the holidays etc...it works better to entice new employees with some perks.

And during an economic recession and the semi-terrible budget that has recently been released, it would be mindful of the city to make fair cuts to a bus system that has senior drivers taking advantage of a scheduling system while sweeping aside newer/younger drivers.

Anonymous said...

No wonder my taxes are going up if a bus driver gets $172,000 as year to drive a bus.... give me a break, this is not a very difficult job at any time. These people drive in a city environment, go home every night and can learn the job in basically 2 weeks. Their biggest challenge is learning a bus route. I am sure that if we checked everywhere else in the country we would find that bus driver in Ottawa are very well paid. Since when do the union control the scheduling. This is the employer's responsabilities and would probably prevent abuse with overtime being paid to select fews. I hope that the cities new Light rail transit will be run by computers and not drivers. At least the computer won't bitch about the schedule. Pity to those who depend on OC transpo for their travel.

Anonymous said...

Ummmm no bus driver has EVER made 172000$. OC drivers are second lowest paid in the country. Base salary is 48 000$. The average driver makes about 55 000$. If you think its an easy job, I invite you to try it out.

The scheduling dispute is over having drivers work longer days for the same money and more senior drivers not being able to choose decent shifts after putting in 20-30 years.

Drivers also know that the proposed changes will have a negative impact on the system as a whole and is set up to fail so that the company can try to justify bringing in part time workers.

Anonymous said...

you are full of it sir...in 27 years i have never heard of a driver making this kind of money...not even close...do your homework...then you may be able to get it right...thank you

Anonymous said...

I have been a driver for 34 years and there is ABSOLUTLY NO WAY for a driver to make $1720000! !!

Anonymous said...

Reviving this dead blog post thanks to a college class project...
I've not heard of $172k, however, 6-figures for driving a city bus is incredible and insane! And, yes, some do earn that much... See the link at the end.
OC Transpo management found that drivers were booking shifts with as much as a half hour down time in what was meant to be "working hours" ...a half hour at 5 days a week... averaging $27/hour pay is about $3300 they'd get each year for not actually working. A great reason why block-booking is bad for the tax-payer.