If you voted yes to a Denver transit strike ...

I forgot to address this:

Corrections officers are subject to “freezing.” If there’s an emergency, or a lock-down, or they need to search the prison, a corrections officer can be forced to stay on duty indefinately. They* try* to avoid making them work more than sixteen hours, but it’s not unheard of for a corrections officer to have to stay on shift for twenty-four hours.

They are on a forty-hour workweek, and the corrections system tries to avoid paying over-time, but it happens a lot. Sxome guys make more in overtime than they do their salary.

Those are the non-union employees of companies RTD has been forced to subcontract a certain percentage of routes to for political reasons. Their pay, benefits, and protection are all worse than union workers.

Salaried employees at RTD got their raises last year. Why shouldn’t the workers get their fair share this year?

Where can I get this kind of protection? I’m tired of being beaten with a lead pipe, I could use a break. :rolleyes:

Duffer, I don’t know where you’re getting your information, but we’re locked out. We can’t go back to work. I don’t know where you heard that “50% of the workers are working,” but be careful about your sources. It’s been reported that about 50% of service is available, and it appears you are a bit confused.

I see you’re from the same “I hate unions” camp as Airman, but much of what you presented here is babble.

No, I don’t feel that I personally deserve a raise, as I only just started there. But do I want to face the same future with this company as others have faced? No, I don’t. And how will they get and keep new employees otherwise?

Perhaps raises are “earned based on merit” where you work, but that isn’t how it works here. We also didn’t have a choice to reject union membership. It came with accepting the job. You can’t apply the systems that work in your workplace to mine. They are quite different.

And yet, they’re working. I’m sure the unions have no political sway. None at all. What was the raise compared to the non-union workers? How about over the past 5 years? Benefits?

Apparently the non-union workers are at least a bit capable of doing the same job. Like the NY strike this is a PR disaster waiting to happen. The only people I feel bad for are those that can’t catch a bus to work.

Me? I’d rather get paid what I can earn based on my skills. Some aren’t confident in their skills enough to do that. They need to hold a sign and let a union boss ripping them off force it on the employer. Nothing new. And I’m no more wrong in living life like that than anyone that thinks a union is the answer to Utopia.

Thanks for the info. And yes, that’s shitty, but are they doing that every week?

No, RTD drivers aren’t working 24-hour shifts, but they are frequently denied days off on a weekly basis, not just when there’s an emergency or lockdown, which likely doesn’t happen every week. We are down so many employees right now, that the only way they can keep the routes open and the schedules met is to force drivers to work overtime. It’s a given, not an exception.

Oh, I’m a bit confused? You’re locked out? You aren’t *allowed * to go to work?
Where the fuck do you live? Can’t be the US. Any citizen is allowed to work. And if you have a job and aren’t allowed to work, you have a serious case against against the employer unless they can show a reason in court to not allow you to work your shift.

Crap. Wait a minute. You mean the UNION won’t allow you to work. Well, that’s different.

You are allowed to work. The lockout only applies to union workers. The non-union workers are able to get out of bed and go to work.

And I saw busses running in Denver (and Frank helped me on the details) this morning. It’s not a lock-out. You are allowed to drive the bus. Your union is disallowing you. Be honest for once. Put down the pamphlet.

Who, the contract employees?

Please tell us what you’re talking about. An example would be a good start.

What raise? For whom? The contract workers or RTD employees?

Did you think that union workers were not capable of doing their jobs? If so, why?

Good thing you don’t work at RTD then.

Please don’t take this the wrong way, Duffer, but you’re an idiot.

At least get some information correct before attempting to argue a point.

The non-union workers are putting up with this as well? I should think so as the union is there to protect you from this abuse.

How did this benevolent union let things get so messed up? That’s all I want to know. If you want to stake your livelihood on the union, what have they done to prevent this dire predicament you all find yourselves in now?

And what makes you think they’ll do anything to prevent it again? If this strike works, they know exactly what to do next time to set it up. They’re out for themselves just as any evil CEO you can think of.

Let me ask you this. Based on how bad your working conditions are now and how hard you work, who makes more money? You or the shop steward?

Well, just about every argument to that post was an inane question when the point was obvious.

You’re in a union state of mind. Stay there. The insanity fits you well.

You saw contract company employees (Connex, Laidlaw) out driving routes today. They are non-union employees. They do not work for RTD. First Transit, another contract employer, is under a union, and they are NOT driving RTD routes.

The gates around RTD facilities were LOCKED today, and some had guards posted.

I am a union employee. It came with the job. Did you miss that part?

I’m not a completely disinterested party here as I have a blind sister that depends upon public transportation for her independence and getting to work and school.

Obviously there are people out there willing to drive busses for a hell of a lot less than $15 an hour, and if the union was really so dedicated to providing “safe public transportation,” I get the feeling that they wouldn’t strike so readily nor would they drive like fricken’ maniacs.

This strike is a huge pain in the ass; how long would it take for the contractors to take over all of RTD’s routes and schedules?

It happens every day, to at least five corrections officers. Whether or not it’s YOU who gets stuck is usually based on seniority, but if you’re the only one on the post, seniority is meaningless.

Remeber, it’s not only an emergency, but extra counts, searches (which happen pretty frequently) and if someone calls in sick and there’s no one to cover.

DRC is short-staffed right now, too, due to budget cuts. They have basically a skeleton staff-- what they need to get by and little else. With such a big staff, it’s quite frequent that someone leaves service, gets sick, or retires (medical or age) it can leave them really short at times.

I’m sorry, threemae, that your sister is having to suffer because of this strike. That truly sucks. :frowning:

The rally cry here is pretty much what you said: If RTD (not the union, as you mentioned above) really cared about its passengers (as it said it did), it would give us the little we asked for and let us go back to work. For the record, I DID NOT vote to strike. I voted to accept the last contract, which is now off the table.

As for the contractors taking over RTD’s routes and schedules, there aren’t enough employees within the two companies to take that over. There are about 1,200 drivers at RTD, which is much larger than the smaller contract companies’ rosters, so they would have to hire and train that number of drivers to replace RTD’s drivers. I don’t think they have the buses, either, to commit to that number of routes, nor do they have the garage space to store them. Most of those contract companies are running on shoestring budgets, and if you’ve ever ridden one of those buses, you know what I’m talking about: Broken down, malfunctioning, smelly, grafitti-covered buses that are sometimes on time, sometimes not. They lease most of the buses from RTD for $1 per year. And they don’t have the mechanics to keep them in good running repair. Additionally, I’m sure the contractors are working overtime now by picking up some of RTD’s routes, and this likely will cause their usual service to suffer.

And yes, they make less. I know that First Transit drivers (union, btw) make $11.50 an hour to start, but only get about $8 an hour during training, which for them is about 6 weeks. I don’t know as much about Connex and Laidlaw.

Threemae, if your sister’s in the Boulder area, I may be able to provide some limited transportation for her, just one Doper to another. E-me (it’s in my profile) if you want to talk more about it.

Yes, it’s all seniority-based here, as well. How are Department of Corrections employees protected, then? Do they have representation? What can they do when they feel conditions are no longer acceptable?

It’s an extremely complicated process. Hubby tried to explain it to me, and I’ll try to explain it the best I can. If a position is vacant and someone has already been frozen, they go to the next guy and freeze him. There is no “upper limit” as to how much a person can be frozen or how many hours he/she can accumulate in a year. (As I said, some make more in overtime than they do from their salary.) That said, they choose the people who have the least frozen hours (quarterly) for each shift, with seniority being the “tie-breaker.” There are very specific rules for it outlined in their contracts. It’s all done by a mathematical formula.

Yes, they are all union, but there is a no-strike clause in their contract. Hubby used to be the Labor Relations officer in his intitution, so he dealt daily with the union. It’s pretty active in defending the rights of the employees.

Employees can file grievances if they feel they have been singled out for unfair treatment, but they have to work a shift if ordered, or face a two-day fine. They can also file lawsuits if they can show that treatment has been discriminatory.

You know, I’m not a praying man. Anyways, I guess the best word for it really is “wish.” I wish the President’s Guest Worker program would come through.

I mean it’s not Rocket Science. You press with your foot, you look sternly in a mirror, you use your thumbs to steer a big-ass vehicle. Occasionally you dispense a snarky remark. If you’re a Light Rail Droid, at least two of these procedures are eliminated. How much should you be paid for that? $90 a day sounds like an awful lot for that.

$30k a year + bennies to drive a bus. To start. Hmmmm.

First off - Large Marge, you’re completely correct: anyone who voted against the contract has an obligation to be on the strike line.

I have to confess, though, I’m skeptical about unions being there for the benefit of all workers. I’ve been in a couple of unions in the past. Both times because the job I had was for a closed shop.

One of those unions was what I imagine a union should be: informative, concerned and above all active with all members.

The other was for a union where the shop rep refused to come or delegate a representative to an orientation meeting for new hires. And after that, trying to meet him as a part timer was effing impossible. Not because my hours and his conflicted, but because he refused to post a schedule for when he’d be available, and actively tried to avoid talking to part-timers. Mind you, dues and initiation fees were collected dilligently, of course.

That kind of experience makes the claims of someone like Snowboarder Bo a little difficult to accept.

Have you heard that figures don’t lie, but liars can figure?
Let’s do some simple math shall we?
$18.05/ hr (your number) X 40 hours = $722.00/week
$722/ week X 52* = $37,500
$37,500 != $28,000 where I went to school.
Furthermore is it safe to assume that drivers get time and a half for o/time? If so no days off for 6 months means
18.00 (round number) X 1.5 = $27/ hr. for o/time
$27 X 8 hour shift =$216.00
No days off for 6 months assumes 26 weeks no Saturdays or Sundays off.
26 X 2 = 52
52 X $216 = $10,800/ year additional income.
$37,500 + 10,800 = $48,300
If you worked the other 6 months with no days off you would have
$37,500 + $10,800 +$10,800 =$59,100
Now that is a pretty nice fucking neighborhood to sit you fat ass in and drive a bus.
Is the RTD hiring? OG knows that is less than I make now, but the cost of living in Colorado is way less than LA

*assumes that you work 50 weeks and get 2 paid vacation weeks per year. or 48 + 4 or whatever adds up to 52.

It’s not rocket science, but there’s way more to it than what you just presented. Knowledge of fares, routes, timepoints, ADA laws, transfers, equipment, detours and commercial traffic laws are a few of the things you must have to drive a commercial vehicle.

And again, I don’t have a problem with the starting wage.