Union threatens to follow the rules, slow down bus routes, if CTA won't negotiate fairly

CTA bus union president Darrell Jefferson threatened drivers will follow rules to the letter -- which would mean slower bus runs -- the CTA doesn't negotiate fairly.

Jefferson joined the Rev. Jesse Jackson Saturday at Operation Push headquarters, both the Trib and Sun-Times are reporting:

...."A "slowdown" would mean strict adherence to the rules, i.e., no driving
a bus more than 35 mph, and no taking off from a bus stop before a
passenger is seated or at least hanging onto a strap. Jefferson said
the CTA has been pushing drivers to go faster than the rules allow, in
order to meet schedules." -- Sun-Times

The union prez also noted that many drivers are working overtime after the layoffs. He said if no progress is made in talks schedules for next Wednesday, the slowdown would commence.

The CTA could not be reached for comment.

Interesting bedfellows there with Jackson and the bus union. You might think Jackson would side with the hundreds of thousands of inconvenienced commuters, rather than a few thousand union members. I said on ChicagoNow Radio this morning that I certainly don't blame the union for this mess. But they could help a bit even by agreeing to some furlough days off. That would be $20 million right there.

Folks, this is really starting to get ugly.


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  • Telling the public you're going to increase their suffering as a bargaining position is a bad move and will gain you nothing in public support. With all the anti-union sentiment right now, not a good move.

  • The overtime doesn't make sense, but the work to rule does. I'm sure it isn't "stale greens" but reds. The remaining drivers may as well be safe and courteous.

    I'm shocked that you're shocked that Jesse Jackson is behind the union. I would like to see the statistics about how many of the 1100 union members who were laid off are in Jesse's target demographic. Jesse does not represent the taxpayers.

    And, as I mentioned several times before, furlough days for bus drivers does not bring back service, unless you have figured out a way that it does not take an integral number of driver to operate a bus. This isn't the day when the double deckers had conductors.

    Also, I tend to disagree that this is beginning to get ugly. People will settle in.

  • Not running red lights and not knocking you off your feet on the bus before you can get to your seat...this is supposed to be bad?

  • Well lets looks at this... The CTA is 95 million in the hole. Here are the REAL choices RAISE fares or CUT services. The CTA choose to cut service after trying a lot of other ideas... Don't like the service cuts. Don't like the lay offs well no one does, but you CAN NOT have the CTA go belly.

    The government, (Federal, State, And Local) already kicks in a lot of funding. Users must pay more, or get used to these cuts and maybe more..

    I just saw on the news a rider complaining that he was late all week. Here is a brain storm for him LEAVE earlier. In life you get what you pay for. Want more? Pay more. pretty simple really.

  • I guess you haven't heard of momentum. Newton's first law of motion.

  • I forgot your second point. But you must have forgotten the controversy about Chicago sending $100 red light camera citations to the CTA, and the CTA not passing the charges on to the operators involved. That was reported in the newspapers. e.g. http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/01/buses-cta-red-lights.html

    So, today, you are 0 for 2. Sorry.

  • In reply to jack:

    You are incorrect, I'm an operator, and I can tell you as a fact, not only do operators have to pay those tickets, but also get suspended for them.

  • In reply to goldminetim:

    The articles indicated that CTA was thinking about disciplining operators. However, there certainly wasn't any doubt that drivers were blowing through red lights and getting caught on camera.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yeah, I remember when that BS report came out. Had it come out a year and a half earlier, it might have been considered accurate.

    Originally the city was not sending red light violations to CTA, but for some reason (I assume it was part of CTA's policy of going out of their way to mistreat employees) about 2 or so years ago, CTA actually requested the city to send those violations even violations going back a few years ago to them. So suddenly operators were getting all these tickets that went back years, and to this day not a day goes by I don't hear from across the garage "DAMN IT, they got me!"

  • In reply to jack:

    For all you haters out here !! Have you ever drove a Bus.. do you know how many Bus Operators are faced w/ danger on a daley basis? (not). that is what i thought, they are shot at, knifed punched out, left for dead, brain dead!! sometimes the AVL system is not working and since the cell phone policy came out well what"s an operator to do ? And you say cut the paY!!! oh give me a break .Try driving a Bus a couple of days ... there is not much to do about the un -ruley passengers they are always going to be around or the angry spouse that is up -set and takes it out on the Bus Driver!!! The CTA is giving out so much overtime and are loving it , it is better to bring back the layed- off Employees and they will save.... It is a win win situation.. now for the no job action none is taken, all the operators will do is standard operating procedure, now they are still running ahead of schedule do you all have a RULE BOOK!! it will be slow if all Operators follow the guideline"s these operators mechanics/ have done over 5 years for what to get layed- off... and the company is gong crazy with overtime!!! Cut the fat from the top the non- unionized Employee's make so much more and you really do not need them they keep pushing there work down the line!! some do not even know how to use the Computer, LOOK at the real deal!! the citizens of Chicago who ride the Transit system Daley!!! And true to the fact they cut most of the routes in the rueal areas anything south of GRAND AVE!!!! CUT CUT CUT. Now how are you getting to work.. it is a shame and i believe what D Jefferson and the REV Jessie Jackson said.And the children are the future leaders!!! there parents need to go to work and there children need to go to school !! SLOW DOWN OR ROLL DOWN, actually the operator will be following sops and the Customer will not like it at ALL!!! the real citizen of Chicago stand up and fight for the right!!BRING BACK THE LAYED OFF EMPLOYEE"S!!!I am speaking of the Chicago Bus operators!! the Customers who get on our BUS Everyday!!!CTA FIRED SANCHEZ/ CONLEY.. and also a FEW more... but not nearly enough...GET RID OF RODRIGUEZ..... THE NEW PRESIDENT OF CTA SHOULD BE AND I WILL SAY AGAIN!!! JEANETTE MARTIN. SHE STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM WORKED HER WAY TO THE TOP SHE AT LEAST KNOWS HOW TO DRIVE A BUS IN AN EMERGENCY, YOU GOT GENERAL MANAGER"S who r political inclined,DO NOT HAVE A LICENSE OR A CDL!! DO NOT EVEN KNOW (how to drive).WHAT THEY ARE DOING!!!LOOK AT THAT CTA I CAN NAME TONS. NEW POLICY . GIVE ME A BREAK, IF YOU HAVE NO-ONE TO DRIVE A BUS, AND THE BUS IS BROKE DOWN ON THE STREET OR THE PIT/IN THE MAINTENANCE AREA HOW CAN A MANAGER MOVE IT?? WITH NO CDL, OR LICENSE, WHERE IS THE LOGIC THERE , IT IS NOT WHAT YOU KNOW, IT IS WHO YOU KNOW,A FEW OF THE GENERAL MANAGERS IN THE BUS BARNS ARE POLITICAL.. DO YR HOMEWORK CTA... THEY PUSH THERE WORK ONTO OTHERS.. WE DO NOT NEED RE-SEARCHERS TO TELL US WE R BROKE !! HOW MUCH IS THAT COSTING THE CHICAGO TRANSIT???RODRIGUEZ OHH PLEASE WE NEED A VOICE , GET RID OF HIM MR. MAYOR AND PROMOTE FROM WITHIN, AT LEAST THOSE EMPLOYEE"S KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON THE DID START FROM THE BOTTOM AND GOT A PAY-CUT AND THEY HE /OR SHE LOVE THERE JOB!!!! You really must do you"r research... As long as Mayor Daley keeps bringing in his city BOY"s the Chicago Transit, has no chance!! he got rid of Volupte, from messing up the meters and sent him to the CTA making $168.000 a year(or a little less). what does he know about Chicago Transit??? Nothing, i say Please get rid of RODRIGUEZ and Promote Jeanette Martin as are new Chicago Transit, President!

  • In reply to Hollywood:

    Done yet? No one reads your incomprehensible babbling, anyway.

  • As another point of reference for CTA funding shortfalls, someone smart on this board please create and post a list what other major city governments in the US, and worldwide (we're supposed to be a "World Class City") contribute to the operation of their public transit systems, as compared to what the City of Chicago pays to CTA.

    Not involving the Feds, the State, Cook County, or the RTA; what does Mayor Daley allow City Hall to pay to CTA, compared to what other major cities pay.

  • In reply to mikep621:

    I believe I mentioned (in connection with the same question regarding Evanston and Skokie) that that is irrelevant. Either the state authorizes the RTA and city council to raise taxes for the CTA, or the city contributes and raises some taxes to cover its contribution. Unless the city is making a profit from picking up trash on a contractual basis (like Veolia or Groot do, and the city does not), or selling stuff at the Chicago Store, taxpayers are paying one way or the other.

    Also, NYC will come out on top, but that's because it entered into a deal that the city would pay for the MTA taking over Jerry Cooper's private operation, including a 75 year lease on Cooper's garages. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E06EED81431F930A15757C0A9639C8B63

    Bloomberg is supposed to be a smart businessman, but I wonder about that deal.

  • In reply to jack:

    I see where you got the idea, though, from Mikey's post. Undoubtedly, there is TIF money to put into capital, like rebuilding stations, but that's a separate issue from who is going to assess the tax to pay for operating.

  • In reply to jack:

    Leave a comment...

  • In reply to jack:

    How is the cta going to layoff a union person with 20 years seniority? The cta is now using the part timers to fill operator

  • In reply to chicagonowreader:

    Any substantiation to this?

    I remember how, about three weeks ago, the union leaders were saying that the order of layoffs violated their contract. However, then the arbitration ruled against them, and said that the layoff order was per contract. One union member posted on another board that the arbitration decision was read to them, and asked a legal question that in fact was substantiated by the MTA Act. After all of this, you heard nothing more about that from the union leaders.

    It is real easy to post a question based on an assumption, and expect us to accept it as fact. Considering all the misinformation that has come from the union camp (including what I mentioned in the first paragraph, as well as our moderator pointing out that the give backs offered are not for 2010, even though the leaders were giving the impression that they were giving back the $90 million that the CTA said it needed in 2010), I would like to see this from a verifiable source.

    As far as unemployment, yes, you don't get it if your are not looking for a job or refuse work in an area for which you are qualified.

  • In reply to chicagonowreader:

    Actually Jack do you know who pays the Cta union employees? We do the ridership. This has absolutely nothing to do with saving the company money. Capital builds the service the union (operating money)employees operate it. Tell me why you have big money being made at 567 W Lake St?

    Management is the authentic Cta, union

  • In reply to chicagonowreader:

    I'll start out with your initial fallacy:

    "Actually Jack do you know who pays the Cta union employees? We do the ridership."

    Actually that is incorrect. CTA says it collects about 90 some cents a ride. That covers about 30% of operating, and none of capital. The Tribune had an editorial that the cost per ride is actually about $7.00. If that includes capital cost, that is about right. So, the TAXPAYERS are paying 87% of the freight. You admitted as much when you later said "Union

  • In reply to jack:

    As for the question, while answering it won't make a difference to you, the question was whether the arbitrator's decision overrode the MTA Act. The answer is that the MTA Act says that seniority shall be on a companywide basis, and not based on the schedule number, but that otherwise, all terms and conditions of employment, including seniority, are in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement. Hence, unless CTA said "Archer Garage is closing, so everyone from Archer Garage is laid off"--and obviously they did not do that--the MTA Act says that seniority is per the contract. Since the union obviously has the contract, and I don't, why don't you ask your floor steward for a copy? Or is that something to which the union denies you access?

  • In reply to jack:

    CTA says it collects about 90 some cents a ride, Cta can say what it wants; prove it. Where did the Tribune in an editorial get these figure facts?
    So, the TAXPAYERS are paying 87% of the freight, sales tax and the fare box

  • In reply to chicagonowreader:

    If you are just a customer, why are you so concerned about the seniority list and unemployment? Let the drivers speak for themselves. You sure didn't do a good job doing it for them.

    As far as doing things, the things I mentioned, like using the Freedom of Information Act, are freely on the web. In fact the CTA has a Freedom of Information page. http://www.transitchicago.com/business/freedom_of_information.aspx

    The Freedom of Information Act is at http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=85&ChapAct=5%26nbsp%3BILCS%26nbsp%3B140%2F&ChapterID=2&ChapterName=GENERAL+PROVISIONS&ActName=Freedom+of+Information+Act%2E

    The MTA Act is at http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=982&ChapAct=70%26nbsp%3BILCS%26nbsp%3B3605%2F&ChapterID=15&ChapterName=SPECIAL+DISTRICTS&ActName=Metropolitan+Transit+Authority+Act%2E

    So, since you are not paying me to do your legal work for you, get cracking.

  • In reply to mikep621:

    Remember to add in their budget shortfalls for the last few years also. Like NYC's 1.2 billion last year.

  • MK:

    As a laid off employee I do question a lot of things myself, but based on what I've been told and seeing for my own eyes the union has offered up suggestions to the CTA, CTA flatly rejects them because they're not to their liking...and then goes to the media and denies hearing of anything.

    The CTA is almost like a spoiled child, you give and give and they just keep comming back asking for more. When is enough enough? I'm still trying to find a fellow bus operator that makes $ 80K.

    Of course now, we have overtime going out like crazy. Evidently if there is enough work to be made at time in a half, there must be enough work for the people sitting at home. CTA of course, doesn't and never will use their head. I've been trying to open my co-workers eyes fortunate to still be working that CTA wouldn't give you this overtime before...why are you helping them now?

    I would not go as far to say that the mechanic layoffs would not affect customers that much. When buses are breaking down sporadically and no one is here to fix them....you will notice a difference. In fact, I'll let u in on a little birdie...CTA supposedly plans to bring in people from Michigan trained ONLY to work on certain parts of the bus. Gee, how much will this cost? Ask yourself this...


  • In reply to ctadriver99:

    To ctadriver99: First, understand that I don't think the union should have to give concessions to cover the entire $96 million needed to restore cuts. Not fair.

    However, I do disagree that the "CTA flatly rejects them because they're not to their liking."

    As I've written before, some of the ideas are just not based in reality. For instance, how can the union offer up potential savings from future contracts that have not even been negotiated? It offered savings from 2012 and 2013, but the contract for those years have not been negotiated.

    It also offered to defer raises in 2011, which ARE in the current contract. But those raises are not currently in this year's budget. So how is that going to help the CTA this year?

    The union did offer to take 10 furlough days this year, and for that I thank the union and I hope the CTA accepts that offer.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    You write:
    "I don't think the union should have to give concessions to cover the entire $96 million needed to restore cuts. Not fair."

    How quickly you forget that this year's operating budget hole was actually $300 million. The taxpayers and management already chipped in for over $200 million of the problem, and the unions, who represent over 60% of the operating budget, are faced with only 33% of the operating budget deficit.

    So what exactly -would- be fair to the unions? Remember they are servants of the taxpayers, above all else. The jobs don't exist to put food on drivers tables. The jobs exist to move the taxpaying public around town.

  • In reply to vivalfuego:

    The fair thing would be to find a variety of ways to balance the budget, including repealing free rides for some seniors. And maybe we don't get all the cuts restored. Hopefully this is a one-year problem till the original projections of tax revenues come back.

  • In reply to vivalfuego:

    Let me ask you this question Jack. If

  • In reply to chicagonowreader:

    What are you even talking about. It's like you are carrying on a conversation, but only listening to yourself talk.

  • In reply to vivalfuego:

    >Let me ask you this question Jack. If

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    The situation is all very confusing, Kevin. No disagreement there.

    But I wouldn't be so sure that CTA isn't hiding any skeletons in its closet, either.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    Jesse Jackson sure has fallen a long way since his days when he was one of MLK's close circle...

  • Let me pose this to you as well, you say CTA seems to be "negotiating fairly". Ask yourself this...

    Are they telling the truth?

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