News pickup: Big CTA bus union fail; bus video key in 70-year sentence for shooter

Here are some CTA news items over the last day or so.

"Runaway financial problems" for CTA bus union local. "The local unit of the labor union that represents CTA bus drivers and bus mechanics has been placed in trusteeship due to “runaway financial problems,’’ the international union said today." That's from a Tribune story Friday.

"The leaders of Local 241 of the Amalgamated Transit Union were relieved of their duties on Monday due to their inability to control and account for expenses, and two ATU international vice presidents were named as trustees to oversee the local, said Larry Hanley, ATU international president."

Of course, this comes just before CTA President Forrest Claypool and the union are set to negotiate a new contract. No doubt, the union won't get big raises in the new contract that they've won in the past.

CTA video instrumental in long sentence for bus murder. A judge on Thursday sentenced a Chicago man to 70 years in prison after a bus video caught him shooting an innocent victim from the street after he had disembarked from the #71st-South Shore bus. As noted earlier this week, increased video surveillance is the 9/11 legacy for the CTA.

Dodge or Asbury preferred Yellow line stops in Evanston. "A study of where to build a CTA Yellow Line station in Evanston has identified Dodge or Asbury avenues as the preferred locations," notes a Trib story. Dodge makes the most sense to me.

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  • "No doubt, the union won't get big raises in the new contract that they've won in the past." Doesn't have much connection to this story, but probably is inevitable because like 2010, the alternative will probably be layoffs.* Also not connected to this story because the last couple of contracts were the result of interest arbitration. Remember when Kruesi brought in an arbitrated contract and told the board that it had no choice but to accept it?

    The only real question is whether this only deals with finances or displaces Jefferson. If I don't see a bunch of him on the television again, that's o.k. with me.

    __________
    *I haven't seen the usual refrain here about "let's get more funding and bring back service" and "what about the federal $2 billion for transit" for about 9 months. Again, for obvious reasons.

  • In reply to jack:

    My fear is that whoever is running the union will demand big raises not so the drivers get more money but to straighten out the union's finances & use that as an opportunity to put the union's problems on the back burner.
    I wouldn't be surprised if they even tried to get the CTA to pay for their mess.

  • At least the Sun Times refers to "Local 241’s ousted president, Darrell Jefferson."

    Apparently stuff is up to "international vice presidents" now.

  • As a member of this union, I was FURIOUS when the imbeciles in my union voted Jefferson back in. This guy is such of raging POS, I can't believe it.

    Our union dues get raised on a regular basis, they get away with this by scheduling the votes for the dues raises at times when almost no bus operator could possibly get to the hall, and if there isn't enough people there to vote, well it just gets decided by Jefferson and his crew of idiots. Currently we pay $65 every other paycheck, then on the non union due checks, they hit us with "special dues" where they take whatever they want, as low as $33 to $75. When you ask the union reps "what the hell are these special dues for?" They tell us, it's for union representation, so naturally the next question is, "Well then what are the regular dues for?" To which there is never an answer.

    Well after Jefferson got voted back into office, surprise surprise, we got informed of the fact that they had indeed squandered our money, and had this huge debt to pay off, which meant, guess what? That's right, in addition to union dues, and special dues, there was gonna be a new charge every month, that they wouldn't clarify how much, nor for how long this would go on. I guess the idiots in my union finally got the message, and voted to dissolve the local, and turn it over to the international.

  • hey kevin, I have an unrelated question that maybe you could dedicate a post to answering: Why is it that "slow zones" are never fully eradicated on the CTA but almost don't exist on other transit systems, notably New York's MTA? DC also has few if any of this phenomena.

  • In reply to stephenw235:

    You can go back a couple of weeks in the CTA Tattler to such things as the discussion of the wood rotting on the Brown Line platforms within about two or three years of being installed, or how the slow zones on the Dan Ryan Red Line were supposedly fixed a couple of years ago, but reappeared almost immediately, and Noelle Gaffney's response to that ("no, we didn't do the work then that we want to do now, and what gave you the impression that we did").

    The CTA's official response will be that "we need more funding." And then there are the apologists who say (as my father did) "things are rough all over, especially at the Carborundum Company." Apparently they don't agree with your observation.

    But, again, if you go back to "Ask Forrest," especially on August 1, 2011, you'll find out that he won't give you an answer.

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