Some thoughts on a couple CTA news items of interest:
CTA trade unions agree to work-rule changes. Twelve of the CTA's trade unions have agreed to money-saving work-rule changes in exchange for a no-layoff guarantee, the Sun-Times reports. The five-year deal will trim $5 million in health care costs and save $1.5 million more with rule changes. The changes include "employees working the afternoon and evening shifts will be[being] paid straight time and a “shift differential” instead of overtime." CTA President Forrest Claypool is hoping for similar results in negotiations the bus driver and rail motorman unions. Those talks are in the "final stages."
Second "derailment" hit same spot of Red Line Sunday. An eight car southbound Red Line train "derailed" mid-afternoon Sunday just north of Granville - near the same location where another train had switching problems on Oct. 1. I use "derailed" in quotes because the CTA says the wheels of the two different trains never left the track, and thus never "derailed." While the Oct. 1 incident was cleared in less than two hours, Sunday's mishap took more than 12 hours before service was fully restored. Methinks the CTA better get some inspectors to that area to see what's going on with those switches. (Thanks to Ricky at Twitter @raclae for the pic.)
Go vote! Use the CTA, walk, bike, hell, get in your car! Just go vote on Tuesday. Many polling places have changes in Chicago and Cook County. Go here to find your polling place. Oh yeah, and now go vote!