CTA, unions bicker over meetings; CTA nixes union concessions as too pricey

One step forward (if that), three steps back on the CTA-union negotiations.

Today there was bickering over who didn’t invite whom to meetings that may or may not have been promised.

Folks, it really doesn’t look too good at all for any resolution to this mess anytime soon.

First, the Trib reports that CTA brass called FAIL on the union concession proposal that the union said would save almost $91 million. The CTA claims the proposal will actually cost an extra $78 million, because it calls for “bringing back conductors on trains, replacing some CTA managers with
union employees and using union labor for some snow-removal work that
the CTA now contracts out.”

Meanwhile, the Sun-Times reports the “he said-she said” nature of the back-and-forth over who might or might not have invited whom to a negotiations meeting.

And, surprise surprise, the Rev. Jesse Jackson is playing the race card by saying that the cuts are being felt disproportionately on the South Side.

Sorry Jesse. That’s another FAIL. Tell that to Martha on her North Side commute to her counseling job at a Chicago high school on the Northwest Side. Or to any of the other folks who have shared their pain from all over the city.

Drop it, Jesse.

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  • Jesse needs to STFU. I got socked on the North Side as well. Instead of using his platform to play the race card he *should* be using it to talk about the lack of funding in the region for transit. He *should* talk about the extreme waste of having THREE boards to provide transit. He *should* talk about how the president of the agency shouldn't be in the hands of the mayor but in the hands of a legitimate search committee. He *should* talk about how the unions have been holding the city hostage causing his "south side constituents" because they're demanding more money in a recession. You know what, I'm going to write him a strongly worded letter. Be right back.

  • In reply to ibright05:

    "You know what, I'm going to write him a strongly worded letter. Be right back."

    Don't waste your time. (I was also going to say not your 44 cents, either, except you'll probably Tweet it.)

    Can Darrell Jefferson's misinformation campaign go any farther? Also it seems like any arbitrary argument is being made to shout racism, such as that the number of routes cut means that that is the measure of the cuts (even though resources were put back into the locals on those streets), some south side bus is interlined with a north side route, or the CTA cut the Cottage Grove bus that went to the Water Tower (although the one that goes to Illinois Center is still running). If you think I am making the last one up, look at chicagobus.org, and search for member "New Flyer"'s posts.

    So, you can probably count on (1) Jesse Jackson being on a camera, until the coffin door is shut, (2) more noise for about another two months, and (3) no restoration of service until at least 2014. While the last is swag, maybe ChicagoNow will archive this long enough to see whether I am right.

  • In reply to jack:

    Haha Jack, I had to write it. I can't bare to read about the stupidity that's catching fire in this town anymore. I've done my part.

  • In reply to ibright05:

    Oh and I've been hearing a lot lately how buses are only making a trip or two on the south then head north. I know how it works, I used to intern there. Its laughable until someone in the paper quotes and publishes it WITHOUT checking facts or even having a clue about scheduling and blocking.

  • In reply to ibright05:

    Okay I'm back here's the email that I just sent the Reverend himself:

    I couldn't find an email directly for Rev. Jesse Jackson so this one will have to do.

    Dear Rev. Jackson,

    I am a concerned Chicago citizen who has been following the CTA debacle recently. I am saddened by the breakdown in talks between the CTA and the Union. I thought the Unions would realize that we're in a recession and would forego wage increases to keep their own from being laid off. I was wrong. Instead, we're now locked in a fight between the CTA and the Union and you're not doing anything to help. YOU choose to play the race card and say that the South Side of the city has been disproportionally affected. Is that true? Do you have factual proof? Do you know that 60% of Chicago's geographical area is on the South Side? So by just the number of routes, it may *seem* that the residents are more impacted. But did you look at the routes that were affected and see the number of riders on each one? Did you look at the reductions by percentage and compare them with routes across the city? No, you just look at it from a black vs white perspective. Everyone is so quick to blame race without looking at the underlying issues of why transit is so bad here.
    Before the Unions cry and say that they're hurting, how about the CTA middle person (non-union employee) who hasn't had a raise in 4 years? Or the same person who has been forced to take unpaid holidays and furloughs? I don't see you arguing for them. Oh wait, they're not a big enough constituent for you.
    It would be nice to see you arguing for real change here in the city. The stuff that does impact transit more than anything else: the lack of funding in the region for transit.You can also talk about the extreme waste of having THREE boards to provide transit in the region. Or talk about how the president of the agency shouldn't be in the hands of the mayor but in the hands of a legitimate search committee. You can even talk about how the unions have been holding the city hostage because they're demanding more money in a recession. They are so wrapped up in their own self-preserving attitudes that they couldn't pass up a raise and keep 1,000 of their own from losing their jobs. So you tell me, whose at fault here?

    In closing, please stay of this if you're not going to be helpful. This is coming from a black Chicagoan who lives on the Northwest Side and who happens to know a thing or two about public transit.

    Thank you.

  • In reply to ibright05:

    Saying where you are from assures that it gets ignored. You aren't voting in South Shore (if you know what I mean).

  • In reply to jack:

    Still, even if its ignored, it needed to be said.

  • In reply to ibright05:

    You're my hero!

  • In reply to marthat3:

    Why thank you Ms. Martha :)

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