Should Cornwall Transit Workers Go on Strike Over Wages? I say no by Jamie Gilcig POLL

jg2CFN – Bus drivers in Cornwall Ontario are mulling whether to go on strike.  They cite low wages and a low offer of only about 2% from the city.

What I think many of them don’t realize is that taxes have been going up for many reasons, mostly the wrong ones, but they have been going up.

Where does it end?  Is it fair to compare wages for bus drivers or any service funded by taxpayers in a city the size of Cornwall to Ottawa or Toronto?  Really?

The problem is that in Cornwall like many cities we have politicians, especially when fighting for their political lives like the pathetic mess that our mayor and council are collectively, that will capitulate to unions hoping to get member support at the ballot box.

Where does that end?   While transit service is very important where is that extra money supposed to come from?   We already have under used buses zipping around; will raising fares help that situation?

I think most of our Cornwall Transit team are awesome and provide a needed service.   I also think that this union should take the 2% can smile because in Cornwall far more people will not be getting any raise and would be grateful just to have a job than watch these guys and gals try and score a big deal that our weak politicians would most likely pony up.

It’s time for our mayor and council to stand up for taxpayers and draw a line.



  1. DERECK Job posting #110236.

    Pray do tell exactly how it was that I “attacked” bus drivers DEREK ?

    You seem so obsessed to obtain your entitlements DEREK that you are blinded to reality. You go on and on and on about other city employees having sick days that you do not have and then say that others are coming across as “bitter”. Really?

    Good luck

  2. Derek yesterday as in yesterday usually yesterday occurs the day before you say the word so i believe yesterday was in 2013 correct me if i am wrong it was on the CBC news you can get all the details there as for knowing what your demanding you keep telling us we know and then we are wrong I have asked you many times to put your demands here so people here can know exactly whats been asked for me the more i read the more confusing it gets be nice if you could type it exactly as it written just in case there are words like yesterday that have you confused as to the meaning i read there are wages increases ask asking parity with other cities you have inferred its over sick time does that mean there is no increase in salary asked for tell us which cities if there is , you say your asking for sick time off tell us how much your looking for and what is the present level of sick time in Cornwall . You say you need breaks as you do not get them do you get your allotted time off as per labour law ? derek until you put the facts here on the table for everyone to see your just like every one else making statements .
    i am not against a fair wage with benefits proper unpaid eating breaks and yes two 15 min paid breaks totaling 30 min if thats what negotiated within the 5 hour limits set by law . When it comes to salary it needs to fit Cornwalls economic situation and the ability of the average citizen to pay Just because police fireman and many other unions have used the biggest problem facing tax payers called arbitrators who have made ridiculous decisions that have lead to mess we are in now in many municipalities what makes you think Cornwall A corporation could not go bankrupt in the future like Detroit. Never say never it did not happen yesterday but it did happen several weeks ago. Maybe time to privatize the bus service like the garbage services !

    And derek please don’t treat the readers who have driven iin toronto, ottawa traffic like idiots and try to say the stress levels are the same as drivers as for passengers yes people are the same but unlike years ago when students rode the busses in Cornwall I hardly have witnessed the people crowded on shoulder to shoulder standing in some cases for up to an hour that cause tempers to flair like in the big cities . for the buss drivers there I can not imagine the pressure on them cars and people pushing squeezing every inch out of space makes you want to come back to Cornwall to ride the busses for a break even at the busies times today

  3. Re Winnipeg Transit
    Sir we know all the sites across North America and most of the world you do not have to send anything to me

    Hope you and family are well sir make it a great day

  4. Re Jules

    So Winnipeg Transit drivers make more than us in Cornwall ?

  5. TO Diane Shay, Bob Keenan ( yesterdays freeholder) thanks for the support, appreciate it


  6. Transit drivers in Winnipeg SHOULD make more money than drivers in Cornwall it is an entirely different situation. Cornwall is a small community it takes 10 minutes to get anywhere within the city limits by vehicle. Why do you think so many of our police officers are from the Toronto area, DEREK ? Perhaps less risk, stress, etc.

    You tell me, DEREK, to get my facts straight, I give you my source and then you tell me that you are already informed of the information provided by myself. So you knew that the facts were correct and took a unnecessary shot at me, really ? What was you point other than grandstanding and portraying drivers as ..well DEREK you complete that thought for yourself. I will say that you are not representing your cause very well or dignifying your occupational choice.

  7. Good luck Derek Sheppard and ATU Local 946 !! I hope you all get a fair deal 🙂

  8. REALITY CHECK privatization would be a win win situation not only for taxpayers but more importantly the ridership and the drivers.

    Buses are expensed on a 365 day basis but not utilized at least 15% of the time (no Sunday service) . This is the kind of inefficiency that throws money out the window but even more importantly does not provide adequate service to the ridership. Fixed costs are just that, constant. The main variable costs in operating Sundays are the drivers and fuel which if the system was more convenient ridership would increase and profitability would improve. Buses should be running 365 days , holiday scheduling should take into account what is open, so that people can depend on the system to get to and from work. With greater demand for drivers (operating Sundays and all holidays) opportunities would increase and new found efficiencies could result in a bonus/merit system to create a more positive attitude and work environment. All this to say there is lots of room for improvement not only for the ridership and drivers but the overburdened ratepayer as well, if we could privatize that is.

  9. They tried to privatise 10-12 years ago and it would cost more as the city is still in charge A known fact

  10. DARLING it would NOT be privatization if the city was still in charge and calling the shots. Would you own a business and let someone else call the shots ? Obviously the attempt failed because like so many of the decisions made by Cornwall’s city councils in the past 40 years they made no sense.

    If the transit system was privatized it would only cost the ridership and would exist because it was profitably run by business person(s) whose motivation and purpose was to turn a profit. A known fact.

  11. Hey David Do You know how much Winnipeg Transit Drivers are making ? I do ? I think someone else mentioned it a while back $17.83 an hour ? Tell us sir what you know ? Waiting ?

  12. MR Oldham I know for a fact that the City of Cornwall is still in charge of all the rules for the collection of Garbage , they tell the person doing the work what they want and the company that was put in control is under guide-lines from the City of Cornwall …a known fact I work there Sir

  13. Busses are NOT expensed on a 365 day basis FALSE a known fact
    in Smaller locations like Cornwall and the other five cities we are compared to.

  14. Mr David Oldham

    So when will you buy Cornwall Transit and run a profit

    Transit is an essiential service , when there is an emergency in any city to evacuate who is called ? The City Transit , a known fact , and there has been a many in The City of Cornwall over the years

  15. Re David Oldham

    Your facts are not correct

  16. Read letters to editor on CSF Sept 17.13, and Sept 27.13
    Letter to editor in CSF Sept 27.2013
    By William General

    Did any one else read his letters ? Can someone please tell us what the heck is he talking about ? Make any sense to anyone ?

    Most people laughed it off , people who think they know about transit ??

    And he states he was a bus driver and he took his breaks when he was DRIVING his bus ?

    SMART glad I was not a passenger

  17. @DARLING what facts are in error?

    As far a Winnipeg drivers pay is concerned the 17.83 per hour is the current (Sept 2013) starting pay, job posting #110236 I believe. Regardless this is easily verifiable. What is your point in regards to what drivers in Winnipeg make? What is it that you want to know?

    Buses are expensed over 365 days. When an asset is purchased interest and depreciation do not take a holiday. This is very basic accounting. The fact that you may not understand the concept does not make it wrong.

    The City of Cornwall is an incorporated entity the operation of which is a municipal government structure. Various levels of government affect the daily operations of EVERY business operation. Government is not a business, it is a system. Profit is the purpose of a business, if there is no profit there is no business.

    All businesses are subject to rules and regulations, so what is your point regarding the waste management operation?

    Is the transit system currently for sale?

    You state that transit is an essential service. I knew that the TTC had been established (2010 I believe) as an essential service. If this designation applies to the transit system of Cornwall then bus drivers here would not be able to legally strike or suspend services on the basis that they were an essential service.

    Again, what facts are in error and why are you so hung up over my statements. Please do explain, is it personal?

  18. Winnipeg Transit Coach Operators make $17.83 as of Sept 3013 as stated by David Oldham ! I believe ? Just shows how much he knows ?

  19. Winnipeg Drivers wage as per David Oldham as of Sept 2013 is $17.83, not 3013

  20. Winnipeg Starting Pay you say Now David and Jules is $17.83 as a driver who is starting to learn ! That I understand but a full time driver is making what ! I know !I belong to ATU Washington I know !

  21. Re: David Oldham
    You said you gave me your source of info and I gave you mine, well I am still waiting sir for your source of info !
    But I gave you mine !You said I did !

  22. DARLING are you an idiot with an axe to grind. Look at the date in my entry September 28, 2013 at 7:38 am, it is (Sept 2013) are you okay? It would appear that you have issues.

  23. DARLING this was not “per David Oldham” it is merely a current job posting for Winnipeg Transit .

  24. David please stop all your accuations towards bus drivers , your accountability is on the line as you don’t know what drivers in Winnipeg make ! You assume make it a great day sir !

  25. Re : Elzoiey

    Thanks appreciate it very much

    Keep well

  26. DARLING, DEREK SHEPPARD or what ever your name is, no accusations of any kind have I ever made . You must be delusional ! You certainly are amusing I will give you that !

    As far as accountability DEREK DARLING it was a JOB POSTING FOR WINNIPEG TRANSIT, it has nothing to do with me . Whether drivers were underpaid or overpaid was never part of the equation nor was whether or not grade 10 needed to be a prerequisite . Or and did I say that Cornwall Transit was not an official essential service? The TTC is an essential service and therefore cannot legally strike or withhold services, Cornwall drivers can apparently.

    I have made no assumptions DEREK DARLING either. You have lost all credibility and have thoroughly made a mockery of yourself.

  27. Cornwall Transit has great bus drivers , polite, very helpful, and very good drivers and I feel very safe with them . With contract talks this week I hope that the City and ATU Local 946 can work out everything in the talks this week set for Oct 4/5 2013, we need the busses here in Cornwall
    I have read all the postings here and all of them are so very childish, going back and forth, but I support the Drivers of Cornwall ATU Local 946
    Wait and see! folks but I am sure both sides will give and take , hey its Christmas in 2.34 months !

  28. Hey reality check Re: Sept 26.2013 @ 6:37am
    Derek Sheppard never compared any transit locations to any other city. Like I said I have read them all and its been all the people who have posted about a possible strike here in Cornwall, that made the comparison , you included. Derek Sheppard has always said that do not compare themselves to any other city other than the ones they are compared to or smaller. But you would not believe some of the things they do have to go through, some just like larger cities but not as often. Thanks

  29. Being a resident of Cornwall and being as I don’t drive or have a license I rely on the Transit service as my main source of transportation. In my opinion and this is just my opinion, the fact that the changes made in the past couple of months are horrific. The new transfer policy is ridiculous. A lot of Cornwall’s residents are either on ODSP or OW and it is unfair that they have only enough time to transfer to the next bus. Whereas the way it was before they had a full hour to go and run errands and then proceed back to their homes. This new policy is downright insulting. So why change a good thing???? If you miss the bus then u pay an additional $2.75, where is this money going? Then there is the scheduling…….Yes I understand that buses can be late due to unforeseen circumstances HOWEVER, this business of the drivers getting off at Walmart and Montreal road to go and wait in line at Tim Horton’s to get coffee is a bit much and not an unforeseen circumstance. No wonder they can’t keep a schedule.
    A few months back we were asked to fill out surveys and from everyone I have talked to a large amount requested Sunday service, my question is why hasnt this even been an option? People do work on Sundays and depending on where they are employed it costs almost a half days work to get to and from their jobs, how is this fair? Maybe the Transit should consider introducing Sunday service for a few weeks just to see how many people would take the bus and if it works then it works if not then they can go back to only driving 6 days a week. It won’t hurt anyone to atleast try. Even if they start at 8 am and only run until 6pm when most businesses are closed. So in closing, I say IF they want a raise then give it to them IF they would consider Sunday service and BRING BACK THE HOUR TRANSFERS!!!!!

  30. Where did everyone go ? The City and ATU Local 946 talk on Friday October 4 & 5 2013 and the Union will have a vote on Sunday Oct 6.2013 either to accept the offer or to not accept the offer ?

    Wait and See
    Keep in touch

  31. Hey Babycakes and Reality-check the transfer policy was changed because the city was losing to much cash , you take taxi there you take taxi home ?
    Drivers are human, we need breaks, we need to go to wash room, we need to eat ? we also have a life with our families ? Maybe

  32. Busses are still rolling Monday morning great news
    Its not over yet but the busses are still rolling for a least the next 2 weeks , all will be fine

  33. Just reading the comments about Cornwall Transit in the Cornwall Standard Freeholder and all the support for the drivers, THANKS, and the many concerns with passengers if Transit was to go on strike. Keep calling your City Council and transit and keep posting comments and letters to editor in papers. The Drivers want a fair deal, no more, no less than any other city employee. I think that every employee of any City/employer of any business , all benefits should be the same across the board, including management. Fair is Fair ?
    Why should one employee of the city get more just because of the position? They get paid for that position , all benefits should be the same, so if a bus driver has one sick day a year, (WISH) then all employees have one sick day a year no matter if you are the Mayor or CEO , as they are employed by the City , the Taxpayers!

  34. HOOTERS the only problem with your logic it that it does not support why everyone working for the city does not receive the same compensation as well. Based on your take this would be fair…you said “why should one employee of the city get more just because of the position?” Sounds like someone else is trying to do your thinking for you and badly letting you down. Do your own thinking and surprise yourself, unions have an agenda, to survive !

  35. Re: David Oldham last posting October 7.2013 @ 7:51Pm

    Mr Oldham I do my own thinking and I am a tax payer to this city of Cornwall Ontario, Canada, for many years , and I use the Transit system in the City , and I can say this for the City of Cornwall we have a great Transit system , all drivers are great, polite, helpful, and they keep a very good schedule, in all kinds of weather, traffic, detours, etc. I don’t know sir if you do use the service, but maybe one day you will NEED Transit, like I do , wish you and family well….Thanks Hooters Family

  36. Nov 22.13
    I just want to thank Cornwall Free News for being able to post things about Cornwall Transit, I read all the negative postings about Cornwall Transit and the many positive postings about Cornwall Transit and I want to ask all those negative people , “Hey The Busses are still rolling along the streets of Cornwall”. So what do you know about our contract? Every one is happy , the drivers / the city. Maybe its time for the negative people who hate transit take a relief, maybe one day u will need it, don’t say no I heard it many times before…..Thanks Cornwall Transit for helping people ….Derek Sheppard…And people Cornwall Transit is NOT going on strike….

  37. Author

    Derek what exactly are you happy about the deal as a driver? It’s not public so we don’t know what you guys settle for…

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