Transit Update: Picket line protocol, City parking facilities and facility hours for bus pass refunds

 

 

Guelph, ON, July 21, 2014—The City of Guelph is sharing information regarding a picket line protocol, downtown parking and refund location hours.

Picket line protocol

City of Guelph representatives met with the ATU Local 1189 executive and Guelph Police Services to agree on a picket line protocol, which includes picket line locations and rules and expectations to govern picket line conduct. The City and ATU agree to act in a respectful and responsible manner throughout the lockout.

Picketing will be limited to three locations: City Hall, Guelph Central Station and the Guelph Transit offices.

Parking at City facilities

There has been no impact to the City’s public parking facilities after the first day of the transit lockout. The hundreds of hourly parking users and 1,400 monthly pass holders can use the facilities as they would normally.

 

Facility hours for bus pass refunds

Starting Wednesday, July 23, refunds to Guelph Transit bus passes are being offered at City Hall, Evergreen Seniors Community Centre, Victoria Road Recreation Centre and West End Community Centre. Details on options for refunds can be seen here >>

 

The hours for refunds at the four sites will vary to provide opportunities to match the availability of Guelph Transit bus pass holders.

 

 

  Wed July 23 Thu July 24 Fri July 25 Sat July 26 Sun July 27
City Hall 8:30 am – 7 pm 8:30 am – 7 pm 8:30 am – 4 pm 10 am – 3 pm not available
West End 7 am – 8 pm 7 am – 8 pm 7 am – 8 pm 8 am – 4 pm 8 am – 4 pm
Victoria Road 8:30 am – 4 pm 8:30 am – 4 pm 8:30 am – 4 pm not available not available
Evergreen 8:30 am – 4 pm 8:30 am – 4 pm 8:30 am – 4 pm not available not available

 

For updates, frequently asked questions and transportation alternatives, please visit guelphtransit.ca.

 

For information about ATU negotiations, please visit guelph.ca/atu.

 

For media inquiries

Stewart McDonough
Communications Specialist
519-822-1260  extension 3356

stewart.mcdonough@guelph.ca

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City of Guelph offering transit refunds to all bus pass holders

 

 

Guelph, ON, July 20, 2014—The City of Guelph is offering refunds to all bus pass holders as a result of the lockout of Guelph Transit’s union employees and suspension of transit services.

Refunds for both regular and affordable bus passes will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at the following four City locations:

  • City Hall
  • Evergreen Seniors Community Centre
  • Victoria Road Recreation Centre
  • West End Community Centre

To receive their refund, pass holders have two options:

Option A: Hand in their July 2014 pass in exchange for receiving a refund for 50% of its value. The refund will be paid to the customer in the same form of payment as the original pass purchase. If the customer originally paid by cheque, they will receive a cash refund.

Option B: Hand in their July 2014 pass in exchange for using 50% of its value as payment toward a future month’s pass purchase. Must be used before the end of 2014.

 

For media inquiries

Stewart McDonough
Communications Specialist
519-822-1260  extension 3356

stewart.mcdonough@guelph.ca

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Guelph Transit employees reject tentative agreement; transit service suspended

 

 

Guelph, ON, July 20, 2014—Tonight, the members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189 voted to reject a tentative agreement ratified by Guelph City Council and endorsed by their own union executive.

With the tentative agreement defeated, the City has reinstituted the lockout originally set to begin Monday, July 14. Guelph Transit services are halted indefinitely until such time as the members of ATU Local 1189 reconsider the City’s offer.

The City of Guelph will be offering refunds to all Guelph Transit July 2014 pass holders for the second half of July. Details will be confirmed and shared in a subsequent media release.

A statement has been issued by the City of Guelph’s Chief Administrative Officer, Ann Pappert detailing the City administration’s level of frustration.

For details on picket lines, City service disruptions and FAQs, visit guelphtransit.ca.

For background on the negotiation process, visit guelph.ca/atu.

For media inquiries

Stewart McDonough
Communications Specialist
519-822-1260  extension 3356

stewart.mcdonough@guelph.ca

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Election Workers Wanted

 

Gearing up for the 2014 Municipal Election

 

Guelph, ON, July 15, 2014 – The City of Guelph is inviting residents to participate in the fall election by working at a voting location on Election Day (October 27) and/or during the Advanced Voting period (October 15-19).

Interested residents are invited to attend an open house session to learn about the available positions and responsibilities, and to interview for a position.

 

Recruitment Open Houses

City Hall, 1 Carden Street, Meeting Room 112

 

August 5

8:30 – 10:30 a.m.

12 – 2 p.m.

4 – 6 p.m.

 

August 7

8:30 – 10:30 a.m.

2 – 4 p.m.

 

The following summarizes the required positions.

 

Ballot Officer – check voters’ identification, issue written oaths and ballots, brief voters on procedures and electronically strike voters off the list as they vote

 

Rate of pay $220 per day.

 

Revision Officer – assist voters to get on the voter list, enforce revision requirements and add voters to the list

 

Rate of pay $220 per day.

 

Tabulator Officer – receive completed ballots in secrecy folders from voters, process ballots through the vote tabulator and transfer used ballots from ballot box into ballot transfer box

 

Rate of pay $180 per day.

 

All election workers will report to the Managing Officer, assisting with set-up and take-down as directed. No experience is necessary; however, past election experience is an asset. Computer experience is required for the Ballot Officer and Revision Officer positions. Tabulator Officers should be comfortable using electronic equipment. Training will be provided for all positions.

 

Full job descriptions, eligibility requirements and applications are available on guelph.ca/vote.

 

For more information

 

Stephen O’Brien

City Clerk

Corporate and Human Resources

Office of the City Clerk

T 519-519-822-1260 extension 5644

E stephen.obrien@guelph.ca

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Ontario re-confirms commitment to expanded GO service for Guelph and Kitchener-Waterloo corridor

Guelph, ON, July 15, 2014 – Partners in the Innovation Supercluster consortium – including the Mayors of Kitchener, Waterloo, and Guelph and the Chair of Waterloo Region – are pleased that two-way, all-day GO train service is part of the provincial budget that was reintroduced yesterday.

The Ontario government included the initiative in the budget it tabled on May 1, but that budget was not passed by the Legislative Assembly before it was dissolved for a general election.

“We are thrilled that Premier Wynne has been unwavering in her commitment to two-way, all-day GO trains,” said Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr. “This is a game changer for our area, and one that will pay huge economic and social dividends in the years ahead.”

The Innovation Supercluster consortium developed a business case that outlined how increased GO train service will increase the connectivity of the regional economies of Waterloo Region/Guelph and the Greater Toronto Area, and drive the attraction of talent, investment, and innovative companies to the local region. The business case demonstrates the majority of costs to build the system will be met from the potential $542 million in annual personal income taxes that will be generated from increased economic activity.

“I am pleased that the significant advocacy of local municipalities, along with our private sector partners, has been successful. The Province recognizes how transformational this opportunity is, and their commitment is solid,” said Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge.

The re-introduced Ontario budget confirms the Province’s planned improvements to GO’s Kitchener line to prepare for full-day, two-way train service. These include:

  • More trips: by the end of 2016, Metrolinx will double current service frequency between Kitchener and Toronto, with two additional morning and afternoon peak period trips.
  • Upgrades to the rail corridor leading to faster travel times.
  • Building a new train layover facility.

 

Municipalities in the consortium will work with the Province to implement expanded GO service successfully, for example by advocating for expanded parking near local GO stations.

 

“I welcome Premier Wynne’s comments that the Province will work closely with municipal partners to deliver on its transit commitments in ways that make sense for local communities,” said Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran. “I’m glad that the Province has not only embraced the vision put forward by our consortium, but pledged to implement it in a collaborative way.”

“This ongoing commitment by the Province reflects a major advance in the Region’s efforts to provide increased GO rail transit to the Region of Waterloo,” added Regional Chair Ken Seiling.

Iain Klugman, CEO of Communitech, noted that attracting top talent in this area has always been competitive.  “The number one barrier to tech company growth is attracting and retaining talent,” Klugman said. “More GO train trips in the short term, and faster travel times and all-day, two-way service over the longer term, will make a significant impact on companies’ ability to access and retain the latent they need.”

Background

Click here to read the Innovation Supercluster consortium’s business case.

The business case, “Innovative Regional Economies and Strategic Infrastructure: the business case for Two-Way Urban Commuter Rail on the CN North Mainline,” outlines the economic imperative and opportunities along the Toronto to Kitchener rail corridor which will help the province and our communities compete for global talent and innovative companies.

The joint request was that a 10-year capital allocation for rail infrastructure be established by the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to support full two-way GO Train service on the Kitchener Line (CN North Mainline) in the 2014 federal and provincial capital budgets.

The business case contains cost-savings analysis, maps, ridership estimates and development potential organized in six sections:

  • Ontario’s economic growth opportunity
  • Building an innovation supercluster
  • Innovative cities in the Waterloo region to Toronto corridor
  • The geography of innovation
  • Proposed two-way GO Train service
  • Recommendations and conclusion

Quick facts

  • There are 30,000 local tech workers, 34% commute from Toronto/GTA
  • There will be an additional 37,000 tech and creative workers in the area by 2031
  • 32,000 trips are made daily each way between Waterloo Region and Guelph
  • There are 11 million square feet of potential residential growth in transit station areas
  • There is $4 billion construction potential in urban growth centres/station areas
  • Initial prediction of ridership fares total $5.25 million with net operating costs of $750,000

For more information

City of Kitchener
Laura Johnston, Director
Corporate Communications and Marketing
519-741-2200 extension 7935
laura.johnston@kitchener.ca

City of Guelph
Tara Sprigg, Corporate Manager
Corporate Communications
519-822-1260 extension 2610
tara.sprigg@guelph.ca

City of Waterloo
Megan Harris, Director, Communications
Corporate Services
519-747-8513
megan.harris@waterloo.ca

 

 

Kate Sullivan, Communications Assistant
Office of the Mayor
City of Guelph

519-822-1260 x 2558
kate.sullivan@guelph.ca
guelph.ca

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Guelph City Council votes to ratify agreement with ATU Local 1189.

 

If you do not have links enabled, copy and paste http://guelph.ca/2014/07/guelph-city-council-votes-ratify-agreement-atu-local-1189/ into your Web browser.

Tara Sprigg on behalf of Corporate Communications

Guelph City Council votes to ratify agreement with ATU Local 1189.

Guelph, ON, July 14, 2014—Tonight, Guelph City Council voted to ratify the tentative agreement reached with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189.

The agreement will be taken before members of ATU Local 1189 for ratification on the evening of Sunday, July 19.

For media inquiries

Stewart McDonough

Communications Specialist

519-822-1260 extension 3356

stewart.mcdonough@guelph.ca

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Date set for damages trial between City and Urbacon

 

Guelph, ON, July 14, 2014 – During tonight’s closed session of City Council, City staff provided an update regarding ongoing litigation between the City and Urbacon—the contractor hired to build City Hall and Guelph’s Provincial Offences Court.

On March 31, the court decided the City did not have the right to terminate Urbacon from the project.  The reasons for that decision were released on June 17.

A trial to determine whether the City will be required to pay damages to Urbacon is scheduled to start on October 14, and is expected to take place over three to four weeks. The result of the trial, including the amount of damages to be paid, is likely to be released by the court in late 2014 or early 2015.

If the City decides to appeal any ruling in the case, the appeal would take place after receiving and reviewing the result of the damages trial.

Guelph’s Chief Administrative Officer, Ann Pappert explains, “The City is prepared to negotiate with Urbacon in hopes of resolving the matter and minimizing the financial impact on Guelph taxpayers.”

As the case proceeds, the City will continue providing regular updates to City Council and the community.

“To minimize the impact on local taxpayers and protect the City’s financial position, the costs for this project must be accommodated within the existing capital budget envelope,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge.

For more information

Ann Pappert

Chief Administrative Officer

519-822-1260 extension 2220

ann.pappert@guelph.ca

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Guelph Transit lockout cancelled – buses will be running tomorrow

 

 

Guelph, ON, July 13, 2014—In a joint announcement, the City of Guelph and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189 are letting the public know they have reached a tentative agreement and the City has called off plans to lock out Guelph Transit employees as of 12:01 a.m., July 14.

Details of the agreement will be released upon ratification by both parties.

“I am happy to announce that Guelph Transit will be serving the people of Guelph as usual tomorrow morning,” stated Mayor Karen Farbridge.

“The members of ATU Local 1189 have wanted to continue to serve Guelph’s transit riders,” said ATU Local 1189 President Andy Cleary. “For many Guelph residents we are their sole source of transportation, and we look forward to continuing to support our community.”

A day-long meeting, with the provincially-appointed conciliator in attendance, resulted in the necessary progress to cancel the lockout and keep the buses running for Guelph residents. During the course of the day, better understanding was achieved on the key concerns underlying the breakdown in the relationship between City administration and ATU Local 1189.

“We believe this agreement is a key first step to repairing our relationship with ATU Local 1189 and ensuring that Guelph’s residents continue to have the transit service on which they depend,” continued Mayor Farbridge.

All Guelph Transit employees are expected to join the rest of their City of Guelph colleagues on Monday, July 14 as the City’s regular operations continue unabated.

 

For media inquiries

Stewart McDonough
Communications Specialist
519-822-1260  extension 3356

stewart.mcdonough@guelph.ca

 

 

Andrew Cleary

ATU Local 1189 President

519-827-8471

 

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City of Guelph to lock out ATU Local 1189 July 14

 

 

Guelph, ON, July 12, 2014— On July 11, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189 members voted to reject the City of Guelph’s final contract offer.

The City believes it has exhausted all traditional negotiation options and, with the support of Guelph City Council, made the difficult decision to lock out the 205 members of ATU Local 1189 and suspend traditional Guelph Transit service as of 12:01 a.m. July 14. Guelph Transit Mobility Service for existing pre-booked medical appointments (for example, dialysis appointments) will continue during the labour disruption.

“We are very disappointed in the result of this vote,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge. “The decision to lock out our transit employees was not made lightly. We know this will create enormous hardship for transit riders, for our transit staff and their families, and for our community.”

The City is providing a refund to affordable bus pass holders for the rest of July available starting on Tuesday, July 15 at City Hall. Further steps will be taken for all pass holders depending on the duration of the lock out.

Council has been advised that ATU’s combined extra requests and wage parity with Grand River Transit would cost taxpayers 4.6 million dollars over the next three years. That equates to a tax increase of almost 2.3 per cent over three years – solely to fund the delivery of transit.

“Council cannot in good conscience contemplate such a financial impact on transit riders and property taxpayers,” continued Mayor Farbridge. “Our goal from the beginning has been to reach an agreement that balances fair and competitive compensation with affordability for transit customers and taxpayers.”

There is no good time for a service disruption, but City staff chose to make this decision now, when transit ridership is at its lowest, rather than in the fall when ridership goes up by nearly 60 percent.

“It is my sincere hope that our transit employees will take a second look at the City’s final offer this weekend – it represents a fair and competitive contract for our employees and is respectful of those who pay for the service. We hope to have our community’s transit service up and running again as soon as possible,” said Mayor Farbridge.

The City’s final offer to ATU Local 1189 includes in total a 6.4% wage increase over the four years of the contract, including:

-          1.7% increase retroactive to July 1, 2013

-          1.6% increase effective July 1, 2014

-          1.6% increase effective July 1, 2015

-          1.5% increase effective July 1, 2016

The offer protects all employee benefits and vacation entitlements, which are consistent with those of the City’s other unions. The offer is also consistent with agreements that other transit unions in Ontario have negotiated with their municipalities including Sudbury, Brantford and Waterloo Region.

“The ATU requests would require an additional 20 to 30 unionized staff – a 10 per cent increase to the number of unionized staff with no improvement to transit service as a result,” stated the City’s Chief Administrative Officer Ann Pappert.

The negotiations have included an 18-month process with 22 days of negotiations, including seven with a provincially-appointed conciliator brought in at the City’s request.

“Unfortunately, from the outset, we have been met with unexplained and lengthy delays from ATU – which signals one of two things: they are unwilling or unable to bargain,” continued Pappert

The City’s offer of a four-year deal that would add less than one million dollars to the City budget or an approximately 0.5 per cent increase to property taxes over the four years of the agreement.

“We recognize all of this is cold comfort to those who rely on transit in our community,” said Pappert. “We have taken the unusual step of providing two days’ notice before the lockout begins. This is the maximum amount of notice we can provide, to give transit riders time to seek alternate means of transportation while still maintaining the safety and security of customers, staff, and property.”

The City will continue posting negotiation updates at guelph.ca/atu or updates on service disruption, FAQs and transportation alternatives at guelphtransit.ca.

 

For more information

Stewart McDonough
Communications Specialist
519-822-1260  extension 3356

stewart.mcdonough@guelph.ca

 

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City preparing to lock out Transit union members on July 14

Transit riders receive two days’ notice before service disruption

 

Guelph, ON, July 11, 2014—Today, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189 members voted to reject the City of Guelph’s final contract offer.

The City believes it has exhausted all traditional negotiation options and, with the support of Guelph City Council, made the difficult decision to lock out the 205 members of ATU Local 1189 and suspend traditional Guelph Transit service as of 12:01 a.m. July 14. Guelph Transit Mobility Service for pre-booked medical appointments will continue during the labour disruption.

On Saturday, July 12, media representatives are invited to hear comments from Mayor Karen Farbridge and Chief Administrative Officer Ann Pappert explaining the reasons behind the City’s decision.

What: Media opportunity to ask questions about Guelph Transit union lock out

Who: Mayor Karen Farbridge

Chief Administrative Officer Ann Pappert

Where: City Hall Galleria, 1 Carden Street, Guelph, ON

When: Saturday, July 12, 11:30 a.m.

For more information

David Godwaldt

General Manager, Human Resources

519-822-1260 extension 2848

david.godwaldt@guelph.ca

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