If I'm ever sued, this site will go up for sale for the amount of damages sought, along with posting any documents I receive. If you think you can copyright a letter you send to me, go for it.
I'm still learning about blog design and I've found a problem when viewing this blog. It does not behave properly in small browser windows and if your display resolution is less than 1280 pixels wide and/or you are viewing the blog in a window less than 980 pixels blog wide, the right side bar is pushed below any visible post. I've searched the web and looked at the code for hours but can't find the problem. My next step, when I get the time, is to recreate the blog with a new template. Advice is appreciated.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Equal Pay for Equal Work?

Equal Pay for Equal Work has a nice ring to it but ask yourself: If I'm employed by First Transit, Laidlaw or Veolia as a bus driver, do I do the same job as an RTD driver? Do I get the same pay and benefits as an RTD driver?
How can you answer any other way than "yes, I do the same job" and "no, I don't get get he same pay and benefits"? How is that possible?
It occurs because RTD, First Transit, Laidlaw and Veolia drivers are each in a separate bargaining unit within ATU Local 1001. Who does this arrangement benefit? Certainly not the employees of the subcontractors and it doesn't benefit the union because our dues are lower. That only leaves the employer who can offer a smaller pay and benefits package than RTD. I challenge the local and it's officers to explain the logic behind continuing this policy.
I'm a realist and I like to think I'm pretty fair. The union and it's members cannot demand that the companies involved suddenly increase the driver's pay and benefit package by 25% or what ever the figure is; it could put the companies out of business in the area and that benefits no one. At the same time, the minuscule raises the union accepts for the subcontractor employees does nothing to achieve Equal Pay for Equal Work! Where does the answer lie?
RTD is primarily subsidised by tax dollars so it's interest are greatly different than the subcontractors. It would be stupid to ask it's employees to take a substantial cut in pay and benefits to bring their compensation in line with ours. The companies have to make a profit or they won't stay in business. I'm a simple person and the solution seems pretty simple to me.
It must be the goal of the union and it's members to bring everyone's pay and benefits to near equality over a period of time. I suggest that five years, depending on economic conditions, is reasonable. Have you heard any such proposal?
In my simplistic view, the union is selling a service and it ought to be my choice to purchase that service. If I get value for my money, I'll continue to purchase the service and if I don't, I should be able to put the money in my pocket and use it to buy something else. In my opinion, that's not the case and the result is what we have today, a union that seemingly doesn't give a tinkers damn about a large number of it's members. Adam Smith is often called the Father of Modern Economics and his ideas are as valid today as when he was alive some 220 years ago.
Perhaps it's foolish to think I can make a difference and actually bring about a change but I won't know until I try. I assure everyone that I'm very serious and all I ask is the opportunity to present my views to those who are affected and let each individual make their own decision.

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