Both parties mum on earning back $3M lost in fares
The TTC has agreed with its unionized workers on a way to recover, over three years, the $3 million it lost in fares during a 24-hour wildcat strike in May 2006.
TTC officials refused to comment on the matter last night. But a Toronto Star source said the settlement includes $600,000 in annual overtime savings on the subway system.
It also means the TTC won’t take the union to court to recover fares lost during the illegal strike, which caught transit riders by surprise and paralyzed the city.
About 10 other outstanding issues, each worth $10,000 to $50,000 a year, are also part of the settlement, the source told the Toronto Star late yesterday.
The settlement means subway workers will now use the same "spare board" practice used for years on buses and streetcars to fill in for absent employees.
The "spare board" is essentially a roster of surplus employees scheduled to work a shift even though a shift is full. The spare workers are then immediately available, at regular wages, to fill in for operators who call in absent or sick.
Although spare board workers end up being paid about 3 per cent of the time for a shift on which they have nothing to do, TTC managers have long maintained the system is far less expensive and disruptive than calling in workers on overtime.
TTC officials would not discuss the matter last night, saying it was still between the union and the commission. Amalgamated Transit Workers Local 113 president Bob Kinnear would say only that, "Yes, there has been an agreement reached, but I prefer not to talk about the specifics. We did what was in the best interest of our members."