Bus Strike solution: 5% in '05 for 5yrs
If the EPMU wants their workers to get a 5% pay rise this year ("5 in 05") then may I suggest a resolution to the Tramways Union strike against the Stagecoach company across Auckland. Sort of by way of a consumer demands/petition:
The passengers of Stagecoach support the busdrivers in their pay claim of a minumum $16 per hour.
We want an end to this dispute. To provide funds for the extra remuneration we therefore offer to Stagecoach our permission to raise bus fares on average a total of 5% maximum immediately on the following conditions:
1. The increase to a minimum of $16 per hour pay for every driver is immediate.
2. The new fare structure and pricing remain the same for a minimum of five years.
I was considering a third proviso about ensuring the existing bus pass holders should have their value of fares now grandfathered over the new rates so they don't have to pay the extra based on something they bought thinking it was set. But then again it is nice and simple as is.
This is an oppurtunity for the passengers, the bloody customers, to screw something out of the bastards for once. They can structure their 5% increase any way they want, it is the total we have agreed to, not across the board. They may choose to sting cash sales customers or weight it to hit the one stage customers. Whatever, we will have the certainty that the fares are set for 5 years with this agreement. We could get the ARC to coutersign as a deal over their subsidies too.
The trains in Auckland tonight were packed to capacity and many people were left stranded on platforms. The rugby at Eden Park caused commuter anarchy on the trains by all accounts. And we have until Tuesday with no end in sight. Hang tough Tramways the passengers are with you.