• Work it out
    March 18,2014

    Work it out

    Being carless in Vermont is hard but possible because of the folks that drive our buses. A drivers’ strike will disrupt my life, and yet I support the drivers. I can sympathize with the hardship that split shifts cause to a worker’s life. I know firsthand, it’s difficult to use the time between two stints for anything productive, recreational or relaxing.

    On the other hand, I see how challenging it must be to schedule hours on transit routes that are busiest on either end of the workday.

    Working in a union workplace myself, I see similar scheduling challenges (and frustrations) faced by workers and management. I’m sympathetic to both sides and frustrated at the attitudes of some on both sides. Workers often say things like “management would love to run this place on substitute workers” as if all managers are cold-hearted penny pinchers opposed to providing full-time work. I also hear managers complain about subs who aren’t always available when they’re needed, or seniority rules (which are in place for a good reason) that can make scheduling a sub a lengthy process. The truth is, most workers and managers are doing the best they can — wanting to do the right thing, but focused on their challenges first.

    I think if a problem — such as split shifts — can be targeted with a can-do attitude, a solution can be reached. At Chittenden County Transportation Authority, hopefully this can happen soon and we can all get back on the road.

    James Sharp


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