April 2018 – News and Views Express

Local 583 will be running a branding campaign this year to make the public aware of the services provided by our members. This will be further explained in an upcoming issue of News and Views. In the interim, the Local is seeking models for the campaign. If you are interested in being the face of ATU Local 583 please visit our website for details. This talent search portion of the campaign has been extended to April 9th, 2018 at 16:00.

The permit (Director’s Variance) to relax hours of work for those who would like to volunteer to work overtime has been signed and submitted again. The key word here is volunteer. Only those Operators who chose to volunteer to work over the established 12 hour spread are impacted. This usually applies to Operators that work a piece of overtime in the AM/PM rush. The permit does allow for a spread of 15 hours but that only happens in unexpected situations such as heavy traffic, bad weather, traffic accidents and CTrain problems, etc. Dispatch will not assign work to volunteers beyond the 14 hour spread. The permit also allows for a minimum of 9 hours of rest between shifts. This document has been renewed every year since 2002 with the previous understanding in place.

The election for Delegates to the International Convention was just held. The International Constitution and General Laws allow for any member in good standing to run and Local 583 Bylaws require the election to be run 15 months after the Officer Elections. With the support of virtually all the Stewards of Local 583, the Executive Board ran a campaign to get elected as the Delegates with the thought that they are the Local’s decision makers at the Board and with their Board status they could best disseminate any knowledge attained at convention. Posters were circulated in the work areas and there were garage visits to campaign. Local 583’s membership had a Delegate status of 10 for this convention and managed to get 7 Executive Board members elected. All of the Alternates to convention are Executive Board members and will be activated for growth of membership or for elected Delegates unable to attend. Thanks to everyone who supported democracy by voting and congratulations to those elected. The list of elected Delegates was posted in all the usual posting locations.

Local 583 continues to meet monthly with Access Management to discuss ongoing concerns and to try to resolve grievances before they are filed. One key concern which the Local is struggling to address is OTP (On Time Performance). It is a company created performance measure that is used to review an Accessible Operator’s day. All of the Accessible Operators are given a percentage score on their ability to arrive, pick up and deliver on time. There is no reset mechanism for trips that run late, of course not often the fault of the Operator, simple things like: waiting for a client or their aide, road construction, traffic, weather, B.O’s, etc. Therefore each successive trip is only likely to further push the OTP downward. Local 583 suspects OTP is going to be used as a tool by Management to discipline Operators and we have served notice we will grieve the situation unless a reasonable solution can be achieved.

It is rewarding to report on the redeployed Community Shuttle Operators starting their reversion back to Transit Operators. This could not have happened without the membership’s support on a motion to waive the contractual timelines for reversion. The motion gave us the ability to approach Management and make an agreement to move them back into Conventional Operators. 17 Community Shuttle Operators are reverting, 3 are remaining in Shuttle and 2 have resigned. Their refreshers start April 16th!

A number of LRT Operators have been reporting deficiencies on the Series 9 drivers’ seats. It came to a pinnacle when one Operator had an ergonomic assessment of the driver’s seat. The assessment revealed that the seat is not suitable for 30% of males and 95% of females. This is a clear message that this seat needs an overhaul or replacement. If you find yourself injured after driving one of these trains please consult your doctor and fill out a WCB Claim Form. It must also be stated here that no matter what anyone has said about the Series 9 deficiencies when former Executive Board member/current Shop Steward, John Harwood and member in good standing, Tom Matys went to Sacramento to assess these trains they had nothing to do with the design or approval of the train. They actually compiled a list of items which were problematic including the seats documented as far back as October 2015.

There has been a new pilot put in place at VP garage that started on March 19, 2018 on how the buses will move through the servicelane. As a result of this change, Operators should notice cleaner buses out of VP for the most part with the manpower that is currently there.

It has come to Local 583’s attention at Spring Gardens garage, Operators are starting their buses and shuttles and leaving them running when the doors at the front of the lanes are closed. The shuttle buses at the back end of the new shuttle lanes that are left running send fumes down into the tunnel too. Please, have consideration for all your coworkers; if you are going to start your bus, please move it outside ASAP and let it warm up. Let us all work together to help maintain a healthy workplace for all.

Just a reminder regarding Union dues. It is the member’s responsibility to pay their dues and insurance premium (if applicable) when they are on long-term disability and/or on a leave of absence. To make it easier on the members, a reduced dues rate of $15.40 is applied. Members who move to Management positions will pay their dues until they complete their reversion rights, after which they should contact the Union Office to inform us of their decision to continue to participate as a member or not.

Our Office receives many complaints from our members about other members. Conflict in the workplace is a serious issue, one that our employer seems determined to stop, by punishing people who step over the line in their dealing with other employees. A key aspect of working with others is to respect them. This is clearly a City rule, but it is also how we should consider treating our fellow Union members. One easy way of keeping everyone out of trouble is to assume the best of your co-workers. For instance, assume the Operator who just pulled away from a stop checked the mirrors before leaving and did not see anyone. Do not assume the other Operator doesn’t care and deliberately drove off, leaving customers behind. Or, assume the member in uniform is allowed to be in this work area rather than believing it is your duty to report member’s actions to Management. Very few of our members have the responsibility to enforce rules. This type of thinking, assuming the best of everyone, makes conflict much less likely in our workplace.

The current Collective Bargaining Agreement expired on January 5th, 2018. Since that date we have met with the City’s team three times. The progress has been slow but steady. Due to the poor economic climate the City is currently offering nothing in the way of monetary gains. It will work in the membership’s favour to take our time to come to an agreement, as this Local has done in the past. As the economy improves the outlook for future gains will be more favourable. More on the process we have undertaken for bargaining will be reviewed in a future issue.


Congratulations on their Retirement 2017/ 2018

Conrad Johnstone – Office – 35 years – Sept
Peter Connell – Maintenance – 19 years – Dec
Greg Bellotto – Maintenance – 29 years – Jan
Beryl McNeil – Operator – 18 years – Jan
Lori Swainson – Operator – 21 years – Jan
Lyall Ward – Operator – 40 years – Feb
Jaswant Bains – Operator – 37 years – Feb
Randy Tramble – Operator – 38 years – Feb
Brad Baerg – Maintenance – 18 years – Mar
Joseph Driessen – Operator – 44 years – Mar
Billy Guiboche – Operator – 11 years – Mar
Alnur Madhavji – Accom – 17 years – Mar
Raymond Neitz – Operator – 16 years – Mar
Dave Sugden – Exempt – 37 years – Mar

Thank you cards received:
James Cooper
The Family of Ed Gerlat
The Family of Jim McConnell
Lyle Moench
William Pickit

Contributors this month:

Rick Ratcliff Neil McKinnon Zul Vira Bill Johnson
President/B.A Executive Vice/ Financial Recording Secretary
A.B.A Secretary/Treasurer Maint./Office

COPE 397 /jr

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