January 2018 – News and Views Express

ATU 583 News and Views Express January 2018

Local 583 continues to remind the membership that it is imperative to document situations and keep a copy of all documents submitted. While members should not have to spend their entire shift writing out paperwork, if something unusual or something that doesn’t feel right happens, a record of the time, date, place and those involved could prove invaluable. Having all the facts in place about an incident makes follow up much easier and lends credibility when a situation is investigated through the office. If you are unsure about someone’s name, ask for it. If photocopies of any documents are required, the Union office will make them for you. Another key tool that most members have at their disposal is a cell phone. It can be used in a variety of ways for documentation.


The Full Time Officers started making monthly garage visits to the three main garages in 2014. Some of our members told us we were not seen in the workplace enough, so the visits commenced. The cafeterias were chosen as the place for the visits as they had the majority of the traffic. Bulletins are always posted in advance so the membership can see when we will be in attendance as well as advance tentative notice of the following garage visit. The hours of these visits have always been 0830 to 1530 to allow the majority of the membership to drop by before, during or after their shift. We have always asked the members to come see us in an area which accommodates high traffic so the work area is not impeded. In the fall of 2016 we heard again from the membership that some work areas felt left out. This spawned visits to three more smaller work areas.

The next request was that we should bring refreshments. With the membership’s approval we now bring coffee and snacks to these visits. The garage visits certainly keep us up to date on what’s happening in the workplace. Please watch for the monthly bulletin and schedule yourself to pop by and visit us.

The year end for extended health benefits is February 28, 2018. 23% of the plan members are not using their health account according to statistics from MEBAC. To help you maximize your HSA benefit the Local encourages members to submit your extended health and dental premiums to Greenshield for reimbursement.
At the next two garage visits the Full Time Officers will be carrying claims forms and advising you on how to make a claim for reimbursement. Pay Period 24 pay advice should show year to date (YTD) for submissions amounts.


Many rumours are floating around the workplace in the best of times, and that number only goes up during negotiations. Add to that the budget discussions that City Council is involved in, the state of the economy, pressures from new technology…well, the list is almost endless. Our office hears many of these rumours, but it is impossible for four of us to respond to them all. To help you decide whether something is a rumour or not, it is important to find out the source of what is said. If something about the workplace is said by a Union representative, it is most probably true. We pass on messages and information to all of our representatives, both at formal meetings like our Steward’s meetings and through other discussions.

If you hear something from someone who is not Management or a Union representative, you should ask “Who told you this?” Simply because someone is another Operator or Service Lane Attendant, it doesn’t always mean they have an inside track on information. Think about that for a moment. I was talking to a Train Operator recently about him hearing that from now on, Transit was going to allow people off the street to be Train Operators, instead of having to be Conventional Operators who volunteer to go to trains. His source was another Train Operator. Why would anyone think a Train Operator would receive information concerning a huge change of practice before Management or the Union has heard about it, and then passed it on?

Please, if you hear something and it isn’t from Management or a Union representative, don’t pass that information on as though it is a fact. Ask where the information is coming from, and if it isn’t from a reliable source, don’t believe it and don’t pass it on. You aren’t doing anyone any favours by passing on bad information.

Our annual Children’s Christmas Party took place at the Red and White Club on December 10, 2017. There were over 500 attendees, and we’ve received a lot of positive feedback on the event! There were plenty of activities, including a magic show, crafts and entertainment – fun for all ages. We would like to thank the Social Committee and volunteers who helped make this event a a fabulous success!


City Council approved an additional 40,000 platform hours of service, instead of rollbacks of $4 million. As a result, the City is planning to hire more Community Shuttle Operators in 2018. We are looking forward to getting back some of the platform hours that had been lost in 2017. Hopefully we will see more runs coming our way.


We would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Full Time Officers to wish everyone a Happy New Year! May you be blessed enough to spend this year with your loved ones and for good things always to come your way.

Congratulations on their Retirement 2017

Roland Coates – Maintenance – 35 years – June James Knight – Operator – 29 years – Sept
Terry Elson – Maintenance – 36 years – June Moez Ladha – Operator – 16 years – Sept
Leslie Hauck – Maintenance – 14 years – June Janice Larlham – Operator – 16 years – Sept
Paul Tobler – Maintenace – 38 years – June Gareth Wood – Maintenance – 27 years – Sept
Joe Weimer – Maintenance – 4 years – June Wojciech Arkuszynski – Maintenance – 21 years – Oct
William Young – Maintenance – 36 years – June Jerome Baptist – Operator – 27 years – Oct
Zark Baljak – Maintenance – 20 years – July Helen Dueck – Operator – 26 years – Oct
Ron Diegel – Maintenance – 40 years – July Wanda Heater – Operator – 36 years – Oct
Steve Ruthven – Operator – 4 years – July Rodney Potter – Operator – 27 years – Oct
Robert Sanders – Maintenance – 20 years – July William Houtman – Operator – 31 years – Nov
Emanuel Dela Cruz- Operator – 37 years – August Stan Buckton – Operator – 6 years – December
Baldev Johal – Operator – 22 years – August Gary Ducarme – Operator – 39 years – December
Bill Lam – Operator – 8 years – August Henry Dueck – Operator – 39 years – December
Ali Nayani – Operator – 29 years – August Alexander Hamelin – Operator – 11 years – December
Neil Armitage – Operator – 39 years – Sept Mohan Khunkhun – Operator – 37 years – December
Robert Carmichael – Maintenance – 35 years – Sep Margaret McCallum – Operator – 25 years – December
Don Grainger – Maintenance – 37 years – Sept Bernie Ontkean – Operator – 15 years – December
Paulette King – Operator – 17 years – Sept Heather Walker – Operator – 10 years – December

For Your Information: The next Retiree’s Meeting is February 5th, 2018 at 7:00 PM at Spring Gardens Garage Rm 104
The next Retiree’s Luncheon is January 16th, 2018 at 12:00 PM at Elk’s Lodge and Golf Club (Winston Golf Club) located at 2502 6th Street N.E

Thank You Cards Received:

Joe Ceci John Kaperian
The family of George Dorn Brad Peters
Ashley Easthope The family of Cliff Pomroy
Bernie Eakett Paul Tobler
Janet Eremenko Jacinda (Office Staff)
Drug Farrell Shelley (Office Staff)
Michelle Hill Jill (PT Office Staff)
Riaz Jaffer Gene (Cleaner)

The next Regular Union Meeting is February 13th, 2018 at 10:00 AM and 7:30 PM at the Union Hall

Contributors this month:

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

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