ATU 583 Monthly Insights – January 2022 – Issue #11

Happy New Year!

We hope 2022 has started out on the right foot for each of you. We want to acknowledge the tremendous assistance we received from you in making 2021 a success under such trying times. We are committed to working with you throughout this year to accomplish what we did with things like the “Are You In” campaign and “Calgary’s Future”, in negotiations.

Retirement Booklets

We are pleased to let you know that we mailed out the special edition retirement booklet to all of our retirees at the end of 2021. If you have not yet received yours – please give us a call and verify we have your correct address and phone number on file. You may also email our admin staff to check the same.

Retirement Banquets 2022

We have rebooked the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino for our 2020/2021 Retirement Banquet on April 23, 2022. If all goes well, we should have all information out regarding this banquet by mid-March at the latest.

This would mean our 2022 Retirement Banquet would take place at the same venue on October 1, 2022.

We continue to take Covid-19 and everyone’s safety extremely seriously. We will advise you of any updates on either function as we draw closer to those dates. It is our hope that we can gather and celebrate with you all this year.

National Day of Remembrance of the Québec City Mosque Attack and Action against Islamophobia

We tackle some difficult subjects in our Monthly Insights and this is one of them. Senseless loss of life is never an easy topic, but we know that it is important to remember those who have been lost to terrorism and hate.

On January 29, 2017 at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City, a terrorist opened fire on the prayer hall. The result of this abhorrent act was the deaths of six people. Ibrahima Barry (aged 39, Quebec government IT worker), Mamadou Tanou Barry (aged 42, accounting technician), Khaled Belkacemi (aged 60, professor at Laval University), Aboubaker Thabti (aged 44, pharmacy technician), Abdelkrim Hassane (aged 41, Quebec government computer analyst) and Azzedine Soufiane (aged 57, grocery store owner). Many more were injured.

This attack was carried out with the intention to specifically harm Muslims. The shooter, who we will not name in an effort to focus on the victims, spent an exorbitant amount of time on Islamophobic websites as well as looking up content on mass murders. There is no question that his intent was targeted and racially motivated.

As a result, the request to make January 29 an annual day of remembrance for this senseless tragedy was given royal assent.

Hatred divides us. We must denounce racism and discrimination in all its forms.

We remember the lives lost five years ago. We remember those injured. We remember those who saw this act of violence and worried for their own lives or the lives of those they care for. We stand against extremism in all its forms and we will continue to work towards a safe and equitable place for everyone.

If you or a loved one has experienced Islamophobia and you want to report it, you are encouraged to email which is the National Council of Canadian Muslims. We have checked with the NCCM and this is the preferred method of contact so the report can be logged accurately.

As always, if you would like to speak to an ATU Local 583 Officer you can call 403-258-1258.

Cancelling of Signed Up Runs by CT

We have been dealing with the cutting of signed work and looking for a path with the least negative impact on the Operators as a whole. In all likelihood, this is going to result in a compressed sign up, similar but not the same as what took place in the spring of 2020. The goal is to remove the random impact on our members that the route cuts are having.

With this principle in mind, the first thing we did was advise the Employer that we will be grieving any of the runs that have been affected as a result of a route being cut, that does not comply with the Collective Agreement and well-established practices. The language allows the employer to cut school runs and change the work on a temporary basis for short term school closures. The run reverts to its previous state when the school service resumes.

When the City approached us to discuss implementing a compressed sign on similar to what took place in 2020, we felt it was not sustainable in terms of our Operators well-being and provided a number of counter proposals to minimize the unpredictable nature of the work and service to the public.

In our discussion with the Employer, we asked that they focus on the health and well being of the employees and if that results in make up time or reduced productivity, that is something they need to be prepared to accept. Not just towards those that lost their run, but also in the implementation of the compressed sign on. We think, for the most part, we got there in our exchange on the sign on, but we need to hear from you specifically if your work does not comply or if you have lost income as a result of your run being cut while we move towards the new sign-up. We have been told by some that they were told they will be paid their built in OT, but again that has not been confirmed. Please watch your pay advice going forward.

The counter proposal we offered will allow for a compressed sign on process with additional staff to complete the perusal and the opportunity for an Operator to select two runs during sign up. The first selection would be very similar to what the current Covid service levels are but designed anticipating about 50 less Operators available on a regular basis. The second selection would be drastically reduced in the event the Omicron variant has a longer negative impact than expected.

At this time the sign-up is scheduled to begin January 24 and run until February 9 for Conventional. Community Shuttle will begin January 24 and finish by January 31. Vacation selection will start February 14 for both Conventional and CS.

Once again, Covid is having a major impact on our work and once again, it is our Members that are taking the hit.

Our goal is to minimize the impact on our Members and keep the work as predictable as possible.

Bylaw Proposals

The two proposals put forward by the Bylaw Committee were supported by the Membership and received concurrence. The first was a small language clean up wherein “CT Maintenance Not Assigned to any of the above facilities” was removed and “Stoney Trail Transit Facility” was added under “Stewards” The second was more concise language for the ATU 583 scholarship.

Two proposals were put forward by a Member were not supported by the Membership and received non-concurrence. Both were in regards to the Regular Membership Meetings and attendance.

The Bylaw booklets are in the process of being updated and will be available once approved by the International.

Health Spending Account Deadline for 2021

The deadline to submit your 2021 Health Spending Account expenses is February 28, 2022. Be sure to maximize your benefit and submit your claims online. It is worth submitting expenses above your entitlement as some may flow through to your 2022 entitlement.

Family Picnic 2022

We know it’s early in the year but for a spot of hopefully good news – the Membership of Local 583 approved a motion to hold this year’s Family Picnic at Heritage Park.

In years past we have held our picnic at Heritage Park for a multitude of reasons. Our 100th Anniversary being one of the bigger celebrations. We also held it there in 2014 after the massive flooding in 2013 prevented us from celebrating that year.

As Covid has negatively impacted our ability to hold ANY of our social events in the last two years, we wanted to make our next picnic extra special. We do not have the details sorted out yet but as soon as we do you will be the first to know! Stay tuned.

COPE 397 /jw

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