ATU 583 Monthly Insights- July & August 2022 – Issue #17

ATU Canada 2022 – New Brunswick

ATU Local 583 sent a full delegation of 14 to the ATU Canada Annual Conference. This meant almost our entire Executive Board was able to attend.

As with the recent Northwest Conference, ATU Canada’s Conference had a strong focus on mental health. Many of the Local representatives voiced their own Local’s struggles with the pandemic, layoffs and more. One of the big causes of strife for Operators across the country is the large population of vagrants who frequent public transit. While homelessness itself doesn’t make a person problematic, the rise in substance abuse among those experiencing homelessness has sharply risen and reports of issues along with it. While we believe everyone, housed or not, is worthy of respect and dignity, our Member’s safety is always our number one concern.

Another common theme across the country is the shortage of trades people in all departments as well as determining what staffing levels and working from home will look like for our office members.

This was the first time ATU Canada has met in person since 2019. The 2020 conference was supposed to be held in Calgary but has been postponed until 2023 due to the pandemic. They are now looking to hold it here in July of next year if they are able to secure a venue. The nice thing about having it in our home town is we will be able to send a lot of our representatives that haven’t had a chance to participate in our national conference.

We would like to thank Cheryl Lundvall, Noel Lewis and Dave Fajnor for filling in at the office while our delegation was away. They did a wonderful job and we have had several messages from Members thanking them for their efforts as well!

ATU 583 Family Picnic at Heritage Park

We are pleased to report that this Picnic was a smash success! It was a beautiful day with a few scattered showers.

We had approximately 1600 people in attendance consisting of retired and active Members, their spouses/partners, children and grandchildren.

It is an incredible opportunity to show the next generation a small part of what belonging to a union is all about. “On a personal note, my children literally grew up around ATU and it is extremely rewarding to see them recognize the value of organized labour today. I still remember as a child, attending these same kinds of events with my parents. It sows the seeds for recognizing the strength of belonging to a community.”
-M Mahar

Speaking of kids, our bike draw was a big hit as per usual. Check out our website for the winners! The airbrush spray tattoos were also a favourite for kids of all ages.

Overall, it was a wonderful day and we are so happy to have been able to spend time with all of you, relaxing and enjoying the Heritage Park grounds.

ATU 583 Scholarship 2022

Our brand-new scholarship, consisting of up to $10,000 is now posted for Members to access, on our website! Just go to and you can fill the application out right there on the website.

A reminder that all submissions must be received by 24:00 midnight MST on August 31, 2022.

This is a fantastic opportunity for our Member’s dependants and we look forward to awarding the winner(s).

Members and Code Blues

We have written a number of articles on Code Blues, the process therein and also Member safety in general. We invite you to check our archive available on our website at if you’d like to update yourself.

However, this is an ongoing issue. And we hear from Members almost weekly about some scenario or another where they experienced a Code Blue and didn’t feel entirely supported by Control or other Management.

While we are informed of Code Blues and we do reach out to each person who has experienced one, the process isn’t always immediate. If you would like to talk to someone right away, please do not hesitate to call us at the office. We have had an influx of Members calling and just chatting with our admin staff about their experiences because they just want someone to talk to about what happened to them. Our admin staff of course pass these Members along to speak with Local 583 Officers, but what remains important here is the act of being heard. We are here to hear you and to help you move forward and deal with what occurred. We will stand by you in the process of charging an assailant and we can talk to Management on your behalf.

We do wish that Code Blues were not something we had to bring up every few newsletters but the reality is that instances of abuse continue.
If you take anything away from this article, know that we are always here to assist you.

Bill 32 – Membership Mailout

By now you should have received your copy of a letter we mailed to Members detailing the information on Bill 32 and how it affects ATU Local 583 Members.

For those unaware, Bill 32 is a Kenney Government addition that seeks to break down how Unions can spend the dues collected from Members. It is just another instance in a long line of similar scenarios where this Government tries to disrupt Union business and minimize our ability to represent our members interests.

The gist of the letter we sent is that after discussion with our legal advisors, we will continue to operate as usual. That is to say, within the confines of Bill 32, all dues collected are used for “core” union activities and will continue to be used in that way.

We will continue updating our members at our monthly meetings and in the social media forums we have coordinated. And like we’ve done for at least 50 years; we will exceed government regulations by providing semi annual audit reports rather than the single audit report now mandated by Bill 32.

If you did not receive your letter, please call us immediately at 403-258-1258 Ext 0 to update your address. This will ensure you don’t miss any important information we have to disperse.

Overtime or Double Time Phone Calls

We have had some inquiries about whether or not Dispatch is able to call you “after hours” for overtime or double time. The answer is yes, they can, unless you ask them not to. The process to be put on a Do Not Call list is very easy. You can simply call and speak to someone in Dispatch (or talk to them in person) and state you do not want to be called for OT or DT.

We haven’t heard of anyone having an issue after adding themselves to a Do Not Call list, but if you do experience such an issue, please give us a call and we can look into it for you.

Retirement Banquet

As a kind reminder to our retired Members, the Fall Banquet is being held on October 1, 2022 at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino.

We had plenty of feedback from those who attended our April banquet and will be taking several suggestions into account.

Retirees can expect their invitations in the mail by the end of August. If you are unsure if we have your current address, please give us a call so we can check if it needs to be updated.

Any Members in good standing who want to attend will be able to call the office and purchase tickets once the poster goes up on our posting boards in the workplace and on our socials.

We look forward to celebrating with our retired members once again October 1 with a special recognition for our new retirees and those members reaching their 50-year milestones.

COPE 397 /jw

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