ATU 583 Monthly Insights – September 2021 – Issue #7

Mental Health Check In

As we enter the final quarter of the year, we think it is important to acknowledge where the mental health of our members may be at.

Covid numbers continue to fluctuate, causing concern each time they rise higher. Uncertainty surrounding the variants of Covid-19 are also a stressor we have been hearing about frequently during conversations with members. Of course, there are always family and workplace pressures as well as the desire to strike a work/life balance that we cannot always control as much as we’d like to.

It’s important to stop and check in with yourself. This can be as simple as taking some time to reflect on how you’re feeling. Are you feeling okay? Are you getting enough rest? Are you addressing the things that concern you?

The reality may be that you aren’t doing as well as you’d like to be. Which is where some resources may come in handy.

One option is to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Another option is to go through the Employee Family Assistance Program – otherwise known as EFAP. You can contact them 24 hours a day 7 days a week by calling 1-877-700-1424. There are also online options available through their website: These services are free to City of Calgary employees and their family.

If you do not think you’re at the point of needing outside help, a few options are to:

Set realistic goals for yourself: doing your best to get enough sleep, making time for things you enjoy and not just those you’re obligated to. Even a health goal like walking every day or participating in a yoga class.

Write down how you’re feeling each day. This can be as simple as opening the notes app on your phone (or writing in a notebook) and jotting down a few words. “September 13th, 2021 – today I felt better than usual”. You can look back over the course of a week or a month and see how often you’re feeling good and how often you’re not. This can help you judge whether you’re handling your mental well-being adequately on your own and may be a good indicator of whether you need to take a next step.

Some things to keep in mind as you choose how you’d like to proceed are these:

1. You are not alone. Regardless of how you’re feeling, someone else has felt similar or is going through something similar themselves.

2. There is no shame in seeking help. You deserve to feel your best and if a professional can assist with that – all the more reason to reach out.

3. Being honest with yourself about how you’re doing and feeling is important.

We think discussions around mental health are important. Perhaps a few years ago we may not have been putting this article out. But it is imperative to talk openly about these things. To end the stigma around needing and seeking help. To that end, it also doesn’t hurt to check in on friends and coworkers. A simple “how are you doing lately?” could open a conversation both parties benefit from.

As always, we are here for you. If you do want to speak to an Officer you can reach out to us at the office.

Do We Have Your Current Address?

If you have moved recently or noticed you haven’t received the monthly In Transit magazine recently, you may need to update with us. Give us a call at 403-258-1258 Extension 0 and an admin will be happy to assist you.

Fall Banquet 2021 – Postponed

After much discussion and careful consideration, we have decided to postpone the 2021 Retirement Banquet.

It is very important to all of us in leadership roles at the union, to celebrate and remember our Retirees. However, the safety of each and every one of you comes first.

We remain hopeful that we can once again see each other and celebrate our wonderful retirees soon. This was a difficult decision and we are disappointed, but as we mentioned above, your safety and health will always come first.

Some small good news is that we will be mailing out a special edition of our banquet book to all retirees in the coming weeks. Keep an eye on your mailboxes for your copy.

Covid 19 Vaccinations Update

We have been in discussions with the City Manager, Mr. David Duckworth, regarding the announcement about mandatory vaccines for City of Calgary employees. On September 8th we received a draft document which states the policy is not completed.

As it stands, ATU Local 583 does not agree with any part of a policy that would seek to discipline, terminate or force a leave on a person who doesn’t wish to vaccinate.

We believe that there are far less intrusive ways to administer a policy on Covid safety. Protocols in place for medical and religious accommodations would work for those choosing not to vaccinate for other reasons as well. There is no doubt in our minds that this is true. However, the employer feels the administration costs attached are not acceptable. We disagree.

We will continue to keep you updated as things unfold. If you would like timelier updates, we strongly suggest joining our Telegram group. It requires downloading the Telegram app and then texting our Financial Secretary Treasurer, Harry Lew, with your full name and cell phone number to be added.

Civic Election 2021 – Endorsement Update

In our last issue we provided a list of all current Civic Election endorsements. We are very pleased to let you know that the Executive Board met on September 9 and discussed several more candidates.

Here is the updated list (with new endorsements in bold):

Ward 1 – Sonya Sharp
Ward 2 – Jennifer Wyness
Ward 3 – Jasmin Mian
Ward 4 – DJ Kelly
Ward 5 – Raj Dhaliwal
Ward 6 – Lana Bentley
Ward 7 – Erin Waite
Ward 8 – Courney Walcott
Ward 9 – Gian-Carlo Carra
Ward 10 – Abed Harb
Ward 11 – Kourtney Branigan
Ward 12 – Evan Spencer
Ward 13 – Jay Unsworth

COPE 397 /jr

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