ATU Local 583 – Monthly Insights – April/May 2024, Issue #35

S&A and Attending Physician’s Statements

For our Members that may not be aware, we wanted to go over how sick days and the requirement of an Attending Physician’s Statement works.

Firstly, an Attending Physician’s Statement is different than a doctor’s note. It is a form your doctor will need to fill out and send to Homewood Health. You can request a form from us during business hours. Please email and she will ensure one is sent to you, to bring to your physician. The form can also be found on MyHR at;

It is highly advised that your physician fax the form as soon as possible to Homewood to avoid any delays in your being paid on time and in full.

Please note this important enhancement on bullet four of the form; (If your absence is, or is expected to be, greater than 5 consecutive working days but 21 calendar days or less, take this form with the top section filled in, or email it to your physician, surgeon, specialist (cardiologist, dermatologist, neurologist, obstetrician, etc.), nurse practitioner, chiropractor, physiotherapist, psychologist or dentist, duly licensed and registered in Alberta, for completion. (Note: forms completed after your illness/injury has resolved may not be approved for S&A benefits).)

Secondly, you have 5 full working days prior to requiring an Attending Physician’s Statement. As it is specifically working days, this does not include your scheduled days off.

Some things to consider: If you are in the Attendance Support Program (ASP) it is possible that your individual case requires a doctor’s note for each absence. This is uncommon and usually for individuals who are in the later stages of that program.

If you are not on the Attendance Support Program and are not at the stage where a note is required for each absence, please be advised that you do not have to report why you are sick and/or absent from work. You merely have to say you are sick and will let Dispatch know when you can return.

Lastly, it goes without saying (though we are saying it) that if you are not fit for work, you should not be working. Only you and your doctor can assess that.

As always if you experience any issues regarding being off sick, we kindly request that you give us a call or send an email to an Officer for follow up.

Quarterly Update from Renée Dunn – Executive Vice President

Writing a report every month has had its challenges for me, but I wanted to reach out and bring you all up to date on some of the experiences I had the pleasure of taking part in.

2024 started with some intense training at the Canadian Labour Congress/Alberta Federation of Labour weeklong labour school. Numerous courses were taken by eight of our representatives. I chose to take Domestic Violence in the Workplace, I enrolled in this course because of the increased number of cases and incidents that seemed to be on the rise in our workplace. Domestic Violence may start at home, but it spills over into the workplace. Its a Health and Safety issue that not only impacts the victims and the survivors, but it effects co-workers as well.

The workplace quite often acts as a refuge away from their abusers. They are valued for their capabilities, it provides a source of income and independence, and breaks the pattern of being isolated. As a union we need to raise awareness and educate our members and other workers on the risk factors the hazards and what we can do to battle Domestic Violence. What can Unions Do …. Well to advocate for policies, training and awareness sessions not just for members but for Human Resources, and Supervisors. Protecting measures and work arrangements for victims and survivors. Make sure their disclosure is protected from all forms of retaliation. Negotiate stand alone language, dedicated leaves for victims and survivors. Escape plans for members experiencing Domestic abuse. No one should have to choose between their safety and that of their family and Job. These are just to name a few.

This issue is of great concern to me, I will keep our membership, our Health and Safety and our Women’s Committee up to date on educating our members on how to navigate through this, whether they are experiencing it or feel a coworker is.

In March, we took part in a training that was put on by ATU International, members from Health and Safety and some officers went to Edmonton to take part. This training was informative and pertained to the safety of our members and how to implement change. Occupational Health and Safety was established as a direct result of Union action, we must always remember that! Protecting our workers and their working environment is a constant battle with all levels of government and management, but we will not stop, so please keep reporting all your concerns and issues.

March also marked Thank Your Transit Worker Day, our Union wanted to make sure you knew you were recognized for everything you do to provide the service day in and day out for the citizens of Calgary. Our Union tried some new approaches to celebrate you, and despite the hiccups I believe many of you appreciated the effort and some won a day off with pay, some won a dinner at the Keg, some a pizza at Boston Pizza. Thank you, all of you.

Negotiations Update

We continue to meet frequently with the goal of reaching a memorandum we can recommend to the membership. Having said that, we have some complicated issues we are trying to make significant improvements on in the LRT and Community Shuttle areas. Of course, we also continue to work on the other areas of Office, Maintenance and Operations which are equally important, and they still remain a challenge, they just aren’t as complicated.

We always have a whole bunch of moving parts when in negotiations and an important part of that is managing those parts to assist in the ultimate goal of reaching an agreement.

One of those parts is our Civic Labour Coalition and as some of you will know, our sister Local, CUPE 38 has reached impasse, had overwhelming support in their strike vote and are currently back at the table trying to move the needle to get a fair deal.

We remain steadfast in our support for them and will provide any assistance we can to help them reach a fair deal. We know we are STRONGER TOGETHER as we stand with them and behind them.


Nagar Kirtan Parade

ATU Local 583 was once again invited to participate in the annual Nagar Kirtan Parade on May 11th, 2024. A colourful and lively celebration that starts downtown and ends in Prairie Winds Park. Interestingly, this is Calgary’s second biggest annual parade with a crowd of over 100,000.

We were delighted to participate and to see so many of our Members as well. This is an excellent opportunity to strengthen community bonds and to see and give back to our Members and their families. We handed out snacks and drinks for the duration of the festivities.

We would also like to thank the volunteers that assisted us:
Harvey Woo, Nathan Lewis, Earle Law, Harold Wilson, Dave Fajnor, Sarabjit Saini, Cheryl Lundvall, Michaela Hannem, Harpreet Sandhu, Taranjit Mand, Raj Jessel, Syed Shah.

We also had a remarkable showing of people who stopped by the tent and just started helping. We could not be more grateful for such kind gestures. Thank you to those who gave their time!

Steward Appreciation 2024

On May 25th, 2024 we had our annual Steward Appreciation night. This is an evening for the Officers of Local 583 to show their gratitude towards the Stewards of the Local. For all of the hard work they put in throughout the year.

As we have mentioned many times before, Stewards are the frontline of the information cycle for the Union. Not only are they dispersing the Local’s message but they also bring information to us. There is no better way for us to understand what is happening in the workplace than via our Stewards. Their interactions with Members is invaluable. Not to mention the hundreds of call ins that are attended each year by Stewards. Representing our Members is at the forefront of a Union’s responsibilities and our Stewards help us ensure that anyone who wants a rep with them – has one.

A huge thank you to all of our Stewards! We appreciate you.

COPE 397 /jw

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