ATU Local 583 – Monthly Insights – February 2023: Issue #23

Black History Month

February is Black History Month in Canada. This is a time to honour and celebrate the legacy of Black People and their accomplishments.

This year’s theme is “Ours to Tell”, focusing on the opportunity to learn more from Canada’s Black communities about their histories, successes, sacrifices and more.

Our blog post for February will delve further into this topic and we invite you to keep an eye out for it soon!

MEBAC Update from Mike Mahar

The MEBAC agreement was due to expire during the height of the COVID pandemic. The City and MEBAC agreed to renew the existing agreement and have done so up until December of 2022. Since then, MEBAC has exchanged letters with The City to begin the negotiations process. Our committee has met to discuss strategies and are in the middle of compiling all the feedback we got on items that the members across the city would like to see improvements on. Similar to collective bargaining with the Local and The City on our collective agreement, we will compile our list amongst our committee and then exchange that information with them at the same time that they exchange their proposals with us.

Pre-COVID, The City was suggesting cost containments in the benefits package but couple of major changes since then that I personally believe should work in our favor are: a new City Council and the City’s difficulty in retaining staff now. The City recognizes that benefits are an extremely important part of the hiring and retention process for them . We won’t be shy about reminding them of that in these negotiations.

AFL 53rd Constitutional Convention

The Alberta Federation of Labour is holding their 53rd constitutional convention in April 2023 in Calgary. The Membership of ATU Local 583 has endorsed sending a full delegation to represent us at this convention.

The AFL is the highest authority for organized labour in the province of Alberta and represents all working people and their families. Not only will we be reviewing our own structure and coordinating how we represent labour but also preparing for the provincial election in May of this year.

Just prior to and during the COVID 19 pandemic we have experienced an unprecedented level of legislation that is undermining our abilities to protect our wages, our jobs and the security of our families.

This is the first time since the Second World War that employment standards and labour laws provide less protection than they have previously.

It is critical that we are able to approach candidates in this election regardless of their affiliation and force them to go on record as supporting working families and for us in particular, public services over the next four-year term of Government.

Dirty Washrooms

A quick reminder to Members who find washrooms in an untidy or unhygienic state: please report the situation immediately to Operations Control and let us know at the Union Office as well. You can call us at 403 258 1258 Ext 0 or email . Please include photos if possible.

AFL – Political Action Committee Update from Renée Dunn

A Provincial election is coming this May and right now polling indicates the UCP and NDP are neck and neck, suggesting that this will be a close election.

The Alberta Federation of Labour is continuing to canvas for the NDP throughout the province. They are bringing labour focused issues and are encouraging Political Action Committee Members of affiliated Unions to join the fight.

The labour movement was built on activism and continues to keep it at the forefront. No doubt we are stronger when we work together.

This coming election could not be more important and regardless of which party or candidate you support, we are encouraging our Members to get involved!

Additionally, the PAC meeting also discussed long Covid and the numbers are concerning. At last word there were almost 700 people in hospital for Covid. We have discussed long Covid and its effect on the workforce. We believe it is reasonable to ask the government for a commitment to deal with long Covid.

Maintenance/Office Area Updates from Bill Johnson

During the City Reorganization process there was an intention by Management to split the Call Centre duties and PS100 duties within the CT Call Centre. Currently they are stating that the intent is to leave all of this in the same location. We do not have anything on paper yet, so after three years of hanging in limbo, we still see this as unresolved.

We will not agree to Management disregarding the Collective Agreement and potentially causing permanent staff to lose their permanent status while vacant positions remain unfilled. Of course, we still have the unresolved issue of the proper compensation in relation to the JEQ.

In the Maintenance Area I am happy to report that we are making progress in the reintroduction of the Apprenticeships within Calgary Transit. We have been informed that the initial posting for twelve 2nd and 3rd year apprentices have been selected.

After this initial hire, it is our hope that we will see two 1st year, two 2nd year and two 3rd year apprentices every year, going forward.

We have also initiated a discussion with management on the viability of a four-day work week throughout the Maintenance Area in Calgary Transit.

An Update for Airdrie Members

We would like to thank all the Airdrie Members that were able to attend the meeting on February 5, 2023. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet with you and discuss workplace concerns. We look forward to meeting with those we haven’t had a chance to meet with yet.

We are scheduling a meeting with the management at PWTransit to discuss the items raised by you and look forward to providing an update either in an upcoming newsletter or our next meeting date.

Calgary and District Labour Council

We would like to acknowledge all the great work that the CDLC and President Alex Shevalier are doing in assisting us with monitoring the activities at City Hall and working with our organizing group – Calgary’s Future.

We also suggest ATU Local 583 Members check out the CDLCs webpage as we move into the provincial election as they do a tremendous amount of work on education regarding the candidates and their platforms. The CDLC’s website is

E-Transfers for Retirement Dues

E-Transfers have been a very positive success for the Local. Our Retirees are utilizing E-Transfers en masse and the feedback on how simple the system is, has been overwhelmingly favourable!

We are asking now that in addition to adding your name and the type of dues you are sending, that you please include your EMAIL address in the note as well.

For example: “John Smith – Retirement Dues –” This will allow us to send you an instant receipt.

A kind reminder that you can send retirement or LTD dues payments to – we have auto deposit set up so while your bank may ask you to set up a password, it won’t be necessary once you send, your payment will simply be deposited and we will be alerted.

Monthly Recap

Our next Monthly Recap Facebook Live will be held on March 16, 2023 at 11:00 AM. Tune in for an update from the Officers of ATU Local 583 on points of interest from the Regular Membership Meeting. A Q&A will be held afterwards as well. If you have a question, you would like addressed, please email

COPE 397 /jw

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