ATU Local 583 – Monthly Insights – January 2024, Issue #32

Retroactive Pay Grievance – New Contract

We received a proposed resolve from Chris Arthurs who is a General Manager over in the Deputy City Manager’s Office. In her letter she proposed they move up the intended date of the retroactive pay, from March 6th to February 21st (2024). This would allow our Members to utilize that retroactive pay to add to their RRSPs for the 2023 tax year, if they desired.

As you may recall, our initial grievance asked for compensation due to the elongated timeline to receive retro pay. Unfortunately, this was not part of the proposed resolve.

We have accepted this offer and the grievance procedure for this issue is now considered resolved.

We understand that this may not be the resolve everyone was hoping for, however, we had a few factors working against us in this matter.

Firstly, and most importantly, was a negative legal opinion on the matter. When we proceed to arbitration (or we believe we will need to) we consult our labour lawyers. They review the information and give us back their opinion which we then use to assist our decisions on how to proceed. We were told the chances of us winning at arbitration were highly unlikely.

Secondly, there was a settled arbitration out of British Columbia that now sets precedence for other Arbitrations of the same kind, regarding retroactive pay timelines. The Arbitrator determined that up to 8 months is considered reasonable for a timeline on retroactive pay payments. Reasonability of course can be up for discussion, however as our legal counsel advised, because our retroactive pay coincided with the preparation of end of year, the timeline was “reasonable”.

Reversion Rights and Union Dues

If you are moving to a new position outside of the ATU Local 583 Bargaining Unit it is your responsibility to alert our office of this change.

Unfortunately, inter-Union/inter-department movement is not always information we receive (or if we do it is not often in a timely manner).

While you have reversion rights you continue to pay dues as you remain a Union member during that time. If you move to a different Union or become an Exempt Manager on a permanent basis, we will stop your dues as soon as your reversion ends, as long as we are informed.

The best way to inform us is to email BEFORE your reversion ends. Include your full name, your employee number and when your reversion ends.

Because we must submit per capita on your behalf we are unable to back-date the return of dues payments so it is best to let us know as soon as possible.

Safety Concerns While at Work

We routinely speak about safety at work and how it relates to our Members. Regardless of what area you work in, your safety is of the utmost importance. If something doesn’t feel safe, report it. Keep track of date, time and who you spoke to in case you need to utilize the Union for assistance. Having as much detail as possible will help us get the matter resolved much quicker than without the details.

We would also like to touch on the safety of our Members who work with the public. We have recently had a report of a Code Blue where the Operator didn’t report the unsafe incident in a timely manner because they didn’t want to inconvenience the passengers on their bus. We don’t blame this Operator at all; however, YOUR safety is the most important. The public can and will deal with bigger issues than having to catch another bus or wait for an incident to be properly and safely reported. They may be angry, but as difficult as that may be, preserving your safety takes precedence. Please ensure you are reporting any and all safety issues to Control as soon as they arise. If this includes someone attempting to harm you, a report can lead to the person being charged. We have discussed this before but we strongly advise that ALL perpetrators be charged by the Member experiencing the Code Blue. We (ATU 583) will be with you every step of the way. We will attend court with you. Please do not hesitate to say yes to pressing charges.

ATU Local 583 Retirement Dues

It’s that time of year again! If you are a Retiree and need to pay your 2024 dues you can do so the following ways:

Cash/Debit – by coming into the office
Cheque – In office or by mailing in (see address below)
E-Transfer – send payment to and please include your name and email in the notes
Credit Card – In office or over the phone. Please note you will have to provide your credit card number, expiry and verification code.

Depending on what year you retired, dues are either $2 or $4/month or $24 or $48/year

We are located at 5325 1A Street SW – Calgary, AB – T2H 0E5

Weight Loss Prescription Medication Coverage

Following the January 1, 2024 implementation of the new benefits approved for coverage through MEBAC we received a number of concerns over Greenshield not covering these new benefits.

After much back and forth we want to provide you with an update:

“We have received confirmation that the plan changes have been updated in the GSC call center systems on January 9, 2024. There shouldn’t be any more issues where employees are told that they do not have the coverage.

The following prescription medications are eligible under the MEBAC plan for treating obesity:

• Contrave,
• Saxenda
• Xenical

GSC requires a Special Authorization Request form to be completed for Contrave and Saxenda.

This form is available at:

Wegovy is currently unavailable in the Canadian market due to supply issues. Once it is available, this drug will also be eligible for reimbursement under the MEBAC subject to special authorization.

Thank you for your patience while we worked with the provider to sort this out.”

Update on Maintenance 4-Day Work Week

We have met with Karen Alm concerning what the shifts and days off will look like on the 4-day work week schedule. We have seen the draft of some of the garages and based on the information we were provided, the only garage that will have split days off (meaning, they will have two of the three days off together) would be Anderson Diesel Shop. We have asked to keep that scenario to a minimum. The LOU will be signed by management and ATU Local 583 shortly, then we will post as much information, including shifts and days off for all garages at CT. Once that is complete, we will target a date for a vote of all Maintenance Members that are currently not on the 4-day work week. If that should be accepted by the Members, then we will have a sign-up to be done in seniority and an implementation date.


At the time of printing this newsletter we have 9 more Negotiations dates scheduled (through the beginning of March). We have already had six sessions to date (from November 2023 to end of January 2024).

On February 24, 2024 our negotiations session started with a very sombre discussion on a Notice of Motion to provide a tax rebate for 2024 for residential property taxes. This motion was brought forward by what is being referred to as the City Six.

After months of thoughtful deliberation, Council just passed a budget setting the property tax rate for 2024. Normally a motion to reconsider is based on something that was not known at the time. This is not the case here. The motion directs Human Resources to find 23.1 million from human resources. That is you and every single unionized City of Calgary employee. This is a political ploy to undermine the balance of City Council and our negotiations process. This is intended to destroy your chances at any wage increases in this round of negotiations.

Councillors Terry Wong, Andre Chabot, Sonya Sharp, Dan McLean, Sean Chu and Jennifer Wyness all got their wage increase last payday and we are long overdue for ours.

We don’t need to forgo a decent wage increase to buy a hockey arena for billionaires, we need to buy groceries and pay our rents and mortgages.

Please tell your Councillors to stop playing politics with our lives. Shameless!

COPE 397 /jw

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