ATU Local 583 – Monthly Insights – May 2023 – Issue #26

A Retiree Group Reminder from Ericka Buhler

Are you a Calgary Transit retiree? We would like to take this chance to remind you of the Retiree’s Group!

For a one-time membership fee of $10.00, you have the opportunity of attending a luncheon meeting the first
Wednesday of every month as well as reconnecting with fellow retirees every third Tuesday of the month for lunch.

Additionally, there are Spring and Christmas luncheons every May and November that are held at the Austrian Canadian Club.

If you are interested in joining the Calgary Transit Retiree’s Group, please contact:
Ericka Buhler at or
Holly McConnell at

We know they always look forward to hearing from retirees!

Asian Heritage Month & Canadian Jewish Heritage Month

May celebrates both Asian and Canadian Jewish heritage.

Asian Heritage Month is an opportunity for us to learn more about the diverse culture and history of Asian communities in Canada, as well as to acknowledge the many achievements and contributions of people of Asian origin who, throughout our history, have done so much to make Canada the country we know and love.

The theme for Asian Heritage Month 2023 is “Stories of Determination.” This month is a reminder for all of us to come together to combat anti-Asian racism and discrimination in all its forms.

Canada is also home to an estimated 400,000 people of Jewish heritage, making it the fourth-largest Jewish community in the world. Jewish Canadians have made and continue to make important contributions to our society, including medicine, theatre, engineering, music, architecture, academia, politics, law, the arts, and more.

During this month, we also recognize the courage, determination, and resilience that members of Jewish communities have shown throughout history.

We must also recognize that Jewish communities in Canada and around the world continue to face a frightening rise in acts of antisemitism, violence, and xenophobia. This is unacceptable. We must always condemn this violence and continue to stand firmly against it.

Information found:

Are You Ready to Vote?

May 29, 2023 is Provincial Election Day in Alberta. Each of us who are of voting age have a civic responsibility to vote. There is no better time to have your voice heard than during an election cycle.

As you head to the polls, we would like to suggest a few items to keep in mind when you are casting your vote.

The first is that our jobs are a public service. Any candidate who does not respect public services does not respect your livelihood. This is tied to almost everything in your life. How and when you work, your working conditions, how you are able to provide for yourself and your family, how you are able to save and achieve your goals.

The second is, we have over 750 retired Members and everyone who is currently working (approximately 2800 of you) would one day like to retire comfortably. Any candidate that wants to mess with our pensions (CPP or otherwise) or who wants to see a push towards more contracting out, is not the candidate who will serve you best. Policies put in place to disrupt retirement are detrimental. Those of you already retired worked to achieve that. It is yours. Those of you still working are pouring your energy into that “one day” and it SHOULD be yours as well.

Thirdly, your safety at work could not be more important. Does the candidate you want to vote for reflect that value?

There are other things to consider as well such as: what is their platform on health care? What is their vision for Alberta’s future and our future as a result? Where do they stand on working people and their rights?

Provincial Elections rule restrict us from getting directly involved in this election. However, at our recent Alberta Federation of Labour convention “Workers Demand Better!” was the theme and we encourage you to do that when candidates come to your door.

All this to say, research your candidates. We are working to put together a comprehensive list of candidates who do care about public services and most importantly, the workers who provide them. If we can do this while complying with legislation, we will post this list on our Facebook, Website ( and Telegram Group.

Mental Health Check In – Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month (a lot going on in May!), and we wanted to shine a light on this ever-evolving, extremely important topic.

First up is a kind reminder that mental illness/poor mental health can affect anyone. It does not discriminate based on age, gender, sexual orientation, education level, wealth (or lack thereof) or physical health.

Speaking of physical health, the same way we check in on that, we should be checking in on our minds. There are many generations of people who grew up without mental health being considered and as adults are struggling to know how to address the issues they may be experiencing. Ending the stigma surrounding speaking about mental health is a huge first step. It’s one of the reasons we focus on awareness of this topic every few months. The more we talk about it the less taboo it becomes and the easier it is for those of us struggling, to get help.

Here are a few ways you can check in with yourself this month:

1. Acknowledge your stressors. Work, family obligations and money concerns are just a few things that can cause a decline in how our minds are feeling. We cannot always change our situation immediately but acknowledging what may be adding to our stress is one way to stop it from spiralling. This can also help you assess whether or not you feel you need some help dealing with your mental load.

2. If you cannot identify a stressor but are still feeling as though something is there, it’s possible you could be suffering from an anxiety disorder or similar. This is where talking to a doctor or mental health professional can be key. Only your healthcare provider can work with you to diagnose any potential disorders that may be affecting you. There is stigma and shame around getting help and we are here to tell you that there is absolutely no shame in having a mental health disorder or seeking help. On the contrary, it could not be more important to ensure your mind is taken care of.

3. Figure out what relaxes you and take the time to do it. Maybe you like audiobooks or tennis or video games, whatever helps you unwind and empty your mind of worries is important. Schedule a bit of time each week to enjoy those activities. We know you’re busy, but do your best to give yourself a break.

Something interesting to add is that many Canadians have vitamin D deficiency which can present similar symptoms to depression (fatigue, feeling overwhelmed, a vague sadness). While we always recommend you speak with your healthcare provider before starting/adding anything new to your medicinal regimen, it is worth looking into if you are feeling some of these symptoms.

Changes to our daily lives can be difficult to implement but we believe it’s deeply important to do these check ins. Incorporating small steps to ensuring your mental wellbeing is positive, will go a long way.

As a final reminder, you do have access to EFAP which is the Employee Family Assistance Program through your employment with The City. The website is and the phone number is 1-877-700-1424.

ATU Local 583 Annual Family Picnic 2023

Our 2023 Family Picnic will take place at Sandy Beach Park on Sunday July 23, 2023 from 10 am to 2 pm.

All of our usual festivities will be taking place and we’re stepping up our game this year. Instead of boiled wieners, this means BBQ hot dogs and burgers (as well as vegetarian options), drinks, games, bicycle draws for Member’s children 14 and under, airbrush tattoos, bouncy castles and more!

All Members in good standing (including Retirees!) and their families are welcome.

Registration is not required. We will be checking people into our event by their name and employee number. If you are unable to attend as a Member but your family would still like to go, this is absolutely welcome, just ensure someone has your employee number so we can check them in!

We look forward to seeing you all there and sharing a (hopefully) sunny day together.

COPE 397 /jw

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