The Local has been gifted with an unusual document of significant historical value. Through Chuck Von, a Supervisor, we were put in touch with a past President’s son who gave us his father’s original sign up certificate from 1928. Robert Rintoul joined ATU Local 583 as a painter’s helper in the streetcar shop and over time rose through the Union to become President in 1947. He went on to serve in Provincial and National labour organizations in leadership roles. The Local has framed the certificate and it’s currently on display in the hall, recognizing the deep roots this Local has in the history of the labour movement. Thanks to Mr. Rintoul for his gift and to Chuck for his assistance in acquiring it.
We have been dealing with two issues pertaining to health and safety through the grievance process. Last week brought a resolve to both. First was a session involving Management and the Union meeting at Victoria Park Garage to look at the placement of the fire extinguisher on the newest articulated buses. They are not accessible from the passenger compartment but through trying several different approaches it was determined that a taller Operator could reach over the seat. An Operator of average height could access it from the window side of the seat while sitting sideways and reaching behind the seat back. It took about five seconds to remove the extinguisher when this procedure was followed. Calgary Transit will be turning the responsibility of devising a brief demo of this over to the training department to educate all personnel on accessing the fire extinguisher. Do not compromise your safety in attempting to use the extinguisher or removing it from its bracket.
The second issue was regarding bike racks not being visible to the Operator from the driver’s seat. On older buses there was a mirror positioned in the upper right corner to see out through the windshield if it was deployed. However on newer units there wasn’t enough surface area to securely fasten a mirror bracket. Eventually the decision was made to raise the bike rack by approximately two inches to be able to see the top bar of the rack through the windshield. They will also be wrapping reflective tape around the top bar and placing a sticker on the fare box of bike rack buses to question if the rack is stowed. If you don’t see the top bar you have to assume it’s down and adjust your following distance. There are only a handful of units to still have the rack re-positioned.
Proposed Bylaw change submissions have been received in the Local office and have been posted as per Article 113. The proposed changes are located in all the usual locations, which include the work-site posting boards, the website and the board at the Local office. The Local has also produced extra copies should you care to have one. Please familiarize yourself with these changes, both virtues and liabilities alike, because they could impact the direction Local 583 will take as it moves forward. Should you have any questions or concerns please ask a Local Steward, a Union Officer or the bylaw change submitter. We will be voting on the proposed changes at the Regular Meeting on January 12, 2016.
Updated developments with ATU Canada saw the President, Bob Kinnear, step down to seek re-election in his home Local 113 Toronto. This meant that Steve Bradshaw from Local 569 was left to direct in his absence as the Vice President. When the ATU Canada Executive Board met to deal with replacing the President, a unanimous decision was reached to appoint Paul Thorp, President of ATU Local 1573 Brampton, Ontario. He will hold this position until the next convention which is tentatively set for June 2016. We wish him well in stepping forward to take on the duties of this national position as the voice of ATU Canada.
During the summer months of 2015 Management decided on a trial basis to do mechanical work on weekends at Anderson Garage to try and stay on top of the B/O buses and make it easier to meet commitment on Monday mornings. This trial was quite successful for both meeting commitment and the mechanics who enjoyed the four day work week. They are going to continue having mechanics working weekends at Anderson Garage, but they will be posted permanent on the same 5/4 schedule that is currently being used in all other garages, despite the success of the four day work week trial.
Recognizing pressures of life today in our fast paced city, we sometimes forget to treat each other with the concern required to recognize we are all here to do a job. With that in mind, once again we have a need to call out to all of our Members and ask them to work together. Some recent Member concerns addressed through the Local 583 office include: 1) Leaving the bus the way you found it when you boarded it. If you end up with garbage, open extra ventilation controls or flip seats up, please return the bus to the state which you found it in when you leave. Members as passengers should be more sensitive and respectful to the Operators’ needs as they themselves would expect the same courtesy. A courtesy rarely afforded to us by regular passengers. 2) Relieving Operators, please try and show up before your bus arrives to be relieved. The Operators being relieved are often trying to use the system to get home or to their next piece of work and could easily miss a connection if you show up at the exact relief time. By extending these courtesies to one another we can help make our day just a little bit easier. 3) Working together with Calgary Transit we are requesting all Members to go through their Transit type bags and look for missing bus gate remote openers. Transit has distributed hundreds of these openers over the last few years with few of them available today. With inclement weather now upon us there are more risks associated with stepping off and on the bus many times a day to manually operate the gates. So please do have a look for these remotes in case you have one lying around, your co-workers will appreciate it! Local 583 encourages any Member who injures themselves manually opening the gates, whether as a result of slipping on ice, tripping over a curb or otherwise to fill out WCB paperwork.
A Start Date Adjustment situation arose at the end of October when a 25 year Member informed us that he hadn’t been invited to the City’s 25 Year Service Award ceremony. This ceremony is top notch and an event not to be missed when you achieve your 25 year milestone. Upon investigation into the concern, the City’s data base showed both an original hire date and an effective hire date; which were two different dates. This has further impacted three other Members to date. The only common theme found so far was they all had past discipline. The City is still investigating our concern about the double start dates and we want to make the membership aware in case anyone else is impacted in the same way. Please contact the Local office to advise us if you think you have been impacted by a start date adjustment over discipline. We will further report out to the membership once all the facts have been gathered.
Coming out of this round of negotiations a new two year train commitment was agreed to. It means the volunteers for the 2016 commitment gave their availability for a two year period instead of one year. Both Local 583 and Calgary Transit Management agreed to a one off sign up to allow all Operators interested to volunteer. This allowed Operators who may have been excluded from the 2016 commitment, but eligible for the 2017 to gain the opportunity to commit early. This also kept those same excluded Operators from being impacted for an extra year to the 2018 commitment. This process did not exonerate discipline on file, so those with discipline will carry it over to the CTrain and it will fall off in due course. All volunteers will be activated according to seniority (availability may impact this) as in the past process.
Also in the last round of bargaining, Article 112.03, in the contract was changed. All of our members do not have access to the City intranet. Therefore discussion took place to allow all members of Local 583 to access all internal postings on the internet when away from the workplace. You now have fourteen days after the closing date to apply for jobs if you are off on S&A, WCB, LTD, LOA, vacation, etc, when postings go up. You further have the ability to view internal postings and apply online. Please contact your Supervisor for login information.
The Annual Children’s Christmas Party was held on November 29, 2015 and around 230 children attended the event. Although the event was enjoyed by a record turn out, the Social Committee is always willing to receive new input into this event. A big thank you to everyone that contributed to the Christmas party’s success!
As mentioned last month, Boom is now offering special rates on ski cards from Lake Louise, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies and Sunshine Village. Please check the bulletin board for further information or see our webpage at atu583.com. Boom will be directly handling this offer.
On behalf of all the Officers of ATU Local 583, we would like to wish you a safe holiday season. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all!
Congratulations on their Retirements 2015
David Carra – Fleet – 27 years – November
Hugh Gimber – Operator – 6 years – November
Michael Stott – Fleet – 26 years – November
Jennifer Taylor – Operator – 24 years – November
Janice Bennett – Operator – 20 years – December
Martin Dauner – Operator – 16 years – December
Glen Gazzard – Operator- 35 years – December
William Quinn – Operator – 35 years – December
Contibutors this month
Rick Ratcliff – President/Business Agent
Neil McKinnon – Executive Vice President/Assistant Business Agent
Zul Vira – Financial Secretary/Treasurer
Bill Johnson – Recording Secretary/Maintenance/Office
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