February 2016 – News And Views Express

Supervisors can call Operators in to discuss whether they have paid multi-nova and red light camera tickets. This is just a reminder to everyone that if you receive a ticket, you have to provide either proof of payment or withdrawal of the ticket. This must happen within fourteen days of the due date on the ticket. This proof must be presented to your Supervisor. This requirement is outlined in Letter of Understanding #18 in the Collective Agreement. If you need further clarification please call the Union office. Members should consider how Transit will choose to address the ticket through the discipline process; the timeline will be adjusted to reflect the date of the discipline letter and not the date of the ticket. This is something to keep in mind when contesting the ticket. Going to court will take months and may cause discipline timelines to be extensive.
Clothing for Operators is continually presenting challenges for members when trying to get new issue. Brenda Keller, Calgary Transit’s clothing liaison has updated us on the shoe allotment and apparently the previous supplier has discontinued our model so now the request for proposals has to go out again. If the size you need is not in stock, then you will have to contact Brenda and you will be issued a requisition to acquire your shoes.

With practically every item being manufactured overseas, the prospect of getting new stock in four months is now the reality and addressing it is a problem for the City. We hope that a new supplier can be found before Spring arrives and the need for shoes instead of boots becomes an issue. This offshore sourcing is also causing long waits for female Operators who want the made to measure dress shirt. Be aware these shirts also require the four month minimum to be supplied. Brenda is suggesting that the Operators go in prior to their anniversary date to pre-order them.

When you go to the Clothing Room for your items, the personnel there should treat you with respect and be forthright about all clothing availability. If you have any concerns with your allotment distribution call Brenda directly at 403-537-3104. We have asked Brenda to post all pertinent details surrounding the above-mentioned issues so members can have an understanding of the situation from Calgary Transit’s point of view. The Local is working to streamline the process so members can make fewer trips to attain their allotment. The Office still recommends you call the Clothing Room (403-268-8288) to check and see if the items you require are in stock before you travel to “clothing”.
With ridership down, evidenced by a 15% drop in revenue, Calgary Transit has been forced to cut 28 runs in the March sign up. The service cut represents a 500 hour/week reduction in Conventional bus service with no loss in platform hours. An example of a service cut that would save Calgary Transit hours could be to reduce a three hour trip (Route 3) with a six minute headway which runs from 04:00 to 0:100, to a ten minute headway which results in a cut of 420 hours per week. If you have a route with adequate time on it please do not report out that the route has too much time. This could cause it to be subject to a review. Currently there are no forecasted job losses, personnel movement is being handled through attrition.
Local 583 would like to thank CUPE 38 for winning an arbitration award pertaining to the need for Doctors’ notes due to an absence before or after a statutory holiday. The ruling now allows for the City employees to not have to produce a Doctor’s note if absent before or after a statutory holiday unless the absence is suspicious or Attendance Management driven. While Local 583 doesn’t condone the abuse of sick leave because it costs our MEBAC benefits plan unnecessarily, it is refreshing to see it has finally been realized amongst other things, that it is difficult to see most Calgary Doctors on or around a statutory holiday which often falls adjacent to the weekend.
The posted proposed By-Law changes were discussed and voted on during the January 12th, 2016 Membership meeting. The By-Law change submissions from the By-Law Committee had been endorsed by the Executive Board and was strongly supported by the membership from the floor. To the point: 38 of 42 changes were unanimously approved leaving only the remaining 4 with any opposing votes, but none with enough to reject the change. The most controversial vote only had 15% opposed to the proposal. It was rewarding for the By-Law Committee to see such overwhelming support for the changes.

There were also three other By-Law change submissions from members. One spoke to Stewards getting a small cash payment for attending member call ins to offset the Steward’s time and any expenses incurred doing the call in. This proposed change was unanimously voted down. Another proposed change was to take the election accountability out of the Financial Secretary Treasurer’s jurisdiction and put it in the hands of any number of people who may or may not be accountable to Local 583 for decisions made and procedures followed, or not made or not followed! It needs to be recognized that the FST is elected to their position based on their unwavering integrity and accountability to the Local. This change was not definitive in its scope and was rejected by 89% of the membership.

The final proposed By-Law change was ruled “out of order” by the Meeting’s Chair. The By-Law change submitter appeared confused, so the Chair then invited the submitter to “challenge the Chair”. This meant the Chair’s ruling would be debated for validity with the membership floor making the final decision on the ruling. The challenge was recognized and a debate ensued on the reasoning for the Chair’s decision on the proposed change. There were two key issues for its rejection. First and most importantly was the fact that it was in contravention of our International Constitution and General Laws. The CGL states the Recording Secretary and the Executive Vice-President are to be elected by the entire membership. The proposed change would have had only Maintenance and Office members vote for the Recording Secretary position and only Operator’s voting for the Executive Vice-President.

Secondly, the document itself was incomplete: the wrong location in the Bylaws, no strike throughs of old language to allow for new language, abbreviations, and spelling/grammatical errors. As a By-Law proposal it needed to be better prepared. There was a good amount of debate on the ruling and unfortunately some focus was lost when the current Recording Secretary-Maintenance/Office Representative was attacked from the floor on his job abilities. This was totally unfair and had nothing to do with the challenge. The current RSM/OR has spent years building his relationships and winning the support of the majority of the membership to achieve his title. For clarity it needs to be said, since the inception of this position it has always been held by a Maintenance member excluding the inaugural term. Again, as per the CGL nothing prevents a member in good standing (with meeting criteria met) to run for any Full Time Officer position by earning the support of the membership. Despite the attacks and divisive intent of the proposed change, the membership supported the ruling of the Chair with a 46-6 margin. The Local is always looking for new Stewards to work with the Executive Board to represent the memberships’ needs.
Congratulations on their Retirements 2016

Karen Carson – Operator – 35 years – January
Brian Follick – Operator – 39 years – January
Amir Kanji – Maintenance – 34 years – January
Jose Salazar – Operator – 27 years – January
Sadhu Singh – Operator – 17 years – January
Norm Snowdy – Operator – 35 years – January
Allan Yu – Maintenance – 36 years – January

Thank You Cards Received:
Gerald Aucoin
Gene (ATU cleaner)
Sunny Bhatia
Colleen Holden (Support Group)
Gerry Bosch
Heather (Allan’s Flowers)
Lorayne Bruckner
Jacinda (Office Staff)
Karen Carson
Shelley (Office Staff)
Martin Dauner
The Family of Normand Marchand
George Dorn
The Family of Debra McDonald
Tony Faye
Nino Pedrini
Dave Finn
Shri Ramlu
Brian Follick
Dave Ward

Retiree’s Corner:
Next meeting is March 7th, 2016 at 7:00 pm at Spring Gardens Garage room 104. The next luncheon will be February 16th, 2016 at 12:00 pm at the Elks Club (2502 6 Street NE)

For Your Information:
There is a Special Called meeting for all Group Insurance (ATU Life Insurance) members regarding a discussion and vote on the proposed Group Insurance Plan Bylaw changes. See our website for more details (atu583.com)
Keep an eye out for the launch of ATU 583’s official Twitter page – coming soon!

Contibutors this month
Rick Ratcliff – President/Business Agent
Neil Armitage– Executive Vice President/Assistant Business Agent
Zul Vira – Financial Secretary/Treasurer
Bill Johnson – Recording Secretary/Maintenance/Office

COPE 397 /jr

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