July 2015 – News and Views Express

Since the start of the year we have picked one garage a month to spend the day in to increase our contact with the members and the day to day issues experienced by them. On June 22nd the Fulltime Officers scheduled an all day visit to Spring Gardens garage to make ourselves available to answer questions and concerns from the members. From the feedback received it was appreciated that we were there and we certainly enjoyed catching up with the membership. During the summer vacation period we will be available in the office to answer your questions and will start visiting the garages again in the Fall.
The members of Calgary HandiBus continue to go through the steps of becoming City of Calgary employees; Training in procedures and policies is ongoing as well as supplying the new uniforms to everyone. When the discussion on uniforms took place, it was good to see a willingness to get it right the first time and the effort put forth to accommodate the staff for the necessary fittings. Comments on the quantity and quality of the uniforms have been positive which just proves our discussions were worthwhile.
In June, Local 583 sent our delegates to Winnipeg to attend the ATU Canadian Council. This would turn out to be the last time it would meet as a body. At the start of the year there was direction from the International to reinvent the Canadian Council into a new organization.

Prior to the June Council there was a President’s meeting called by the International, and a vote was held to dissolve the Canadian Council at the end of the conference. Local 583 expressed our desire to keep the Canadian Council intact but in the end we were not successful and the dissolution happened. It was a blow to our morale to see this happen to an organization we had such close ties to.

Some members may be unfamiliar with Local 583’s ties to the Canadian Council. When it was formed it was to be the voice of Canadians within the ATU family to represent our autonomy and views across the country. One of the people instrumental in the Council’s beginnings was Gunter Bruckner, Local 583’s first Fulltime Officer. This close connection to the CC would be maintained right to present day with former Local 583 President, Mike Mahar, being the most current elected Director of the CC.

So now there is going to be a founding conference held before the end of September to discuss proposed Bylaws for the new entity called ATU Canada. Local 583 will be there to participate by expressing our views on forming a new body representing Canadian interests run by Canadian Locals.
Local 583 sent a delegation to Vancouver, BC at the beginning of June 2015 to attend the Northwest Joint Conference. The first two days were spent in a training session on advanced grievances and arbitration. This training session was facilitated by Mr. Bill Hockenberry an American Arbitrator who is always willing to share his opinion.

The last two days of the conference were spent doing conference business such as local reports, elections, and regular business. At the opening of conference business, President Mr. Bob Bean addressed the delegation, and stated that the conference Vice President had resigned. Local 583 nominated Ms. Amanda West (Financial Secretary) of Local 1374 to run for this position. She was acclaimed to this position, we wish her well and we know that she will do a great job filling that role.
After the stunning victory of the NDP Government in the Provincial election, Labour has been paying attention to the transition and the appointments of the MLAs.

Local 583 was in Edmonton on July 2, 2015, to meet with other ATU Locals to strategize about a meeting taking place at the Legislature. We met with the Honourable Mr. Brian Mason who is Minister of Transportation, Minister of Infrastructure and Government House Leader, also in attendance was Mr. Shaun Hammond, Assistant Deputy Minister of Transportation and his Administrative Assistant.

We discussed some key issues, such as hours of rest, Operator safety and also relayed our concerns for some form of sustained funding for transit in the Province. We also discussed Private Public Partnerships (P3s) and as you may be aware the new leg of LRT in Edmonton was produced under the P3 model while the Conservatives were in power. The sad part is that line is built and will be maintained under the P3 model. Operations has been lost to the private sector and leaves Local 569 the job of trying to certify those very operations. Mr. Mason was clearly not in favour of P3s. With any luck that will be the only P3 model in Alberta with that type of structure. Local 583 recently spoke with Mr. Russell Davies about the new Transit facility that is to be built on the Northeast section of Stoney Trail and he has assured us, to secure funding for that facility from the Federal government, they were committed to a P3 model for the building itself. The example that he used during our conversation was the building would be built and maintained in the P3 model and everything inside will be done by our members. This follows on previous assurances by Doug Morgan of the very same mindset.

It was a very good feeling to have the ear of the Honourable Mr. Brian Mason for the time we had as we doubt very much that we could have ever been afforded this opportunity if the Progressive Conservatives were still in power. Mr. Mason stated that they are working on a Master transportation plan for the province of Alberta.
At the May 2015 Regular Meeting a statement was made alluding to 2 inequities present at the annual Retiree’s Banquet. The first was that coupled retiree members are shorted a banquet ticket due to both retirees being members. This is not altogether true. The history and intent was to invite the member and their spouse, the person our member looked to for support after a tough day at work. The spouses of our members come so highly regarded that to this day they are invited even after the member passes. Nevertheless this concern was reviewed by our Social Committee and they are prepared to honour the tradition of one ticket per member couple. This impacts approximately 10 of 560 retirees. The second deficiency was addressed differently. Due to only one draw prize ticket being allotted to the couples, it was revisited by the Social Committee and found to be appropriate to have both persons in the couple receive an opportunity to win a prize. This means that an extra prize ticket will be made available at the door to couple members. If you have any ideas to be explored please don’t wait for a Union Meeting to bring your suggestions forward. The Officers and Committee members are always willing to bring these ideas through to the correct channels to help facilitate the processes.
On July 22, Pay Period 15 all members will notice an additional $0.69 dues increase per pay bringing the International Union mandate for money to fund State and Joint Councils up to $3.00 per member per month. We will not rewrite the July 2014 article which references this, but would encourage all members to review it on our website. Thank you for your understanding on this delicate issue.
The January 6, 2014 – January 5, 2018 Collective Bargaining Agreements are in! Their distribution will start on Monday July 20th in the Sign Up rooms. There are Sign Up rooms in Spring Gardens, Victoria Park and Anderson Garage. Just see the Sign Up room representative and they will issue a copy to you. The Local will make an effort to get copies out to those who work afternoon/night shift and/or from remote locations. Please remember the Collective Bargaining Agreements are always available at the Local 583 office.
A special thank you to the following ATU members and staff for helping make the annual STARS Stampede charity parking lot a success: Malik Akber, Gurpreet Bajwa, Ravinder Cheema, Kanwaldeep Dhillon, Roxanne Fuller, Michaela Hannem, Raj Jessel, Bill Johnson, Harry Lew, Rupinder Kailey, Francis Karamat, Jaswinder Kular, Rick Ratcliff, Jacinda R, Larry Tweedale, Zul Vira, Shelley W and Dave Williamson.

Congratulations on their
Retirements 2015

Gerald Aucoin – Maintenance – May – 30 years
Stefan Wandycz – Operator – May – 14 years
Lawrence Banikhin – Operator – May – 15 years
Abdul Essa – Operator – May – 12 years
Frank Evangelista – Operator – May – 14 years
Christopher Gregg – Operator – May – 29 years
Brian Longpre – Operator – May – 25 years
Lydia Graf – Operator – June – 17 years
Rupert De Souza – Operator – July – 39 years
Glenn Dixon – Outside Maintenance – July – 34 years
Marvin Schneider – HandiBus – July – 39 years

Thank You Cards Received:
John Berry
James Cooper
Pat Hart
Gary Heather
Zahir Noorali

For Your Information:
Local 583 would like to congratulate Ron and Mona Johnson on their 64th wedding anniversary on June 29/15
as well as Jim and Ida McConnell on their 65th wedding anniversary on July 15/15

The next Retiree’s Meeting is September 14th at Spring Gardens in the +15 and the next Retiree Luncheon is September 15th at
1:00 pm at Casino Calgary (1420 Meridian Rd NE)

Don’t forget the Family Picnic this Sunday, July 19th at Sandy Beach Park (4500 14 A Street S.W.) The fun starts at 10 a.m and we hope to see you there!

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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