ATU 583 Monthly Insights – March 2022 – Issue #13

International Women’s Day

Tuesday March 8, 2022 was International Women’s Day. This is a day to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias and to take action for equality.

We are truly grateful to the women who pushed (and continue to push) boundaries for equality and who have worked tirelessly to spread unionism, including the many in our very own Local. Thank you.

Labour Board Complaint – ATU Maintenance Jurisdiction

We reported a bit on this complaint in our November 2021 Monthly Insights.

Local 583 filed a Labour Board complaint against the City of Calgary because they took a position that had belonged to Local 583 for decades and arbitrarily placed it in another union’s jurisdiction. We had evidence that supported our position that it should stay in our jurisdiction as well as evidence that showed the City intentionally tried to redesign the position to precent us from keeping it. We presented two very credible witnesses that confirmed our position and the Labour Board agreed.

The result is that this position is now back in ATU Local 583 in its most current form and will remain there.

Northwest Conference

Delegates attended the Northwest Conference in person in late February. This is the first full conference we have shared with our American Sisters and Brothers in over two years. We brought a large Canadian element to it with our expert trainer, Cindy Watson. Watson provided expert training from a legal perspective on cannabis use, art of feminine negotiations, collective bargaining post COVID, unconscious bias and distracted driving. As always, she was very well received by the delegates from both sides of the border.

We know the delegates and membership will benefit from this adept training and we look forward to them using these skills in the workplace.

Negotiations with the City of Calgary/Special Called Meeting

We began negotiations in October 2020 by surveying our Members on contract points they want us to bring to the City of Calgary. Our Chief Stewards compiled the results and brought those to the Negotiations Committee for discussion.

Covid 19 has slowed a great many things and one of them was our negotiations process. Under more normal circumstances we may have already met with the City to exchange proposals and begin the process of bargaining on behalf of our Members. Because both the economy as a whole and Transit took a hit during the pandemic, we were not in a hurry to get to the table. Even more important was the fact some members of City Council were openly advocating for roll backs, major concessions and contracting out our jobs. Thankfully, with the exception of Sean Chu, we think most of them are gone.

We held a Special Called Negotiations Meeting on Monday March 14, 2022 so our Members could further discuss items they are passionate about as well as any articles or clauses that need updating. During this meeting the Negotiations Committee presented their findings on what was most important to our Membership and received feedback additional matters of importance.

Our first bargaining date with the City of Calgary was March 16, 2022. We exchanged proposals and laid out the ground rules. We have set additional dates and will keep you posted as things process.

Thank Your Driver Day

Friday March 18, 2022 was Thank Your Driver Day. For the first time in two years, we were able to celebrate this important day with our Members in person.

ATU Local 583 proudly hosted a BBQ at Spring Gardens Guest Parking. This was our way of showing our gratitude to our Conventional, Community Shuttle, LRT and Accessible Operators. All Members were of course welcome and we served over 500 burgers (including vegetarian and halal options).

This is a small token of our thanks for the hard work our Operators put in every day. Each of you has done an outstanding job these last two years and we are so proud to call you our Members.

Of course, we know more than anyone the critical role all our members play in what the industry refers to as support staff. We don’t need an official day to say Thank You to you as well!!

Jasper School

Every year The Alberta Federation of Labour puts on a Winter School at Jasper Park Lodge. We send our Stewards for a variety of courses that help them gain knowledge that can be used in the workplace.

This year we sent 10 Stewards and Executive Board Members for courses ranging from Mental Health in the Workplace to Labour History to Communication.

These types of training are key in assisting our representatives grow their abilities and we always get great feedback on the courses.

Scholarship Opportunity – CDLC S’ean Gillen Memorial Scholarships

Our affiliates at the Calgary and District Labour Council have an annual competition for two $2,500.00 scholarships.

These scholarship funds are available to affiliated Union members, their spouses and children who are going to school at an accredited institution. Applicants are asked to answer one of three questions pertaining to Unionism:

1. Why are Unions important to me?
2. What are Unions doing to improve the lives of workers?
3. What are recent examples of Union successes in Alberta?

If you are interested, the deadline to enter is June 1, 2022. For all pertinent information please check out

Labour Board Complaint – Posting in Workplace

This Labour Board complaint is one that the Union has filed against the City of Calgary as a result of their refusal to agree to include us in discussions on accommodations in the work place. There is a long-established process around this and is clearly defined in every arbitration case dealing with this matter.

We have filed a grievance on this as well but if we can get a ruling from the Labour Board it would be much quicker.

If not, we will continue with the grievance process.

ATU 583 “Fall” Banquet

The invitations to our April 23, 2022 Banquet at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino have been sent out to our Retirees. The final day to RSVP is April 12, 2022.

If you want to book a room at the Grey Eagle we have a special rate set up that is available until April 9, 2022 for $149 per night. Just mention you’re coming with the ATU 583 Banquet.

We look forward to seeing you there!

COPE 397 /jw

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