ATU 583 Monthly Insights – November 2021 – Issue #9

Civic Election Results – “We Were In”.

As many of you will already be aware, 8 candidates for Councillor and the candidate for Mayor that our Membership endorsed were successful in their campaigns.

What we can feel proud of is all of the work our Political Action Committee, Executive Board and Members did to help vote in transit friendly candidates who will best serve the City of Calgary for the next four years. We’ve worked hard since the beginning of this term in 2020 to educate and mobilize our Members for this very election. This shows what we can achieve when we all come together and use our collective voices, Change, for the better. Once again, we want to thank Sister Renee Dunn and Brother Raj Jessel for the tremendous leadership roles they took on in our “Are You In?” campaign.

A thank you as well to you, our Members, for being so engaged during this campaign. From conversations in the garages to signing petitions to showing up for our rally last summer to getting out there and voting – you have been admirable.

We look forward to continuing to engage you in future activities of the Local.

Labour Board Complaint – Mandatory Vaccines

On October 27, 2021 we met with the City of Calgary and an appointed mediator at the Labour Board to discuss the City’s mandatory vaccine policy. This is a formal part of the complaint process and is intended to allow the parties to attempt to resolve their outstanding issues through mediation. Of course, the issue here is the City imposed a mandatory vaccine policy while we are in a “freeze” period. Any new changes in conditions of employment should not be implemented while we are in the process of negotiating. The City knew this at the time but felt that violating the negotiations process was worth whatever reputational damage that may cause as long as it got them to where they wanted to be.

Given the City’s awareness of the Labour Code it is not surprising that the meeting was not productive. The City outright refused to negotiate the issue. Our Labour Board hearing is set for February 7th and 8th next year.

Labour Board Complaint – ATU Maintenance Jurisdiction

There was an ATU position that was vacated at Fleet Services (Tool Room Attendant) through a retirement., The City arbitrarily re-rated it, cut the wage and moved it into CUPE 37’s jurisdiction. We have filed a Labour Board complaint as a result.

We met at the Board on October 13, 2021 under the mandatory mediation rule but again, there was no path to a resolution. We are therefore proceeding to a full-blown Board hearing this November.

Call Ins – A Couple Reminders

Periodically we like to remind our members that taking a rep with you to a call in is highly advised. Regardless of the level of seriousness it is something we think every member should be doing when speaking with management.

Stewards will take notes that can be integral if a grievance needs to be filed or if we need to look back at a later time at the situation.

A Local 583 Steward is also able to ask questions to management and they can assist in keeping the call in on an appropriate track. We believe our Stewards are equal to management in a call in.

Aside from all of the official reasons to take a representative in with you, it can also be of great help to have the support a Steward provides. Having someone with you who is there specifically for you can be very comforting for those who find call ins stressful.

We would like to remind you that if you do want to speak to an Officer prior to your call in, that is absolutely an option. An Officer can explain how a call in works and help you to feel more comfortable about the process.

ATU International Scholarship

Do you have a recent graduate in your home? Or a Highschool grad that has never attended post-secondary? Be sure to check out the $8,000.00 scholarships being offered by our International. All information and application forms can be found on our website or feel free to call the office and speak to an admin.

Be sure to read through all of the information and get the application in the mail on time. They need to be postmarked (stamped at the post office by a worker) by January 31, 2022 to be eligible.

We know how far a scholarship of this size can go so please be sure to have a look if this is relevant to you.

Remembrance Day – November 11

We want to take this opportunity to give our sincere gratitude to those who have served for our country.

Without their sacrifices and heroism, we would not have the freedoms we enjoy today. We are so grateful for what they gave. “Lest We Forget”

2020-2021 Retirement Booklet – Update

We are now finalizing the booklet we discussed in a previous newsletter. Some tweaks and improvements were needed to make it the best it could be and we are pleased to say we are very nearly there!

Membership Pins – Mail Out

Some of you may have already received your membership pins in the mail. We are in the process of completing a mail out so each member has the correct year pin they have completed. These pins are as of December 31, 2020. We will be mailing out the next batch early in 2022.

Anyone under 10 completed years of membership is receiving the 5-year pin and so on up to 50 years. If, for example, you completed your 10th year sometime after December 31, 2020 you will receive your 10-year pin in 2022.

This Executive recognized early in this term the need to honour these milestone awards as allowed for in the By-laws. It is extremely important to our Officers to make sure the Bylaws are followed correctly. We will be completing this mail-out as quickly as possible. We also appreciate your patience and expect to have them out to everyone by the end of this year.

If you have any questions about the membership pins please do give us a call at the office for clarification.

The Labour Movement and Parental Leave Benefits

Did you know that paid maternity leave benefits have only been around since 1971 in Canada? Before that, a new mother had to quit work or return to work quickly if her family depended on her income.

And while the Federal Government, through the unemployment insurance program, introduced limited 15 weeks of paid maternity leave in 1971 at 66% of a mother’s previous salary, it was only a short time later when unions began negotiating longer paid maternity leave with higher levels of benefits for their members that topped up the portion of salary paid by Unemployment Insurance Benefits. Unions also began negotiating guarantees that women could return to the jobs they held before their maternity leave.

Unions didn’t stop at maternity leave. Adoption leave, paternity leave, and parental leave – available to either parent – were routinely negotiated with employers. Today, we advocate for better access to quality and affordable child care for all workers – so families can better balance their work and family lives. Access to childcare and early childhood education provide economic benefits to the country, and help boost productivity.

Maternity and parental leave has given new parents the economic stability and valuable time they need to care for their children and support their growing families. Maternity, parental, and other family leaves continue to evolve as the family unit changes with our society (

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