October 2014 – News and Views Express

PRESIDENT/BUSINESS AGENT – RICK RATCLIFF
This month Local 583 hopes to take another step forward with the first edition of the News and Views Express. The Local Officers and the staff met to determine a suitable strategy for getting a newsletter out more regularly with relevant, timely and useful information. The format should take less time in all stages of production and could become a twice monthly letter if all goes according to good intentions. The Local will also be looking for submissions from guest contributors such as Committee Chairs.

A huge thank you to all that took time out of their busy lives to contact, campaign and otherwise influence the Provincial Government to table, prorogue and lay to rest Bills 9 & 10. As I have mentioned before, these Bills were an arbitrary attack on our pensions as promised when we plan members started our jobs with the City of Calgary. The battle isn’t completely over however, until we can convince the new Premier elect and his Finance Minister that they must sit down with plan member representatives and negotiate any changes to the LAPP, if any are required. We must congratulate ourselves for our success and for the use of our Labour Affiliates such as the Pensions Coalition and Calgary Coalition of Civic Unions. This is a testament to the success of these coalitions which leads to member involvement when it is required. Our success is well noted in other jurisdictions too. Our ATU Brothers and Sisters in Local 615 Saskatoon are fighting a similar battle with their own City Council to the point where Local 615 Members were illegally locked out on September 20, 2014 and have since had two labour board hearing judgements against their employer including the illegal lockout. Their Civic Locals & Associations are not as aligned as both our Edmonton and Calgary groups so when the City of Saskatoon started civic negotiations it gave the City an advantage. Their City went after their Defined Benefits pensions to attempt to change them to a Target Benefit plan. Local 615’s stage was further set with each Civic contract signed. When Local 615, as the last outstanding contract, wouldn’t succumb to the employers demands they were illegally locked out. In the spirit of recognizing the hardship being suffered by these members which is no fault of their own and the battle they are fighting, Local 583 has donated $2 /member from our Local. This equates to almost $6500.00! Local 615’s President Jim Yakubowski has sent his thanks to our Local personally through my many conversations with him. Local 583 has developed a strong relationship with Local 615 and it is an honour to support them in their time of need. Local 615 Members are back at work effective Monday October 20, 2014, facing a City Council who is appealing the Labour Board ruling.

Once again I will ask our Members not to succumb to rumors in the workplace. Often there are more facts on a concern available through the office so please call the Union office or talk to a Steward who can clear up a situation you may have heard about.

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT/ASSISTANT BUSINESS AGENT – NEIL ARMITAGE
This is an update on Bill S221 and its progress through the House of Commons. For those of you unfamiliar with Bill S221 I will give you a little background. This bill was brought forward by Senator Robert Runciman to compel Judges to consider assaults against Transit Operators as an aggravating factor in the sentencing of their assailants. Up to this point Judges would treat this as a common assault without weighing the significant safety issues that arise when an Operator is attacked when they are behind the wheel.

On October 3, 2014 the ATU Canadian Council held a round table discussion in Toronto with Senator Runciman attending. Ten Locals sent representatives and the President of Unifor Local 111 in Vancouver, B.C also attended. Unifor Local 111 launched an Operator Assault Awareness campaign last year and wanted to be there for the discussion of this bill and offer whatever support they could.

The bill has passed through the Senate and is currently in the House of Commons. It has had two readings and will now go to the Justice Committee for review. The strategy now is to arrange face to face meetings with individual MPs to ask for their support for the bill as it is with no amendments being proposed. Any amendments to the bill would send it back to the Senate to start the process all over again and that is not something we want to see happen. Starting all over would mean that it would very likely not pass in this current session.

The Canadian Council has been working with the Sussex Group in Ottawa to meet with all the party house leaders to get their commitment to limit debate and let the bill go through with no amendments. They have been assured there will be no roadblocks put in front of this bill. It will come back to the House of Commons for a 3rd reading sometime in November so we have a short time to set up any meetings with our individual MPs. Now is the time when Members can make a difference by contacting their MP and making an appointment to garner their support for this bill. It is hoped that Parliament will pass this bill into law before the current session ends. We will keep you updated on the bill’s progress as soon as we can.

FINANCIAL SECRETARY-TREASURER – ZUL VIRA
I hope everyone had a good summer. As you know we have been busy with many events this fall. One of which was the Retiree’s banquet held on September 27th. It was a record breaking event with over six hundred people in attendance. We hope that the next banquet will be just as successful.

Moving forward into the winter we plan to implement some event changes which will be discussed and decided among the Social Committee before being brought to the Members for their decision.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Social Committee members who put in endless hours of work in order to help make certain all Members enjoy events such as the Family Picnic, Retiree’s Banquet as well as the Children’s Christmas Party. The Christmas Party this year is being held on November 30th at the Red and White Club.

Both the City and ATU Local 583 offer life insurance. If you change a relationship status you may want to change your beneficiary. It is sad to see a beneficiary that is no longer involved in your life receive an insurance settlement. Please remember to keep your beneficiary status up to date.

RECORDING SECRETARY – MAINT./OFFICE – BILL JOHNSON
Due to the number of calls our office has received lately I want to talk to you about workplace injuries and how they should be handled. As your WCB advocate for ATU Local 583, I do handle many WCB cases and assist our Members with their claims.

If you are injured at work, you need to tell the employer. You need to tell your Health Care Provider, and lastly you need to tell WCB. The employer is obligated to report your injury to WCB within 72 hours. Your doctor is required to report your injury to WCB within 48 hours. You need to report your injury to WCB as soon as possible, but you may take up to 2 years to file a claim. You can report your injury by filling out the Worker’s Report at work or online at www.wcb.ab.ca. Either way, after you have completed the form WCB registers your claim and you can then expect a letter in approximately 5-7 days. We have had some problems which only come to the Member or Local’s attention when a claimant has suffered NO lost time and later on needed some form of physiotherapy or other treatment. We would follow up by contacting WCB and they would have NO file of the injury. This is the reason that I am suggesting it be done online, if you are able to, because once the form is completed and you hit SEND the form is sent directly to WCB.

Please keep in mind that your supervisor does not adjudicate your claim, WCB does. If you have been injured on your way to work, at work or on your way home from work you are entitled to fill out a WCB form and WCB will adjudicate that claim. If you are having difficulty with the process, please feel free to contact our office and we will guide you through the process.

HANDIBUS CHAIR – AB HUSKIC

Incidents and Accidents appear to be on the rise in the workplace. With some operators never having had one, all operators need to remember the following steps: Ambulatory client falls on bus or outside the bus (report it to A/C or R/P), Client isn’t secured properly and tips in WC on bus (report to A/C or R/P), you are involved in an accident making contact with an object (report to A/C or R/P).

In all cases cover yourself; it will save you much grief in the future. Never leave the scene without getting clearance to do so. If you do leave, you set yourself up for problems and discipline could follow. By being aware of what may happen, you can take the first step in preventing a situation.

Congratulations on their
Retirements 2014:

James Chivers – July – 32 years
JC Labillois – July – 27 years
Stanley Robinson – July – 34 years
Robert Webster – July – 35 years
Lloyd Ackerman – August – 35 years
Lynette Le Comte – August – 13 years
Satjit Singh Rahal – August – 15 years
Effie Scott – August – 12 years
Arif Al-Judi – September – 4 years
Richard Bishop – September – 9 years
Madalene Cadwell – September – 27 years
Emmanuel Caissie – September – 26 years
Patricia Duffy-Atkin – September – 5 years
Mike Landers – September – 17 years
Rodney Millar – September – 13 years
Diamond Velji – September – 12 years

THANK YOU cards received:
Phil Brown
Bill Dods
John (Jack) Flannery
Mitch Ford
Peter Glenfield
Walter Hopkins
Lynette Le Comte
Jim McConnell
Brian Miller
Leah Nate
Lorna Stauffer
Irene Terlson

For Your Information
The Regular Union Meeting will take place on Monday November 10th, 2014 instead of Tuesday November 11th as that is Remembrance Day.

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
Ab Huskic – Chair of HandiBus

COPE 397 /jr

/jr COPE #397

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