Q: Can Management issue disposable masks, Union masks are “hard to breathe through”
A: We’ve been making this request since the beginning of the state of emergency in March. Originally the employer couldn’t because of CEMA regulations. We continue to ask and the employer has not agreed to do it as of yet. The employer feels that the ones that they have distributed with the ties are sufficient but we continue to pressure them to provide a more comfortable mask such as the disposable surgical masks.
The ones that were being distributed to the public by Calgary Transit were provided by the province under the same program that companies like Tim Hortons and McDonalds were distributing them.
Q: Plans to increase train cars to 4?
A: They are looking at doing that possibly as early as next week. Their data mirrors what you the Members have been telling us. Their plan in general is to add more service concurrent with the September sign up. For trains this will probably mean more 4 car units.
Q: With school reopening to almost normal capacity in the fall when can we expect drivers to be recalled from layoff? What are the steps the Union is taking?
A: We’ve already met with the employer and reminded them that they need to provide notice as per the CA when recalling the employees. To comply with that they will have to begin providing notice by the end of the second week in August at the latest in order it to coincide with the new sign up.
Q: When the mask mandate goes into effect on August 1 what does this mean for drivers of Calgary Transit? If we don’t think we are able to wear a mask the full shift what are we meant to do?
A: We will be having a deeper discussion with the employer this week as to their expectations. The current Provincial protocol is that if you are protected by a plastic barrier masks are not required. Although I personally encourage everybody to wear a mask that can, I understand there may be a number of reasons why many can’t or may not want to. We will rely on individuals’ medical evidence and labor laws to protect our Members’ rights. We will provide a link to the Provinces current recommendations for your review.
Q: Where are we on shields? A meeting was mentioned, what came out of that?
A: We’ve reiterated that we want follow ups on the plastic curtains to make sure that they are being modified as needed while they confirm and begin production on a more rigid plexiglass shield. They are looking at the prototype with a solid colour bottom portion and a low reflective plexiglass on the top half. They tell us that they’re having issues with sourcing availability of the low reflecting material and we are investigating the availability ourselves as well. We still want the plexiglass shields ASAP.
Mike, it’s good to hear you are following up on the availability of the polymer sheeting. It is absolutely stunning that 5 months into this ordeal we have no solid barriers whilst so much of the service world has been protected for several months.
My opinion is that when the weather changes it will be very difficult for drivers to wear the masks all the time. I don’t mind wearing one, but often have an issue with my glasses fogging up, even with the metal nose piece pinched.
Mike, thanks a lot. Appreciate your hard work.
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