Q&A with Mike Mahar

Q: General queries on the Union not seeming to do enough for Community Shuttle.
A: We are representing every Member as best we can within the confines of Collective Bargaining Agreement. This includes Community Shuttle as well as Maintenance and Office. Unfortunately, even one person being laid off is awful and we have had up to 300 Conventional Operators laid off or redeployed to date as well as 50 Community Shuttle. Approximately 80 Office and maintenance employees have also been laid off.

Q: Did the grievances filed result in mechanics getting laid off?
A: The grievances resulted in a number of PMP and Fleet Attendant staying on the job to perform their normal duties. The employer has decided to lay off a number of technicians as a result of the reduced work in that area.

Q: Do all of us on lay off have recall rights regardless of if we refused redeployment or not?
A: Virtually every Member that has been laid off has recall rights to the position they were laid off from for up to 12 months.

Q: Do Conventional Operators who choose redeployment result in Community Shuttle Operators being laid off?
A: There is a very real potential that the junior Shuttle Operator would be laid off in similar numbers.

Q: If Big Bus Operators do redeploy how will seniority work?
A: Their seniority will be bridged as though they had remained in CS.

Q: If someone moved from CS to Big Bus years ago and decided to stay past the 6 months reversion rights time-frame (as they completed their CS probation), now with layoffs the contract has a redeployment clause that allows them to go back to CS? Is that correct?
A: Yes, that is correct.

Q: What will our Record of Employment read if we turn down the right to redeploy? Would this be considered a voluntary leave?
A: The ROE will show laid off as a result of lack of work. It will not be considered voluntary leave. You will be eligible for EI.

Q: Why did Dispatchers participate in calling Operators for redeployment and not HR? Did they have the authority?
A: Due to the sheer number of calls, it required a number of Dispatchers to work with HR to contact everyone in a timely manner.

Q: How much money is the City saving by laying off?
A: Their loss in revenue by December 31, 2020 is projected to be $105 million. They could not reach that goal of savings without shutting down the system. With the service level cuts to date they anticipate a deficit of $45 million. Of course, it’s hard to pinpoint an actual number in savings as Calgary Transit operates with only 55% recovery at the fare box so their savings are actually a reduced loss.

Q: Can laid off Operators keep their ID so they can use Transit for free still?
A: The City has refused to allow employees to hold onto their ID.

Q: Is there an update on the grievances filed as a result of the layoffs?
A: The PMP/ Fleet Attendant grievance has been upheld, as has the grievance on Movement of Personnel regarding Conventional and Community Shuttle Operators. We still have 1 outstanding grievance waiting to be scheduled for a hearing regarding several individual items such as lack of notice, payment in lieu of and single positions potentially not being laid off in proper order.

Q: Is work share a possibility?
A: Work share will be very difficult in most areas, what we have asked for is employees to be able to choose a volunteer layoff, allowing those potential hours to go to those still on the job.

Q: Can the Union provide grocery gift cards to Members and their families who may be in need?
A: This is something we can look into over the long term. However, effective June 1 we will be providing a benefits program for laid off and under employed Members. Details coming this week.

Q: Do you have to sign anything if you do not wish to participate in the benefits plan through the Union which starts June 1?
A: No. You will need to inform us if you do want to. We are working on the logistics for that now.

Q: When do we apply for EI? Do I need my ROE?
A: You can apply for EI immediately. You will not require your ROE to do this, if you begin your application now Service Canada will calculate your entitlements and eligibility date based on today’s info.

Q: Have the 30 work trades been increased?
A: We have no official confirmation but historically we’ve had a lot of success extending trades on a case by case basis.

Q: Without My HR Connect how will I access my paystub and the breakdowns therein?
A: Final pay for those laid off will be June 3rd and will include vacation pay, pay in lieu of notice, overtime and any hours owed. You will receive mailed out pay advice. ROEs will start being worked on June 1 and uploaded directly to Service Canada. Alberta Pensions Services will mail out all their pension info and options within 4-6 weeks.

Q: Could some CS Operators earn $1,000 (or less) and get the remainder from CERB to allow others to increase their hours? Or does the 15 hour guarantee prevent this?
A: Currently it would have to happen naturally (through normal distribution of work), however we are talking to the employer about spreading the work to allow employees to access these benefits.

Q: How many Conventional Operators redeployed?
A: We will put that information out as soon as it is confirmed and the employer has begun contacting employees.

Q: Will there be more cuts? Who of the Full Time Officers is looking out for Shuttle interests?
A: Unfortunately, only the employer can determine if there will be more cuts. If it were up to the Union and the Executive Board there would be no cuts at all.

Q: is there a list of affected CS badges to be viewed?
A: Not at this time. The employer will be contacting all Community Shuttle Operators affected by layoffs or redeployment.

Q: Is there a way for laid off Members to see how soon they will be recalled?
A: There is no way of knowing at this time. The employer will inform us and the affected employees and we will continue to monitor all recalls closely.

Q: The bus I was assigned is dirty, what do I do?
A: Book the bus and send the info to rsmaintrep@atu583.com (Bill Johnson) so we have a record.

Q: When will shields be finished?
A: The Community Shuttle shields should be done very soon. They are working on prototypes for Conventional. Russell Davies mentioned a time-frame of July for completion.

Q: When can fares start being collected again?
A: It is unlikely that the company will begin collecting fares prior to the installation of shields as our Member’s safety is the absolute first priority.

Q: Is there a new sign-up coming/when?
A: There will be a sign up for CS starting June 1 and being implemented June 8. It will run concurrently with the Conventional holiday run selection. There is no anticipated sign up for Conventional Operators prior to September.

Q: Why is there a 4th sign up in 4 months? Why do Big Bus Operators get to sign up again if they get to keep their seniority?
A: This coming sign-up is due to the redeployment of Conventional Operators to Community Shuttle. Conventional Operators have the right to sign up due to their seniority.

Q: Why is Community Shuttle not on par with Big Bus? Has the Union asked for equality?
A: We agree CS and Big Bus should be equal and actually filed an arbitration to obtain that. Unfortunately, the Arbitrator ruled in favour of the employer.

Q: Is the City following the Collective Agreement?
A: We believe they had not followed it closely enough with respect to movement of personnel. We filed grievances on that and will continue to monitor whatever decisions the employer tries to implement to insure they comply with the collective agreement. .

Q: Is there a Shuttle Representative at Negotiations? How are Shuttle voices being heard for Collective Bargaining?
A: When we open for Negotiations this fall we will be utilizing the experience and expertise of our elected CS Representatives. We will also be in communication with the Membership prior to exchanging proposals.

COPE 397 MM/jr

One Response

  • Mike in due respect, of what management is doing; maintenance needs an over haul with regards to sign up.
    We in maintenance have no idea what what work is available.
    Operations have badge numbers, this tells them the order in which they sign up,
    In conclusion to this, we in maintenance have no way of knowing what work is available when given a slip of paper, then told to select our work.
    This I feel violates our right to select our work.
    To this end, a grievance should be filed. Mike I am unable to sign up on our web page. This is the reason for using Jody’s computer.

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