Dear Sisters and Brothers,
As most would know, we’ve been trying to have the recall rights of laid off members extended until such time that Covid-19 no longer has a negative impact on the citizens or economy of Calgary.
As of today we signed off on a Letter of Understanding that extends the access for laid off employees to rehire from May 25, 2021 to December 31, 2021.
Although it is good news to have signed off on an extension to employment rights, it is a far cry from what we wanted and what you deserve.
From the onset, Calgary Transit was not interested in extending a recall. When they did move on this, they wanted to use this as an opportunity to pick and choose who they wanted, recall them, and ignore those that they didn’t want. Thin the herd if you will. This was a nonstarter for us. We wanted the full terms of a recall extended to May 25, 2022.
Unfortunately, at this time we do not have the power of collective bargaining and must rely on the conscience of the employer to compel them to act in the best interest of the employee in concert with the interests of the employer. In spite of the obvious stress and grief Covid 19 is having on the employees and the horrific impact of being laid off and out of work at the same time, Calgary Transit did not see value in providing full recall rights for an additional year.
The details of the Letter of Agreement which is titled “First Right of Re-employment” are legal and binding. The content of the letter is as such;
1. Previous employees who return to employment with Calgary Transit after their recall rights expire, but before December 31, 2021 will only have to serve a six (6) month probationary period.
2. Offers of re-employment will be made in order of seniority at the time of departure.
3. Service and seniority dates will not be bridged after the recall rights expire as per Article 112.
4. Employees will be placed at the Training Rate of pay until the appropriate training has been completed. The employee will return to the pay step which aligns with their position at the time of departure.
What this means is that all laid off members that are on lay off at the time their recall rights expire, will have first right to re hire in seniority until December 31, 2021. Rehired members will serve a 6-month probation and when rehired, will be paid at the training rate until they go into revenue service. At that time, they will move into the pay step they were at when they were laid off.
Although we are extremely disappointed in the terms of the letter, it is an important step in bridging our members’ employment rights.
We will be providing more information in the coming days as we move towards an aggressive push for immediate recall and an increase in services.
COPE 397 MM/jr