September 2015 – News and Views Express

Please remember if you are sick the day before or after a Statutory Holiday that a doctor’s note is required in order for you to receive “stat” pay for the day. Further to this, you must see a doctor within 7 days of your absence. There can often be complications surrounding an absence on a Statutory Holiday so please call the Union office for additional advice. If the “stat” is worked, no note is required.
ATU Local 583 is in the process of compiling a list of medical providers that will recognize your Local 583 or City of Calgary affiliation to offer you discounts. If you have come across a provider that will offer our members a discount please forward that information to our office. The only caveat is that Local 583 cannot guarantee your satisfaction with said providers. This past month one of our Shop Stewards reported a great discount with a provider of shoe orthotics. Please contact the union office for this providers information.
Members need to be aware that one of the questions always asked at a call-in is “were you fit for duty?” on the day of an incident. If you are not fit you are sick and very likely should not be at work. To support us at these times of illness we have our MEBAC benefits. Attending Physicians Statements and Return to Work with Restrictions forms must be completed thoroughly by your doctor for proper adjudication. Please review it before leaving the doctor’s office to see if things such as diagnoses, treatment, and date fit to return (with restrictions if needed) to name a few, have been filled out. The member knows best how they are feeling so they must convey that to the doctor so the form is filled out correctly. Timelines of submission are important too. Delayed submissions can lead to delayed benefit payments. This can be especially troublesome if more information is required by the adjudicator. If your benefit payment is supported you will not be penalized with loss of benefits, but the payment could be late which could have an impact to your financial well being.
Local 583 held a successful Family Picnic on July 19. There was the usual great turn out at the new location of Sandy Beach Park. Many compliments were forwarded to our office as well as ideas we have noted for next year’s event. We would like to convey a special thank you to the Social Committee for volunteering their time to make the picnic the successful event that it was.
Please be advised when completing any forms where your beneficiary must be named that you are sure to submit the legal name of this person as these are official documents. Please note that no shortened names or nicknames should be used. There have been several cases where individuals have had problems in the claims process due to improper names being listed combined with the inability to provide the required legal identification. Your assistance and diligence in this matter is appreciated.
As reported on earlier this year the ATU International has put out a call for holding a founding convention of ATU Canada, the body to replace the ATU Canadian Council. This will happen September 22-25 in Toronto and Local 583 will be sending a full delegation to represent our views. The first order of business will be discussion on the bylaws setting up the structure of the organization and how it will function. There will also be discussion on how it will be funded going forward. We are hoping this convention brings all Canadian Locals to a consensus on how Canadian Transit issues should be handled and set up training programs to educate ATU representatives on the constantly changing environment we operate in.
On July 2, 2015, Local 583 along with Local 569 (Edmonton), Local 987 (Lethbridge) and Local 1374 (Greyhound/Red Deer) were invited to meet with the Minister of Transportation, Minister of Infrastructure and Government House Leader, the Honorable Brian Mason, at the Legislature building in Edmonton. This meeting was unprecedented with discussion on Greenline funding for Calgary, dedicated funding for transit, intercity funding at Greyhound, and regionalization with some discussion on a Master transportation plan. When the NDP won the election in Alberta they showed a commitment to work with Labour and this is a great start.
Further to this agenda, the Alberta Federation of Labour will be nominating someone for the position of Labour Liaison Officer who will be on Premier Notley’s staff. Also a Labour Liaison Committee comprised of representatives of each AFL affiliate and other labour groups is intended to meet with the Premier and Cabinet quarterly.
Then, on August 27 there was a meeting at the Legislature in Edmonton with Municipal Affairs Minister, Deron Bilious, set up by our Sister Local 569. It was attended by Steve Bradshaw, Local 569 President, Mark Tetterington, Local 569 Financial Secretary and Neil Armitage, Local 583 Executive Vice President. This was to discuss specific Transit related issues with the Government Minister, something that in the past would have been unlikely to happen with the governing Progressive Conservatives. There were 3 topics, the first was discussion on dedicated transit funding from the government and how that could be accomplished under the current financial situation. Whether there is room in the expected budget is another matter. The second topic was regional transit plans for Edmonton and Calgary moving forward, which was timely considering the plan announcement the following week by House Leader Brian Mason. The third topic for discussion was the recent changes around Provincial political campaign contribution rules. Minister Bilious agreed that limits put on Corporations and Unions should be put on the Municipal level as well to ensure that developers with deep pockets wouldn’t be able to favour candidates who support their agenda and possibly influence the outcome of an election.
Shortly after the Civic election, a mandate came out of City Hall. A Zero Based Review (ZBR) was to be done on all Civic departments. Several departments have been completed to date and now Calgary Transit is having a ZBR done. Morrison-Hirschfield Consulting Firm has been secured to conduct the ZBR. They have looked at the Operations area and are now going to do an in depth review of the Maintenance and Supply area. In short the consultant will be in the work area looking for efficiencies and deficiencies and then making recommendations by approximately November 2015. We think the timing is no coincidence because of the state of the economy currently. Despite this over time we have seen growth in Calgary Transit and the number of staff has remained constant. The old adage of doing more with less holds true as far as we are concerned. I think when we see the consultant’s in the work area, they will see what we mean. We all know the public is getting the biggest bang for the buck. Contractors will never be able to hold a candle to our members when it comes to the work they perform.
The Local has been able to work with management toward the “signing” of LRT runs for those Operators on the contingency list. If there are any runs left over after the regular sign on, the first 5 Operators on the contingency list are allowed to bid on a run. The need for this process has developed over time with the prevalence of 75 hour Operators on the list instead of 60 hour Operators. This sign on procedure is a trial process with hopes that the mutual gains to both vested parties will continue to be recognized.
At the September 8, 2015 Regular Meeting a “preferring of charges” letter was read. The issue was fully and thoroughly debated with many members offering their viewpoint. With all facts and opinions stated the membership voted not to proceed with charges against Brother Doug Johannes.

Congratulations on their
Retirements 2015

David Bishop – Operator- 36 years
Monte Finkleman – HandiBus – 35 years
Helen Bent – HandiBus – 33 years
Ronald Kowalchuk – Operator – 35 years
Leonard Capustin – Maintenance – 32 years
Tom Matthews – Operator – 35 years

Thank You Cards Received:
Ernleigh Durham
Susanne Lewin
Rick Fabbi
Roger McDonald
Shri Ramlu
Terry Perrault

For Your Information:
The next Retiree’s meeting is October 5, 2015 at Spring Gardens Garage in room 104 at 7:00 PM. The next Retiree luncheon is October 20, 2015 at Grey Eagle Casino (37 Street and Glenmore Trail SW) at 1:00 PM.

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

COPE 397 /jr

Leave a Reply