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New Website Accounts – Update

To all Local 4304 members,

First of all, I would like to thank all members for their patience as the new website accounts have been rolled out.  The process has been a monumental undertaking and has taken MUCH longer than I had anticipated, but the actual process has gone fairly smoothly otherwise.  I must also give a special thanks to Crystal Switzer, Cheryl Rooymans, and Jason Herman from the new Election Committee for contacting hundreds of members this week to get and verify email addresses so we can get every single member registered on the union website once and for all.  I must also give thanks to my wife, Carol, for helping me with entering data for several hundred members on the website and for sending the mailing list confirmation emails which saved many hours of time.

With the exception of six members, everyone who has provided an email address should have now had their new union website account information sent to them.  The remaining six members who provided an email address will need to have their email address reverified since there’s likely a typo somewhere that needs to be corrected.  All remaining members who have not provided an email address will have union website account information sent to their Regional email address (for Local 4304 members at Grand River Transit) over the next 24-48 hours.  Any of those members may contact me at any time to have their regional email address switched to a personal email address if they wish, so if you hear of a member who has not received their account information, it may have been sent to their Regional email address…please have them contact me as soon as possible at webmaster@unifor4304.org.

I would ask that everyone please make an effort to log in to their new website account at some point BEFORE election day (Wednesday, May 19th) to ensure your access is working and to change the temporary password sent to you to something more suitable for you.  If you want to vote online on election day, waiting until then to sort out any website login issues is NOT a good idea, both the Election Committee and I will be extremely busy that day.

Finally, don’t forget that anyone wishing to receive regular email notifications, such as this one, from the union must click the email confirmation link to joining the union mailing list.  If you hear of anyone who has not received this message, or other union emails, please remind them to click the link in that email confirmation message (it may have been delivered to their spam/junk email folder).

Yours in solidarity,

Warren Schnurr
Webmaster
Unifor Local 4304

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We’re Pulling Out The Stops – Let’s ALL Get Online!

To all Local 4304 members,

At this afternoon’s Executive Board Meeting, we discussed the ongoing effort to get as many members as possible onto the union website, not just for the coming election but to ensure every member has an account they can use to access member-only union information as long as they are an active member of Local 4304.  It has been determined that we are going to entirely scrap any necessity for members to register for their own account and simply create an account for every member we can get a valid email address for, this will happen preferably when a member first joins the union.

For all existing members, new accounts will be created using a standardized username format, to do this we need to confirm the email addresses of as many members as possible, preferably all!  An account will be created for every valid email address we receive and a username and temporary ‘randomly generated’ temporary password will be emailed to each of those members.

Next week, on Monday, May 10th and Tuesday, May 11th members of the Election Committee will be reaching out to as many members as possible to ask for a current email address.  It is in your best interest to provide one so we can get your new account set up.  Even if you have previously registered on the website, or have previously had an account created for you by a member of the Executive Board, we will be asking you to confirm your email address to ensure it is current so we can create new accounts with the standardized username format.  When you are contacted please spell out your email address as clearly as possible to avoid any possible typos.

However, you can get ahead of the game, help us save time, and completely avoid any cold call from the Election Committee if you confirm or provide your email address beforehand!  To confirm your email address ahead of time, simply send an email with your name (so I know for sure who is writing) and the email address you want to use for your new union website account to webmaster@unifor4304.orgYou can start doing this immediately!

We are also asking for your assistance in getting the email addresses of other members who are not currently receiving these messages or are not on the Local’s Facebook ‘bulletin board’ or any member you know who may be off on any sort of leave, this message may not reach them otherwise before an attempt is made to contact them next week.  Simply give them a heads-up about being contacted next week, or better yet pass on this message to them so they send in their email address on their own as soon as possible.

Once we have the list of valid emails, new accounts will be activated over the course of the day on Wednesday, May 12th.  This will provide a week to iron out any possible account access issues that crop up before election day on May 19th.

Yours in solidarity,

Warren Schnurr
Webmaster
Unifor Local 4304

 

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Website Navigation Menu Display Issues

To all Local 4304 members,

As we approach the Local 4304 General Elections we’re working to ensure all the web-base systems (union website, online voting service, etc.) are working correctly, especially since we are still not certain if GRT management will allow any in-person voting in our workplaces due to the pandemic.  The Simply Voting system and it’s integration with the Unifor Local 4304 Website is working but we have recently discovered a minor issue that is not allowing the main website navigation menu to display correctly on mobile devices, but ONLY if you’re viewing the website in ‘portrait’ mode (if you’re holding your phone vertically).

While I work to try and correct this issue (success is not guaranteed), and get the menu to display correctly on mobile devices, a VERY easy workaround is available to everyone by simply turning your mobile device 90 degrees/sideways to ‘landscape’ mode, this should automatically switch the website display on your device to the same as you see on any desktop computer with the full navigation menu visible.

Yours in solidarity,

Warren Schnurr
Webmaster
Unifor Local 4304

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Union Website Login Issues

To all Local 4304 members,

It has come to my attention that there have been some login issues this week affecting most (or all) registered members.  While investigating this I discovered that the issue also affected the Webmaster account access (although I have an alternative login method available to access the website).  The issue affecting logins has now been resolved and all members should be able to access the members area once again.  If you have any further issues logging in please let me know at webmaster@unifor4304.org.

Yours in solidarity,

Warren Schnurr
Webmaster
Unifor Local 4304

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GRT 2020 Collective Agreement Changes Now Online

To all Local 4304 members at Grand River Transit,

By popular request the changes to the GRT Collective Agreement since the 2020 strike and ratification vote have been posted in the GRT members are of the Unifor Local 4304 website.  This is the same document that was distributed during the final contract ratification meeting/vote at the end of the strike last year.

You can find the contract changes by logging in to your account on the Unifor Local 4304 website and navigating to the ‘Grand River Transit’ > ‘Collective Agreement’ page.

Unfortunately we still do not yet have a final version of the complete collective agreement either in digital or hard copy format from the Region.  So, to make sense of the agreement take the contract changes document and compare them to the most recent available complete collective agreement that expired at the end of 2019.

Yours in solidarity,

Warren Schnurr
Recording Secretary
Unifor Local 4304

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Unifor’s Ontario Area Meetings

Dear members,

I’m excited to share this with you registration is now open for Unifor’s Ontario Area Meetings and we want you there.

The meetings will run from March 22 to April 1. In order to join, you must register in advance.

Find the link to your meeting below.

AREA – DATE – TIME:
Eastern Area – March 22, 2021 – 6:30 p.m.
Kitchener – March 23, 2021 – 6:00 p.m.
GTA – March 24, 2021 – 6:00 p.m.
Northern Ontario – March 30, 2021 – 6:30 p.m.
Windsor – March 31, 2021 – 5:00 p.m.
London – April 1, 2021 – 6:00 p.m.

We had more than 500 members join these meetings when we first went virtual in the fall. I hope to see that number grow in this round. So, please share this invitation with your membership.

Unifor’s Area Directors have organized these meetings and set individual agendas that they know will resonate with workers in your region. I’m looking forward to learning from the experts they have tapped for these exciting events, and to hear some local updates from all of you.

While these meetings are open to all members, you should RSVP today to secure your spot!

If you have any questions regarding registration, please email Jamie.Ayres@unifor.org

In solidarity,

Naureen Rizvi
Ontario Regional Director

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GRT Payroll Notice from Management

January 29, 2021

Posting Date: January 29, 2021
Removal Date: February 5, 2021

You may have experienced a delay in your pay being deposited to your bank account today. We expect that everyone will be paid by the end of the day. Financial Institutions have until 11:59 p.m.
to deposit pays into the designated account. If you do not receive your pay by 11:59 p.m. today, please contact Bonny Muthuveren in Payroll (BoMuthuveren@regionofwaterloo.ca). Payroll will
endeavour to make the payment by direct deposit within one (1) payroll working day (Article 52.4).

Peter Zinck
Director, Transit Services

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Homewood – Part of your Employee & Family Assistance Program

Many employees with the Region of Waterloo are aware that Homewood is part of their Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP), but many do not know about all that Homewood provides to our members.  Homewood provides more than just mental health services in times of need but offers a variety of services to help employees who need assistance.

Members are encouraged to visit, and register on, the Homewood Health online portal, Homeweb, to see all they have to offer!

 

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GRT Requirements for Face Coverings

Posting Date: July 8, 2020
Removal Date: November 30, 2020

The Region of Waterloo recently amended the Code of Use By-law (13-050) which now requires all riders to a wear face covering which covers the nose, mouth and chin while riding Grand River Transit vehicles (buses, trains, BusPLUS, MobilityPLUS buses, and Kiwanis Transit). The By-law also requires customers to wear a face covering when they are within bus shelters and on platforms of transit stations.  The by-law change is effective Monday July 13, 2020.

As ridership continues to grow, it will become increasingly more difficult to maintain physical distance. Masks, or face coverings are an additional tool to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, because wearing a mask can help contain the wearer’s own droplets.

What is a face covering?

A face covering can be any of the following:

  • Mask (disposable or washable)
  • Clothing
    • Bandana
    • Scarf
    • Any other clothing that covers the mouth, nose and chin

For Customers

  • Customers are required to wear a face covering when entering MobilityPLUS, Conventional, BusPLUS, Kiwanis Transit and Light Rail vehicles.
  • Customers are also required to wear a face covering when in an enclosed shelter or building area or on platforms of a transit station. (e.g. Fairway Station, Ainslie Station, Cambridge Center Station and Customer Service Centres)
  • Customers are not required to wear a face covering when standing at a bus stop that is not at a transit station

Exceptions for Customers

The By-law exempts the following customers from the requirement to wear a face covering:

  • persons under the age of five years
  • persons that have a medical condition or disability that prevents the wearing of a face covering or would inhibit the person’s ability to breathe.
    • Note that no person is required to provide proof of any of the exemptions
  • The By-law applies to customer use of transit and facilities but does not apply to Regional staff or agents in the course of their work. However, the following section outlines the requirements for GRT employees and their agents.

Employee requirements for Face Coverings

  • GRT employees are required to wear a face covering when entering or exiting buses, on platforms and in shelters.
  • Drivers are not required to wear a face covering while behind the barrier.
  • MobilityPLUS operators will continue to wear masks and face shields/safety glasses when assisting customers on or off the bus
  • Employees traveling on transit as riders are required to wear a face covering
  • Employees working in Customer Service Centers and behind partitions are not required to wear a face covering.
  • Employees working or moving about in the public areas of transit facilities are required to wear a face covering
  • Employees working in non-public areas of a transit building or facility are not required to wear a face covering provided 2m separation can be maintained.

Key messages for Bus Operators – What is your Responsibility?

The focus is on education and information, not enforcement.

Employees will NOT deny service or entry to the system to any customer who is not wearing face covering. Do not ask anyone to leave the bus, building or property if they are not wearing a face covering.  For the week of July 13 when the by-law takes effect, if a customer is not wearing a face covering when they board please remind them of the requirement. As not all customers can wear a mask, the following wording should be used.

“If you are able, please wear a face covering on your next trip. Thank you”.

Also, please look for opportunities to thank customers for wearing a face covering. If an incident or disturbance arises on a bus or train Operators should follow current policies and procedures and contact a Supervisor

  • Do not involve yourself directly;
  • Call a Supervisor for assistance.

Beginning July 13, to support the requirements to wear masks, GRT employees will be out at various Transit Stations to provide a limited supply of masks for customers who don’t have one or forgot their face covering.  You will note the on-bus, platform and shelter signage and announcements will change to the new by-law requirements over the next two weeks.

Exceptions and Accessibility Considerations

Ask yourself, why might someone not be able to wear a face covering?

  • Is the child under age of 5 years
  • If a customer says they cannot wear a face covering, take them at their word and allow them to use the service
  • Remember that not all disabilities are visible.
  • Some customers may have difficulty hearing you if you are wearing a face covering. Similarly, customers may have difficulty hearing you from behind a barrier and if you are wearing a face covering.
  • Be patient. Look at and speak directly to the customer. Speak clearly and audibly to ensure the customer is better able to hear you. Don’t shout.
  • If you cannot understand what the customer is saying because of their face covering, politely ask them to repeat themselves.

Thank you for your cooperation and continued efforts to implement the many safety practices and procedures we have implemented over the last several months.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Supervisor.

Peter Zinck
Director, Transit Services
Notice – 2020-1779

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COVID-19 – Positive Case

Posting Date: May 17, 2020
Removal Date: 31, 2020

We have been made aware of an employee that has tested positive for COVID-19.

The operator is doing well.  Region staff are conducting contact tracing currently and will be informing any employees that have been in close contact with the operator and with staff physically distancing from one another we expect this to be minimal.

We want to ensure that confidentiality is upheld as it relates the medical condition of employees and therefore we will be respecting this information.

If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to speak to your Supervisor.

Peter Zinck
Director, Transit Services

Notice: 2020-1743

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