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A Message from Brendan

A Message from Brendan

To: All Local 4304 Members at Grand River Transit

Just so we are all clear. The King and Victoria queue jump lane turn is going active on Monday. The union opposes this turn and have stated this to management. I don’t feel it’s necessary in any way. However my feelings have not changed managements mind or opened it to other options. I disagree with their lack of communication to the public as the awareness campaign only started this morning. I recommended this be pushed until the winter signup and again that was denied. I spoke to the assistant director and he has stated they will proceed with it. So please take as much time as needed to make this turn safely. The union as not signed off on this in any way.

Yours In Solidarity,
Brendan Burke
President
Unifor Local 4304
519-589-1507

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GCC Vacant Positions

GCC Vacant Positions

To: All Local 4304 Members at Great Canadian Coaches

There are currently 2 vacant committee positions and  1 vacant Steward position for GCC. The 1 vacant steward position is for Brampton and the 2 vacant committee positions are the Return to Work committee and the Women’s Advocate – Unit Wide.

If you are interested in filling any of these positions, please submit your name to the Recording Secretary in writing to recordingsecretary@unifor4304.org

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Link The Watershed Transit Initiative – Update & Petition

To all Local 4304 members,

For those members who were in attendance back at the August General Membership Meeting, you will recall that the membership voted at that time to endorse a transit initiative that was presented at the meeting called ‘Link The Watershed.’  I would like to give the membership an update on the work on that initiative so far and where the initiative is still heading.

For the members who do not know, the Link The Watershed Transit Initiative started as a project of our Union in Politics Committee and has grown into a collaboration between our union, Unifor Local 4304; ATU Local 1189, which represents the workers at Guelph Transit; and the Transit Action Alliance of Guelph (TAAG), an active public transit advocacy group based in Guelph.  In a nutshell, the initiative is proposing that the 8 public transit systems that currently service the municipalities of the Grand River Watershed (Grand River Transit, Guelph Transit, Brantford Transit, Wellington Ride Well, Guelph Owen Sound Transportation (GOST), PC Connect, Brant Transit, and Ride Norfolk) co-operate to form new cross-border transit connections, and close the gaps in the local transit network.

The core of the proposal is to establish a network of 4 new transit routes between the urban areas of Waterloo-Kitchener-Cambridge, Guelph, and Brantford with other minor service changes to the rural transit services.  Those proposed routes are as follows:

  1. A Brantford Transit route from the Downtown Brantford Bus Terminal, past the Brantford Train Station, through the Brantford Commons shopping centre (a Brantford Transit transfer point) and via Highway 24 to the Ainslie Terminal in Downtown Cambridge;
  2. A Grand River Transit route from Fairway Station via Fairway Road to the Region of Waterloo International Airport, then via Kossuth Road, Highway 124 and the Hanlon Parkway to Stone Road Mall, then on to the University of Guelph via Stone Road;
  3. A Grand River Transit route from Cambridge Centre Station via Hespeler Road, Pinebush Road, and Franklin Boulevard to the Hespeler Village, then via Guelph Avenue, Highway 124 and Wellington Street to the Guelph Central Station in Downtown Guelph; and,
  4. A Guelph Transit route from the Woodlawn SmartCentres at Highway 6 and Woodlawn Road via Woodlawn/Highway 7/Victoria Street to Central Station in Downtown Kitchener, then looping through Downtown Kitchener past Frederick Station before returning to Guelph.

The funding for the initiative would be provided initially from the Provincial/Federal governments using money that has been earmarked for projects just like this; the province announced on March 1st that there is a pool of $650M for municipalities to use to establish new transit connections and make travel between different transit systems easier.

On Thursday, September 30th our President, Brendan Burke, and I presented the proposal to GRT planning staff and received some very positive feedback about the proposal; our planners have taken the proposal back for further study and consideration.

In addition, an online public presentation of the initiative was hosted by TAAG on Tuesday, October 19th and transit/municipal officials, MP’s, MPP’s, Chambers of Commerce, and local media were invited.  This presentation has led to several new media articles already, including a 570 News interview on the Mike Farwell show and an interview on the Guelph Politicast Podcast.  The responses received so far from the public has been overwhelmingly positive.

Also, the members of TAAG have been doing more outreach to the local Chambers of Commerce and had a fruitful discussion with the CEO of the Brantford/Brant Chamber of Commerce; the Board of Directors of the Brantford/Brant Chamber of Commerce has now endorsed the initiative and are working to bring the other Chambers of Commerce in Grand River Watershed on board as well.

However, it is ultimately the elected leaders of our various municipalities that we still need to get on board to move the initiative towards implementation since only the municipal councils may approve that our transit officials can apply for the funding from the Provincial and Federal governments.  To that end, TAAG has set up a website to promote the Link The Watershed Transit Initiative and have just launched a petition with the goal of showing our elected officials the amount of public support there is for establishing these new transit connections.  We can all help get the petition going right now by signing it and sharing it with our friends, family, neighbours and social media groups!

You can learn more about the initiative, watch a video of the October 19th public presentation, download information materials, and sign the new petition by visiting https://linkthewatershedtransit.wordpress.com/

Without the vote of support from our membership at the August General Membership Meeting, we would not have gotten this far, and for that I thank you!

Yours in solidarity,

Warren Schnurr
Chair, Union in Politics Committee
Unifor Local 4304

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November General Membership Meeting – Wednesday, November 17, 2021

November General Membership Meeting – Wednesday, November 17, 2021

MEETING NOTICE
FOR THE NOVEMBER GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
TO BE HELD ONLINE ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2021

All Local 4304 members,
The next General Membership Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday November 17, 2021 at 11:00AM and 7:30PM to be held online via ZOOM. A reminder that all members wishing to attend should RSVP to recordingsecretary@unifor4304.org prior to the meeting. Even if you’re not 100% certain you will be able to attend via Zoom, but may be able to, you should still consider RSVPing to ensure access to the meeting is provided if you can participate. The Zoom link to join the meeting will be emailed to you after you send an RSVP.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
THE NOVEMBER MEETING WILL ONLY BE HELD ONLINE VIA ZOOM AND NOT IN PERSON AS WE WILL BE IN THE PROCESS OF MOVING TO OUR NEW LOCATION AT 487 Riverbend Dr. Unit #301.

Yours in solidarity,
Angelo Neziri
Recording Secretary
Unifor Local 4304

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A message from Brendan

A message from Brendan

To: All Local 4304 Members at Grand River Transit

I just wanted you all to know that I had reached out to Bruce Lauckner, the CAO for the Region of
Waterloo. I had a face to face meeting with him on Friday October 1st, 2021 for about 50 minutes. It was
a very open and honest conversation. He acknowledged that there have been many missed
opportunities in regards to improving the work environment at GRT.

Our membership represents a quarter of the entire regional workforce. We can have a strong voice if
we all speak together to achieve the same goals. This introduction with Bruce resulted in me having a
meeting with Peter Zinck (Director, Transit Services) and Kim Bellissimo (Commissioner, Human
Resources) which led to follow up meetings.

I have one meeting a week for the next three weeks with both of them. This is a chance to discuss and
explore opportunities to make it better here at GRT. Kim mentioned having a list of priorities, knowing
that we can only focus on maybe two or three at a time.

Some priorities I’ve previously discussed are recognition and engagement, with things like positive
performance meetings and better work/life balance and also improve communication overall.

How can we make it better at work? How could we improve attendance? These are the kinds of things
we need to provide input on. They are willing to listen so let’s not only identify the problems but also
try to present them with solutions on how we would like to see things moving forward.

Please send any thoughts you may have to the Recording Secretary at:
recordingsecretary@unifor4304.org so we can put together a list to present to Peter and Kim.

Yours In Solidarity,
Brendan Burke
President
Unifor Local 4304
519-589-1507

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Unifor NHL Fantasy Hockey Pool

To: All Local 4304 Members

Greetings,

Our inaugural Unifor Hockey Pool was a huge success with over 1,600 Unifor members participating and our current NFL pool has 2,000 members vying for some great prizes and bragging rights.

We are following up with our 2nd Unifor NHL Fantasy Hockey Pool and we look to continue to build on our previous success. We ask that you share this with all of the members in your local union. Attached to this email you will find download materials you can share.

The link for the event is www.unifor.org/nhlpool. Registration is free to all members!

The deadline to register is October 12, 2021, 7:00 p.m. EST.

There is no entry fee for the hockey pool but in the spirit of giving back to your community, we ask that you make a donation to your local food bank. If you have any questions, please email recreation@unifor.org.

We have some great weekly and monthly prizes along with grand prizes for the winners at the end of the season!

Good luck to all participants!

In solidarity,

Bill Apsey                                                     John Aman
Chair, National Recreation Council      Director, National Recreation Department

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Mandatory Survey Verification – Grand River Transit

Mandatory Survey Verification – Grand River Transit

All Local 4304 Members at Grand River Transit,

In order for you to check if your survey was submitted properly. All you have to do is login to the survey and in the top left corner you will see a tab that says Vaccination Records, click on the triangle and a drop menu will appear. Click on My Records and it will take you to a new screen that will show you all of the information you submitted and will show you the date and time it was submitted. Please see pictures below.

May be an image of text that says 'Log In In order to respond to the Vaccine Declaration Survey, please log in with your Regional Windows Account Email* OR Your Region of Waterloo email address. Password or Employee ID* Your password or employee ID. fyou don't know at least your email and employee ID, please speak to your supervisor. Log in'May be an image of text that says 'Apps Secure Portal Login Outlook SelfService- Home Vaccination Status Vaccination Records'May be an image of text that says 'Apps urL 07 Outlook daT SelfService Home Vaccination Status Vaccination Records My Records Create Createe T Record'May be an image of text that says 'SelfService Work Exchanges Portal Outlook Vaccination Status Vaccination Status Vaccination Unifor WemalLogin LAL Name Kitc... My Vaccination Records Searchby "Department", "Division", "Vaccination Status". Vaccination Intention", "Uploaded Files Department CAMBRIDGE Division G.. Recording Employee ID "Dose Types", "Dose Dates" Vaccination Status Vaccination Intention Uploaded Dose Types Files Dose Dates Dae_Sumitted1'

Yours In Solidarity,

Angelo Neziri

Recording Secretary

Unifor Local 4304

 

 

 

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It’s Election Day! Have you voted?

To all Local 4304 members,

It is Monday, September 20, 2021, and that means it’s Election Day for the 2021 Federal Election!  If you haven’t already done so in advance, please make every effort to get out and cast your vote today.  Every vote from every Canadian citizen counts!

A reminder to all members that you can look up your voting location and check what personal identification is valid at the polls by visiting the Elections Canada website.

Yours in solidarity,

Warren Schnurr
Chair, Union in Politics Committee

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Federal election advanced polls are now OPEN!

To all Local 4304 members,

Advanced polls for the 2021 Federal Election are now open!  Advanced polls are open each day from Friday, September 10th to Monday, September 13th between the hours of 9 AM to 9 PM at the many advance polling locations across the country.  Not sure where you can vote? Check your personal voter information card that you should have received in the mail OR visit the Elections Canada website and input your postal code to look up your assigned voting locations.

If you’re not going to be available to vote on Election Day, Monday, September 20th, do your best to get out and vote at an advanced poll.  Every vote from every citizen counts!

When you go to the polls don’t forget to bring your ID!  A list of acceptable identification has been provided by Elections Canada here.

In addition, due to COVID-19, voters will be required to wear a mask while at the polling stations (if you do not bring a mask, Elections Canada will provide one).   Also, voters are asked to bring their own pen or pencil to mark their ballot, although single-use pencils will also be available.

Yours in solidarity,

Warren Schnurr
Chair, Union in Politics Committee

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Vaccine Mandate Statement – Correction

Vaccine Mandate Statement – Correction

To all brothers and sisters of Local 4304,

Your local executive is doing its best when it comes to the upcoming vaccine mandate policy. It is absolutely your choice whether or not you get vaccinated. Please respect the fact that any choice comes with a set of consequences.

As president I’ve shared information that I find relevant to this situation we are all in. This is not an easy situation regardless of your personal status, thoughts, or feelings. The fact is there will be a policy. No one knows what this policy will look like yet. I’ve had a meeting with the region. They are looking at three options. The policy will become clearer in the coming days to weeks.

I have also spoken with our national representative as well as received communication from Unifor’s lawyer. In this communication it discusses the “legality of employer actions and their ability to impose mandatory vaccination policies.”

First it mentions “the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, including s. 7, which is frequently cited as a basis for claiming a right to be free from such a policy, is not relevant in respect of private employer policies.” Other human rights have been mentioned as well such as medical or religious.

These accommodations would require documentation to be provided to the employer in order for the employer to provide the employee with said accommodation. “It is not a breach of their privacy to be asked for reasonable documentation to support a request for accommodation.”

Again whether you believe it or not this is a pandemic and the reasonableness of a policy with regards to health and safety is the key factor to strongly consider. “What we can say with certainty is that an employee has a right to decline to be vaccinated. However if the policies
mandating vaccines are deemed reasonable, which most experts agree is far more likely than not in many workplaces, workers who choose not to be vaccinated will likely face serious employment consequences.

My recommendation based on what I’ve seen, heard, and read is to talk to your doctor. If you’re able to get vaccinated, please do so. If you’re not able to, due to a valid human rights issue, please reach out to a union rep for next steps. I have complete faith in this local to represent
any member. Just remember that facts and opinion are not one in the same.

As always, any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Brendan Burke
President
Unifor Local 4304
519-589-1507

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