Archive for Uncategorised

Strike Cheques

To All Brothers/Sisters,
Strike Cheques:
We will be handing out strike cheques again on:
Monday, July 20th, 2020  – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Tuesday, July 21st, 2020   – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Wednesday July 22nd, 2020 –  10:00 am to 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Thursday, July 23rd, 2020  – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm
The cheques will be handed out at the union hall, 600 Wabanaki Drive and only one person will be permitted in at a time with a MASK on. This will be the last chance to collect your strike cheque or cheques if you haven’t received one yet.
Any questions or concerns you can contact Tim Jewell at or (519) 496-1201.
Unifor 4304

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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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Sick Bank Grievance

To all Members,

A month ago we put in a group grievance to have sick bank replenished if you had to self isolate due to COVID-19. Today we got the response from the region that the grievance was denied.

We need more specifics to strengthen our argument. We are asking for anyone who had to take time off to provide the following information:

1.) The reason why public health directed you to stay home?

2.) And the dates or days you were off?

Please send information to Tim Jewell at or Lisa Main at

In Solidarity,

Tim Jewell – President Unifor 4304



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Vacation Relief Sign-up Update

Bidweb has been corrected for the Vacation Relief Sign-up. For conventional drivers in CSA sign-up begins Tuesday, June 9 at 7:00 am. For conventional drivers in KWSA sign-up begins Tuesday, June 9 at 7:00 am and continues on Wednesday, June 10 at 7:00 am.

Paul Wagler

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Vacation Relief Sign-up Delayed


The Vacation Relief Sign-up that was scheduled to start on Monday, June 8 will delayed one day and start on Tuesday, June 9. This is because there is some work displayed incorrectly in Bidweb that needs to be corrected.
Paul Wagler
Chair KWSA Scheduling Committee

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Bus Shields Update


There was a work refusal this evening and as a result, the region is looking at a way to have the new plexiglass shields secured in an open position. In the meantime here is the directive the region has given the union.


1.) If your alright to drive with the shield closed then do so.

2.) If you can secure the shield in the open position then you can do so.

3.) If you cannot see because of glare or you feel it’s not safe then dispatch was been advised to continue to change off the buses for tonight and tomorrow until a solution for securing them is found.


Remember, if you cannot see out the right side or feel it’s not safe then ask for a change off. If you are refused a change off, ask again. If you are denied the request for a change off then you have the right to refuse.

In Solidarity,

Unifor Local 4304

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Summer Sign-up Info

Signing for the upcoming Summer Sign-up will begin on Monday June 1 at 7:00 AM. Note that we will be starting at 7:00 AM each day.

The main purpose of this message is to explain what is happening with bracketed operators in the Summer sign-up so you can pick your work accordingly.
Normally the operators who are signed in brackets are those who will not be back to work during the  upcoming sign-up. Occassionally plans change and the operator does return. If this happens the person who has signed behind them then chooses a shift from the work being done by temp operators. This could be a better shift or a much worse shift. Depends on what is available.
This is the normal way this process works however in the upcoming Summer sign-up  there is a change you should understand. In addition to the regular operators signing in brackets will be drivers who are off work right now but may return during the sign-up. There are 2 memos with the list of bracketed operators posted on the bulletin boards. The first memo list all bracketed operators in KWSA (27) and CSA (14). The 2nd memo lists operators who may return from that list KWSA (8) and CSA (5). The added difference from the normal process described earlier if a bracketed operator returns is that there will likely be no temp work to choose from. In that case the bumped operator would be Twilight Spare with the same days off as what they had. If additional operators go off after the sign-up starts then some work may be available to choose from.
If you want to avoid bracketed work make sure to uncheck the box on Bidweb at the top of the bidding page.
The reason that the sign-up is happening this way for the Summer is so every full-time operator has a place to sign. By the end of the sign-up there will be an operator signed beside every bracketed operator.
There will not be any Part-time/Temp sign-up for the Summer. Just wanting to be clear to the part-time operators who are coming back there will be no temp work or weekend part-time bidlist.
At the time of writing this Bidweb is active for you to use. There is some discrepancies between the total paid hours on Bidweb and printed bidlist. The bidlist is right and they are working on correcting the errors in Bidweb.
I hope this helps to clarify things. If you have any questions please let us know.
Paul Wagler
Chair KWSA Scheduling Committee

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Shields On Buses


The union asked GRT if the buses with shields can be parked until the issue with glare is resolved. GRT said no but if anyone has any issues with glare from the shields then call dispatch and have the bus changed off. Dispatch is aware of this process.
In Solidarity,
Tim Jewell – President Unifor 4304

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Reminder Physical Distancing



GRT – Notice

Posting Date: April 6, 2020
Removal Date: May 10, 2020

Posting Date: May 21, 2020

Reminder – Maintaining 2-Metre Distances
To All Employees,

Thank-you for your continued efforts during this time. I wanted
to remind everyone of the following:

 Wash your hands often and don’t touch your face

 Wipe down your driver’s area\computer desk area with
disinfectant prior to initial use

 When tapping in please tap in and go to your bus.
o It is best currently not to linger in the lunchroom or
around Dispatch

o We have added another Tap-In at Strasburg to assist
with social distancing

o When waiting to Tap-In please always maintain the 2-
metre distances

Any questions, please speak with your Supervisor.
Ken McCready
Manager – Transit Operations

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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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