Archive for Uncategorised

Positive Covid-19 Test at GRT

Brothers/Sisters,

GRT let us know this evening that someone has tested positive for the COVID-19. The region along with public health has started contract tracing.

I explained some of the other concerns we have to Peter Zinck about the sterilization of buses, lunchrooms. We will be gaining new information every day and we will keep everyone posted.

Please keep washing your hands, coughing into your arm, use hand sanitizer, use gloves, and wear a mask if you have one. Keep your area on the bus clean as well.

I am sure there will be lots of questions, and as I stated hopefully we can give more updates tomorrow as more information comes forward.

In Solidarity,

Tim Jewell – President Unifor 4304

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What is Contract Tracing?

What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is a process that is used to identify, educate and monitor individuals who have had close contact with someone who is infected with a virus. These individuals are at a higher risk of becoming infected and sharing the virus with others. Contact tracing can help the individuals understand their risk and limit further spread of the virus.

What is the COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative?

If you have COVID-19 or have had contact with someone who has the virus, a PHO representative may contact you during your self-isolation to ensure you are following the requirements, check in about symptoms, and connect you with additional supports as needed. If necessary, our representatives may connect you with a local public health unit for further assessment.

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GRT – Notice 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 to 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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Information Fare Collection

Brothers/Sisters,

With regional council passing the recommendation,  fare collections will start again on June 1st here is some information we need you to follow.
Front door loading means that customers will be paying using passes or cash fare. Do not argue with them, if they do not have cash fare or a pass, let them know that it is a requirement and let them ride. Please do not get into any type of confrontation with the customer.
Plexiglass shields are being installed if you are assigned a bus without a shield make sure you refuse it. If there isn’t one available for you to use then that bus your assigned goes back to rear door loading only and it’s free. We don’t think this will happen but as we all know anything is possible.
The yellow line will stay where it is and the seat behind the driver which has been taped off will remain that way. The region is looking at moving the chain up near the ceiling of the bus so passengers will not come forward. This has not been confirmed yet and we will let you know.
Remember, use gloves and a mask if you have one, the masks the region ordered should be in soon. Keep your area clean and wash your hands as much as possible.
In Solidarity,

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Renewal Of CERB Payments

All Brothers/Sisters,

 

The renewal payments are not automatic, meaning anyone who applied for CERB between
April 6 and April 10 will need to reapply for the benefit.

For the upcoming wave of payments. CERB recipients born in January. February or March can
begin applying on May II, those born in April. May or June can begin to apply on May 12, those
born in July, August or September can begin on May 13 and those born in October, November or
December can begin their application on May 14. according to the Canada Revenue Agency
website.

To qualify for the benefit, Canadians must be at least 15 years of age and have been forced out
of work due to the pandemic. They must also have earned at least $5,000 in the previous
calendar year and now expect to make less than $1,000 per month while collecting the CERB
payments.

Recipients can reapply for the benefit either online or by calling 1 (800) 959-2019.
Those receiving the benefit through Service Canada must fill out their El Report Card to receive
the payment.

 

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GRT – Update

To All Brothers/Sisters,

Update:
The region has informed us that they were going to put up plexiglass shields on the buses so front door loading can resume again and fares can be collected. No coin fare is a possibility.
This is pending council approval on May 13th, 2020. The shields are currently being installed and will remain in place until all barriers are installed.
The region is trying to implement this by June 1st but we will keep you posted.
Even with shields, keep protecting yourselves. Gloves, masks are essential and wash your work areas.
GRT has asked council if they can make wearing a mask mandatory for customers on the buses but we have to wait for council’s decision once again.
The region has ordered masks for all drivers and they should be in shortly. Once again we will keep you posted.
In Solidarity,

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Group Grievance

To All Brothers/Sisters,

We are in the process of preparing for a group grievance in reference to the use of sick time or sick banks. We need to know if any members had to use their sick bank during the time they were off because of symptoms related to COVID-19 or because of restrictions returning to Canada from abroad.

Please email me at timjewell4304@gmail.com

In Solidarity,

Tim Jewell – President Unifor 4304

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Day Of Mourning

 

 
Dear members,

I am writing to you today to express my heartfelt condolences for the tragic loss of life occurring across the country due to workplace injury and occupational disease, especially during the heightened safety concerns of this pandemic. This Day of Mourning is particularly bitter as we pause to reflect on the lives lost because of failed COVID-19 prevention plans and a lack of adequate protocols and protective equipment provided by some employers. Frontline workers continue to be placed in harm’s way in order to support their families and our communities. No job should put a worker or their family at risk.

April 28th marks a heartbreaking reminder that we need to do more to protect the lives of workers. To date, more than 90 Unifor members have contracted COVID-19, and thankfully none have died.

Every day, we hear powerful stories from our frontline heroes who are combating COVID-19 in hospitals, long-term care facilities, in retail, telecommunications, and many other sectors. One death, one injury or one illness is too many—and I vow to do whatever it takes to protect the health and safety of workers. 

Unifor is dedicated to fighting for necessary prevention plans to save lives and minimize the risk of exposure by frontline workers across Canada.

Labour activists across Canada are demanding that employers take workers’ health and safety concerns much more seriously and that all levels of government reinforce the vital workplace right to refuse unsafe work.

Now more than ever before, the voice of workers must be heard, listened to, and acted upon. I encourage you to share and sign this online petition calling on governments to support and enforce a worker’s right to refuse unsafe work.

As we reflect on the importance of the day, the union will also pause to remember our two Unifor members who lost their lives at work since last year’s Day of Mourning:

  • John Iles | Local 222 Canada Cartage | December 23, 2019.
  • Mohammed Hasan Bhai | Local 40 HBC Logistics | February 12, 2020

Help me commemorate our fallen members, and all those impacted by COVID-19, by committing to the following actions:

  • Share these images to your social media accounts to help spread awareness
  • Light a candle in your front window or on your balcony for 20 minutes at 8:20pm, and let it shine for the safety ofall our frontline workers
  • Observe a minute of silence at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 to honour those who have died
  • Join our Unifor team for the virtual walk “Steps for Life” to honour loved ones who died on the job

On April 28, now more than ever before we must fight for the living and mourn for the dead.

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FT Operator Voluntary Layoffs Offer

Posting Date: April 24, 2020
Removal Date: April 30, 2020

Due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, more conventional and specialized service reductions will be implemented in May 2020 due to low ridership throughout the service. This will include a
number of temporary layoffs for full-time conventional and specialized operators.

At this time, we are asking if any full-time conventional or specialized operators may be interested in a voluntary layoff.  Please be sure to note the following important items before deciding to volunteer for layoff:

  • Prior to issuing temporary layoff notices to junior Operators, Unifor Local 4304 has requested that Management inquire if there are Operators that would voluntarily take a layoff. Operators that volunteer to be laid off would be selected by seniority. If you volunteer to be laid off, you would be called back by seniority when service resumes.
  • The number of positions impacted are not known at this time.
  • The length of the temporary layoff for full time Specialized Operators is also unknown at this time.
  • The length of the temporary layoff for full time Bus Operators is expected to last until June 22, 2020, however this date is not certain and may change in the future.
  • Typically, a temporary layoff is up to a 13-week period of unpaid leave, however the duration of the temporary layoff will be dependent on when regular ridership resumes.
  • As an employee on temporary layoff you would be issued a Record of Employment (ROE) and you may be eligible for the recently announced Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”). According to the information released by the Government of Canada, eligible employees can receive a flat benefit of up to $2,000 per four-week period for reasons relating to COVID-19, for up to 16 weeks. You can find additional details at the following link: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#new_canada_emergency_response_benefit
  • While on a temporary layoff you would not accrue vacation, sick time or seniority. You will not lose seniority; however, no additional seniority would be earned while you are on a temporary layoff.
  • The period of a temporary layoff is not considered eligible service by OMERS. You will not receive OMERS service during the temporary layoff and there is no opportunity to purchase the service at a later date.
  • You will continue to be entitled to receive your health benefits for up to six months from the date that you are laid off, provided you pay the appropriate premiums to continue coverage after the first 30 days. You have the option of maintaining all or portion of your benefits. The premium cost to maintain your benefits are below:

Family Coverage:

Option 1: Purchase entire benefit package including Family Health, Family Dental, LTD and Life Insurance.
Monthly cost – $1081.80

Option 2: Purchase Family Health and Family Dental benefits only.
Monthly cost – $699.07

Option 3: Purchase LTD and Life Insurance.
Monthly cost – $382.73

Option 4: Terminate benefit coverage for the duration of my leave. You have 30 days only to convert to a private plan if you want. Contact Steve Kidd at 519-744-4545 for information.

Single Coverage:

Option 1: Purchase entire benefit package including Single Health, Single Dental, LTD and Life Insurance.
Monthly cost – $658.21

Option 2: Purchase Single Health and Single Dental benefits only.
Monthly cost – $275.48

Option 3: Purchase LTD and Life Insurance.
Monthly cost – $382.73

Option 4: Terminate benefit coverage for the duration of my leave. You have 30 days only to convert to a private plan if you want. Contact Steve Kidd at 519-744-4545 for information.

Please advise Cathy Clayton by email at CClayton@regionofwaterloo.ca no later than Tuesday, April 28 by 8:30 a.m. If you do not contact Cathy by that date, we will assume that you are not volunteering to be laid off.

Please be assured that regardless of the option you select you continue to be employed by Grand River Transit.

Thank you,
Neil Malcolm
Assistant Director, Transit Services
Notice #2020-1729

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THANK YOU FROM YOUR LOCAL

To All Conventional Operators…………Thank You!

To All Mobility Operators…………….Thank You

To All Techs……………………………….Thank You

To All ASA’S……………………………….Thank You

To All Mobility Dispatchers…………..Thank You

To All Reservationists………………….Thank You

To Everyone Who Is Cleaning………Thank You

To Everyone Who Cannot Stay Home…..Thank You

To Anyone We Missed…………………….Thank You

Stay Safe, Wash Your Hands, Sneeze Into Your Arm, Physical Distancing, Reach Out To Someone Who Is Going Through This Alone.

In Solidarity,

Unifor Local 4303

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