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Local 113 Brings Nova Bus Issues Directly to the Manufacturer

Local 113 Brings Nova Bus Issues Directly to the Manufacturer

A safe and healthy workplace for ATU Local 113 members is non-negotiable. Our Sisters and Brothers on the Joint Health and Safety Committee work every day to address member concerns and find opportunities to address these issues with management before an accident occurs.

Last month, the Joint Health and Safety Committee hosted a summit to deal with safety concerns with new Nova buses.

We’ve heard your issues with them and brought forward the following changes for consideration:

  • Seat track length to be modified to accommodate taller drivers and create more leg room.
  • Seat cushions are to be changed on a frequent basis due to wear /fatigue.
  • Anti-cinching seat belt that will replace the ratchet seat belt.
  • The importance of correct mirror positioning was reviewed with replacement considerations. Vehicle Engineering is now reviewing the committee recommendations.
  • Bus Maintenance to set up mirrors once approved by Vehicle Engineering.
  • Nova Engineers are offering an option that removes the B pillar & the window frame that becomes an integral part of the A pillar.

At the summit, Elizabeth Walsh, Engineering Manager responsible for the Nova buses, heard presentations from Joint Health and Safety Committee members and Amalgamated Transit Union Health and Safety Specialist Brian Sherlock. Ms. Walsh called the summit a “first of its kind meeting” for her where workers who operate the bus bring their concerns directly to manufacturers.

Ms. Walsh added, “We don’t see the whole lifecycle of our buses, so hearing from those who operate them day in and day out is very insightful.”

To address our serious concerns, Nova Bus now will consider how they can improve existing buses and incorporate our feedback into future models of these buses.

Our Sisters and Brothers are part of the Joint Health and Safety Committee because they’re passionate about Local 113 and its members. Hear it directly from them:

  • “My goal as part of the committee is to ensure at retirement, workers are able to walk off the job healthy.”
    • Fritz Titus, Operator
  • “Lots of young people are joining the TTC and coming forward with health and safety issues. We want to address them now before they get worse.”
    • Sharon Longstreet, Operator
  • “There are many issues facing Local 113 members. We want to stay on top of all of them – no matter how big or small.”
    • Vito Telesca, Operator
  • “My role on the Health and Safety Committee is to fight for the membership.”
    • Angie Clark, Operator
  • “The Committee is a passion of mine – I don’t want to just talk the talk, I actually want to drive the drive.”
    • Derek Arnatt, Operator

Each of us are responsible for health and safety. John Di Censo, a bus operator and member of the Joint Health and Safety Committee shares, “you must bring any concern you have to a member representative – whether it be shop steward, Joint Health and Safety Committee member or board member as this is the only way we can really affect serious change. We need proof and when we have that we can make a tangible difference.”

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