Sisters and Brothers,
ATU Local 113 members have put themselves at risk throughout the pandemic to keep Toronto moving. Our members have been infected by COVID at alarming rates and at every step, we have had to force management to do the right thing.
We have a plan to keep riders and members safe and, from the beginning, have called on the TTC to work with us. In response, CEO Rick Leary decided to unilaterally and illegally change the terms and conditions of employment – not once, but twice:
- Last month, the TTC moved to impose mandatory vaccinations with no communication or negotiation. We took a stand to get them to negotiate a plan to keep the system safe while respecting members’ Charter rights.
- Last week, the TTC responded by illegally changing Board Sign Up, which is fundamental to how the TTC operates and is an important condition of employment. It is used to adjust service levels for riders and assign work and shifts to members. On a personal level, it is also how we balance our work and family responsibilities.
ATU Local 113 is disappointed but not surprised. We have come to expect TTC CEO Rick Leary to create unnecessary conflict everywhere and all the time.
Today, we are taking both of these issue to the Labour Board.
Normally, this would be a violation of the Collective Agreement. Until a new agreement is in place, however, we are in a statutory freeze period. In the past, we could consider strike action in protest. The Toronto Transit Commission Labour Disputes Resolution Act took that right away and replaced negotiation with arbitration.
The same law that denies TTC workers the right to strike also states that “no collective agreement is in operation” and that the TTC “shall not, except with the consent of the bargaining agent, alter the rates of wages or any other term or condition of employment.”
The TTC’s behaviour is disrespectful to the law and to the collective bargaining process. More than this, it is a kick in the teeth to members who have come to work every day to keep the city moving during the pandemic.
This can be resolved if the TTC will come back to the table and negotiate – as required by law. Since they won’t come back on their own, we are asking an arbitrator to order them to.
President, ATU Local 113