On September 17, 2020, the TTC made it mandatory for all workers to wear masks while on TTC property.
ATU Local 113 agrees wearing masks is important to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Workers should always wear masks while on TTC property, such as travelling between shifts or getting to and from work, however there are some exceptions.
We understand some operators have medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks. From a safety standpoint, wearing face coverings can be a distraction for some members when operating vehicles.
Maintenance members should wear a mask if they are unable to practise safe physical distancing during their shifts. ATU Local 113 believes masks should be optional for maintenance members if it’s possible to keep a two-metre distance on shop floors.
If a member has a medical condition or can’t wear a mask for safety reasons, ATU Local 113 will support them. However, we expect members to wear a mask on TTC property at all other times.
After weeks of persistent demands from ATU Local 113, the TTC agreed on March 18, 2020 to give workers the option to wear protective masks on the job. Tired of the TTC’s inaction on providing PPE to members, ATU Local 113 secured 100,000 disposable masks in April. And following pressure from ATU Local 113, the TTC said it will provide PPE to members who choose to wear it. ATU Local 113 continues to monitor to ensure the TTC is living up to its commitment to provide PPE to members.
We’ll continue demanding that the TTC do everything it can to protect you, including the optional priority access to vaccine. ATU Local 113 has sent letters to the TTC and Ontario government requesting that transit workers have the option to receive priority access to vaccines.
The TTC has yet to communicate its plan to vaccinate workers who wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Our members need clarity.
Vaccines should not be mandatory. If you do not wish to receive a vaccine, ATU Local 113 will respect and defend your choice.
Please stay home if you feel unwell. In the event you are unwell, like with any other illness or injury, you will receive the standard sick pay – 75 per cent of your regular pay. Please stay home and self-isolate if you are waiting for the results from a coronavirus test.
Please stay home and self-isolate if you are waiting for the results from a coronavirus test.
All members should stay home and self-isolate when waiting for the results from a coronavirus test. If you test positive, you will need to self-isolate and follow medical directives. Please contact your steward or executive member if you test positive.
To help relieve the burden on Ontario’s health system, ATU Local 113 members are not required to submit a medical note and diagnosis to the TTC to claim medical absences until further notice. This is a temporary measure.
However, as of April 19, 2020, ATU Local 113 members are required to fill out the Medical Absence Form, which can be downloaded here. Members must complete, sign and submit the form electronically to OHEW@ttc.ca. The form can be submitted by someone other than the member if they don’t have online access. OHEW will adjudicate and process claims within 5 business days of receiving the completed form. Please ensure you complete the form in full as incomplete forms won’t be processed.
If you must go into self-isolation or quarantine, the TTC will cover 75 per cent of your pay (assessed on a case-by-case basis). Members who are recommended to self-isolate by a doctor must provide the TTC with documentation from medical practitioners, hospitals or a public health agency.
If you choose to travel outside of Canada despite the federal government’s direction to avoid non-essential travel, the TTC will place you on permission to leave without pay until you have completed the mandatory 14-day isolation period and are able to return to work.
The TTC has no authority over what our members do outside of working hours. Until the TTC takes our members’ health and safety seriously, they shouldn’t be lecturing us about carpooling.
The City of Toronto’s own Lockdown Guide makes it clear that sharing a car with people from other households is reasonable behaviour if masks are worn while in the vehicle.
We have shared our concerns about the TTC’s carpooling policy with management. We will continue to oppose it while standing up for our members’ rights.
Fare collectors and customer service agents can remain in collector booths for as long as they wish during shifts for any health and safety concerns. You also have the choice to wear a protective mask on the job. If you feel unwell, stay home.
ATU Local 113 has offered to increase maximum weekly hours up to 64 hours to ensure maintenance workers can provide additional cleaning and disinfection to TTC vehicles.
There may be temporary changes to TTC operations and maintenance that may require some members to adapt accordingly. If there are several operators off due to illness, self-isolation, quarantine or other reasons, the TTC may ask some operators to temporarily drive a different route to maintain service. Similarly, maintenance workers and support staff may be asked to step in and fill worker shortages elsewhere around the TTC system. For any operators, maintenance and support staff affected by any changes, it’s important to know these changes are temporary and will be done without prejudice to help our city get through this crisis.
The TTC should immediately provide the following information about a COVID-19 positive member’s last two weeks:
- Date and times worked
- Locations they may have visited along with the dates and times visited, and anyone present at the time
- When and how exposed vehicles, equipment and tools were cleaned
The TTC must notify workers who were exposed to the individual, in addition to Toronto Public Health. The TTC must track down each coworker who may have been exposed so that they can take precautions such as self-isolation and seeking medical care.
As more riders return to the TTC, ATU Local 113 continues to demand the TTC restore full service to allow for as much physical distancing as possible on vehicles. This includes bringing back all laid-off workers. ATU Local 113 has also called on the TTC to have more buses operating on busy routes.
ATU Local 113 members should be aware that the Ontario government issued an emergency Order-in-council (filed as Regulation 157/20) on April 16 that suspends certain Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for TTC and other Ontario municipal transit workers in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Government of Ontario’s Order authorizes municipalities to take any reasonably necessary measure in respect of work deployment and staffing to reduce the effect of COVID-19 on critical municipal services. Critical municipal services include public transportation services operated by a municipality.
For now, ATU Local 113’s CBA with the TTC is fully intact, but the City of Toronto has the power to void some parts of the agreement. The measures the City may take include but are not limited to the following:
- Assigning bargaining-unit work to non-bargaining employees, contractors, temporary staff or volunteers
- Changing the scheduling of work or shift assignments
- Deferring or cancelling vacations, absences or other leaves
- Requiring employees to provide information about their likely or actual exposure to COVID-19, or any other health condition that may affect their ability to work
The Order suspends all grievances initiated in response to any matter referred to in the Order. Any challenge to Employer action could only be taken through a court challenge to the Order in Council.
On July 21, the Ontario government passed Bill 195: The Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, which allows for emergency orders to be extended continuously after the province’s declaration of emergency expires.
Through Bill 195, the province has renewed Regulation 157/20 until at least October 22. ATU Local 113 strongly opposes the suspension of its collective bargaining agreement and will continue to monitor the situation and advocate for the province to restore the rights of our members.
If you have any safety concerns or questions, please speak with your shop steward or ATU Local 113 board member.
2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) self-assessment
Toronto Public Health: COVID-19
Toronto Public Health: How to self-isolate
Province of Ontario: 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Government of Canada: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak