March 31st 2020 Covid 19 Update

We currently have 12 members in isolation due to symptoms or travel, 5 have been tested all have come back negative, thank goodness for that! We also have had members return to work that were in isolation and others slowly returning to work.

We currently have 4 section 3-31’s outstanding that the province has yet to address but will be in the upcoming weeks, the in section 3-31 that was denied by the province is currently being appealed.

You may have noticed cleaners in the downtown terminal cleaning the buses touch points inside the bus, the protocol is as the operator gets close to the downtown terminal in the canned messages folder there is a message stating “Bus Will Be Cleaned At Next Stop Everyone Must Disembark” or a variation of this message will be available, everyone must disembark including the operator, at this point the cleaners will clean the bus. These cleaners are not ATU 615 members they are Cupe 59 cleaners who would otherwise be on lay-off, please be cordial as we appreciate what they are doing, we have been very lucky that we have been able to avoid lay-offs within transit, we are working with the employer on how the scheduling will work with our members and these Cupe 59 cleaners.

In addition to the potential measures I wrote about yesterday the employer along with CSO’s are educating the more vulnerable riders we have by discussing the importance of only riding for essential travel and that joy riding will not be allowed, this is taking place at all the locations throughout the city they may be staying or visiting such as shelters, food banks and drop in centres. You should start seeing signs on the seats later this week closing seats in order to make people social distance.

The University has asked that we stop running busses on University property, this could happen as early as tomorrow, how this will look I’m not sure yet but if anyone has any suggestions on how to reroute the buses and turn the ones around that need to go back downtown please bring them forward. Stay tuned for an update on this as I get it I’ll put it out. Until then just keep driving the way your paddle states.

A few notes for our members, maintenance has asked to leave the straps in place where they have been placed and not move them up, they are to be on the top rail of the first set of from facing seats, busses have come back in with them moved up by the wheel well.
Remember we all need to be social distancing this includes in the COC or DT Lounge or on the 15 coming back to the garage please keep that 6.5 feet from each other as this virus can and will be spread quickly if we don’t practice social distancing at all times.

These are some very uncertain times and I’m proud how we ATU Local 615 are supporting each other through this, you all should be just as proud!

Your Executive Board