September 6, 2016
Brothers and Sisters of Division 747
It is my understanding that the Arbitration Panel charged with deciding the outcome of the outstanding contract issues, those being the corporation’s desire to a downgrade the existing Employee Pension Plan and the Union’s demand for a specific wage increase, was to meet the week of September 5th. There is no participation by management or union representatives during this final stage and once it is completed an award will be published and distributed to both parties. When exactly this will take place is anyone’s guess. It will be a waiting game but anticipated to be not of a prolonged nature. As soon as I know you will know.
The Fall Change of Card is expected to take place effective Tuesday November 1rst. As much as it is unusual to have a change occur on a day other than Sunday it can at least be considered effectively on time. There are a few service changes anticipated and they involve the Ottawa assignments along with the Sarnia/London pools.
First there will be an increase of service between Toronto and Ottawa with the addition of Train 644 and Train 645 operating Daily departing each initial terminal at approximately 1330. As of this writing we are working on some possible crewing scenarios that will be made available for your input.
On the westend Trains 83/82 will operate Daily between Toronto and Sarnia and Trains 87/84 will operate Daily between Toronto and London. Routing and departure time changes, if any, will be communicated to you as we receive them. It was hoped that a change in operating times for trains 85/88 would be forthcoming but unfortunately logistics involving GO Train operations on the Guelph and Weston Subs have left little wiggle room. So for the time being those trains remain as is.
Many of you send me copies of time claims submitted to the crew office, which I certainly have no problem with. Unfortunately I have no way of knowing if the CMC or local management for that matter honoured the claims. If after 28 days your claim has not been honoured either with payment or a formal declination please let me know so I can begin the Step II grievance post haste, regardless. In a similar way if by chance you have been disciplined for any infraction regardless of the level of that discipline please leave me a copy of the discipline form. My office is not often advised of management’s decision. Even if you believe the discipline was warranted it needs to at least enter the grievance channel if only as a matter of record should your personal record become ‘thicker’ at a later date.
Finally, by now I am sure that most of you have heard of the unfortunate incident at Bayview involving the crew of Train 76 on Sept. 5th. Coupled with several incidents over the past month on the eastend and a Cardinal Rule violation in Manitoba we find ourselves once more in the unwanted limelight, especially with respect to Transport Canada and the host railways. Already there have been reports of increased efficiency testing both east and west of Toronto. A safety blitz is certainly forthcoming. Please govern yourself accordingly brothers and sisters. Watch your speed, make those radio calls and above all keep communicating. Engage in ‘best practice’ conversations with your mates. None of us are perfect and we are always learning something new. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, we are the only ones who know our job and what we need to do, and we can only depend on one another.
Local Chairman, Div. 747