Legislative Rep March Report

Legislative Rep report for the month of March 2017

March 29th attended Health and Safety meeting at the TMC, MTO Jamie Crawford and Vice local chair Rick David also in attendance.  These are some of the highlights from the Health and Safety meeting held that day.

The committee discussed the issue of bugs found in the Hotel in Montreal.  In particular a cockroach was found in one of the rooms occupied by a Toronto crew member.  The hotel had an immediate response of taking the room out of service followed by a fumigation of the room in question. No further evidence of cockroaches or any other bugs was found. The room was kept out of circulation for a couple more days to be sure it was clear. Just a reminder that Hotel Complaint forms are available in the TMC bullpen in the file cabinet. Please ensure all Hotel complaints are logged on these sheets so we can track these issues and resolve when possible as soon as possible. These forms also help to formalize the complaint procedure and aid in future selection of hotels if we have a paper trail to back up our complaints.

In our previous meeting in February we mentioned an ongoing issue with signals being blocked at Union Station.  A walkabout was performed and the problem areas addressed.  Metrolinx has agreed it was a problem and have taken steps to ensure it does not happen again. The committee will monitor the situation for any relapse. If you see any more issues concerning signals being obscured please let us know.  I am also told that the issue of welders working at night with no shielding or curtains has been corrected, the welding is still taking place but protection is now in place and not as visible to arriving crews as it was before.

The committee performed a housecleaning of the bullpen this past meeting.  Numerous out of date forms were discarded. We are in the process of having the pre stocked envelopes stocked with the proper forms ….no more CN OCS clearance forms and other out of date paperwork is what we are asking for. A more complete package will hopefully be available very soon.

We are still asking for either myself or another LE to be made available in the bullpen to assist with IPad issues. Numerous LE’s continue to have problems of the technical nature that impede their use of the device.  Passwords and pass codes, email issues, disappearing content, locked out iPads and settings that affect delivery of email or access to the server continue to be a problem.  As time passes and we all become more familiar with the devices these issues will subside but in the meantime there are several that could use the help with the iPad.

The committee would again like to take the opportunity to remind our Brothers and Sisters to remain vigilant and aware of the ever changing cab environment. Please continue to communicate upcoming PSO’s, TSO’s, Signals, Crossovers etc etc.  We are the last line of defence and our customers depend on us to get them to their destinations safe and sound.

Many outstanding issues remain on our local committee minutes. These include the signage issue in the corridor, debris report along the Kingston sub, DTMF derail at the TMC, IPad training troubleshooting and the Train Handling Guidelines document.   While we continue to see improvements in both signage and debris reported along the Kingston sub much remains to be done. We are told that the DTMF derail is still not budgeted for and no word has been given as to when it will be or if it will be. The company is still trying to make arrangements to have someone available to help with IPad issues and we are told the Train Handling Guidelines document should be forthcoming soon.

A quick note. New Hazard Report Forms will soon be available in the bullpen.  Process is to notify the duty officer when reporting a hazard and make a copy for Diane. A copy, a quick note or email to either Rick or myself would also be helpful so we can follow up through the committee.

Next Health and Safety meeting scheduled for April 19th


March 21st attended the Safety Workshop and was a guest at the Policy meeting March 22nd, here are some of the issues discussed during the Workshop.

-A winch type lift has been approved for the RDC Budd cars and discussion was had to expand its use to HEP baggage cars. A test may be in the works for some time in July on the transcon.

-Angle cocks are now complete on the P42’s with the exception of the 901 which is still in the process of undergoing a major rebuild.

-Rough rides of locomotives was discussed. There are over 101 rough ride reports, that involves about 36 units (many being multiple reports) of those 36 locomotives 34 have documented action that has or is taking place to try to rectify rough ride. Also more reliance on the use of IPads to communicate these defects was also discussed.

-Tripping hazard on P42’s was discussed in particular the garbage bag in the cab. A prototype hook is being looked at to hold the bag so it’s not sitting on the floor presenting a tripping hazard until a more permanent solution can be found.

-Start up procedures at maintenance centres was also talked about. It is agreed that locomotives will be started 20 minutes prior to crews taking over to ensure HVAC is operational ie cool in the summer warm in the winter.

-P42 seats lateral sway issue was talked about. Mechanical tear down showed little wear. Seems to be a maintenance related issue.

-Discussion regarding new protocol for unsafe braking trains.  Procedure to be followed if an unsafe situation exists with the brakes.

-An update was given on the electronic logbook project. It appears that it is still a way off before being implemented. OTS completed a mini project on this topic so it is still advancing. LE’s need to have ability to see all Safety critical defects on train ie brakes, wheels, bearings etc etc at a moments notice when coming on duty.

-The company is aware of the number of unwanted emails LE’s are receiving on their iPads. Discussion was had regarding eliminating some of those emails especially the duplicate emails.

-Discussion regarding third person in the cab. When can the other LE leave the cab allowing just the LE and training LE to remain in cab.

-Mid term CROR refresher courses were discussed. And the general consensus was they were a success however more area specific training is being requested. There is really very little need for discussion of OCS related topics in Toronto for example.

-As a topic of New Business the use of trainees as regular engineers while not fully qualified on all territories was also discussed.  An example actually occurring around the Christmas season was discussed.

A couple other topics covered during the Policy meeting included….

-A presentation on CEM Crash Energy Management and an update on Via’s fleet renewal plan including potential suppliers of new equipment.

-An update on Via’s plans to have up to three simulators available for the corridor including all territory in the corridor to be modelled.

-Cab cleanliness was discussed. The addition of cab cleaners now added to clean cab and vacuum seats should improve situation.

-A number of LE’s were fitted for moulded earplugs.  They have yet to receive them for testing. Earmuffs to be made available at terminals.

-Committee being formed with various parties to implement PTC positive train control GO transit looking to implement.

-An update on operational activities was given.  An increase in work programs between Coteau and Cornwall is to be expected for rail gang activity and tie gangs in July.

Terry Brennan
Legislative Rep
Division 747

Legislative Rep. February Report

February 22nd

I attended Health and Safety meeting held at the TMC, MTO Jamie Crawford and Vice local chair Rick David in attendance.  Highlights of meeting include some of the following.  As discussed in the previous months January Health and Safety meeting trees falling onto the right of way continue.  Two more incidents were reported in the month of February on the Chatham sub. Thankfully no injuries or serious damage was reported in either incident.  This is an ongoing issue made worse by freezing rain on one occasion and high winds on another.  I have been reassured that any engineer noticing a tree leaning towards the right of way that is in danger of falling should contact MTO Jamie Crawford who will ensure it gets passed onto the proper authority to be rectified. On this topic Railterm continues to remove trees and brush from the Brockville and Smiths Falls subs.

We continue to follow and track issues regarding signals dropping on trains. In the past there was very little explanation for these dropped signals however now there seems to be a real effort to explain what exactly happens in each individual case.  Following these stats will show if there is any trends developing and allow us to better understand what is occurring and why and potentially prevent future signal drops.

Please remind one another of up coming PSO, Zone, TSO, signal or any other restrictions. Crews are reminded that as the busy work season approaches the number of rule 42’s will likely increase greatly.  With lots radio chatter and people walking over top of one another the potential for miss communication and misunderstanding of instructions will also increase.  Crews are reminded to be 100% certain of instructions and routing and if unsure to verify or stop the train if necessary.

Crews in the London area are reminded to be vigilant of a high trespass area near the East end of London station.  This area is a documented HRA High Risk Area that sees many close calls.  It is also a known area for drug use and has had a large number of used needles in the past. Please use caution when walking in this area and be extra aware when passing through this vicinity.

The committee received correspondence from Zeke Medeiros regarding the addition of a cab cleaning position to the night shift.  The position was created due to the large number of complaints regarding cab cleanliness on departing trains. Prior to this I believe the hostlers were responsible for tidying the cab, removing garbage and providing water for the engine crew. Please feel free to let us know if you see a change in cab conditions as a result of the new position and we can provide Zeke feedback either good or bad.

A couple other quick notes.  It was recently brought to our attention that there are signals at Union station that are partially blocked by building materials that also present restricted clearance issues. In particular track 10 west and 6 east have been noted as problematic. If aware of others please let either myself or Rick know so we can pass them along to Jamie Crawford.
Also Rick has brought it to my attention that crews are arriving at night when welding is taking place. From what I have been told no shielding is in place and the welding is not being stopped when said trains arrive. We have been following up with MTO Crawford but in the interim are advising crews to be cautious when arriving Union if welding is taking place to be protect your eyes and avoiding looking directly at the activity.

Next Health and Safety meeting scheduled for March 29th.

Terry Brennan
Legislative Rep 747

Upcoming Vote: ADP Contract

Due to recent changes in TCRC Financial Policy, all divisions are required to register with the TCRC CRA  account.
All division officers must pay CPP, EI and income tax on all stipends, honorariums and payments for lost wages directly to the TCRC CRA account.
As a result of this new requirement the office of secretary treasurer has now been burdened with the additional responsibilities of payroll taxation.

Because of the complexities of calculating these deductions for employees with two ( TCRC & VIA ) incomes as well as providing T-4 slips I felt it wise to seek the assistance of a payroll services company. After conversation with both President Finnson and Secretary Treasurer Lowe and on the recommendation of the division’s bank manager ( BMO, Lakeshore & Park Lawn ) I researched various payroll services and felt ADP payroll services would best meet our needs and all of CRA’s requirements.

As your Secretary Treasurer I believe ADP provides an simple and inexpensive solution for payroll input,
delivery and taxation compliance. I recommend that we as a division vote to accept this contract.

View ADP Proposal and Quote Here

There will be a membership vote whether or not to accept the ADP contract at the next regular meeting Tuesday February 14, 2017. I hope to see you there.

In the meantime I welcome any questions or concerns you may have.


Ken Fitzgerald
Secretary Treasurer
TCRC Division 747