General Meeting Notes - September 17, 2019
A general meeting was held on September 17th, 2019, at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto East, 2035 Kennedy Rd, Scarborough, ON M1T 3G2. Here is a summary of the main topics of discussion.
The next meeting will be held at the Kitchener Lions Club, 20 Rittenhouse Rd, Kitchener, ON N2E 2M9 on Tuesday, November 19th, 2019.
USW 9511 Membership Meeting
Toronto, September 17, 2019
The bargaining committee continues to meet with the company and discuss matters. The next intensive round of bargaining is scheduled October 21-25, and it is the goal of both sides to finalize a deal during that week. There has been lots of good discussion on some bargaining items, but many contentious issues still need to be worked out. Once items have been finalized, members will be provided more details on the specifics.
Everyone should be using the time clocks if they are in your office. If you are still not using your biometric scan to clock in and out, you should have been provided with an alternative method to use the clock as per the Arbitrator’s order. Members not using biometric scans yet, have until early November to switch, and the company is required to provide further information in regards to the security and proper use of the clocks. Any members with continued objections should be making the Union aware.
The Union has been receiving complaints about the use of the clocks, as well as discrepancies in what the company has told us about how they work and what members are experiencing. We will be requesting a meeting with the company’s person responsible for the clocks to have these concerns addressed.
Everyone needs to be checking your pay stubs each pay period!! Many members are reporting missing hours, and in particular missing changes in rate (banking, other road tests, etc). This information is not captured by the time clocks, and is being missed in some cases. Same thing with paid breaks since the company is asking people to clock out for paid breaks.
You can print your pay stub at the office, and there is a secure method available to send your pay stub to the printer but prevent it from printing until you enter a PIN on the printer. Your supervisor should be able to provide you with the details. At the very least you should be checking it online!
Health and Safety
Health and Safety needs to be everyone’s priority. Members need to speak up for themselves, and not fear any sort of action from their supervisor or the company in general. The Ministry of Labour inspectors do not take worker health and safety lightly, and there are prescribed protocols and procedures. Health and Safety legislation protects you and everyone else. Do not do any work you feel is unsafe, and do not allow the company to continue with unsafe conditions (blocked fire exits for example). This needs to be reported to your Health and Safety Rep, and they need to act on it. The issue needs to be captured on the monthly site report, as well as when the issue is corrected.
Members need to hold their Union Health and Safety Reps accountable. If your rep is not properly reporting and acting on issues, they need to be reminded of their legal responsibility to do so.
Offices should have signs displaying DriveTest’s commitment to promoting a safe, inclusive, and respectful environment for our customers and employees. One of the items listed on that sign states “inappropriate or aggressive behaviour is not tolerated.” The company has a legal responsibility under the OHSA to protect their employees.
If you find yourself in a situation that is escalating, and your attempts to de-escalate are not working, calmly remove yourself from that area (get up from your counter, leave the vehicle, etc), and inform your supervisor. Any incidents of abusive or aggressive behaviour should also be reported to your Health and Safety rep to be documented.
The Human Resources department continues to be chronically understaffed. This is creating friction at all levels, and specifically members are frustrated with the lack of answers from their supervisors and the Union - neither of which can get any answers from HR.
There has been some shifting of responsibility to Serco North America (payroll, benefits, etc), so ask your supervisor to double check they are reaching out to the right person for answers. Our expectation of service (an answer within 48 business hours) should still be the same. If things are not answered in that time frame, escalate it to your Relationship Manager.
Local Bylaw Update
The Executive Committee is looking to update our Local Bylaws. The means adding to the existing by laws provided by the USW International for local unions, and it is quite a lengthy process. Proposed bylaws need to be read at three membership meetings, then voted on at a membership meeting, and finally sent to the International for approval. A copy of the proposed changes will be made available shortly.
Upcoming Federal Election
The federal election is fast approaching, and it is very important for all members to review the platform of the various parties. The NDP have always been strong supporters of the labour movement, contrasted with the PC party which has often acted in ways detrimental to workers, and the Liberals, who have been inconsistent.
Members interested in helping the NDP election campaign can reach out to the Union for more information on volunteer opportunities and Election Schools.