Challenging. My first 3 months as your President have definitely been challenging. COVID-19 has forced me to rethink my strategies and react quickly to the many changes needed to protect our members. Working closely with both transit, city and health officials, a staged implementation began to sanitize and retrofit transit vehicles and facilities. Physical and social distancing guidelines and markings were applied, the stocking and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) to all members began, and routes and schedules were adjusted as needed by the city during this emergency.
To-date there have been 5 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases within the transit family with 3 of those people having fully recovered and cleared to return to work. I am relieved to report that we have not lost anyone yet to this nasty disease. I applaud all of your hard work and your close adherence to the new health requirements. Without your diligence, our numbers would have been much higher.
In order to keep ourselves safe, I must continue to stress how vital your contributions are to keeping our workplace clean and SAFE for yourself and your brothers and sisters. These contributions include, 1) Using supplied disinfectant wipes to disinfect the driver’s cabin, work or eating area, 2) Ensuring you use proper hand washing techniques regularly, and 3) CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF! Pick up wipes, tissues, food, and any other garbage item and remove it from the area when you leave it for the last time that day. When everyone does this, the next person will take over a fresh area without the need to touch other people’s litter. Bottom line, this action will also reduce the spread and keep everyone healthy and safe, including you and those you love at home.
As the province begins its re-opening, I will continue to keep each of you informed as to any further changes planned or underway. Again, I thank each and every one of you for all of your hard work.
ATU Local 1573 Brampton