August 19, 2020
TO: ALL BTS LOCALS AND NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES
Brothers and Sisters,
Re: BTS BULLETIN
As you all are aware we have been met with many challenges this year with our employer. The COVID-19 World Pandemic and its impact to the workload has been amongst the more notable problems. Across Ontario we have seen our members experience a significant loss of work due to the workload falling short of the regular forecast adding unforeseen financial stress for many. As a result of the low workload volume, members who would have normally been banking hours in their TGP banks to use when we slow in the winter have had very little opportunity to do that this year. Overtime as we know has been in short supply and not nearly as abundant as in past years and as such, the current average for TGP banked hours is around 6 days or less. The positive side to that if any is that we have not experienced the forcing of unwanted overtime around Ontario either.
In discussions with the Employer we have been told that the expected forecast beyond the Student Inward season will be lower than earlier anticipated, and as such we recognize that this will be a big concern for the RPT members in the province should the hours drop to the minimum guarantee under article 16.04 e) ii for the period October 15th 2020 to May 15th 2021 of only 2 days per pay period.
As we go forward entering in to what should be one of our busiest periods of the year, we felt that the membership should be aware of the projected realities of the load beyond the Student Inward. We also suggest that members may want to take the opportunity to work all the hours they can get, including the overtime hours while they are available since by all indicators we are setting up for a slow winter. Ultimately this is a decision that each person will make based on their own situations. As a committee we felt that providing the information to allow members to make informed decisions was required.
We would also remind you that in March of this year an Averaging of Hours Agreement with the Employer was signed to allow members to work beyond the Canada Labour Code limit of 48 hours per week. This will allow employees to work much more overtime now while it’s available than they would be permitted to with this agreement in place. Having said that, please remember that only you can choose to work beyond 48 hours in a week, the employer cannot force, compel or pressure you into working beyond. Only you can make that choice.
Please share this information with all your membership in your Locals.
Your Bargaining Committee
c.c. Chris MacDonald