Hamilton, transit union agree to allow drivers to work extended hours

News Nov 01, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton and its transit union have agreed to allow bus drivers to work extended overtime hours in an effort to prevent bus cancellations.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 107 president Eric Tuck said the maximum number of overtime hours a driver can work in a week will be 68, up from the usual 50 to 60 hours a week.

“We have done this four times over the last 18 months,” said Tuck. “We believe this is a Band-Aid solution and is unsustainable and unsafe.”

Transit director Debbie Dalle Vedove told politicians at the Nov. 1 general issues committee meeting the city received a temporary exemption from the provincial labour ministry to allow bus drivers to work 68 a week. The exemption will be extended until Jan. 1, 2018.

City officials acknowledged there has been a higher than usual absenteeism rate among bus drivers for the last few months that has risen to over 18 per cent this year. In October alone, there have been about 1,600 missed hours, forcing the city to eliminate buses along routes in the lower city and on the mountain. The city’s absenteeism in the transit division has been increasing since 2012.

Dalle Vedove told politicians about 100 of the city’s 450 bus drivers have worked 300 hours of overtime this year.

Tuck said the high number of overtime hours worked by employees is creating the rising absenteeism rate  and resulting in “burn out, stress and fatigue.”

“Higher absenteeism results in operators not getting relieved at the end of their shift and forces them to work up to two hours longer than expected. When this happens repeatedly, operators stop doing voluntary overtime, thus the snowball effect.”

Dan McKinnon, general manager of public works, said when drivers call in sick, officials scramble to encourage other drivers to work longer hours. He said if employees don’t work overtime, then the bus service has to be cancelled.

“Transit is the most sensitive to absenteeism,” he said. “That is killing us.”

Transit has a three-year average in overtime costs of $4.9 million, with operations at $2.6 million and water and wastewater at $2.6 million.

McKinnon said if no solutions are found, the city may have to hire additional drivers. It takes several weeks to complete the training.

Dalle Vedove told politicians another 14 drivers have already been hired.

Hamilton, transit union agree to allow drivers to work extended hours

'This is a Band-Aid solution and is unsustainable and unsafe,” says head of local

News Nov 01, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton and its transit union have agreed to allow bus drivers to work extended overtime hours in an effort to prevent bus cancellations.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 107 president Eric Tuck said the maximum number of overtime hours a driver can work in a week will be 68, up from the usual 50 to 60 hours a week.

“We have done this four times over the last 18 months,” said Tuck. “We believe this is a Band-Aid solution and is unsustainable and unsafe.”

Transit director Debbie Dalle Vedove told politicians at the Nov. 1 general issues committee meeting the city received a temporary exemption from the provincial labour ministry to allow bus drivers to work 68 a week. The exemption will be extended until Jan. 1, 2018.

City officials acknowledged there has been a higher than usual absenteeism rate among bus drivers for the last few months that has risen to over 18 per cent this year. In October alone, there have been about 1,600 missed hours, forcing the city to eliminate buses along routes in the lower city and on the mountain. The city’s absenteeism in the transit division has been increasing since 2012.

Dalle Vedove told politicians about 100 of the city’s 450 bus drivers have worked 300 hours of overtime this year.

Tuck said the high number of overtime hours worked by employees is creating the rising absenteeism rate  and resulting in “burn out, stress and fatigue.”

“Higher absenteeism results in operators not getting relieved at the end of their shift and forces them to work up to two hours longer than expected. When this happens repeatedly, operators stop doing voluntary overtime, thus the snowball effect.”

Dan McKinnon, general manager of public works, said when drivers call in sick, officials scramble to encourage other drivers to work longer hours. He said if employees don’t work overtime, then the bus service has to be cancelled.

“Transit is the most sensitive to absenteeism,” he said. “That is killing us.”

Transit has a three-year average in overtime costs of $4.9 million, with operations at $2.6 million and water and wastewater at $2.6 million.

McKinnon said if no solutions are found, the city may have to hire additional drivers. It takes several weeks to complete the training.

Dalle Vedove told politicians another 14 drivers have already been hired.

Hamilton, transit union agree to allow drivers to work extended hours

'This is a Band-Aid solution and is unsustainable and unsafe,” says head of local

News Nov 01, 2017 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Hamilton and its transit union have agreed to allow bus drivers to work extended overtime hours in an effort to prevent bus cancellations.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 107 president Eric Tuck said the maximum number of overtime hours a driver can work in a week will be 68, up from the usual 50 to 60 hours a week.

“We have done this four times over the last 18 months,” said Tuck. “We believe this is a Band-Aid solution and is unsustainable and unsafe.”

Transit director Debbie Dalle Vedove told politicians at the Nov. 1 general issues committee meeting the city received a temporary exemption from the provincial labour ministry to allow bus drivers to work 68 a week. The exemption will be extended until Jan. 1, 2018.

City officials acknowledged there has been a higher than usual absenteeism rate among bus drivers for the last few months that has risen to over 18 per cent this year. In October alone, there have been about 1,600 missed hours, forcing the city to eliminate buses along routes in the lower city and on the mountain. The city’s absenteeism in the transit division has been increasing since 2012.

Dalle Vedove told politicians about 100 of the city’s 450 bus drivers have worked 300 hours of overtime this year.

Tuck said the high number of overtime hours worked by employees is creating the rising absenteeism rate  and resulting in “burn out, stress and fatigue.”

“Higher absenteeism results in operators not getting relieved at the end of their shift and forces them to work up to two hours longer than expected. When this happens repeatedly, operators stop doing voluntary overtime, thus the snowball effect.”

Dan McKinnon, general manager of public works, said when drivers call in sick, officials scramble to encourage other drivers to work longer hours. He said if employees don’t work overtime, then the bus service has to be cancelled.

“Transit is the most sensitive to absenteeism,” he said. “That is killing us.”

Transit has a three-year average in overtime costs of $4.9 million, with operations at $2.6 million and water and wastewater at $2.6 million.

McKinnon said if no solutions are found, the city may have to hire additional drivers. It takes several weeks to complete the training.

Dalle Vedove told politicians another 14 drivers have already been hired.