ATU Local 757
ATU Local 757

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President's Podium — Shirley Block
Mar 03, 2023

 ATU 757 Family,

I have been pushing for an operator's bus apprenticeship program for almost two years now. I went as far as to write to the International President Costa, asking him to please send out Jamaine Gibson to assist TriMet (Gaylord/Mario) who are in desperate need of assistance to get this program off to a fresh start. It’s amazing how other locals all over the United States have this same program in place, and are doing well in getting operators in the door and retaining them. The startup of the program is being sponsored by the In­ternational. It is mind-boggling that TriMet isn’t will­ing to at least come to the table with an open mind.

The same goes for the mentor program. They need to separate line training from mentors. Mentors check on your wellbeing. They are there to support you or do a ride along without repercussions on what you do.

I am working with Scott Transue in Bend to correct­ly show the utilization of Oregon law which gives all workers sick time. They were taking time from their accrued vacation to cover the sick time, calling it PTO.

Please visit this link to take the Transit Worker Wellness Survey: . The survey is open and will close on March 17, 2023. The research team may choose to extend the survey through March 30, 2023, if needed. I would encourage frontline workers to please take the time to do this survey. This survey will help the research team gather data on workers’ experiences, challenges, and barriers when it comes to their mental health, wellness, and resiliency at work. They are targeting frontline workers in transit agencies who have direct interaction with riders and the public. This includes, but is not limited to, op­erators, street supervisors, station managers, field maintenance staff, customer service representatives and others you believe should be included in “frontline worker” category.

I was present in Olympia, Washington, on Feb. 17, 2023, for the ATULC meeting. The important topic was fentanyl usage on public transit, which seems to not be getting addressed. Dangerous fumes are flooding the vehicles and causing harm to operators and passengers. The users know they can get away with this kind of action with no repercussions, so they continue to do this. I would think that transit au­thorities would be reaching out to every government agency to get a penalty in place for this kind of activity on public transit. Why not partner with ATU and work as a team?

My TriMet retiree husband received a call recently, asking him to call a 1-866 number for a better Med Ad­vantage plan. This was a SCAM/ROBO call going out to Medicare eligible retirees. Please don’t return or give out any of your information to them. If you have any questions, please call the union office at 503-232-9144.

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