March 2018 e-newsletter


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What’s New at ATU?

 March 2018 edition

Welcome to the latest edition of ATU 757’s e-newsletter for members, with updates about what’s happening inside your union, in the world of organized labor, and around our region. If you have a feature you’d like to see in a future edition, please contact ATU 757 staff!

In case you missed it…
  • Over the objections of ATU 757 and our allies, TriMet appointed Doug Kelsey as the agency’s new general manager in a sham process. For more information about the the problems with Doug Kelsey and how he was hired, check out our website.
  • Laws around cannabis have changed rapidly in the US, but the law hasn’t changed for transit workers: if you’re in a safety-sensitive position, you must abstain from the use of cannabis products and be able to pass a drug test at any time. Some cannabis dispensaries are now advertising products which they say don’t show up on drug tests – as this article in the Willamette Week says, that’s led to folks losing their jobs. Be informed and drive safe, sisters & brothers!
  • ATU 757 has endorsed the Burgerville Workers Union’s campaign to organize fast-food workers, and their work is picking up the pace: Burgerville workers have demanded the company recognize their union, and are ready to file for a union representation election if they say no. Learn more, and sign the AFL-CIO petition in support!

Happy Transit Driver Appreciation Day!
On Saturday, March 18th, ATU 757 celebrated National Transit Driver Appreciation Day. We celebrated every one of the operators who move our cities, towns, and everywhere in between.

This job is hard: long hours, few (if any) meal & bathroom breaks, inhumane schedules. And sitting in that seat takes a toll on your body. But every day, you come to work, you get our riders where they need to go, and you do it safely. You provide excellent customer service and routinely go above & beyond the line of duty to help our most vulnerable passengers. You drive in rain, shine, snow, sleet, or even wildfire ash, because no matter what’s happening outside, people need transportation.

So whether you drive a 40-footer or a school bus, whether you’re working in fixed-route service or paratransit, whether you’ve been on the job 20 days or 20 years or you’ve retired – operators, thank you for all that you do for our communities across Oregon and southern Washington!

ATU & OPAL Environmental Justice Propose New Rider Advocate Program

ATU Local 757 is excited to announce a new partnership with OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon and Bus Riders Unite to develop a new Rider Advocate program, dedicated to improving safety on transit.

This partnership is innovative, but the idea of Rider Advocates is nothing new: TriMet partnered with community to put Rider Advocates on buses starting in 1994, through 2009 – the same year the program won the City of Portland’s Public Safety Partner Award. The Rider Advocates created what the City called “a safer environment for all who ride TriMet by using conflict resolution skills and de-escalation techniques.”

Rider Advocates serve as a highly-recognizable presence on key bus and MAX lines. They are trained in conflict-resolution practices and techniques to de-escalate tough situations. They assist riders in navigating the system. And they work in close partnership with bus & MAX operators, as well as Road Supervisors, to keep our system moving smoothly.

“The Rider Advocate program should have never been eliminated, and I’m looking forward to this new partnership with OPAL to bring it back,” said Shirley Block, President of ATU 757. “We need to improve safety and security on transit. Our operators are being punched, kicked, spit on, and verbally harassed every day. And no matter how hard we push TriMet to do something about it, they refuse to listen. The only path forward is to do it ourselves, and so that’s exactly what we plan to do.”

ATU’s Executive Board and membership have formally endorsed the new Rider Advocate program. We will continue pushing TriMet to fully support and fund this new partnership – and if you’d like to get involved in bringing back Rider Advocates, please reach out to ATU Public Policy Coordinator, Jared Franz!

TriMet Retirees, Spouses, and Dependents – Need Your HOP ID Badge?
Calling all TriMet retirees, spouses, and dependents – do you still need your new HOP ID Badge? These are the photo ID badges which will allow you to ride TriMet for free.

TriMet is hosting several drop-in sessions in April to take your photo and process your HOP ID Badge, no appointment necessary:

  • Wednesday, April 4th from 1pm to 6pm
  • Saturday, April 14th from 9am to 1pm
  • Tuesday, April 17th from 1pm to 6pm
Each session will take place at Center Street Garage, 4012 SE 17th Ave.

There will be additional drop-in session in May and June; as soon as we have that information, we’ll pass it along to you!

Upcoming meetings and events

Check out the list below for next month’s meeting dates, starting with our monthly Charter meeting on April 16th at 6pm. And for meetings dates through the end of the year, look no farther than our online events calendar on

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By | 2018-06-01T11:49:52-07:00 June 1st, 2018|Uncategorized|