TTC plans to cut service next month due to staff shortage caused by vaccination mandate – .

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TTC plans to cut service next month due to staff shortage caused by vaccination mandate – .


Faced with a “reduction in the available workforce” due to its mandatory vaccination policy, the Toronto Transit Commission has announced that it will cut services next month, especially on its bus network.

The TTC unveiled more details on the upcoming service changes in November and December on Wednesday, which it says take into consideration employees who will not be available for work due to their immunization status.

The agency announced earlier this month that it will place employees who are not fully vaccinated or who will not disclose their vaccination status on unpaid leave of absence with the possibility of termination if they do not comply with the policy. by the end of the year.

The plan will prioritize the busiest TTC bus lines, including Wilson, Jane, Eglinton, Finch and Lawrence East, at the busiest times of the day.

“Large main arteries like this, at the busiest times of the day, will not be affected. They will have the same level of service as they are today, ”TTC spokesperson Stuart Green told CP24 on Wednesday afternoon.

“No road is cut. All roads will continue to be served. But changes may need to be made based on what we know today. “

The TTC said as part of the plan, other bus lines will see different levels of temporary service changes similar to those made in summer and December.

The agency added that the impact on wait times will be “minimal” and that “any changes will result in ridership levels that meet TTC service standards.” The TTC said its ridership was at 50% of pre-pandemic levels.

The agency plans to invite retirees to return temporarily and increase the hiring of new operators in the coming months to meet the demand for service.

The TTC said it is also temporarily postponing capital construction projects and canceling weekend and night closures to allow shuttle drivers to be redeployed on regular service. The agency added that it is also moving skilled bus operators who typically move vehicles between divisions to cover regular service.

“I think we have developed a flexible and responsive plan. And if our workforce is better than expected as we approach the end of the day on November 20, we can begin to replace any service cuts that may have been required, ”TTC CEO Rick Leary said in a statement. communicated.

“I strongly support our vaccination policy. It is the right thing to do to protect the health and safety of our employees, their families and the communities we serve. “

Temporary schedules were published on Wednesday and vaccinated employees could sign up for the next duty periods scheduled for Nov. 3, the TTC said. Earlier this month, the agency postponed routine scheduling for operators on transit shifts to allow more time to determine the vaccination status of all employees.

On Wednesday, the TTC said 88% of its 15,090 employees had shared their immunization status, including 86% of unionized workers, “the vast majority already fully immunized.”

“Our vaccination numbers are increasing. We continue to work with our employee groups. We have vaccination clinics at our workplaces. We want to increase those numbers, ”Green said.

“So about a week before November 21, we’ll post the schedules so people can see what the predictable service will be at a minimum, but we may be able to offer more services if we get more people vaccinated. “

Local 113 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents 12,000 TTC transit workers, released a statement Wednesday criticizing the agency’s plan, saying it was a “preventable mistake. and the result of the TTC’s own mismanagement ”.

“Instead of working with the union, the TTC chose to bulldozer its policy of mandatory disclosure, causing a potential staff shortage,” said union president Carlos Santos.

The union had previously advised its members to withhold their vaccination status after the initial announcement of the TTC’s mandatory vaccination policy. After the agency filed an application with the Ontario Labor Relations Board, the union reversed its position.

“Instead of cutting service, the TTC should consider sensible alternatives that help protect workers and runners, such as regular testing for the small number of members who do not wish to receive the vaccine,” Santos said.

“These types of measures have already been successfully implemented in the cities of Brampton, Mississauga and Hamilton and can be safely adopted in Toronto as well. “

– with the personnel files of the CP24

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