This message is pertinent to ALL members, but most directly to Operators in St. Albert, Red Deer and Edmonton Main & DATS. I’m talking about the continuing problem of how to train Transit Patrons on the importance of wearing a facemask. Daily we receive calls and messages from members expressing their frustration with passengers who do not wear masks. It IS frustrating. These people are not only putting themselves at risk, but everyone else around them. I’ve heard enough accounts of the misery inflicted by this deadly virus and I don’t want to hear of a single other member contracting it. Or anyone else, for that matter.
Our employers, Edmonton Transit, Diversified Transportation and Red Deer Transit have NOT tasked Operators with mask enforcement for good and valid reasons. It is a setup for confrontations. The Union has been forthright in promoting this position with the Employers and they have readily agreed. So, here are a few suggestions from your Union:
- Wear your own mask in compliance with the Employers’ policies. It protects you and others and models the desired behavior.
- Use other means to protect yourself: the security door window should be up, wear your mask AND keep your distance from people when you’re out of your seat.
- Do not attempt to enforce mask wearing with passengers. Do not “breeze” passengers who are not masked. If problems arise, stay within your security barrier and call Control.
- If you have any ideas for effective mask enforcement, please share them with us and your Supervisor as soon as possible.
Also, please keep in mind that our Sisters and Brothers in Transit Security, the TPOs DO enforce the mask bylaws. If operators have issues on the bus then the TPOs are called to deal with it. If there is an issue that isn’t reported then they can’t help- They can only be so proactive in this. There have already been multiple confrontations, assaults etc. but they are doing the best they can!
Above all, please be safe out there. The health of ourselves, our families our co-workers is of paramount importance. It is a risky time, but with good common sense, attention to the details of the protocols and support for each other, we’ll get through it together.