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Morale among OC Transpo operators at 'all time low' due to mandatory break handling: union

The head of the union representing employees at OC Transpo, Clint Crabtree, says Ottawa's public transit agency had two years to prepare for the mandatory break requirements going into effect, but instead waited until the last minute.
2018-02-28 OC Transpo bus1 MV
OC Transpo bus in downtown Ottawa. File photo.

The head of the union representing employees at OC Transpo feels morale among the agency's operators is at an "all time low" because of the impact mandatory breaks are having on scheduling.

As of February 2022, the Canada Labour Code requires OC Transpo to provide a 30 minute break after five hours of consecutive work.

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 279 president Clint Crabtree says the mandatory break requirement is putting more work on OC Transpo as it addresses gaps in schedules, which requires additional staff.

He feels operators are unhappy with current scheduling since some long-time staff have been pushed back to weekend shifts.

"They haven't worked the weekends in about 15 years," Crabtree told The Rob Snow Show with guest host Derek Fage on Thursday, May 12. "Now they've been put on weekend work and the quality of work-life is not the greatest."

Crabtree adds OC Transpo had two years to prepare for the mandatory break requirements going into effect, but instead waited until the last minute.

"We had multiple meetings over this over the last two years but no one moved on this, when they sat on this and waited until the last second," he explains. "Now you're dealing with complete chaos -- buses not showing up."

He feels the situation needs to improve immediately in order to avoid further complications this fall, but adds OC Transpo has indicated the scheduling issues likely won't be resolved until the spring of 2023.

Listen to the full interview with Clint Crabtree below:

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