Editorial Archive

Update to weekly hours

4/29/18 6:00 PM

ATU Local 113 unionized employees cannot exceed 48 hours per week

The following Corporate Notice was issued on April 27, 2018. The changes described affect ATU Local 113 employees only.

ATU Local 113 has written to the TTC indicating that it would not agree to allow the employees it represents to work more than 48 hours after April 30, 2018.

This means that employees cannot work more than 48 hours per week.

The Employment Standards Act, 2000 states that an employee can work a maximum of 48 hours in a week. This weekly maximum can only be exceeded with approval from the Director of Employment Standards, Ministry of Labour.

The TTC had requested an exemption until July 31, 2018. This was approved by the Ministry of Labour (MOL) and was contingent on agreement from Local 113. As a result of the Union’s most recent letter, it will not continue to allow it. So, while the TTC and the MOL agree that working up to 64 hours is acceptable, the Union does not.

Because the Union does not agree, no employee represented by Local 113 can work more than 48 hours, and no employees of the TTC or the Union can contract out of this part of the Act, which includes through the collective agreement.

The TTC is currently assessing the implications of Local 113’s decision to withhold their agreement. This includes:
> Looking at possible changes to current schedules to ensure compliance with the 48-hour limit. This includes previously scheduled/signed work and crews. For example, some crews are currently greater than 48 weekly hours and changes will be required to bring them into compliance with the Act.
> Reviewing the current closure schedule and considering various options, such as whether planned work should be rescheduled or closures should be cancelled. The closures scheduled for April 28-29 and May 6 have already been cancelled.
> Reviewing whether the TTC can continue allowing employees represented by Local 113 to leave for events or non-critical leaves.
> Exploring alternative approaches to scheduling and project and service delivery.

As the TTC reviews the various challenges that arise from the Union’s decision, we will continue to provide information as it becomes available.

For additional information, please see the FAQ below.

FAQ: Employment Standards Act - Weekly Hours

1. I heard that ATU employees are not allowed to work overtime anymore. What’s happening?

The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) states that an employee can work a maximum of 48 hours in a week. This weekly maximum can only be exceeded with approval from the Director of Employment Standards, Ministry of Labour. Currently, the TTC has that level of approval to a maximum of 64 hours per week, until July 31, 2018.

The Union had previously agreed to allow their members to work up to 64 hours per week until April 30, 2018. On April 20, 2018 the Union notified the TTC that it would not agree to excess hours beyond April 30, 2018. This means that on May 1, 2018, the TTC is bound by the 48-hour weekly limit of the ESA.
This means that employees cannot work more than 48 hours per week.

Employees represented by Local 113 are protected by ESA legislation, without exception, and can only work to a maximum of 48 hours per week.

2. Can an employee work over 48 hours per week?

No. The TTC cannot allow employees to work beyond 48 hours.

3. What about pre-scheduled work that exceeds 48 hours per week?

Some hours of work have already been determined with board period sign-up regulations or shift schedules. However, those crews/shifts were developed and/or signed based on a 64-hour weekly maximum, based on the previous mutual agreement between the TTC and the Union. With the Union’s decision not to extend their agreement beyond April 30, 2018, the TTC must adhere to its legislative obligation under the ESA. Therefore, employees are not permitted to work beyond 48 hours, even if their signed work and/or shift would go beyond 48 hours.

The TTC will continue to look at future scheduling in order to be in compliance with the 48-hour limit, which may include adjustments to future crew guides or other operational adjustments to ensure no employee works beyond the 48-hour weekly limit.

4. Do employees still get paid for their whole crew value/shift, even if it’s over 48 hours per week?

Employees will only be paid for time they work. If a signed crew or shift is greater than 48 hours, employees will only be paid for the 48 hours they are permitted to work. Employees will be paid for any premium payments for hours actually worked.

For example, if an employee is currently scheduled to work 54 hours per week, the employee may only work 48 hours and will only be paid for those 48 hours.

5. Aren’t employees guaranteed to be paid for the work they signed and/or were scheduled to work?

No. The parties cannot contract out of the legislative obligations of the ESA. The TTC is required to adhere to its legislative obligations, including not requiring any employee to work beyond the legislated weekly hourly limit. This legislative obligation prevails over any competing Collective Agreement obligation.

6. Can an employee agree with management to work more than 48 hours?

No. The parties cannot contract out of the legislative obligations of the ESA. This Ministry approval allows employees to work more than 48 hours in a work week only when a unionized employee’s union agrees in writing to work excess hours in accordance with the Act. The ATU has revoked this agreement to work excess hours and this approval no longer applies. Employees cannot individually agree to work more than 48 hours.

7. What about spare boards? Their weekly hours vary.

Spare board operators will not be assigned any work that would put them in violation of the 48-hour weekly limit.

8. Does this apply to employees represented by the other unions?

No. There are separate arrangements in place for these unions. Specifically:
CUPE, Local 2 and the TTC have agreed to a 70-hour weekly maximum.
CUPE, Local 5089 and the TTC have agreed to a 75-hour weekly maximum.
IAMAW Lodge 235 and the TTC have agreed to a 64-hour weekly maximum.

Employees should direct questions regarding ESA hours of work toward their union and/or direct supervisor.

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