Job Action Begins 12:01 AM Saturday Nov. 12th 2016

Video From Pres Jim Yakubowski




 Your executive has served notice to the employer that in the event an agreement that we can recommend acceptance to is not achieved then we will engage in a work to rule and ban on overtime directive to our membership that would start at 12:01 am Saturday November 12, 2016. The employer has since given us an offer wanting us to simply sign their pension proposal and then await the arbitration ruling. We proposed that if we lose our pension arbitration ruling then we could accept their proposal. But in the event we win the arbitration ruling ,then they would sign our pension proposal. It is obvious that they are not confident they are going to win the arbitration case because they have failed to accept our proposal. Hence your directive to the executive is to engage in job action .  The intent of this directive is to provide the employer further incentive to resolve our outstanding collective bargaining agreement. We believe that there is no alternative other than to act now to send a clear message that we are united and strong in our quest for a fair collective agreement.  If you have any questions, please contact a Union Steward or the Office for clarification.



1. Members shall not work overtime unless ordered to in an emergency situation. Members ordered to work overtime may write a note saying that they are overly tired and that safety is a concern. Give a copy to your supervisor and keep a copy for yourself.

2. All members are to familiarize themselves with all rules and regulations.

3. Drive defensively. Observe all traffic signs and signals. Do not drive faster than the maximum posted speed limit or as road conditions permit.    

4. Follow supervisor’s orders.

5. Before moving a bus in the garage or relieving on the road, do a walk around and check for defects, damage etc. If in garage call dispatch and have the bus defects attended to.

 6. You have the right to refuse unsafe work.

 7. Get plenty of rest to help reduce stress.

 8. Exercise good judgment, common sense, immense patience; be civil and forward any concerns to an A.T.U. Representative.



 1. Safety must never be sacrificed for schedule.

 2. Report to dispatch at report time, not early.

 3. Do a radio check before leaving the garage; all vehicles should require a working radio

 4. Familiarize yourself with the applicable Operations rulebook and bulletins.

 5. Spare board Operators; check your work against sign-up sheets. 

 6. If you are required to back up a bus and no one is around, call control and request assistance from a supervisor.

 7. Change over defective buses. If ordered to carry on advise control of the safety breach.

 8. Do not volunteer to do change overs. Should a supervisor order you to do one confirm that it is an emergency and book the overtime.

 9. Call control to advise them if you are more than six minutes late.

 10. Move in and out of service stops smoothly and carefully.

 11. Make good use of your Transit Route maps.

 12. When aiding customers with concerns or dealing with other driving distractions (conversing with control) pull bus over to a safe location.

 13. Use caution approaching crowded bus stops.

 14. Position your bus within 6 inches from the curb.

 15. Ensure vehicle is fully stopped before opening doors.

 16. Keep the steps clear and clean. Avoid congestion in the doorways.

 17. Do not load passengers past designated line.

 18. Give other motorists plenty of advance warning of your intentions.

 19. Allow all passengers to position themselves safely in the bus before proceeding.

 20. During all phases of operation between stops make all manoeuvres gradually and safely.

 21. Check mirrors to ensure patrons are clear of the bus before proceeding.

 22. Do an out of service bus check at your last stop and arrive at the fare box at your scheduled time.  

 23. Spareboard Operators check your running boards for discrepancies (e.g. report and clear times, travel times).

 24. Operators should not accept a shift with a spread time or total of more than 13 hours. Call a Union Official if you receive such a shift.

 25. To insure the safety of your co-workers and the public please follow all rules, procedures and operating orders.  



 1. Walk around all vehicles before moving them.

 2. Any safety defects found on vehicle – document and report to supervisor.

 3. If necessary to back a vehicle up make sure someone is there to assist.

 4. Use 2 persons when lifting cabs, springs etc. Do not risk injury.

 5. Do not volunteer to help other employees from different areas perform their jobs. Request supervisor to assign assistance.

 6. Do not combine trips for parts.

 7. Use safety stands under all vehicles.

 8. When doing change off use defensive driving, follow rules of the road.

 9. Cleaning crew, as always, `do a thorough job.

 10. Do a proper vehicle check before leaving garage for change off.

 11. Use exhausts hook ups.

 12. If bus is mechanically unsafe (brakes, steering etc.) to drive call for a tow truck.

 13. Follow WHMIS guidelines at all times.

 14. Personal protective equipment should be obtained and used.

 15. Ask supervisor to remove worn/damaged (unsafe) tools from service. Check equipment before you use it.


OFFICE and Dispatch

Thorough reporting procedures to be used at all times.

Take your scheduled breaks (coffee, lunch etc.).

 Leave work on time. If management does not schedule enough time for you to finish it is not your responsibility.

 Do not volunteer for additional shifts.

 In addition to the above, common sense must prevail. As always we suggest that you follow these rules each and every day of the year. This will make for a safer and more rewarding work place. Do not break any work place rules as management will be watching you.

 Thank you for your co-operation as we struggle to negotiate a better work place for you. There is great strength in unity.


In Solidarity,




ATU 615 – It’s time for fairness, transparency, and facts in Saskatoon City Hall

ATU 615 – It’s time for fairness, transparency, and facts in Saskatoon City Hall

As Saskatonians prepare to make a big decision about our collective futures, ATU 615 urges the public to stand for the virtues that have been sorely lacking in City Hall for the past thirteen years. Fairness, transparency, and facts are the things this community values, but Mayor Don Atchison and his supporters, like the North Saskatoon Business Association, have refused to consider.

Attached to this statement is a copy of an analysis of the General Superannuation Plan for the City Of Saskatoon employees. ATU 615 members sanctioned our union to seek from a certified outside actuarial firm an analysis with respect to the funded status of our plan. Ironically, on September 22,2014— two days into the illegal lockout — I addressed city council at the special meeting during which council imposed changes to our pension without negotiating an agreement. I put forth a proposal that council halt the lockout and seek an outside actuarial opinion. They refused to do so. Thus, in September of 2016, we were provided this document. There is no disputing the accuracy of the numbers therein, as Optimum simply utilized previous pension valuations filed as well the audited financial statements prepared by Deloitte Touche.

Optimum Consulting Actuarial Valuation

There are many key findings in this report. Most notably, our pension plan was in not in the dire financial state suggested by city administration at the time that the 9 labour groups were bargaining in December of 2013. On Page 5, the Optimum report states, “Given that the negotiations were being held in late 2013 and early 2014, the surplus position of the plan as at Dec.2013 (54 million) should have been disclosed by the city, as quarterly updates of the plan’s funded status can easily be provided by actuaries within a quarter of month end.” The document goes on to say “Negotiations should not have been based on out-dated figures.(Dec 31,2012 deficit of 14.9 million versus a Dec.31,2013 surplus of 54million.) “

Fast forward nine months later. In September of 2014, ATU members were illegally locked out, and the city claimed they had a huge 6.9 million liability payment of $90,000 per month because of its failure to reach an agreement. Legally, they were required to make at least one payment, but they simply could have eliminated any need for further payments by filing a new valuation reflecting the true financial picture of the plan as of September, 2014. Instead, council chose to force economic hardship on our members, bus riders, citizens and businesses, all in an effort to force our members into relinquishing our defined benefit security, even though they knew our plan was financially healthier than what was relayed at the bargaining table. NSBA, in its recent statement, says, “Clearly nowhere in the big picture is there room for defined benefit plans.” This is only true if you are looking at the big picture through an ideological fog.

Since 1964, civic employees (except police, fire) have been negotiating this plan to ensure its sustainability and overall financial health. We have deferred our wages into this plan on the basis we can retire with dignity and security. Our members have also joined the Canadian Labour Congress in fighting for improvements to the Canada Pension Plan (coincidentally, one of the most successful defined benefit plans in the world) so that all citizens of Canada can retire without living below the poverty line.

Here in Saskatchewan, the city of Regina, which has an indisputable 200 million dollar deficit in their plan, still provides a defined benefit for members, because the parties successfully negotiated terms and conditions protecting the security.

In summary, the NSBA endorsement of Mayor Atchison and his administration’s attacks on our healthy, well-funded plan and its dishonest claims that “the well is going to run dry” are disappointing to say the least. The Optimum report clearly states that, ”Given the surplus situation in 2013-2015 on a mark to market basis, it seems the city took advantage of out-dated valuation results to attempt to change the benefit promise from a defined benefit to a target benefit plan.”

Mayor Don Atchison is on public record (Global TV) stating “your word is your bond” in reference to me after the illegal lockout. This is one statement that I can agree with Don Atchison. You have my word that these are the facts and truths surrounding our fight for fairness. I have been raised to always speak the truth and believe the truth will prevail. The citizens of Saskatoon have been misled and used as pawns by our current decision makers, and their tax dollars have been wasted by these actions. If truth, transparency and fairness are leadership qualities you desire, then we must cast our ballots on Wednesday for a new direction.

Mayor Don Atchison Raw Responds To Illegal Lockout

No matter the outcome, ATU 615 will continue to fight for fairness, transparency, and facts on all issues affecting our members and our riders.

 Jim Yakubowski

President Atu Local 615

Statement from ATU Local 615 President Jim Yakubowski on the North Saskatoon Business Alliance’s Recent Attacks

Statement from ATU Local 615 President Jim Yakubowski on the North Saskatoon Business Alliance’s Recent Attacks: 

The North Saskatoon Business Association has sent a clear message to all citizens on behalf of all their association members. The comments contained in their recent release, entitled, “ATU support sends wrong message,” are disturbing for a number of reasons.


For an entity that represents businesses to challenge our endorsement of Kelley Moore and proceed to support the current position of the city clearly aligns the NSBA with Mayor Don Atchison and his administration. This same civic leadership is responsible for illegally locking out our membership, depriving the citizens of their transit service, and, ironically, negatively impacting many businesses that the NSBA represents.


For the NSBA to attack the retirement security of citizens that work all of their lives in this community and retire with a secure defined benefit income is, in my opinion, “biting the hand that feeds you.”


Isn’t it ironic that our taxpayer dollars are used to buy a membership in the NSBA? Saskatoon City Manager Murray Totland, who initiated the illegal lockout of our members, is a member of NSBA and also sits as a trustee of our pension plan. Attempts have been made by Totland and Atchison years ago to convert this defined benefit plan to something different.


Isn’t it ironic that these same individuals, now as Mayor and City Manager, are attempting the very same thing once again, when clearly the pension plan financial status today does not indicate that any radical change, such as converting the risk onto the shoulders of plan members, is necessary?


Isn’t it ironic that the NSBA is not demanding that our provincial politicians give up their own rich defined benefit plans, but rather choose to attack blue collar working people’s retirement?


I believe the endorsement from NSBA of the City of Saskatoon administration is particularly troubling. I can only assume that all of your NSBA membership has adopted this position. We will spread the word to the working class and retirees that the pension dollars they spend in Saskatoon’s economy be spent in businesses that do not oppose working people fighting for retirement security.”



Statement of ATU Local 615 President Jim Yakubowski Regarding Recent Labour Comments on the Mayor’s Election 

Statement of ATU Local 615 President Jim Yakubowski Regarding Recent Labour Comments on the Mayor’s Election

“ATU 615 expresses concern that Don Atchison and the majority of Council support taking supervisory positions out of all of our civic unions, even though these positions have been a part of our respective collective bargaining agreements for many years, without issue. The city administration has made it clear that they want to water down strong collective bargaining agreement language on promotion seniority clauses. If our respective locals do not agree to accepting the city’s proposed language, the administration will identify and initiate attempts to have many positions taken out of our locals.


It would appear clear to me for a labour union to support either Mayor Don Atchison or city councillor Charlie Clark would be to endorse the city removing these positions from our locals. That is why my members unanimously voted no confidence in Mayor Atchison at yesterday’s union meetings. I, for one, have witnessed many bullying tactics at the bargaining table and directly at my members and will never support candidates that attack our members. I can only hope other union members and leaders agree with my statements.”


Press Release September 21st 2016


mercer-report MERCER REPORT




ATU 615 Members,

Please review the attached document that was provided to us by Optimum Consultants a certified reputable actuarial firm that we hired to give us their opinion on the status of the pension plan, using the information given to us during the bargaining process and afterwards. I am also attaching a portion of the pension presentation given to the group of us from Mercer  On October 29,2013. Mercer who was there speaking on behalf of the City of Saskatoon states that the risk of contribution rates is not acceptable. You will note in the Optimum document that at the point of bargaining the true financial picture of the plan was available ,but the city presentation from Mercer does not reference this whatsoever. All of our statements we have made in relation to the pension issue, are confirmed in this Document .  



ATU 615 Executive,

Press Release Sept 19th 2016

ATU Members,

The city has put a media release out that wages and other issues have been resolved and all that remains between us is that we want a better pension than anyone else. First off, our bargaining wages and other issues at the table, we have made it very clear that and any agreements at the table are conditional on ATU members not agreeing to the agreement in principle document which effectively converts our defined benefit pension plan to a target plan. The difference is that allowing the city to cap their contributions and with the parties agreeing to the dispute resolution mechanism, are the two items ATU members are not in agreement with. Since 1964 this plan has functioned under a defined benefit structure, whereby we as ATU members contribute our wages into this plan and the city is the legal liable overall sponsor.It does not mean that we are not responsible partners to ensure the long term viability of the plan. We have always sat down at the bargaining table and agree to find solutions on how to ensure sustainability of the plan. After all this is our money in this plan, and as a condition of putting our contributions together with the negotiated city contributions ,the existing governing rules of the plan state that unless negotiated otherwise, the city is responsible in the event there are shortfalls. Even though the plan is still registered as a defined benefit plan, the agreement in principle that all others have signed, changes it to a target benefit plan structure. It now is a defined benefit plan without any guarantee that benefits might change at some point in the future. The city did not divulge the true financial picture of the plan at the point of bargaining in December of 2013. We have a certified actuarial report from a reputable actuarial firm confirming this. Even knowing this, we have attempted to discuss a risk sharing proposal for the future whereby we would agree to share the risk 50-50 for the future, but the city is adamant that ATU members are going to absorb all the risk and sign the same deal as the others. This effectively transfers 100% of the risk from the city to us. For the city to make claim that we have refused to take an offer back to our members, is accurate. Here are the reasons. They insisted that we give up our pension grievances and our right to have the arbitrator rule on the outcome ,and if we don’t succumb to their request then they are not providing us the offer to take back to our members. We provided language that we could agree with in regards to our pension grievances ,but they refused. I can state that we were prepared to let the membership decide on whether they accept or not, but because we did not succumb to their tactics in wanting us to drop the grievances, we don’t have an offer to present to you at this time. I must also state that we are not or would not have been recommending acceptance of their last offer based on the fact that they refuse to move off their pension proposal in any capacity. We told the city ,we would take it back, but would not recommend acceptance, but they declined to accept our language enabling us to have the arbitrator rule on the grievance. Hence we do not have an official offer to bring back to you at this time.






I want to clarify to you that we have not initiated any form of job action at this time, only because I believe in the best interests of this union that the issue of our essential services agreement gets dealt with. On Friday Sept 23 at 10 am ,we will be attending a tribunal hearing to present our facts to the tribunal . We will keep you apprised as events unfold, but as of now there will be no forms of job action initiated by your executive. There is a lot of uncertainty on what is the next course of action from your executive. In the simplest of terms, we do not have a collective agreement yet, and the city is putting out misinformation and half truths in an all out effort to make you believe that your executive is misleading you and that your executive has refused to take the last offer back to you. Casting all the blame on us and attempting to convince you to trust them more than you can trust us. I want to remind you of who locked you out and stripped one months wages from your pocket. Who told the world that they wanted to exert economic pressure on you so that you would succumb to their bullying into submission tactics and simply take what they are willing to give? Who is now telling you in their media releases that We care about our employees? If they truly cared about you, why are they taking 4 years to settle our contract. I can tell you that at least 3 candidates including the current mayor had to block their facebook accounts from people commenting on this transit issue. The fact we have shown solidarity and strength has had a tremendous impact by serving notice of job action. This could not have been accomplished without your support and believing that your executive will do everything within our control to bring closure . We have a plan and are committed to following through in fighting for fairness for our ATU members. Come out to the meetings on Wednesday to find out more information and we will gladly give you the accurate information. The city is playing this pit member against member strategy ,forcing us to focus on each other namely your executive, so that you forget where the real focus should be. The City of Saskatoon can fix this and we need to ensure that they do, by giving us a fair deal.

United We Bargain Divided We Beg,


Jim Yakubowski



Press Release Sept 14th 2016




September 12,2015


ATU 615 Members,


This Notice is to inform you that your executive is returning to the bargaining table today in an effort to reach a fair settlement. We will provide further updates as the process evolves. For your information we have hired a reputable pension actuarial firm to provide us with their overview of our pension plan and here are some examples of their findings. These are quotes from the document .”Given the surplus position in 2013-2015 on a mark to market basis, it seems that the city took advantage of out-dated 2012 valuation results to attempt to change the benefit promise from a defined benefit to a target benefit plan” They also state in this document “Taking on additional costs should not mean accepting additional risks such as those associated with a target benefit plan. Capping the employer contributions is an extreme design change that should be considered only if the plan was in severe financial turmoil ,which is not the case for the plan” At  some point we will make the complete document available to you , but as of now we are informing you that we have verification that our pension position at the bargaining table is substantiated  by this document.  Stay strong and vigilant and we will perservere. United we bargain Divided we beg.


ATU 615 Executive