TTC is reaching out to retired employees as it prepares for potential labor shortages ahead of the deadline for mandatory vaccinations for employees.
As of 30 October, all TTC employees are required to be fully vaccinated and if there is a staff shortage they are looking at several options to ensure that service will not be affected.
“What we did over the weekend was we started reaching out to some recent retirees and pensioners to see if they would be interested in working for us on a temporary basis,” says TTC spokesman Stuart Green.
Green could not say how long the former employees would be asked to stay.
“We don’t know what the state of our labor force will be on October 30. We don’t know how long we might need them,” he says. “Ideally we don’t need them at all.”
“If we need them it will be a voluntary situation. Its purpose is to get people vaccinated and we don’t need to go like this.”
Green says that as of Monday, 83 percent of TTC employees have said they will be vaccinated by the October 30 deadline, with most of them already getting both shots.
In its policy, the TTC says that employees are expected to abide by the terms of employment, although they have not yet said what will happen to employees who have not been vaccinated before the deadline.
“We haven’t made those determinations yet, hopefully we’ll have more to say this week,” Green says.
Recently TTC filed an application with the Ontario Labor Relations Board It accused its largest union of workers of illegal strike action to protest the transit agency’s vaccine disclosure mandate.
The application claims that the directive of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 (ATU Local 113) is illegal and interferes with operators’ ability to “manage the public transport system in a safe manner”.
“The reason we started this policy was about health and safety,” Green says. “It is TTC that is working on our behalf to end the pandemic.”
ATU Local 113 represents approximately 12,000 employees. The union has also demanded the resignation of TTC CEO Rick Leary.
Metrolinx workers will be required to disclose their vaccination status by November 1. He says that all employees who remain without vaccination after the deadline will be put on leave without pay.
The mandate of the TTC and Metrolinx followed a similar mandate from the City of Toronto which created Vaccination mandatory for all employees of Municipal Corporation.
Both the city and the TTC said employees would be exempt from the vaccine policy if they could provide evidence of a medical reason for not being vaccinated.