Staff Report #8
August 29, 2018
To All Commissioners
Re: 2018 Work Program – Human Resources – Second Quarter Update
The report be NOTED and FILED.
The following report is provided as an update on major projects as set out in the 2018 Work Program that were scheduled to commence and/or be completed in the second quarter, with the lead on same being the primary responsibility of Human Resources.
Occupational Health and Safety Work Program
The following provides an update on activities scheduled and/or completed from the Occupational Health and Safety Work Program for the second quarter of 2018:
Development and Implementation of a Noise Conservation Program
In late 2017 and again in March 2018, noise surveys were conducted for Fleet & Facilities at the 450 Highbury Avenue facility. Testing was performed by OSHTECH Incorporated. Results found that, in specific areas in the garage, noise exposures exceeded the Ministry of Labour compliance criterion of 85 decibels averaged over an eight-hour shift. As such a full noise conservation program was developed and implemented. The program is comprised of the following elements:
- Noise Hazard Assessment
- Noise Control Measures (engineering and administrative controls)
- Hearing Protection Devices (with aid from E-A-Rfit Validation System)
- Employee Education and Training
- Audiometric Testing for employees in the garage
Operator Safety Barrier Pilot Program
Consistent with the Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC) recommendation, three buses have been equipped with Operator safety barriers and were introduced into service on August 13, 2019. The safety barriers provide a clear sightline, the ability to maintain communication with passengers and provide customer service while offering an enhanced level of safety for Operators. During the pilot period, Operators, Maintenance personnel and transit riders will be asked to provide feedback on their experience with the barriers.
London Transit’s Mental Health Strategy
The following provides an update on activities scheduled and/or completed from the Mental Health Strategy Work Program for the second quarter of 2018.
Human Resources and the LTC Wellness Committee with assistance of external resources are in the process of designing a custom training program on the topic of mental health resiliency (i.e. tips and strategies to manage mental health) tailored to address issues consistent with those experienced by the London Transit employee group. As done so in the past, this transit-specific approach will aid in the transfer of training from the classroom to on-the-job situations. The curriculum focuses on the following:
- Mental Health and Wellbeing introduction, “the continuum of mental health”
- Self-awareness /understanding your mental health/self-assessment of level of mental health
- Recognizing stressors
- Who do you call when it’s not OK
In addition, the training will include video-embedded portions, addressing mental health issues trending with London Transit employee groups and how best to deal with same.
Human Resources and the LTC Wellness Committee have also developed a Mental Health and Wellness Policy, which is currently in draft and under review with the Joint Health and Safety Committee.
Employee Benefit Review
In 2018, the Director of Human Resources and Director of Finance undertook a review with respect to the manner and effectiveness of which employee benefit consulting services were being delivered under the existing contract with Morneau Shepell.
As a result of the review, a new agreement was established with Morneau Shepell to provide professional benefits consulting services; however with specific focus on the needs of London Transit versus the historic standard professional services contract. In addition to the new contract provisions that are better suited to London Transit’s needs, an experienced, well-versed consultant has also been dedicated to the LTC account.
Diversity Committee Initiatives
The following provides an update on activities scheduled and/or completed from LTC’s Diversity Committee for the second quarter of 2018.
2018 Pride London Festival Parade
For the second consecutive year, London Transit and the ATU Local 741 participated in the 2018 Pride London Festival Parade, with the slogan “Ride with Pride.” All participants enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate inclusivity.
London Transit is in the process of creating a private room for use by employees for quiet reflection, meditation and/or faith-based prayer. The room has been designated as a “Reflection Room” and is located at the Highbury facility. The Reflection Room will be available to employees on a first come first served basis. It is anticipated to be completed shortly and available for use in the fall of 2018.
LTC Day is held annually to thank employees for their contribution to the organization. The day includes barbecues held during each shift, affording employees the opportunity to gather and enjoy a meal together. In 2018, menus were modified to ensure foods offered met dietary accommodations with respect to food, preparation and handling of same. Feedback from employees on this initiative was very positive.
Review of Policy on Electronics
A review of LTC’s current procedures on the “use of electronics” in the workplace was undertaken to ensure the program is consistent, meets the employer requirements and further is appropriately monitored/managed. Currently, each respective Director is working with Human Resources on updating appropriate policies and procedures, i.e. through SOPs or internal memos, specific to their areas in relation to the use of electronics during working hours. The revised policies and procedures will be rolled out concurrently once all have been updated.
Digital Recording Surveillance System Usage Policy & Procedures
New – Operator Recruitment Program Review
Over the last several years, the need to recruit Operators has increased due to a combination of service growth/expansion and attrition. Historically the number of Operators hired on an annual basis was approximately 28, that number has risen upwards of 45 per year. Beginning in late 2017 difficulty has been experienced with respect to attracting and hiring personnel for the Operator position. In an effort to mitigate the issue, London Transit increased advertising through radio ads, social media and the attendance of local job fairs.
In light of the ongoing difficulties attracting bus Operators, and while this initiative was not included on the 2018 Work Program, a review has been scheduled to occur beginning in the third quarter intended to assess the skills and qualifications required for the Operator position to determine whether modifications can be made that may expand the pool of potential candidates. The review will assess the recruitment practices of other transit properties in Ontario, including but not limited to the qualifications required, core competencies factored into the recruitment process and training needed for new hires. It is anticipated the review will be completed by the end of 2018.
Joanne Galloway, Director of Human Resources
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager