– Sick days soar among Ottawa transit drivers

CBC News

 Almost one in 10 OC Transpo drivers have been calling in sick each weekday and that is an issue of “major concern,” said a memo sent to drivers this week.

“Furthermore, clear identifiable patterns exist such as increased absenteeism on Fridays, when experiencing good/poor weather and towards the end of a booking,” said the memo dated Sept. 29 and signed by Troy Charter, who is in charge of employee management at OC Transpo.

A leaked copy was posted on a local blog.

The memo reported that so far this year, sick leave usage has been up 11 per cent from last year.

During the last two weeks of September, an average of 114 operators or 9.5 per cent of the city’s 1,200 drivers had called in sick each weekday, the memo said.

The memo goes on to report that absenteeism affects OC Transpo’s ability to provide reliable service to customers, but also impacts other drivers. Because of that, OC Transpo is “unable to grant” other types of leave until attendance levels improve, them memo said.

Alex Cullen, chair of the city’s transit committee, said transit managers are “just taking precautions” to make sure there are enough drivers to provide transit service.

“It’s just a warning … to staff — look, we’re approaching a line here.”

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