STM: A steadfast partner for the public health authorities


La STM réitère qu’elle se fait un devoir depuis le début de la crise du COVID19 de consulter et de suivre les consignes dictées par la Direction nationale de la santé publique.

Montréal, March 28, 2020 – The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) wishes to repeat that since the start of the COVID-19 crisis it has made a point of consulting and following the directives issued by the Direction nationale de la santé publique (Québec public health authority). The STM has specifically designated a member of its emergency response committee to serve as a liaison officer responsible for verifying the compliance of decisions several times a day.

Since the beginning of the crisis the STM has faced a higher than normal absenteeism rate of close to 20%, compared with the usual 8%. The higher rate may be explained by a variety of reasons, including confinement measures and childcare.

Despite this substantial absenteeism rate, the STM remains committed to various types of daily cleaning of surfaces touched by transit users as well as its employees’ workplaces, and has stepped up its sanitary measures since March 12.

The STM also wants to point out that the recent 75% reduction in ridership across its network, leading to a 20% reduction in service during peak periods as of March 30, is not sufficient to justify a reduction in the number of maintenance employees or drivers.

Instead, the STM has chosen to reduce overtime. More than ever, it needs its maintenance employees in order to meet its objective of increasing daily cleaning frequency over the coming days, as follows:

Bus network: increase cleaning of all buses from 65% to 100% per day

Employee workplaces: cafeterias, bathrooms, workstations, etc.

Métro network: fare booths and stations

In addition to these initiatives, the STM is implementing the recommendations issued by the CNESST along with those issued by the public health authorities.

All STM employees, including mechanics, cleaners, storekeepers, managers, inspectors, drivers and administrative personnel, perform essential duties. On a daily basis, they ensure the smooth operations of an organization that even today provides transportation for over 300,000 essential workers for the fight against COVID-19.

Daily relations with the unions have gone well since the start of the crisis. The STM is nevertheless disappointed that it has been unable to reach an agreement on adjusting the collective labour agreement with its maintenance personnel, as it was able to do with the drivers’ union.

In addition, to ensure compliance with the cleaning frequency for facilities used by its employees and clientele, the STM proposed hiring student interns to compensate for the absenteeism rate and thus avoid calling on subcontractors, as in other places, but this proposal was rejected by the maintenance union.

The STM is taking the situation seriously. It continues to work closely with Québec public health authorities and is actively cooperating with the Montréal civil security centre (CCMU).

The STM takes the opportunity to urge its customers to abide by the applicable prevention measures and work with it to make it through the current situation.

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