Pubdate: Thu, 11 May 2017
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Jenny Yuen
Page: 5


TTC worker had booze in system, another drugs

The very first TTC employee to receive a random test for drugs and
alcohol came up positive at the commission Monday morning.

And another worker screened that day was found to be under the
influence of drugs.

The first employee - who the TTC says isn't an operator but is among
the 10,000 employees in a "safety sensitive position," such as
maintenance - has been suspended with pay as the commission awaits the
official test results, which can take up to three days.

TTC spokesman Brad Ross said the positive alcohol test was conducted
with a breathalyzer.

"It blew over 0.04, which, for us, is considered impairment," Ross
said Wednesday. "Yes, operators, of course, need to be fit for duty
behind the wheel, but so do maintenance people, who are fixing these
vehicles and ensuring they are safe to go on the road ... because
that's part of the safe operation of the entire organization."

As for the second worker to test positive?

"The substance was not disclosed, but the level of drugs detected was
over the cut-off established for the drug in question," Ross said.

The TTC is looking to do about 50 tests a week and had completed 17 as
of Wednesday.

Subway drivers and bus and streetcar operators are subject to random

Other TTC employees with safety-related roles in maintenance, control
or the executive still have to do a breath test for booze or an inner
lip swab for drugs, including cocaine, marijuana, opiates and

On average, an employee will be tested once in five

The random testing was approved last month by Frank Marrocco, Ontario
Superior Court associate chief justice, who rejected the TTC union's
request for an injunction against the testing.

The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Local 113, which represents more
than 10,500 TTC workers, previously argued there was no systemic
problem and violating a person's privacy can only be justified in
extreme circumstances where there's proof of an ongoing safety risk.

"The TTC notified our union about the test result and we're currently
looking into this matter. Our union will provide whatever support is
needed to ensure a fair process for the individual involved," ATU 113
secretary-treasurer Kevin Morton said Wednesday.

"We've seen a rise in the number of cases of people who have come to
work impaired, with reasonable cause, refusing to take tests ... This
random piece is new," said Ross. "People have been co-operative.
There's been no pushback."

- - With files from Kevin Connor
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