Last week the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) filed documents to further the Transit Agency’s plan to implement random alcohol and drug testing for its employees.
The union which represents TTC workers is vehemently opposed to this protocol.
Herein lies the conundrum. The Union states that TTC employees should not have to prove that they are not using substances, and such testing should be the result of incident or behaviour only.
This protocol has shown that almost half of all the nearly 300 safety incidents investigated have resulted in the strong suspicion or confirmation of substance use by TTC employees. In fact, a transit agency investigator concluded there was still a “culture of drug and alcohol use at the TTC” and reported 45 additional incidents of employees using or trafficking alcohol or drugs while at work, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and prescription drugs such as OxyContin.
The TTC itself has acknowledged that of the over 11,000 drug and alcohol tests given to its employees, the results indicate that drug and alcohol still presents as a significant problem, and a threat to the safety of the public.
While the thought of random testing may challenge the ideological views of many, the way things are being done now clearly is not working.
I feel the statistics speak for themselves.
There is a threat to public safety and it needs to be improved. The TTC has identified an elevated risk to its ridership and it wants to influence positive change.
This is a very consistent theme in addictions.
We always say “Why wait to hit rock bottom before making positive and healthy changes?”
When a problem is identified, the best time to take action is now. Without doing something different things will invariably stay the same.