Local 1576

Home

IF THEY DIDN’T BEHAVE THIS WAY WE WOULND’T BE WRITING ABOUT IT… When the Union writes newsletter articles about issues, concerns or actions taken by the employer, it’s not intended in any way to decrease the already low morale. Unfortunately, you don’t need an article to do that. It’s intended to inform you of what’s going on and to share some of the ridiculous and unreasonable decisions that are sometimes made. And frankly, we don’t write even a fraction of what the Union experiences daily- you’re welcome, management. When I contemplated what I’d write about today, I went through the long list in my head. Then, today’s meeting occurred. When our membership votes on taking a grievance to arbitration, the Union must consider arbitrating those by priority. Obviously, terminations take precedence. Sometimes important contract interpretation take precedent over smaller discipline type issues etc. So, we held a set of five grievances that are pending arbitration in abeyance, in order to attend to other arbitrations. Also, the processes have changed relating to these 5 grievances to the extent that a similar grievance was unlikely to occur again. Four of the five grievances are regarding employees scheduling time off. Community Transit operators used to schedule their time off by filling out a Request for Leave form. The scheduler received the form and entered the time in the daybook, if space allowed. Both were done manually. On four of these five occasions, which happened almost in succession, the operator made some error in what they wrote on the form, however, the scheduler did not make any attempt to clarify the request with the employee and instead made the decision on how to process the request. As a result the operators received a No Show and lost their Reliability Award (Reliability Awards = 8 hours of pay quarterly for perfect attendance). The process used now is an electronic one. The operator enters time off into the computer. They do not submit paper requests. We believe the scheduler was responsible, as part of their job, to clarify the employees request when there was a discrepancy rather than guess or decide on how to schedule it. And, to process the requests in a timely manner so the operator knows whether they are supposed to be at work or if their request was even processed. After trying to settle these five grievances multiple times with management, I decided to approach our new CEO in an attempt to perhaps ‘put a new set of eyes on it’. A few new facts come into play now: since filing the grievances, the disciplines for the No Shows have rolled off so there’s no discipline to void; the process for scheduling time off has changed and; considering the remedy for all five grievances, the only expense to the employer to resolve these grievances is to reinstate only TWO Reliability Awards- a total of 16 hours. My point is, why spend the money for a costly arbitration when we can settle 16 hours payout of a Reliability Award, and do this on a non-precedent setting basis? My request for settlement was disappointingly denied. I went up the food chain; met with every manager all the way to the top in an effort to settle. Community Transit would rather spend thousands of tax payer’s dollars to arbitrate 16 hours of pay, than to reach an agreement with the Union. Why….? Because, as Mr. Heath explained, “it is a principle issue and we’re not willing to compromise our principles.” He went on to enlighten me about their “principles” with regard to the Reliability Award and that the agency isn’t willing to make any exception to how the Award is granted. Even if it means spending thousands upon thousands of dollars instead of a settlement. He went so far as to say, he’d rather donate 16 hours of pay to United Way than to give the Reliability Award to employees because it didn’t meet their “principles.” Sad! It’s a “principle issue”? Really? It’s not a principle issue, it’s a no tolerance policy decision that goes far beyond an irresponsible use of public funds. If anyone ever wondered why contract negotiations always take so long with Community Transit, this is a good example. If we can’t reach a settlement on 16 hours to eliminate 5 grievances, what more can I expect the next round of negotiations. Community Transit has a golden opportunity to make some positive changes and work together to resolve these issues. But as usual, it’s their way or no way. In a recent discussion with management regarding an attempt to resolve some outstanding issues through mediation, I was told the company isn’t willing to go through mediation if the Union is going to stand firm by their original position and not compromise for a settlement. Ahem, do you hear yourself talk? Unfortunately, they’re standing behind the wrong principles! Why not stand behind the principles that are in the best interest of the employees, the principles when it’s the right thing to do. Read more >>>

As I look back at the past 15 years that I have been in the Transit industry I recognize a lot of change. People are inherently resistant to change but you cannot be that way in this Industry and for the most part you wouldn’t want to be. I remember driving the RTS, Ikarus, Orions and Neoplans. Mountlake Terrace Transit Center, Lake Stevens Transit Center, the 112th Freeway stop and the Canyon Park Freeway stop did not exist. Many of our Park and Rides have been renovated including Lynnwood, Aurora Village and most recently Smokey Point to name a few. Marysville now has three Park and Rides with the last one including a restroom. There has been a lot of change and most of it is for the better. Sunday and Holiday Service went away, came back, went away again and now it is back again. During those years we have had a lot of laid off members at 3 different times. Thanks to contract language just about everyone who wanted to come back did, with the exception of one member in Facilities Maintenance who we feel wasn’t treated fairly. What I hear at the Board Meetings is that CT is now committed to “sustainable growth”, I think they have learned their lesson with regards to Sunday and Holiday Service. Now that it is back I would be very surprised to see it go away again. The Sunday service was perhaps the most frequent complaint that I heard from passengers. I was told that at one time Community Transit bought used busses and most of the fleet was more than 20 years old. We have to be grateful those days are long gone. Now most of our fleet has air conditioning and all the new busses will have air conditioning. Management has heard our concerns and on weekend service is supposed to be conducted on an air conditioned coach. We don’t have much control over many of these changes but there are some doors that are open to us. ATU local 587 and King County Metro participated in Proposition 1 for more bus service that just began in June. Prop 1 was passed by the voters. Pierce Transit had a similar Proposition that unfortunately failed a few years ago. A huge difference in King County was Union and Management working together to get the job done. Community Transit is working on a ballot measure that would increase the sales tax by 3 tents of 1 percent in Snohomish County. That would cost us 3 cents for every ten dollars we spend in sales tax. This would bring in about 25 million dollars a year which would fund the new BRT route from Canyon Park to Boeing among other things. I am all for progress in this industry and believe that this measure would mean more jobs and more new busses to get the job done. Read more >>>

Looks like spring may actually be here to stay. With spring comes flowers and good times. Perhaps, good times will spring to life, after a very long absence, at CT. At our last Labor/Management meeting we were given a presentation by the Positive Performance Team. I commend the members of the team for their hard work. They clearly put a lot of thought into improving relations between Labor and Management. Time will tell. For me, like a large number of those of you who’ve been here 10 plus years, it will be a matter of “Show Me”. We’ve heard this all before, so many times, it’s become much like the boy who cried wolf. We shall see. Of course, we hope some of this fountain of goodwill will flow over to the Management at our other properties as well. Read more >>>

BE IN THE KNOW
MEMBERS: Last night everyone on our list got a text message telling them the results of our contract vote as soon as the ballots were counted!!! Sign up to our text messaging service and receive instant notification of meetings and news updates. *You will not be spammed with messages and you can stop the service at any time.* Here is how YOU can subscribe to our text messaging service: text the word "ATU1576" (no spaces!) to the number 68398

DOT MED CARDS
ATTENTION CDL HOLDERS: Here’s the link to the list of certified DOT examiners nationwide. There is a place on the site for our Members to enter the city where they need the exam and a radius that they wish to travel for the exam. If a doctor or other certified examiner is not on this list, the exam will not be accepted and considered invalid. Copy and Paste this link: https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov/NRPublicUI/home.seam

Follow Us!

Sign Up
Email:
Password:
Remember me