Local 1576

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VOTE RESULTS JUNE 2016
Results of the BY-Law Change votes this meeting cycle. Article 8: Officer Vacancies:19 YES and 9 NO/ PASS Article 5: Chief Shop Steward: 25 YES and 3 NO/ PASS Article 13: Contract Ratification- 16 YES and 12 NO/ FAIL Thank you to ALL who attended the meeting and cast your VOTE! UNITED WE ARE STRONG!

Volunteer with United Way!
VOLUTEER OPPORTUNITY! Every year ATU local 1576 partners with Community Transit to support the United Way, a local organization which helps out members of our own community who are in need. Would you like to help? Please call the union office at 425) 259-4544, pm us on FB, or email djulienrs@atu1576.org to volunteer! There will be a variety of options for you to participate on this special team. Your help is so greatly appreciated! http://www.uwsc.org/

Open Letter to Community Transit CEO Emmett Heath
Letter to Emmett Heath, Geri Beardsley, and Deb Osborne on behalf of the membership at ATU: Hi Emmett, Geri and Deb, It was very nice meeting you Geri and Deb, and thank you all very much for your participation in the Ride Along! Our local, under Kathleen's leadership, has been working very hard to bring the issue of operators who have schedules with no break/lunch time to the forefront. Currently, our contract states that we may eat and rest "as time permits". When no time is permitted, a very unhealthy day ensues for the person driving, without time to eat and stretch their legs. Long-term, as you can imagine, this kind of grinding schedule creates serious health problems. Elena's great attitude toward the passengers and her professional driving skills really exemplify the quality of people Community Transit has hired. As Treva explained to folks in the Planning Department recently, this company hires operators specifically for their commitment to excellent customer service, and then they are put into a workday without breaks. The standby line is "Just take your break, even if you are running late." However, as you saw, once late- we can run late for many hours of the day. Putting ourselves first often doesn't jive with giving good customer service. We worry that passengers will miss connections, or wait excessively at bus stops, call in complaints, or that we will cause hardship for other drivers who depend on us being where we are supposed to be to free up zone space. As a result, operators avoid drinking, push the speed limit and bypass using the restroom in the interest of keeping the schedule. The lack of break time significantly increased during the economic downturn. People were getting laid off and everything was all about the highest level of efficiency, and we all did our level best to make those new, tighter schedules work. Geri and I talked a bit about communication while we were on the bus, and I believe that the line of communication between the folks making the schedules and the operators driving them is broken. We need to have a reliable way to both communicate and get a response to our scheduling issues- which we don't currently have. I am very proud to be a 19 year employee of Community Transit, and proud to work for an agency that leads the way in so many arenas. Now, with Emmett's new leadership and the passage of Proposition 1, which the ATU worked very hard to support, I believe that the time has never been better to create a good working relationship between Planning and Operators. Even more important, the time has never been better to set new parameters in place for scheduling work that take into account the health and welfare of all your employees, by providing for break and rest time. Thank you again for your participation in this ride along, and taking the time to truly understand our concerns. It gives all of us much hope for the future! Kind Regards, Dani Julien Danielle Julien, Recording Secretary/Safety Officer BS Safety and Health, CWU Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1576 2810 Lombard Ave., Suite 203 Everett, WA 98201 Office (425) 259-4544 Toll Free (800) 266-8841 Fax (425) 303-8645 www.atu1576.org

JUNE 2016 CHARTER MEETING SCHEDULE

June Charter meetings Schedule: June 19, 2016 at 1:00 PM at the Everett Labor Temple, and 5:30 PM at the IBEW Hall in Tacoma, 5:30 PM for Island Transit, location to be posted on union bulleting boards. June 21, 2016 at 10:00 AM at the Everett Labor Temple. Please plan to attend one of these important meetings! BY-LAW VOTES AT THIS MEETING CYCLE

Community Transit Mini Bid Information

Starting in the June 2016 shakeup, if a mini bid is conducted due to a vacancy, the bid will be open to all employees, not only the operators below the seniority who vacated that work. For example: if operator #100 on the seniority list opens a piece of work due to retirement/ promotion, his/her work will be open to the #1 seniority person to bid on during the mini bid. We've had some operators who want to give up their straight 8 work, due to a change in their circumstances. This gives lower seniority operators the chance to have a better piece of work- by allowing those higher seniority pieces into the mix. This is just a trial for a year and the process will be revisited in the June 2017 shakeup. If it doesn't benefit the lower seniority operators- we will not agree to the change.

After years of economic downturns in the Transit Industry, it is refreshing to see things going well once again. The Union leadership, along with a lot of our members, attended several of Emmett Heath's employee meetings regarding the future of Transit in Snohomish County. During the 3rd meeting that I attended, I took notes intending to share that information with our membership in this Newsletter article. A lot of what is happening in Snohomish County is also happening in King, Pierce and Island Counties.

APRIL CHARTER MEETINGS

April 2016 Charter Meeting Schedule: April 17th at 1:00 PM at the Everett Labor Temple. April 17th at 5:30 PM at the IBEW Hall in Tacoma, and at 5:30 Pm for Island Transit, location TBD. April 19th at 10:00 AM at the Everett Labor Temple. Please plan to attend one of these important meetings, hear the news of the local and bring your questions and ideas. All the work we do as a local is passed through these meetings so please plan to attend one, and make your voice heard!

Recently, at a Labor Management meeting at CT, one of the assistant managers came up with the idea of getting everyone on both sides of the table to say a little something about themselves just to tell something interesting that they might not talk about. We all had something to say of interest and although what I said then is not what I am going to write about, it did turn out that we all got to know each other a little better. I decided that in this end of the year article I would share something with our membership that very few people know about me.

 

We are often asked to donate for various causes, most recently the employees at CT donated over $40,000.00 to the United Way annual campaign which is very commendable. Often times we scrutinize those donations wondering how much of that actually goes to the person in need and how much goes to the CEO of the organization. While I did donate, it is hard not to question the process.

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We have grown greatly in membership this year, and with the passage of Prop one, we look forward to even more growth and new members. With total donations of $9,500.00, including $1, 00.00 from our local and $8,500.00 from the International Amalgamated Transit Union, we supported the Community Transit Now! Prop 1 campaign because we truly believe in public transit and the excellent service we can provide.

 

When the recession hit, our members were deeply affected by layoffs, reduced service hours and work that was now being created with greatly reduced break and turnaround times, what we drivers affectionately refer to as “Turn and Burn”. We found that we had very little, and sometimes no time to get out of the seat, use the restroom, have a meal, and stretch our legs. We found that our on-time performance suffered, as well. The combined pressure of these tightened up runs along with the domino effect of getting behind in the schedule, caused many members to complain that they almost never got out of the seat.

 

It’s false economy. True efficiency is not achieved when the company refuses to accommodate the need for rest periods, by creating schedules that are extremely difficult to drive, without ample turn around or break time.

 

At CT we have contract language which, in the interest of not extending our work day, waives the right to an un-paid lunch period and we also waive the right to scheduled rest breaks. Our contract basically says that we may eat and rest *as time permits*. However, we have found that the company abuses this language, as the intent of this language is not to deprive our members from any break time. I believe that with these greatly tightened schedules, the company has shown a lack of regard for their employees, who have asked time and again for relief.

 

Now that we are in a period of expansion again, it is our desire that the employer recognize the importance of ample scheduling, both for the health and welfare of their employees and the realistic fulfillment of the schedules they make. To do any less is a disservice.

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