Thank You ATU
UPDATE 2/7/17: ATU HAS RECIEVED NOTICE THAT WE WON THE DAN SPARGUR ARBITRATION. UNITED WE ARE STRONG!
Hello my name is Dan Spargur, I have worked for Community Transit for over 18 years. I have worked as a driver, in security, and as a dispatcher. I have been a proud member of the union through my entire duration at Community Transit. I've gone 16 years without feeling the need to file a grievance. However approximately 2 years ago I for the first time felt the need to file a grievance against the company. I felt that CT broke the ATU contract regarding scheduling work and distributing overtime. In the past 18 years, I have sat on several committees and would like to think, that I have proved myself a hardworking and reliable employee. So how did I find I found myself sitting in a conference room for an arbitrations hearing? Before I filed my grievance I underestimated the value of a strong union who supports its members and I also underestimated the value of the grievances process. What started out as what seemed to be a simple issue with a simple solution ended up being drawn out as management and the union interpreted the contract langue differently. As a result, the matter lead to arbitration. After finishing the lengthy process of arbitration, I wanted to take the time to thank you; the members of ATU, for supporting me by voting to take this matter to arbitration. Kathleen Custer and the Union leadership also deserve acknowledgment and thanks for their role in walking me through the process of my arbitration. Without their help, this would have been a very daunting task, but with their help and support, I was able to successfully navigate the difficult process that is arbitration. Currently, the outcome is still unknown and the decision of the arbitration has yet to be made, however the decision should be made by the 1st week of this coming January. I feel confident because of the hard work that was done by our union leadership that this arbitration will be successful and a good use of our union dues. So once again thank you for your support and I hope you all have a happy holiday season.
No one wakes up one morning and decides that it would be a good day to have an accident, after all then it would be an on purpose instead. But even though we don't plan it, *&it happens.
Your 1st thought when it does happen is probably going to be dag nab it (or insert expletive if desired), now I have to fill out paper work. So now that the inevitable has happened, what do you do?
Depending on the circumstances there are certain actions which need to be done following an event: 1. If passengers are on board or event involves a passenger, make sure everyone (including you) is okay. 2. Call it in at time and place. 3. Ask for a supervisor, police, or aid, if needed. 4. Follow instructions from dispatch. 5. Request that passengers fill out courtesy cards. (Passengers may refuse to do so but you need to ask) 6. Fill out an event report. 7. Upon arrival at base, if there is damage to coach, park in B.O line and fill out a B.O. Slip 8. Remember these actions are your responsibility; do not expect a supervisor, or another person to do them for you.Read more >>>
2016 in Review by Vice President Rick M. JurkovicOur Recording Secretary Danielle Julien asked me to write a year in review article. Usually, I don’t have a problem sitting at the computer and writing an article, but I have to admit this topic gave me a serious case of writer’s block. What can you say about yourself? I am not the team leader, I am the person in the foxhole, a member of the team working to get the job done. “What exactly does a Vice President do?" I attend a multitude of meetings: E-Board, Charter meetings, Labor Management meetings, Grievance Review meetings, CT Public Board Meetings and Labor Council Meetings to name a few. Then of course there are meetings that involve negotiations, not just contract negotiations, but also negotiations such as accident and drug and alcohol policies. I sit in the second chair while President Custer presides at these meetings taking notes, paying attention to detail and keeping informed. In contract negotiations note taking can be very important, bargaining notes can and have had an impact on Arbitration decisions. My main job is managing the grievances from the first step all the way to arbitration. I am involved at the first step and usually conduct the second step hearing. I am constantly working with shop stewards, Executive Board Officers and our members during this process. I send files to our attorneys for their opinion and am involved in the process of taking a grievance to arbitration which is managed by President Custer. ATU 1576 prevailed in arbitration this past year at First Transit Everett regarding insurance premiums and prevailed. At Community Transit, ATU 1576 won a decision because the company passed down a surcharge to the membership. I am on 2 of the 4 negotiation teams this year. I have been behind the scenes working for our new members at Island Transit getting them re-certified so that the team could continue negotiating. During negotiations we use our E-board officers to get input on proposals for their contract. We met with work groups like Facilities, Customer Service and Dispatch for input on weekends. We were able to squeeze in Shop Steward Training and trained the largest number of new stewards since I have been in office: over 32 in attendance including 21 brand new shop stewards. President Custer and I were summoned to the new Tommy Douglas Center by International President Larry Hanley for Joint Industry Council Training at the International’s expense. This training was by far the best training either of us had received in all of our years in office. The training will help us deal with the private sector, First Transit and Senior Services. At the Northwest Conference all the locals in the Northwest States, the Western Provinces of Canada and the California Council in organizing and strengthening our Locals. We attended the International Convention to conduct the business of the International as delegates representing our Local. President Custer has entrusted me to represent our membership as her designee in many meetings and hearings including 3 termination hearings that I am currently working on. My job is anything but boring and there is no lack of things to do. My chief focus is being a team player working for better wages, benefits and working conditions for our membership. Take Care and Be Safe Rick M. Jurkovic, Vice President
As you know, the International Union has an ongoing campaign to expose and stop assaults on our members. There are many facets to our ongoing campaign. Here is a video showing the real life experiences of our members who have been assaulted. It has been seen online in several outlets and has been very well received. More to follow. Please click on the link and let us know what you think. Read more >>>
( CLICK ON RED LINK ABOVE FOR MORE INFO) Dear Brothers and Sisters, With high temperatures and brutal humidity continuing to blanket the country our members are facing dangerous heat conditions on the job. OSHA has created a Heat Safety App that can help our members stay safe on the job by providing vital safety information on mobile phones. The App allows users to calculate a job site heat index with risk levels and also get reminders about the protective measures that should be taken at that risk level to protect workers from heat-related illness. With a simple "click" users can receive reminders about drinking enough fluids, planning for and knowing what to do in an emergency, signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, and more. The Heat Safety App is free and easy to download for iPhone and Android devices. Just click here. I hope you find this information helpful for your members as we face an extremely warm and humid summer. In solidarity Larry Hanley International President
Shop Steward Training 2016
Please click the Photo Albums tab on the left to check out our new album on Shop Steward Training 2016. We had THIRTY ONE Shop Stewards sign up this time. Our membership is INVOLVED and ENGAGED. United we are STRONG! Thank you to our friend and ATU brother Howard Boyle for these excellent pictures of the training!
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 email@example.com 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 HeathLetter 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
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.
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.Read more >>>
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.Read more >>>
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