Wednesday, June 2, 2010

filin' griev. bk 2 wrk soon. cu ;)

Remember this Einstein?

What they lack in brain size, the apparently make up for with WMATAcles the size of a WMATA budget gap. Metro says they've filed a grievance to get their job back. They were "let go" back in March, a month after the pics were snapped.

The driver was texting despite a very clearly stated zero-tolerance policy regarding such behavior instituted by Metro in the wake of several embarrassing incidents of distracted drivers, including one train operator apparently dozing off while at the helm.

Back then, we half joked that a return-to-work-date had not been set.

That day may be closer then we ever thought.

Drivers are entitled to the process, but COME ON, they're texting ... surreptitiously ... behind the wheel ... of a WMATA bus ... filled with passengers ... in violation of DC law ... against WMATA rules ... wearing a WMATA uniform.

The evidence would appear pretty damning, but then again, we all know that in Metroland, and anything can happen, so perhaps they're going for a Hail Mary, employing the Big Lie tactic. Actually, with the union's success in filing grievances, it's more like a third and inches.

According to WMATA, "if the ruling is that the employee’s termination is overturned, and it is determined that a suspension would have been warranted, the employee will receive back pay minus pay for the time they would have been suspended."

Perfect.

As we wait for the process to grind to some conclusion, we can all rest assured that all ATU 689 members "go to work every day cognizant of their responsibility to perform a job on behalf of our customers – the riding public,” just like their president says they do.

Stories like this give us the same warm and fuzzies for the union that we have for the Board. (NSFW)

For those interested, here's the grievance process as quoted from the current union contract:

Sec. 104 - Discipline and Grievance Procedure
(a) Employees (and assisting Union representatives) shall fill out grievance forms to the best of their knowledge and ability. Grievances should be as complete and specific as possible including a statement of the facts involved, the sections of the agreement alleged to have been violated and the remedy sought. Management officials responsible for filing written grievance responses shall do so to the best of their knowledge and ability. Responses shall be as complete and specific as possible including a statement of the facts involved, references to relevant contract language
and reasons for the decision.

(b) Grievances shall be processed in the following manner:

Step 1 - Any employee who has a grievance shall (together with the Union representative if the employee so desires) discuss the matter with the employee's immediate superior in an attempt to settle the matter satisfactorily. If the matter has not been settled within five (5) working days of the management action which gave rise to the grievance, the employee may, within ten (10) working days thereafter, file an official written grievance form, a copy of which shall be filed with the employee's immediate superior and another copy shall be filed with the Union through the
employee's shop steward (or other officially designated representative).

Step 2 - If the Union, through the employee's shop steward (or other officially designated representative) finds merit to the grievance, it shall, within ten (10) working days after the date of the filing of the formal written grievance, confer with the superintendent of the division (or other management official in charge of the division, garage, or other facility where the grievant is employed) in an effort to resolve the grievance satisfactorily. The occurrence of such conference shall be noted on the grievance form and signed by the participants. The management official involved shall render a written decision on the grievance within ten (10) working days after such conference with the Union.

If the management action which gave rise to the grievance was taken at a level higher than the superintendent of the division (or other management official in charge of the division, garage or other facility where the grievant is employed) Step 2 may be waived and the Business Agent (or the Business Agent's designee) may proceed directly to Step 3 within ten (10) working days after the date of the filing of the formal written grievance.

Step 3 - If the Union through the Business Agent (or the Business Agent's designee) is not satisfied with the Step 2 decision, it may, within ten (10) working days of the receipt thereof, confer with the Office Director (or the Office Director's designee). The the participants. The management official involved shall issue a written decision on the appeal within ten (10) working days of the conference with the Union.

Step 4 - If the Union, through the Business Agent (or the Business Agent's designee), is not satisfied with the Step 3 decision, it may appeal the grievance by requesting a conference with the General Manager (or the General Manager's designee) within ten (10) working days of receipt thereof. The General Manager (or the General Manager's Designee) will hold said conference and issue a written decision within twenty (20) working days of the receipt of the Step 4 grievance or the Step 3 appeal.

Step 5 - If the Union is not satisfied with the Step 4 decision, it may, within sixty (60) calendar days after receipt thereof, invoke arbitration in accordance with Section 105 of this Agreement.

Other items:
Metro holding hearing on $709 million spending plan (Examiner)
Again with the consultants (WAPO)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have a grievance. A union that puts incompetent drivers behind the wheel while neglecting public (and customer) safety.

Where can I file my grievance Ms. Jeter?

Anonymous said...

That's it. The last straw. I'm no longer giving a dime to that mob they call a union.

I don't care if driving is more expensive and takes longer (that last one was a joke). I'm done with paying salaries to these people.

Anonymous said...

So the driver who picked up a hooker and the driver who pulled out a knife will soon get their jobs back? I feel so safe already.

Anonymous said...

WMATAcles hahahha. Unsuck, you've got the cure for the daily blues.

Anonymous said...

"I'm no longer giving a dime to that mob they call a union...I'm done with paying salaries to these people."

If you pay taxes at the local, state, or federal level, you're going to have to hole up in Ruby Ridge, or something, to live up to that. You're stuck paying wages to ATU Local 689, whether you like it, or not.

Coming soon on Android, BlackBerry, and Palm -- FileAGrievance 1.0. ...with drop down lists, approved by Jackie Jeter, of excuses that have worked in the past. Optional AutoGrievanceFile in the pay version. Big buttons and voice feedback, so you can keep one hand on the wheel. Got suspended? Need to file a grievance?

There's an app for that.

Anonymous said...

Have they no sense of decency?

Anonymous said...

What a joke.

Anonymous said...

In this economy, you can understand wanting to keep your job, but it's too late for that honey. You got busted. Live with your decisions.

Anonymous said...

This is what I would like to say to most Metro employees I encounter:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz7zo1BvvA4

Anonymous said...

This is a doubleplusungood

Anonymous said...

Two points:

1. The Union is ridiculous and out of control. They spend an insane amount of money taking grievances all the way to the arbitrator (Step 5). Some of the cases are are so clearly incompetence and/or serious safety concerns that it boggles the mind.

2. Management is helpless to stop the insanity. Some of the arbitrators understand the cases. But other's come up with rulings that make you say WTF?! I understand that the company is held to a higher standard than an individual. But, it's clear in some rulings that they feel sorry for the grievant.

It's clear that the inmates are running the asylum.

Anonymous said...

First of all who is the low life passenger who standing right behind the bus driver? I mean get a life. I hope she gets her job back, because the only reason METRO even put this "no text" rule in, is because the thought the train conductor that crashed last June was on her phone for which they found out she wasn't.

Anonymous said...

"kreeggo" on the washington post site wrote this. what an apologist/metro employee:


This is actually pretty much of a non-story. Any union member can file a grievance. That doesn't mean they prevail.

Grounds? Hmmm...There was a photo posted on an anonymous blog site that didn't show the drivers face and the photo doesn't indicate whether the bus was moving or not. There is an anonymous witness that is cited on the anonymous blog. Does the anonymous witness time of photo match up with the time that the fired operator was at the alleged location? Has the original photo been provided to the management or is there a possibility of photoshop? Did the anonymous witness provide a bus number that doesn't match the number of the bus that the operator had that day? Does the anonymous witness come forward to testify?

On the issue of penalty. Does the "punishment" fit the "crime?" Some would argue vehemently--yes--anyone operating a bus while texting should be fired. Others may argue that a suspension for a first offense is more reasonable or perhaps disqualification from operating a bus or train--making them eligible for other employment such as custodian. What was the overall safety and work record of the employee? Should that be considered?

These are among the questions a union would have to answer or face court charges of failing their "duty of fair representation."

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