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Arbitration Decisions ATU Local 398 and Valley Ride (Boise, ID) ISSUE: Did Valley Ride violate Article 6, Section A, or Article 2, Sections A and B, of the collective bargaining agreement when Valley Regional Transit (VRT) restructured bus routes in the Nampa Urbanized Area and the Boise Transportation Management Area in 2005? SUMMARY: VRT hired a private consulting firm to provide advice on its operations. The consultants made recommendations to VRT, which they sought to implement. During this same period of time VRT was engaged in the collective bargaining process with Local 398. The employer did not present any issues at the bargaining table about the impacts or effects of the proposed route restructure which led to non-bargaining unit employees doing the work of union employees. Two mechanics in the Valley Ride system were laid off after the restructure. On April 16, 2006, the union filed a written grievance with the employer, citing a violation of the subcontracting article and the recognition clause. The employer argued that the changes were necessary to improve efficiency and to eliminate duplicate coverage. They also claimed that the bargaining unit saw no overall decrease in hours because of the restructure. HOLDING: On June 13, 2007 Arbitrator Boedecker sustained the arbitration by finding that the company violated the terms of the collective bargaining agreement by unilaterally restructuring bus routes. She stated, “The employer must return to the bargaining table with the union to negotiate an appropriate remedy for the employer’s violation of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement.”

ATU Local 1028 and MV Transportation, Inc. (Alsip, IL) ISSUE: Did the employee, a paratransit driver, violate the terms of a last chance agreement? SUMMARY: Grievant was originally terminated from her employment on or about August 24, 2005 for safety violations. The Union grieved this termination which led to settlement discussions between the Company and the Union. On or about October 19, 2005, the parties agreed that the grievant would return to her employment under a Last Chance Agreement (LCA). Shortly after the agreement was signed, the company alleged that the grievant was observed on a “drive cam” talking on her personal cell phone while operating a vehicle, which they claim is in violation of the LCA. As a result, the company terminated the employee. Counsel for the company alleged that the grievant had been discharged for violating a company rule against talking on her personal cell phone. The union argued that the company has the burden to prove a violation of the LCA. In this instance they contend that the company failed to do so. The video, they claim, was of poor quality and failed to prove that the employee was actually using a personal cell phone. They claim that the item in question was actually a company issued Nextel phone. The union also protested the use of camera footage in disciplinary proceedings, as it had never been bargained. HOLDING: On October 13, 2006 Arbitrator Humphreys ruled in favor of the union by finding no rational basis upon which the employer could come to the conclusion that the grievant was using a personal cell phone. He stated, “The Company did not establish by clear and convincing evidence that the grievant violated a Company rule under the Last Chance Agreement. The grievant is hereby reinstated to her employment with appropriate back pay.” Because the company failed to prove the guilt of the employee the arbitrator never addressed the other issue of using camera footage in disciplinary procedures without bargaining.

St. Catharines’ Local Pulls for Kids Local 846 participated in the Pull For Kids Fundraiser this past May. It was a huge success. Local 846 and St Catharines (ON) Transit were the top fundraising team, raising over $3600 with most of that money coming from our members and other brothers and sisters around North America. Our team placed third in this compatition and we feel very good about that. Our team featured myself and our Financial Secretary (Gloria De Fields). Gloria was the oldest person pulling in the event at 55+. Seven other ATU members made up the team as well as two employees of the administation department. Thanks to all who made donations to this event and for making our local shine.

www.atu.org

— Local President Alan Burrows 846, St. Catharines, ON

JULY/AUGUST 2007

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In Transit - July/August 2007  

Transit Worker Assault ATU Activists Win! Union to Celebrate Resurgence of Workers Making ‘The Right Move’ at International Convention / a u...

In Transit - July/August 2007  

Transit Worker Assault ATU Activists Win! Union to Celebrate Resurgence of Workers Making ‘The Right Move’ at International Convention / a u...