June / July 2007
Northstar…What does it mean for Metro Transit? Dorothy Maki I live up in Coon Rapids and witness daily the unbelievable traffic congestion for those who live in the vicinity of Hwy 10 (not to mention the Minnesotans that go up to their cabins this way every week-end.) The basically-unchanged Hwy. 10 has been ripe for a makeover between Foley and Elk River for decades. Recently, I got a chance to sit with Brian Lamb and talk about the Northstar Corridor and the new commuter rail line that will enter into downtown Minneapolis at the new Twins ballpark site. The name of this new station is being referred to as the “Multi-Modal Station.” It is exciting to see that with the cooperation among Metro Transit, the Met Council, MnDOT, the Minnesota Legislature, Burlington Northern Sante Fe (BNSF) and the Federal Transit Administration, Northstar is becoming a reality...finally! This team has moved forward in a combined effort toward a new type of transportation for Minnesota.
An aerial shot of how the new Twins stadium will fit into the downtown landscape. This past February, BNSF signed a 10-year operating agreement to provide the engineers and crew aboard the trains, who will be represented by the United Transportation Union (UTU). Continued on page 5
LOCAL 1005 OFFICERS President/Business Agent
OFFICERâ€™S CORNER Chuck Gudknecht FINANCIAL SECRETARY / TREASURER
Jerry Ewald Recording Secretary/Asst. Business Agent
Scott Tollin Financial Secretary/Treasurer
Calendar Education Committee 2:30 pm July 17 Aug 21 Union Office Executive Board & Union Meeting June 26 - Mpls. July 24 - St. Paul 10:00 AM / 7:30 PM Union Office Phone Union Office 612-379-2914 Phone e-mail: 612-379-2914 firstname.lastname@example.org email:website: www.atu1005.com email@example.com
The Financial Secretary/Treasurer Position in ATU Local 1005 The Financial Secretary/Treasurer (hereinafter FST) position has been described to me by one of our Local 1005 Union Officers as "the chief cook and bottle washer" in the union office. Recently, at a Financial Secretary/Treasurer conference I attended, an ATU International Officer described this position as a "should-be prerequisite to a President's position" at the Local level. The truth probably lies somewhere in between, but after being in this position for more than a year, I can see how each portrayal came about. Even though it would be a daunting task to describe in detail what this position requires on a daily, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual basis, let me describe for you some of the duties of the FST in Local 1005. As you might guess, the FST records and deposits all revenues, which include member dues, assessments, initiation fees, interest, and miscellaneous income. The FST records and pays all expenses of the local, some of which are: per capita taxes, legal fees, audit and accounting expenses, rent, arbitration expenses, equipment, insurance, office expenses, personnel costs, political contributions, and convention and delegate expenses. After each payroll period and after each payment to members for authorized lost time, the FST makes a deposit to 1) the Federal Government for Federal withholding, Social Security, and Medicare taxes, and 2) the State of Minnesota for State withholding. Prior to the union meeting each month, the FST prepares the financial statements of the previous month for distribution at the union meeting. Besides fiduciary responsibilities, the FST is responsible for all membership functions, which includes keeping two membership programs (one for active members, one for retiree members) up to date regarding new Continued on Page 16
Union Meeting Highlights April 24, 2007 Meeting President's Report Discussions continue with AFSCME concerning the Payroll positions. The Bureau of Mediation Services(BMS) has heard the case, but the case has been reopened to let AFSCME enter their history. Our union's stance is that all Payroll positions should be ATU. This is far from being settled. The Republican National Convention in St. Paul in 2008 is being discussed in meetings of the ATU, the Teamsters, the St. Paul Building Trades unions and the Minneapolis Central Labor Union(CLU). A Teamsters representative told the Republican Committee that if they attempt to bring non-union buses across state lines, they should be prepared to have them stopped at the border. Michelle and Jerry have met with Sam Jacobs on retirees coming back to work, but there are legal considerations. There are dicussions about retirees driving during the Republican National Convention. A new absenteeism policy is being discussed for non-driving departments. The union has expressed our concerns. We'll see if they listened. On computer use: Three employees are in discharge status at the moment for inappropriate computer use. Short e-mails might be OK, but if there are many pages of inappropriate sites on your work computer, it could be a problem. When a member passes away, the family can choose between receiving a memorial or $100 from the union. The Local's Organizing Committee is being reactivated. Interested members went through an intense two-day training course on organizing. Maintenance employees must scan in and out near the foreman's office. We're still waiting for the results of the Gloria Watkins arbitration. We lost Latisha Eaddy's arbitration. Results of Union Meeting Votes Motions: Two reduced-service days for this year - PASSED Requests for Arbitration South Operator: Terminated for gross misconduct, violation of Last Chance Agreement (LCA), falsification to a managerâ€™s inquiry, misuse of Metro Transit rules and policies and overall record - Yes to arbitration.
May 27, 2007 Meeting President's Report Michelle, Marlin Jensen and Deb Sievers met with a possible organizing target with a positive outcome. All six members of the Organizing Committee will probably be geared up to meet with contacts. A posting Continued on Page 4
Education Committee Advisor Scott Tollin Chair Members Rotate South Liz Goldberg (Vice Chair) Heywood Office Open Nicollet Dorothy Maki Melanie Benson Overhaul Base Tom Campbell Ruter Scott Lundquist East Metro Open Heywood Garage Open LRT Open 725 Bldg. Stephen Babcock (Layout) Editorial Board Ken Dolney Dan Abramowicz Chuck Feucht
At the Garage South Contact Liz Goldberg South Reconstruction to Begin July 1st. The $1.6 million dollar reconstruction of South Garage originally scheduled for April will now tentatively begin this July. Official groundbreaking will kick off phase one, and will initially involve the removal of tons of earth packed against the west wall, as well as the laying down of the concrete foundation. Completion is expected by the end of this year. Instructor Recognition Service and storage facility operations involve hundreds of ATU union members: Dispatchers, Operators, Mechanics, Skilled Helpers, Janitors, Fuelers, Vault Pullers, Farebox Techs - and the Instruction Department. Committed to the serious and challenging task of transforming doe-eyed fresh recruits from the street into professional bus operators, Instructors and Relief Instructors must maintain impeccable attendance and service records as well as leadership skills, just to name a few of the many qualifications required for the position. In view of their hard work, commitment and dedication, we commend and recognize their contributions to our facility and agency: Thank You! We appreciate you! South Instructors: Ray Golding #9126 and John Marroquin #2612 Relief Instructors: Randy Finch #128, Dale Patrin #715, Steve Leko #9201 and Keith Severson #7707
Highlights (from p. 3)
is up requesting more participation on the Organizing Committee. MV has lost their contract with the Met Council and will be out on July 1st. Scott Tollin has talked with the new company, Transit Team, who were not real enthused to meet with us. Scott brought Metro Transit applications to current ATU members at MV. A posting was put up this week to request your proposals for the new contract. The deadline for submitting them is July 18. Each proposal must be signed and each on a separate piece of paper. There is a new short-term policy regarding Mechanics going under buses: Steering wheel covers are being used to warn of a Mechanic being under the bus. IF YOU GET ON A BUS WITH A STEERING WHEEL COVER, DO NOT TAKE IT OFF AND DRIVE THE BUS. This is a short-term safety feature until a more comprehensive policy can be designed. We're still waiting for some arbitration awards. In one case, two ATU members and a supervisor were fired after being honest, yet when managers lie and cover up, they are still employed. We have gone directly to Brian Lamb about this. We will push this as far as we have to. The session at the Capitol is wrapping up and a veto override on the transportation bill looks less and less likely. Computer use and misuse are being taken seriously, as are extended breaks. Be aware: The Council can monitor every keystroke on your Council computer even when you think you're going into a password-protected site. The 2nd Annual Local 1005 Picnic is Sunday, July 8, starting at 11:00 a.m. in Battle Creek Park. Basic foods will be provided, but you supply beverages and extras. There will be nice door prizes and the "dunk tank" again, so you can dunk Michelle, Jerry and maybe some board members. Money collected at the dunk tank will be given as a door prize. Mark your calendars. Results of Union Meeting Votes: Motions: On Maintenance Recognition Program - FAILED Requests for arbitration LRT Track Maintainer: Terminated for inappropriate computer use - Yes to arbitration Nicollet Operator: Terminated for violating Last Chance Agreement - No to arbitration East Metro Operator: Terminated for accident and falsification - No to arbitration Office Employee: Terminated for inappropriate computer use - Yes to arbitration
North Star (from p.1)
AT THE GARAGE Nicollet Contact Melanie Benson or Dorothy Maki Nicollet Garage repaved the parking lots beginning on Wednesday, June 6th. It was an inconvenience for the Operators, but they have been rewarded with a nice, smooth, freshly-marked surface.
A depiction of how the the heavy rail station will interface with the LRT station on 5th Street and 5th Ave. North. (In the background you can see the Heywood Garage and the garbage refuse facility.)
Nicollet welcomed 20 new drivers to the garage with this new pick. Some of them were forced over from other garages, but hopefully will come to like their new home garage. Items are being collected already for the October Nicollet Garage Sale near the front of A-bay. Please contact Jean Hammond, Dr. #1374 or Maria Flores, Dr. # 6942 for more information or to volunteer your help.
Death Benefits A depiction of the LRT station on the bridge providing intermodal access. The new stadium will be where the cars are in the pictures. Metro Transit plans to work side by side with BNSF in a shared partnership in the new transportation. For example: Should the line become disabled, bus bridges (similar to light rail) would be in place. BNSF is a strong professional union company and so is Metro Transit. We look forward to a good relationship with them. Metro Transit awaits legislative approval because a portion of the Northstar line will operate outside of the seven-county area.
Additional Info: * A large new facility in Big Lake will house six locomotives, with room to add more. * BNSF may move their tracks over a little bit at the ballpark site. The original design was that the seats would overhang the tracks.
When an ATU Local 1005 member in good standing passes away, our Local provides the beneficiary of the deceased the following option: * Receiving a $100.00 memorial check in the name of the deceased; or * Having a $100.00 flower bouquet delivered to a church, synagogue, funeral home, cremation service, etc. The family of a retiree in good standing at time of death also receives a $1,000.00 benefit from the ATU International Office. (This is in response to concerns on the part of some members
Tapestry Lizbeth Goldberg Our world is a tapestry. There are 6,525,170,264 people in 194 countries with 6800 languages. 80 million people are added to the globe each year. People are our greatest asset. Our very survival in this world rests on our ability to accept and understand one another - and, even more importantly, to accept not just our differences, but to realize our common-ground similarities. Our workplace is a microcosm of this great world we live in. This series intends to introduce you to the unique members of our union who make up this amazing and exciting kaleidoscopic tapestry of diversity.
Mohamed Issa Mohamed is a part-time South Operator and has been with Metro Transit for eight months. Originally introduced to the agency through friends who are also Operators, Mohamed is attracted by the good benefits and union wages, as well as the fact that he really loves the job. “ I like people! I like meeting new people, getting around the city, being outside and out in the world. The money is very good and I feel a sense of freedom - no office!” With excellent communication skills and a magnetic personality, Mohamed has had a fairly easy time adjusting to his driving position. Originally from Mogadishu, Somalia, where he was born and raised with his six brothers and six sisters, Mohamed left his home in 1993 after receiving his fouryear degree in Animal Husbandry from Gahayr University. In 1992 Africa experienced the worst drought in a century that killed an estimated 300,000 Somalis. Combined with internal civil war, Somali was engulfed in anarchy, violence and poverty. Because of the instability both politically and economically in his homeland, Mohamed fled to Nairobi, Kenya in 1993 where his aunt lived and living were conditions better. He was assigned to a farm camp, where he worked for two years, and helped to run a small video store that his aunt owned. He hoped desperately that the situation in Somalia would improve and that he could return home, but they did not. In 1996, a brother who lived in Minnesota arranged to sponsor him. On his way to the U.S., he took advantage of the opportunity to satisfy his great desire to see the world and spent a brief time in London, England, Germany and Italy, which he enjoyed very much. After arriving in the states, Mohamed's first job was with a company that made surgical supplies, then on to assembling car phones, and he finally to BDI, where he assembled circuit boards for $10 an hour. "They liked me! …Then they laid me off." He enrolled at the Minneapolis Community Technical College and earned a degree in Video Production. Mohamed feels that education is crucial for living. "I need always school! You always need education - that's why we are in war. We are here to be born…to learn…to do…and die." Mohamed speaks four languages: Italian, Somali, Swahili, English and some Arabic, which he said, is the more difficult language to learn. Mohamed currently does a lot of volunteer work for his community, where he helps people adjust to living in
Page 7 Minnesota, and also does video projects for Ogaal Community Education. His dream is to establish his own video production business, doing projects for businesses, communities and individuals (social functions, weddings, etc.) Ambitious, intelligent, hardworking and with personality plus, Mohamed has made Minnesota his home, but without hesitation with great pride will tell you: "I am proud of where I am from. I am proud to be Somali." Mohamed Issa South Operator #66230
Ghansam Ramnarain “I found out about Metro Transit in 1999, when my neighbor's son-in-law, Dick Day (retired Garage Manager from Snelling) noticed a school bus parked in front of my house. He said to me ‘Ram, you need to drop the school bus and head for Metro Transit!’ I was hired in 1999, was an Operator for six months, and then went into the shop for the next seven and a half years.” Ram worked at South as a Sweeper for six months, went to Heywood for three years as a Helper, on to Nicollet for three and a half years as a Skilled Helper and he is presently at South, replacing “Frog”, who retired June 1st. He doesn’t seem to be offended in the least when introduced by grinning fellow mechanics as "Tadpole." Metro Transit appealed to Ram because “School bus was part-time with no benefits and I wanted a full-time position. Metro Transit offered good benefits and full-time work with great pay - and it was union! “I really liked driving. I am a people person and I miss it, but at Nicollet I would work my nights and then sign up for a piece of work as a miscellaneous driver when it was available. That was great for me. “I've been with Metro Transit now for eight years and I couldn't be any happier than I am about being here.” Ram came to the United States in 1982 from Guyana, South America, 25 years ago. His parents lived in Guyana, but his grandparents came from India. Ram has a brother in Toronto, Canada, a brother in New York, a sister in Minnesota and family members in Guyana, where they have a family farm. Ram’s hobbies: “ I like to work on cars, lawn mowers and motorcycles. I have a motorcycle, which I don't really ride a lot. Once a year I ride around the block and park it for the rest of the year. I also love to play cricket. I'm pretty good, actually, and I'm an all-rounder (able to play any position). There are 21 cricket teams in Minnesota and two of those teams are Guyana players. Most of the other players are from other countries: Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, England, Australia, Jamaica and Trinidad. I guess it hasn't caught on here yet! Retire? I like Florida. I have friends there, it’s fun and I love the fishing. I would seriously consider retiring in Florida.” Ram is married and has three children, two boys and one girl. With a great personality, a job he loves, enjoyable
Update on Driver Kidnapping/Assault Almost eight months after being assaulted on the 21-line by Paul Merrill Anderson, Diane Rude, Dr. 9204 of East Metro Garage, is still working with the Metro Transit Police and in the court system to see that Anderson is held accountable for his attack and threats against her. Many Metro Transit drivers and others were furious when they learned on April 9, 2007, that Anderson had been released from custody, thinking the case was over. Anderson’s defense lawyer, however, had used a provision in Minnesota statute to get Anderson released pending trial on the basis of time he had already spent in custody and his right to a speedy trial. Metro Transit immediately had a notice posted at all garages with Anderson’s photo, Continued on page 20
Northside Breakfast Club Meets the second Tuesday of each month, 8:30 AM at Barnacle Bill’s, located at Shingle Creek Parkway and Freeway Blvd in Brooklyn Center.
Southside Breakfast Club Meets the first Wednesday and the fourth Thursday of each month at Bridgemans, 800 W. 66th Street, Richfield.
Dorothy Maki This column will be devoted to our retirees. Our retirees have developed a tradition of meeting at several locations throughout the Twin Cities on set days and times. Everyone is welcome.
St. Paul Retiree Lunch Club Meets the second Wednesday of each month at 12:00 noon. The St. Paul Retiree Club has moved its meeting place from the Wells Lanes to the VFW Post #295, located at 111 So. Concord Exchange in South St. Paul.
Metro Transit Mechanic Teammate Meets the third Tuesday of the month at Old Country Buffet located at 2000 South Robert.
Snowbird (sno` burd) n. Any of several persons seen leaving Minnesota under snowy winter conditions. Part 2 This past February, my husband Brad and I stopped in on Andy and Judy Klein in Arizona. They are “snowbirds”, as are many retired transit workers. Here are the final stories from that wonderful list:
Doug Zubick, #1106, came to Minnesota and started driving for Twin City Lines on 8/30/65. His grandfather was a streetcar driver (I think it was in his blood). Doug and his wonderful spunky wife Phyllis live in Sun City, Arizona, a western suburb of Phoenix. Their son Robert lives in Phoenix too, and it has been a blessing to be close to him since he has struggled with some health issues. When I asked Doug about some memorable stories, Phyllis giggled and said, "Oh, Dougie, tell about the oranges in the aisle! Or the pot smoking in the back!" Doug smiled, with his hands folded on his belly, and said: "I think the weirdest day I had was when I saw a squad with his lights and siren on going full blast south on Nicollet. I was sitting at the stoplight at 40th street heading north and watched a little old lady in a green car go east through the green light. BAM! She broadsided the squad, knocking him in front of me, where he wrapped around my bus like at bumper with lights and noise. It’s lucky the cop was okay."
Carol Springer, #1151, (9/79-10/99)
and her husband
Mike live in Arizona full-time. They have two homes there, one in the Mesa/Apache Junction area, and a summer home up in the mountains of Show Low. They call that “Minnesota” because of the little bit of snow it gets in the winter - and the fact that all the trees and beauty make it look a lot like Minnesota. Mike is really into floor tiling, and has added beautiful tiled floors all over both of their homes, inside and out.
Page 9 Carol loves pictures and has huge collections of paintings and tons of pictures of loved ones hung in all the rooms. She has a little white dog that she adores and keeps her busy. When I asked her if she had a story that stood out, she told me she worked mostly part-time at Metro Transit with few or no “problems”, but that the story that sticks out is the fact that she never meant to drive bus! Her sister Sue begged her to come with her in 1979 to fill out an application. When they got there, the girl handing out the applications asked Carol, “Do you want one, too?” Carol said, “No, thanks.” “Are you sure?” She was sure. Then another guy came in and again she was asked. The third time everyone told her, “What the heck, fill one out,” so she did - and 20 years later..! Her sister, Pat Johnson, #2073, is still keeping the driving tradition alive at FTH. Brad and I traveled to Arizona together to visit the “snowbirds.”
Brad Maki, #8608, worked for Metro Transit from 9/21/96-11/2/06, when he took a medical retirement. Brad has been battling nasopharyngeal cancer since Thanksgiving of 2005, but he is still his upbeat, funny self. He is the vice-president of our townhouse association, which keeps him quite busy, and his most recent putt-putt project is a 1966 Impala that he is making road-ready for our summer outings. I asked him to recall an old story: “Our company was called MCTO at the time, and they had us new full-time drivers take a course called ‘Making the Customer Connection.’ It was about customer service, making good announcements, etc. “I was forced to Shingle Creek (now called MJR) and I was at the absolute bottom of the barrel, lowest seniority driver in the system. I remember my instructor, Dennis Blake, introduced me to an older guy, saying, ‘Highest seniority person in the system, meet the lowest seniority person in the system.’ This guy immediately put his thumb on his nose and wriggled his fingers, making a funny noise at me. This was a telling sign for my first days of full-time at Metropolitan Council Transit Operations. “When it was my turn to pick, I had a choice of the 5-line until 2:05 am or the 5-line until 2:20 am. So I picked the 5-line until 2:05 am. “It was my second day out on the street. I was northbound approaching Abbott Hospital. I heard 'catccchhh', 'catccchhh', a couple of cans opening in the back of the bus, and in the mirror, I could see passengers drinking out of paper sacks. “Remembering back to the great class I had just taken, and thinking ahead about what a good announcement is made of, I said in my most professional tone, ‘This is a friendly reminder, there is no consuming beverages and food on the MCTO buses, no food and drink on the buses. Thank you for riding MCTO.’ “The bus erupted in various colorful metaphors and forms of four-letter words. Empty cans, Kentucky Fried Chicken boxes and chicken bones came flying at me. I kind of ducked and shrank down as best a six-feet, eleven-inch guy can do. I could hear the empty whiskey bottle as it rolled all the way down the aisle from the back, crashed into the farebox and broke. “That's the last time I made a public service announcement on the 5-line - but I still called all my streets!”
At the Garage LRT Contact Bob Boyle or Mark Ammend Congratulations to the Metro Transit Rail Rodeo teams who placed 5th overall at the competition in Toronto, Canada. Operator Mark Ammend placed 6th out of 20, and our maintenance team of Chris Anderson, Vern Goble, and Steve Cobb placed 9th out of 19. Preliminary work has begun on the new station at the future Twins stadium/Northstar platform, and to extending the Hiawatha line to meet it. Ridership continues to be impressive as the gas prices have soared, and the Twins are staying in the pennant race.
www.atu1005.com Contact Jerry Ewald Get the latest info from the union website: Meeting agendas, grievances coming before the membership, officersâ€™ e-mail addresses, etc. Get connected. Union strength through member involvement! Get contract proposal forms online.
Snapshot: A Century of Seniority "Hey, Melanie, did you realize that between you, me and Jaycox, we have more than a hundred years of seniority out there on 38th Street?" Bob asked in the Nicollet locker room one morning early this spring. "Really? What a great idea for a story!" Of course there was no time to talk about it just then. They were both getting ready to pull out at 4:59 and 5:01, respectively. As usual, both of them (especially Bob) had slid in seconds before plug-in time. Bob was right. Melanie Benson, Nicollet Driver 854, will have 31 years on October 11, 2007 (see profile, April-May issue); Bob's 34th anniversary date was May 14, 2007; and Leonard Jaycox marked his 37th anniversary on May 20, 2007 - totaling over 101 years of driving experience. During this pick only, from February to April, all three drove back and forth on 38th Street weekday mornings. Shortly after making his observation, Bob was injured and has been off work. The run Leonard is driving doesn't exist in the June pick. So we'd better celebrate this unique moment while we can. Bob Seidel, Nicollet Driver 254, was born in Red Wing, Minnesota, where he lived until age nine, when his family moved to Minneapolis. His father, a lock-and-dam operator, would be working at the St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam. Bob's mother, a registered nurse, had spent five years in the Navy and was a First Lieutenant in England during World War II. One of six siblings, with three sisters and two brothers, Bob remembers everybody in the family working from the time they were young, shoveling snow, mowing and taking whatever jobs they could find. Bob's grandfather, John G.Seidel, had been a streetcar operator for 25 years and was elected for two terms of office as President of ATU Local 1005 from 1948-1954. Known as being strict and politically knowledgeable, John Seidel died in 1970. Bob had taken the city bus to and from DeLaSalle while in ninth grade, and he finished school at Roosevelt High, graduating in 1968. After serving two years in the Army (1969-71), he was working for a vending company when his dad saw an ad for bus drivers. Mel Schultz hired Bob on May 14, 1973. Bob still remains friends with Rick Walker, also a member of his training class. Jon Uzpen, now Nicollet's Safety
Page 11 Supervisor, was hired a week later. For the first nine years, Bob worked the extra board and then settled onto the 18-line for many years, also driving the 9 and, more recently, the 46 and, finally, the 23-line on 38th. An avid trapper and hunter of deer, moose and bear, who loves reading books and magazines about the outdoors, Bob was thinking about retiring January 30 of this year. After taking ten weeks of vacation, however, he decided he wasn't ready to retire and came back to work. Then, in April, on his first turkey-hunting trip ever, he fell down a steep incline into a creek bottom, landing on his left arm, injuring his shoulder badly. After being diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff and bicep damage and spending four weeks in painful physical therapy and home exercise, an MRI showed that Bob's shoulder was actually broken and should have been immobilized instead. The good news is that now he may not require surgery and should be able to return to driving.
At the Garage OHB Contact: Tom Campbell Bob Schaller
That's not only good news for him, but for his passengers, who miss him terribly. "Where's Bob? Is he O.K? Is he coming back?" are questions that other 23 - line drivers hear - no doubt because Bob takes a real interest in his passengers: "I love talking to people. You find out stuff you'd never know. One of my riders played with Lamont Cranston." Bob looks forward to seeing his passengers every day as much as they look forward to seeing him. "You open up a little, they open up a little," he says. To Bob's passengers, he's a friendly, personable driver with a big smile, although some of the other drivers think of him as "the quiet guy." Bob admits that he's quiet around the garage (where he doesn't spend much time), adding that he was kind of a "shadow" in high school, too, but he's recently become more outgoing. (In fact, his cheerfulness is contagious.) He loves meeting new people and socializes with some of his passengers. Bob's special pal is his cat, Buster, found at his lake place up by Pine River on June 30, 2003. His first cat ever, Buster is a white, brown and peach Maine coon cat with a ruff and a striped tail who "does what he wants to do." And what Bob wants to do is to get back out on the line. Leonard Jaycox, Nicollet Driver 494, on the other hand, is just about ready to retire after 37 years. When he does, all the drivers in the system will move up on the seniority list because Leonard is #1, and he says: "It feels good." Born and raised in Tennessee, Leonard graduated from Central High School in Alamo, Tennessee. After spending four years in the Air Force, he came to Minnesota, where he worked at the arsenal in New Brighton until he was laid off. He applied with Twin City Lines as a driver and was hired in the first fifteen minutes of his interview on May 20, 1970. The Metropolitan Transit Commission had just been established then, and there had been a strike in 1969. Twin City Lines was hiring drivers for MTC's future needs, receiving $900 for every trained driver. Continued on Page 17
At the Garage East Metro Looking for someone to let us know what is going on
Transit Safety and Security Committee Meeting Minutes Members: Jim Chisholm, Management Advisor, TCC David Rogers, Chair, Rail Jerry Larsen, Heywood Mary Vasterling, South Theresa Collins, Nicollet Dennis Engebretson, East Metro Van, Ruter Operator April Others in Attendance Chad Loeffler TCC Supervisor Officer AJ Olson, MTPD Mike Conlon - Director of Bus and Rail Safety Lee Bennett, Asst. Manager, Street Ops Frank Stumpf - MJR Garage Manager Dave Larrabe - Risk Management Sam Jacobs - Director of Bus Transportation Brenda Himrich - Manager of Bus & Rail Safety Scott Tollin - ATU Diane Rude - East Metro Op. Cheryl Alonzo - Heywood Op.
not sure what committee wanted until Theresa volunteered as guinea pig to demo concerns. The 'Douglas' column is thicker than the TRW column, which has a problem with the horn sticking. The shop will experiment with self-adhesive padding for columns. Gillig vent covers have had foam added to seal better.
For complete details please see the Safety and Security Board located in every garage.
STREET OPERATIONS No representative in attendance:
TCC REPORT Jim Chisholm in attendance. The March blizzard, which caused cancellation of the March TSSC meeting, had minor impact on service. There were approx. a total of 27 minor bus related accidents and approx. 140 stuck buses for both 3/1/07 and 3/2/07. As many artic buses as possible were taken out of service as a precaution. MAINTENANCE REPORT Chuck Wurzinger in attendance. Testing of knee pads on steering columns was delayed. OHB was
The Council awarded the bid for 314 new buses to Gillig per Maintenance and Training specifications for delivery later this year. A protest filed by New Flyer has interrupted the order going forward. 85 buses have mirrors installed to view the seats directly behind the driver. Mirror mounted above glass shield. New Flyer is addressing defroster / venting issues. Re: Bus 7101, the add-on seats over front wheel well have been removed. Concern about reduced seating due to future low-floor bus order.
SAFETY Brenda Himrich in attendance: Automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) are in place at all garages and office spaces. Demonstrations have taken place at all locations except Nicollet and Ruter. Transit now has its own demo unit, so it can be used internally without waiting for outside. Note: Sadly the East Metro AED was of no help in a recent tragedy there, it was too late. It was reassuring that the AED was available if it could have assisted. In February we were over goal accidents, helped by East Metro's
seven days accident free. Still working on handout re: how to avoid falling accidents. Scooter manufacturers were contacted re: tie-downs; one salesman's solution was buy extensions. David Larrabee, Risk Claims, in attendance: The March blizzard resulted in just a few major accidents. The increase in missing accident reports and customer courtesy cards is a huge problem. Prompt reports of incidents are necessary to capture video which often protects the agency from false or overstated claims. When operators communicate with customers, issues can be avoided. A simple "Are you okay?" when someone stumbles may be all the concern needed. POLICE REPORT Officer A.J. Olson in attendance. Several minor operator assaults last month and two more serious assaults: A large 2x4 board was chucked through the open bus door; driver sustained slight injury to arm. A 40 oz. beer tossed at a train shattered the cab window, spraying operator with glass. Shooting victim in March 'Good Samaritan' incident on Route 5 still in critical condition; arrests have been made. Just a few days later, a fight on Route 10 resulted in a fatality and an arrest. Saturation details for 2 Â˝ weeks in March, mostly Route 5 with some on Route 10. Three officers were assigned ridealongs for their full shift beginning March 5.
Page 13 January rides = 280 hours, February = 290 hours, March = 324 regular squad onboard hours and 310 full-shift hours. Monthly on-board hours in 2006 averaged 270 hours.
2006 not known. AJ: Could a dash light indicator or a MDT message indicate that the Covert Alarm is activated? Jerry: The MDT does have an activation code on the screen.
Uniformed officers ride between 2 pm and 10 pm; all Mpls. ridealongs will be on routes 5 & 10.
Jim: Reminder: Pressing the covert alarm re-sets the system each time, so it interrupts the monitoring capability. Covert Alarm Will Not work in fallback mode.
MTPD is discussing shift changes with unions, positive so far and hope to implement in July. Tenhour shifts will allow overlap through PM rush and will help manage overtime. Days off to be scheduled so all staff will be working same weekday (Wed) for continuity and training. All these changes are all pending union approval. Summary of calls are available again. Please solicit feedback to see if monthly summary is highly valued or if quarterly summaries are adequate. MTPD is now fully staffed, but these reports still take time and resources. Chief Indrehus is committed to ride-alongs. "The most effective security is onboard uniformed officers." OTHER Covert alarm discussion. Should a switch be added to Covert Alarm to change overhead sign to read: CALL POLICE when activated? Sam: The sign option for CODE 2000 was removed when some police depts. threatened to bill the agency for false alarms or resolved situations. AJ: When there are too many alarms, it's the 'boy who cried wolf' syndrome and response might suffer. Jim: In the past 6 months there were 28 false alarms. Total for
Mark Johnson thanked outgoing member Jerry Larsen for his service as FTH representative and introduced newly elected representative Jeff Thompson, #9826. Jeff has almost ten years of service and is a relief instructor. Sam will issue a bulletin regarding Covert Alarm use and capability. Respectfully submitted, Sheila Miller, Relief Recording Secretary May Others in Attendance Wayne Babcock, TCC Manager Dave Larrabee, Risk Management Lee Bennett, Asst Manager Street Operations Chad Loeffler, TCC Supervisor Dan Bullock, Electronic Repair Manager Lt. AJ Olson, MTPD Jerry Gudim, Nicollet Garage Manager Georgia Stinson, Asst. Dir Bus Transportation Michael Guse, Rail Transportation Manager Frank Stumpf, MJR Garage Manager Brenda Himrich, Manager of Bus & Rail Safety Scott Tollin, ATU Mark Johnson, FTH Garage Manager Jeff Woestrel, East Metro Garage Manager May Metting Notes continued on P.14
At the Garage Ruter Contact Dan Abramowicz #6225 firstname.lastname@example.org or Scott Lundquist Dr. #6401 We had a Rhubarb Feed last month, thanks to Marnell Wilbur #1157. Drivers were encouraged to bring rhubarb dishes to share. All was gone before noon. Next time we need more submissions. Along with the good news of Ruter getting five, more routes from Maple Grove Transit we are now awaiting 13 buses from First Student. Some of those are almost brand-new 40ft. New Flyer low-floor buses. We have not had low-floors here before, so all are encouraged to check them out. They will be used only on Maple Grove work for now. Our work has increased by 15 runs this June pick. We have many drivers who are brandnew to Ruter garage. Please welcome all the new faces - isspecially those brand new fulltimers who got forced here! It is not yet known if we will again be losing all this new work come the winter. Remember, last year we lost out because of a requirement to have all buses parked inside the bays during the cold months.
At the Garage Heywood Looking for someone to let us know what is going on
At the Office Heywood Looking for someone to let us know what is going on
Page 14 TCC REPORT Chad Loeffler in attendance. Nothing new to report. MAINTENANCE REPORT Chuck Wurzinger in attendance. Steering column wrap test has been approved for a Nicollet Bus. Unknown bus number at this time. Small mirror installation update (mirror mounted above front door area that views seat directly behind Operator) - 312 buses have been installed so far. Test seat in bus 7101 will be removed from front curb side wheel well. In regards to window glare in low floor buses - all South low floors have had a piece of metal installed by Gillig to reduce glare. New Gillig low floors have had windshield changes made and glare is improved on both. Concerning windshield integrity Gillig windshields meet all DOT requirements. No information on where new buses will come from yet. No information on steering wheel replacement. Metro Transit has a grant to retrofit up to 240 buses with digital video cameras. Project will start sometime during the summer on the newest 40 ft buses receiving 4 cameras inside and 1 pointing out the front windshield. STREET OPERATIONS Lee Bennett in attendance: Nicollet Mall detour between 7th and 8th Sts was changed due to safety concerns with pedestrian activity while making turns. Nicollet Mall buses will be on Hennepin between Washington and 12th Streets. Buses will remain on detour through annual Nicollet Mall paving project. Would it make sense to have any buses detour onto 3rd Ave S?
Customers on PM express trips have requested detours change onto 3rd Ave. 5th St has a 120 year old sewer line running underneath it and the Twins ballpark transportation cannot proceed until sewer gets replaced. 5th St will be closed beginning May 7 in both directions. Look for packet describing most detours for pullouts, pullins, doubleovers. FTH will run shuttle from approximately 11am until 345pm to transport relief operators back and forth. SAFETY Brenda Himrich in attendance: MJR Garage will be celebrating 11 consecutive accident free days May 8. Safety department is pushing pedestrian safety in the month of May. Videos will be shown in Driver's room. Bulletin regarding pedestrian laws has been issued. March accident data passed out. RISK MANAGEMENT David Larrabe in attendance: Concerning last month's inquiry about trip and fall accidents in Mpls area: In all 2006, 588 events took place. 274 in the last 6 months. Slips and falls, 26 events at MJR garage in the last 6 months. LRT REPORT Michael Guse in attendance. LRV 104A has had forward facing camera looking out window. Goal is to have cameras in all LRVs. POLICE REPORT Lt. A.J. Olson in attendance. Concerning courtesy cards - If Transit Police are onsite; it is acceptable to ask police to assist in collecting courtesy cards at incidents. If there is only one officer onsite it may be more challenging for the officer to assist.
Forward facing cameras - Police are looking forward to cameras as a means of defending ourselves in accidents. Cameras assist in defending citations. Suspect in bus homicide was arrested later the same day. Video from bus confirms suspect was on bus. Op assaults - only 1 assault in last month. Op waiting for relief at Nicollet/Franklin was assaulted while waiting for bus. MTPD continue added onboard presence, including 1200 hours in April. Summer initiative to increase police presence onboard buses and at bus stops. Four more police officer shifts have been approved for activation for July 1 and through the end of summer. Increased Downtown St. Paul foot beat officers have been implemented temporarily to address problems in the downtown area. Mpls Police department has asked city council for extra funds to assist patrols in bus stops and elsewhere in the city. Part time officers will continue to be a vital part of the security onboard buses and filling extra security shifts. OTHER Jim: What are the thoughts or installing a plastic cover over the silent alarm in hopes of preventing false alarms? Curt: Switch or something may be nice when you are trying to find the bottom, it would be easier to find. TSSC votes 4-1 in favor of recommending a test bus and will ask about switch idea at garage. Concerning Signs on buses - proposal to change wording from "May be recorded" to "are being recorded" and include language
Page 15 about assaults on buses are felonies, including spitting. TSSC approves changes with 3-2 vote, 1 member abstaining. Stroller Policy - 5 points concerning stroller policy: 1) are ops are intimidated to enforce, 2) waivers have been issued. 3) More complaints about new policy, 4) Police are not in a position to enforce, 5) Claims related to strollers has been constant over the past four years. 3-4 a year per Risk Mgt. For complete details please see the Safety and Security Board located in every garage.
Respectfully submitted, Chad Loeffler
Miscellaneous Info: * Purchase is complete of Sparkling Wash. Metro Transit now owns the six acres of Ragstock and Sparkling Wash. This property is being looked at as a bus expansion facility. It will house approximately 166 buses and is scheduled to be built in 2011. (This timeline will hopefully be moved up.) * Old Snelling Garage site negotiations are still not done. The original site where Metro Transit was going to rebuild was met with much unrest in the neighborhood. Metro Transit has looked at 'swapping' land that is right by the Overhaul base. This looks promising, but is held up due to appraisal differences. The land at the Snelling site is much more valuable than the land at the Vandalia site.
Greg Hoffman, Heywood Operator # 67091, takes the Oath of Membership before the evening March membership meeting.
Transit Humor Amusing bumper stickers and T-shirts: (printed over the yin-yang symbol) That was Zen, this is Tao. Come the rapture, can I have your car? I love my country, but we have to start seeing other people. I'm out of my mind. Please leave a message. You've got to be tough if you're going to be stupid. If you have a funny, true and tasteful story please submit by interoffice mail to Melanie Benson, Dr 854 at Nicollet Garage.
CRYPTO by PAT KELEHAN Each letter stands for another. If you think X=O, for example, it would equal O throughout the puzzle. Clue: T = E
O Y T
O A Z
B X X T C W X
W F F T V O T S . . . M F Z N (Answer on page 23 )
O Y T
S J G X B D!
W X B T D V G J V.
O Y T K
A T F T A T F T
O A B D V
Page 16 Officerâ€™s Corner (from p .2)
hires, discharges, retirements, suspensions, resignations, re-instatements, dues compliance, deaths, change of address, and name change data. In the case of a member death, the FST acts as the liaison between the beneficiary of the deceased and the ATU International. At the end of each month, the FST must close the membership program, so that per capita taxes for the ATU International, Minnesota AFL-CIO, Minneapolis Central Labor Union, St. Paul Trades and Labor, St. Croix Valley Central Labor Council, Eastern CAN-AM, and Northwest Conference can be computed and paid. Other monthly responsibilities include the reconciliation of all bank statements, ordering refreshments for union meetings, the recording of member attendance at union meetings, and letters to recent retirees explaining the benefits of maintaining retiree membership. At the end of each calendar quarter, the FST must file: * an Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return and submit a quarterly payment for Federal Unemployment; * an Employer's Quarterly State of Minnesota Withholding Tax Return; and * a Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Wage Detail Report and submit a quarterly payment for Minnesota Unemployment taxes. Twice a year, primarily in February and August, the FST is responsible for compiling various information and documentation (financial and other) for a six-month financial audit required by the ATU International. In November/December of each year, the FST prepares the annual budget, reserves rooms for union meetings, and begins preparing all of the files (computer and other) needed by the FST to record union business and information for the succeeding year. At the beginning of the year it is the responsibility of the FST to: * prepare Union Membership Cards and mail them to Active members, 50-year Retiree members, and Retiree members who have paid their dues for the current year; * prepare a list of ATU members who attended five Union meetings or more the previous year and pay those members $5.00 per union meeting attended; * prepare a sweatshirt list for ATU members who attended ten union meetings or more the previous year; * prepare W-2's and mail them; * prepare all Quarterly tax returns/reports and submit payments if needed; and * prepare and submit a State of Minnesota Campaign Finance Report. Throughout the year, the FST: * makes all travel and hotel reservations, pays registration fees, and pays authorized personnel costs for ATU Local 1005 members/delegates attending conventions, conferences, caucuses, seminars, personnel training, and/or labor education; * monitors all office supplies and makes purchases as needed; * is responsible for the execution of union elections and all of the details leading up to an election; and * keeps a record of all contributions made to political candidates and submits timely reports of all political contributions to the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. There are other duties and tasks performed by the FST not mentioned here, but I hope my description of some of the responsibilities required of the FST position in the ATU Local 1005 gives you a better understanding of the job.
Page 17 A Century of Senority (from p.11)
Leonard liked the job right away. He loved driving and said, "It was a lot of fun, especially the camaraderie between the drivers," adding, "We got more respect from the public, then, too." He observed that some black drivers had already been around for a long time, but the 70's really were the beginning of the influx of blacks and women. At the time, there were only two women drivers and two women in the shop. One of the women drivers was Ruby Peterson, who had been driving since the streetcar days during WW II. "She didn't play" on the bus, he said. (Melanie remembers Ruby, too: "She was petite, but she commanded and demanded respect. People still talk about her.") Over the years, Leonard's driven a variety of routes including the 4, 6, 9, 18 and 24. In 2003, he drove three picks on the 23-line and came back for this one pick in 2007 for the hours (6:50 a.m. to 3:11 p.m.). Leonard picks first for the hours, always studying the pick carefully; and, because runs keep being changed so often, he hasn't gotten to know his passengers as well. He is looking forward to going back to the 24-line, which he drove when it first came over to Nicollet. Leonard plans on retiring on September 10, when he turns 62, â€œ...but you never know. I'm still adjusting to the thought of it. I'll be working another job when I leave here." Although 37 years seems like a long time, he points out that an East Metro driver who just retired had 41 years, and Andy Birnell and Martin Ruter had 47 and 48 years when they retired. When asked the secret to his longevity on the job, Leonard counsels: "Know why you're here. Even though it's a job and recognition is nice, you need to like people. Keep your own attitude correct. If your attitude is good, you'll stay healthy. Physical workouts are important as a stress reliever. If you're angry, hit a punching bag. If you're having trouble, talk it out with other drivers. We all have common experiences. Don't take the stress you encounter on the job home with you. Never forget that a sense of humor is primary. Without that, it's a hard job to handle." Trim and fit with an easy-going manner, Leonard is the picture of serenity, so he must be following his own advice. Someone once said: "Take what you like and leave the rest." Whatever has gotten these drivers through - the camaraderie, the personal passenger interaction, the pay - it has all added up to a century of service - and that deserves to be celebrated in this snapshot in time.
Remember whenâ€Ś â€Śthe buses didn't have radios? We used to carry dimes in case we needed to call in about trouble on the bus or a mechanical problem. Then we were reimbursed by the dispatcher when we pulled in: "Yeah, you owe me 20 cents. I had to call twice." Bob and Leonard (see Century article) shared these stories about pre-radio days: Bob was driving a northbound 35-Express with a full passenger load one morning at 6:30 a.m. when his bus broke down on the freeway at 35W and 76th Street, right by Wood Lake. "I ran across the freeway, jumped the fence, tore my pants," he remembers, "and asked someone watering his yard if I could use his phone. Then I ran back across the freeway and waved down another bus so I could transfer my passengers." In the early 70's, Leonard's bus broke down at 27th and Washington St. NE, the old 18G terminal. With a rail yard on one side and only a residential area on the other, the only choice he had was to start knocking on doors. "I already knew I was in the wrong neighborhood," he said, noting that Northeast Minneapolis was quite white then. "Luckily, at the first house a little old lady trusted me enough to let me in her house to call the Garage. Good thing it was daylight. If it had been dark, I probably would have walked all the way up to Lowry to find a pay phone." Those were the days!
725 / OSC Bldg. Contact Stephen Babcock The long-awaited asphalt paving of the driveway is completed. The Electronic / Radio department has moved in. The stockroom is in an ongoing transition of operations. Store is having a pick.
Did you ever wonder… …what you do if you forget to enter the trip number before you leave the end of the line? Enter it as soon as you remember, or what? How often does somebody look at these statistics, anyway? Answer: According to Janet Hopper in Service Planning, rides are measured each trip, and the farebox creates a new record each time the trip number is changed. While it doesn't matter as much to the Revenue people, who look at overall revenue, Service Planning does use these figures. If you forget to set the trip number for one trip (or more), set the correct trip number as soon as you remember and go from there. Because Service Planning goes by averaging ridership figures, an occasional mistake is not a problem, but these statistics are important, so try to remember to set your trip number at each terminal (or maybe at the last stoplight you have before reaching your terminal, when there aren't as many things to do.)
Informal Employee Get-together On Thursday evening, May 24, almost 75 Metro Transit employees, retired and active, met at Champion's on Lake and Blaisdell "for no reason" - and for every reason. The success of this event, organized by Donna Tuveson, Andy Klein, Kathy Casey and Helen Jenkins, just shows how important it is for us to socialize. Hopefully, similar gatherings will be organized periodically. (Wouldn’t it be nice if all those people came to the union picnic?)
Education Committee members say goodbye to Theresa Collins, who had to resign because of health concerns.
Calling All Contract Proposals The labor contract between ATU Local 1005 and Metro Transit, which determines our wages, benefits and working conditions, expires on July 31, 2008. The membership voted to start negotiations early this time around. Proposals for the contract are submitted both by the Union Office and by individual members. IF YOU HAVE A PROPOSAL FOR THE CONTRACT, IT MUST BE SUBMITTED BY JULY 18, 2007. The contract is available for viewing either by requesting a copy of the printed contract from your Board Member or by visiting the union's website: www.atu1005.com/, click on “Contract” link then click on book. All proposals must be signed, printed clearly, and include your name and Employee number, as well as a way to contact you for clarification. It would be helpful if the proposal were referenced to Article and Section of the contract, but it's not necessary. Please submit one proposal per page. Proposal forms may be printed from the the union website. Proposals may be emailed to: email@example.com, but it would be best to mail them to or drop them off at the Local 1005 office at 312 Central Avenue, RM 438, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Your Invited to The ATU Local 1005 3rd Annual Charity Motorcycle Run ALL Facilities and Friends Welcome Charity:
Save: Suicide Awareness Voice of Education. Ride to SAVE a life. Registration/Donation: $20.00 per bike.
Saturday, August 18th, 2007. Registration starts at 10:00 AM. Pull out at 11:00 AM. Ends approximately between 4:00 - 5:00 PM. If rained out, then Sunday, August 19th, 2007
Meet at the lower Afton and Hwy 61 Park-N-Ride. Take 94 to Hwy 61 SB, P-N-R on left side. Try to get there early to register, and receive a raffle ticket, get a map, draw a poker card, and acquire any other information that may be needed. Registration starts at 10:00 AM.
Prize give-aways. The registration of $20.00 automatically enters you in the Raffle. Prizes awarded at the end of the run. Winners must be present to win.
For an additional $5.00 per person, one card will be drawn at each stop and recorded. Best poker hand (5 cards) wins 50% of the pot. 2nd place wins 30%, and 3rd place wins 20% of the pot. Enter as many as you want, $5.00 each.
Approximately 100 miles. Starting at the Lower Afton and Hwy 61 park-N-ride lot
ROUTING AND STOPS TO BE ANNOUNCED UPON REGISTRATION Contacts: Jerry Larsen: 651-329-3581 - EM Russ Hoosline: 612-386-4318 - FTH Rick Steffeis: 651-278-9651 - FTH Tony Taylor: 612-791-9383 - Nic Debbie Serrine: 763-464-1079 - Rail Lave: 763-957-2120 - MJR Jerry Ewald: 651-748-8208 - ATU www.atu1005.com
Last years participants in the Second ATU local 1005 Charity Run
Page 20 “Kidnapping” from p. 7 warning drivers that he was not allowed anywhere on Metro Transit property. Police presence was heavy in the vicinity of Lake Street and the address to which Anderson was presumably returning. Anderson was scheduled to return for trial on May 14th. With a long criminal record, Anderson had been through the system for years and had even done time in the facility for offenders in St. Peter, Minnesota. On May 14th, Anderson was proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of kidnapping Diane and “Not leaving her in a safe place.” The second part of the trial in Ramsey County, to prove whether he was insane or not at the time of the assualt, was not completed, and is now “on hold.” Ramsey County has sent the case to Hennepin County for civil commitment proceedings, which will take place on June 26th. This case is unlikely to be resolved this year. Anderson is currently in custody at St. Mary’s Hospital. Diane has shown extraordinary courage all along the way: She kept cool while he kidnapped her and threatened her life; summoned the police so he could be apprehended; worked with Metro Transit Police; sought the help she needed for the emotional and psychological after-effects of the assualt; spoke to the Driver’s Safety and Security Committee about her experience: wrote an article for the ATU 1005 newsletter; suggested the installation of mirrors to reflect the presence of passengers sitting in the “blind spot” behind the driver’s seat; and is still working with victim advocates and the court system tirelessly to see that this terrifying experience doesn’t happen to anyone else. Although she knows that, if Anderson is found insane, he may spend time in a mental facility, she still wants to see him do time in a penal institution for his crime against her. With great determina-
Transit Study WASHINGTON - A household with two cars that swaps one vehicle for public transportation for daily commutes would save about $6,200 a year even after paying transit fares, according to a study released on January 10th, 2007. The study, released by the nonprofit American Public Transportation Association, offers some relief to U.S. consumers who have taken a beating at the pump. According to the study, conducted by consultants ICF International, a two-adult household where one adult relies on public transit instead of a car for work commuting can save $6,251 a year compared with a household without transit access. That's more than the $5,781 the average U.S. household spent on food in 2004, and slightly less than the $6,848 paid in yearly interest on the average home mortgage, the study said. "Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch?" said association President William Millar, calling for Congress and the Bush administration to boost incentives for public transportation. Most of the savings comes from not paying for fees for maintenance, insurance, and loan payments on one automobile, which comes to about $5,586 a year including depreciation, according to 2006 American Automobile Association figures. In all, current public transportation use has reduced U.S. gasoline consumption by 1.4 billion gallons a year, or about 91,000 barrels per day. That's enough to fill the gas tanks of about 108 million cars, the report said. One barrel holds 42 gallons. The United States, the world's biggest oil user, burned about 9.3 million barrels per day of gasoline in 2006, according to U.S. government estimates. Source: (http://www.apta.com/research/info/online/)
Governor’s Veto Stalls Transportation Bill Despite Strong Support for Transit Despite strong public and legislative support for increased bus service, a metropolitan-wide transit system, and better transit service in Greater Minnesota, Governor Pawlenty’s veto of the transportation bill prevented this vision from moving forward. The veto included a half-cent regional sales tax where up to 75 percent of revenues, or approximately $165 million per year, would have substantially increased funding for transit in both metro and greater Minnesota. Even though the bill was vetoed, we accomplished a lot together this year. Transit received more support this year at the legislature than any previous year, mainly due to our collective efforts to raise awareness about transit needs across the metro and in greater Minnesota. In fact, recent polling data showed that 72 percent of metro residents support a ½ cent sales tax for transit and roads, and legislators supported our funding plan by a nearly 2-to-1 ratio. We should be proud of our campaign and our efforts!
Veto Override Attempt Fails Unfortunately, the House defeated the veto override of the transportation funding bill late last night (5/23/07). 90 votes were needed for an override and the “yeas” held strong at 86 votes, with a few hold outs, until the last minute. In the end, the swing legislators voted “no” after realizing that the bill was a few votes short for an override. The final vote (83 yeas and 50 nays) was almost strictly along party lines with no Republicans voting for the override and two Democrats (Otremba and Wollschlager) voting “no”. We came within a few votes of a historic victory. The legislature can decide to take up the override vote again during a special session or next legislative session.
Bonding Bill Veto Stands Another casualty of the governor’s veto pen was the capital bonding bill. Efforts to revive the projects supported by the legislature did not make it in time to meet the midnight deadline. The bonding bill passed by the legislature included $40 million for the Central Corridor and additional funding for a number of other transitways. Planning for these projects will continue, but the 2008 legislative session will be critical in securing the necessary state funding for the Central Corridor light rail transit project.
“Lights-On” Bill Passed Earlier in the day, both the House and Senate passed a “lights on” transportation funding bill that maintains the transportation funding status quo. This bill was proposed to ensure that a failure to override Governor Pawlenty’s veto wouldn’t lead to a shutdown of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and Metropolitan Area Transit. The bill contains a one-time additional appropriation of $20 million for Metropolitan Area Transit in fiscal year 2008 to prevent service cuts. It is critical that we continue our collective efforts to ensure that the transit budget grows to provide a transportation system that can make our communities more vibrant and successful, connecting our state and shaping communities that we are proud to call home.
Thank Your Legislators! Please take a minute and thank the legislators who supported transportation this session! 137 legislators supported a comprehensive, long-term transportation funding bill this session. Two years ago, we struggled to get 68 votes in the House for the Erhardt Amendment, which contained the proposed constitutional dedication of the motor vehicle sales tax, otherwise known as the Transportation Amendment funding. Before the Governor’s veto, 90 House members and 47 Senate members supported the transportation funding bill. This is a truly a leap in support, and these legislators deserve thanks for their courageous stand. Source: Transit for Liveable Communities mail 05/25/07
Retirements Congratulations to March Retirees 3/2/2007, Achman, Samuel, Mech. Bldg. Maint. Nicollet 5349 3/3/2007, Henning, Charles, Bus Op. FT, Ruter 8814 Congratulations to April Retirees 04/03/07, Schunk, Monty R, Op. FT., 154, South 04/03/07, Bradley, Michael R, Op. FT., 3010, E. M. 04/03/07, Steineman, Ronald J, Op. FT., 8907, Nicollet 04/06/07, Nelson, Charles A, Op. FT., 8848, E. M. 04/07/07, Peterson, Galen L, Op. FT., 8923, Ruter 04/20/07, Davis, Bruce E, Op. FT., 9856, South Congratulations to employees celebrating Anniversaries
June 5 YEARS 6/1/2002, Kramer, Chris D, Rail, Train Op. 06744 6/1/2002, Tsmpel, Chodak, Nic., Bus Op. FT 03843 6/3/2002, West, Michael P, Hey., Bus Op. FT 03846 10 YEARS 6/2/1997, Hernandez, Arlene J, So., Bus Op. PT 09791 6/7/1997, Bakassoulas, George, Hey., Bus Op. FT. 09706 6/7/1997, Comerford, Joseph T, Nic., Bus Op. FT, 09795 6/7/1997, Loehlein, Thomas J, So., Bus Op. FT 09794 6/28/1997, Bennett, Steven W, Hey., Bus Op. FT 07704 6/28/1997, Newman, Gary L, Hey., Bus Op. FT, 07705 6/30/1997, Bryand, Manuel, Hey., Bus Op. FT. 07708 6/30/1997, Burdick, Robert D, So., Bus Op. FT. 07706 6/30/1997, Severson, Keith M, So., Bus Op. FT. 07707 20 YEARS 6/24/1987, Keegan, Thomas C, Nic., Bus Op. FT. 01076 6/24/1987, Massie, Dale A, E.M., Bus Op. FT. 01101 30 YEARS 6/12/1972, Kaczmarek, Jerome, Rail, Train Op. 01408 July 5 YEARS 7/8/2002, Haas, David B, E.M., Mech. 39025 7/13/2002, Chisholm, John A, So., Bus Op. FT. 03851 7/13/2002, Dodds, Lawrence J, So., Bus Op. PT. 03852 7/13/2002, Mexner, Michael J, E.M., Bus Op. FT.
03853 7/13/2002, Thao, Jouachao R, E.M., Bus Op. FT. 03854 10 YEARS 7/12/1997, Bernard,Shirmela, Ruter, Helper III 05548 7/12/1997, Wagner,Daniel B, Nic., Bus Op. FT. 07713 7/14/1997, Anderson,Richard E, Rev.Eq. Elec. Tech 05546 7/14/1997, Beamish, Lael A, Hey., Bus Op. FT. 07716 7/14/1997, Chatman, Eddie F, Hey., Bus Op. FT. 07715 7/14/1997, Drexler, Daniel P, Ruter, Bus Op. PT. 07721 7/14/1997, Fife, Elizabeth A, Hey., Bus Op. PT. 07717 7/21/1997, Lee, Steven, So., Bus Op. PT. 07722 7/26/1997, Berry, David R, E.M., Bus Op. FT. 07730 7/26/1997, Heard, Marylee, E.M., Bus Op. FT., 07731 7/26/1997, Snavely, Kevyn E, Hey., Bus Op. FT. 07725 15 YEARS 7/18/1992, Hanson, Darell W, Nic., Bus Op. FT. 09289 7/18/1992, Schultz, Frederick A, Nic., Bus Op. FT. 09290 7/20/1992, Kost, Arthur D, E.M., Instr. 09299 7/20/1992, Krenner, Cecilia I, E.M., Bus Op. FT. 09298 7/20/1992, Peek, Kevin A, Ruter, Bus Op. FT. 06201 7/20/1992, Wadell, William C, E.M., Mech. 09296 7/27/1992, Welter, Kent E, E.M., Bus Op. FT. 06204 20 YEARS 7/27/1987, Bell, Timothy J, Hey., Gen. Dispt. 01153 7/27/1987, McKee, Kelly G, Nic., Bus Op. FT. 01139 7/30/1987, Clay, Terry L, Nic., Bus Op. FT. 01187 35 YEARS 7/10/1972, Miller, Mark A, Rail, Train Op. 03005 7/26/1972, Ward, Dallas C, Nic., Bus Op. FT. 01446
Look for information on retirees on the www.atu1005.com website, including: *retirement parties *newsletter articles *retiree clubs *deaths of retired members
Second Annual ATU 1005 Union Picnic! Fun for the Entire Family
July 8th, 11-3 pm Battle Creek Park Take McKnight, south of I-94 We need volunteers! If you can give a little time or a lot of time, even all day, contact us. We need burger flippers, prize givers, food preparers, people to run games, activities, pick up equipment, return equipment. If you have ideas, let the committee know! Contact one of the following Executive Board Picnic Committee members to find out where you are needed or give your ideas:
Gary Bier, Heywood Office Ken Dolney, East Metro Dispatcher Dan Abramowicz, Ruter Operator Mike Rossini, Nicollet Dispatcher Jerry Ewald, Vice President Water Park and Moonwalk for children are some of the many activities.
And of course the “Dunk Tank” will be back. “Take Your Best Shot!”
Letters To The Editor
Submissions for Letters to the Editor are subject to approval of the Editorial Board and space considerations. Letters to the Editor are solely the opinion of the author and do not represent endorsement by ATU Local 1005 or the Education Committee. If you have an editorial to submit, please contact a committee member or our advisor Scott Tollin at: firstname.lastname@example.org No Letters were submitted
Answer To CRYPTO: THE TWO ILLEGAL ALIENS WERE ARRESTED ON THE BUS. THEY WERE TWINS...FROM DUBLIN!
Bruce E. Davis, Operator 9856 Davis, Bruce E., Sr., age 63, of Minneapolis, passed away peacefully at his home May 7, 2007, from aggressive terminal stomach cancer. Bruce was a full-time driver out of South Garage with nine years of seniority. Low-key and soft-spoken, Bruce had a great sense of humor and enjoyed the camaraderie with his fellow workers. Bruce was a devoted family man and very close to his seven children and 13 grandchildren. Although Bruce's health had deteriorated very quickly and he became bed-ridden before his retirement party at South Garage, he insisted on attending the party (complete with cake) in uniform. In a hastily-prepared and unforgettable last-minute gathering, surrounded by his family and friends, Bruce said goodbye to a place that he had called home - South Garage. For everyone there, it was an emotional and heart-breaking goodbye to a man totally committed to his co-workers and workplace. Not one person in attendance was able to maintain a dry eye. Bruce passed away just days afterwards.
Randy Metzler, Mechanic 5371 Randy and Kay Metzler of Bloomington were killed while on a weekend ride. Their longtime friends witnessed the crash in Cottage Grove. As they often did on summer weekends, Rodger Moy and his wife, Kristie, joined their longtime friends Randy and Kay Metzler for a motorcycle ride through the countryside. For nearly 20 years, the couples regularly set out on their four bikes, going wherever they could find an open road. After they logged more than 100 miles, including a stop for dinner in Pepin, Wis., their leisurely day on their bikes came to a deadly ending when a car turning left on Hwy. 61 at 120th Street in Cottage Grove cut in front of the Metzlers, who hit the vehicle and were thrown from their bikes. Both Metzlers died at the scene. They were not wearing helmets. Randy had worked as a mechanic for 27 years for Metro Transit, South garage and most recently ran R & K Repair, an auto repair business, in Bloomington. Burial took place in Tekamah, Nebraska.