The news and information publication of
ATU Local 1005 Prepared and distributed by the Education Committee
The 1005 Line For The People Who Know Where They Are Going
January /February 2011 New Met Council Chair by Stacey Taylor Dr, #70055
In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, as 'right-to-work.' It provides no 'rights' and no 'works.' Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining... We demand this fraud be stopped. (Speaking on right-to-work laws in 1961) - Martin Luther King Jr. Whatâ€™s Inside... Officerâ€™s Corner page 2 Union Meeting Highlights page 3 Notices page 7 Northstar page 8 Meet the New Member page 10 Transit Safety and Security page 11
In January, Governor Mark Dayton appointed Susan Haigh as Metropolitan Council Chair at-large. Haigh replaces Peter Bell, who was appointed by former governor Tim Pawlenty in 2003. Haigh, who still holds the CEO position she has held since 2005 with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, will hold the Metropolitan Council Chair position, with the classification of parttime, earning $58,000 a year. Prior to Habitat, Haigh served as Ramsey County Commissioner for 10 years before moving to her role as president and CEO for Habitat. As commissioner, she served on the Light Rail board and rallied for Central Corridor and solid waste management issues. Haigh will head the regional bus and rail system, waste management and regional parks. Haigh indicated during her opening remarks on January 13th that she will work closely with Governor Dayton as well as build good relationships with new legislative partners. Haigh indicated she wanted to continue pushing for expansion of regional transit as well as more affordable housing throughout the region. Haigh, a graduate in political science from Macalester College, with a law degree from William Mitchell College, first worked as a staff attorney for the Metropolitan Council from 1977-1979. She later went on to become an attorney for both Dakota and Ramsey Counties before serving as Ramsey County Commissioner in 1995.
Retirements pages 16-17
The Met Council, made up of a chair and 16 gubernatorial appointees representing geographic districts, coordinates planning and development in the seven-county metro area. It provides transit services, sewer services, parks and housing for low-income families. Governor Dayton is taking applications, and public meetings will screen candidates. Haigh is helping with the selection process, likely to be completed in March. Until then, the current Council members will continue to serve.
Sweeping Changes page 18
Labor relations were in constant turmoil under Pawlenty. We are hoping for a new era of co-operation.
Martin Luther King Jr. page 14 Bernie Sanders page 15
LOCAL 1005 OFFICERS President/Business Agent
OFFICERâ€™S CORNER Tommy Bellfield Financial Secretary / Treasurer
Dorothy Maki Recording Secretary/Assâ€™t. Business Agent
HOUSE FILE No. 65
An amendment to the Minnesota Constitution is proposed to the people. If the amendment is adopted in the 2012 elections, it will hurt most of the working class people of Minnesota. Becoming a right-towork state would weaken the bargaining power of unions across the state.
The Truth About Right-to-Work for Less
Tommy Bellfield Union Office 312 Central Ave. Suite 438 Mpls., MN 55414 612-379-2914 email: email@example.com website: www.atu1005.com
Calendar Education Committee Meeting11:30 a.m. February 15th March 15th Membership Meetings February 22 - Mpls. March 22 - Mpls (Due to Wild game) 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Right-to-Work and Women Unions benefit all workers by raising wages for everyone, including women whose higher incomes help support their families. Right to work laws hurt women and their families by keeping wages low. - Union women earn $149 more each week than nonunion women. - Union membership narrows the pay gap for women. Nationally, the gap between men's and women's pay is 32 percent-but between all men and union women the gap is only 5 percent. Right-to-Work Hurts People of Color Most By holding down union membership, right to work laws hurt all workers, but especially people of color, who benefit most from belonging to a union. - Latino union members earn 45 percent ($180) more each week than nonunion Latinos. - African Americans earn 30 percent ($140) more each week if they are union members. - In two occupations with a high representation of African Americans-protective services and machine operators-union members earn 56 percent and 39 percent more, respectively, than their nonunion counterparts. Right-to-Work Hurts Everyone Workers in states with right-to-work laws have a consistently lower quality of life than in other states-lower wages, higher poverty and infant mortality rates, less access to the health care they need and poorer education for their children. Lower Wages The average worker in a right-to-work state makes about $5,333 a year less than workers in other states ($35,500 compared with $30,167). Weekly wages are $72 greater in free-bargaining states than in right-to-work states ($621 versus $549). Continued on page 16
Union Meeting Highlights December 2010 Local 1005 purchased a table for the Nellie Stone fundraiser. The Rochester City Lines contract has been settled. They received a one-year contract with a two-percent raise in addition to other changes to the contract. Arbitration Requests A Heywood operator requested arbitration after being discharged for violation of the Operator Policy (Safety) and Overall Record. The operator has had four different accidents in a three-year period. The union is requesting a Last Chance Agreement. The Board did not recommend this for arbitration. The operator appeared before the membership and answered questions. A vote was taken and this will not go to arbitration. An LRT operator asked for arbitration after being written up for two Class A violations, both involving signal overruns (RSO). There were numerous conditions that contributed to these violations. In the first instance, the RCC interlocked a signal and failed to put it back into automode. The sunlight made it difficult for the operator to identify the aspect of the signal. The operator assumed that the signal was permissive and only went past by a few yards. The RCC was supposed to warn the driver that there was a red signal ahead. In the second instance, the operator moved the train three to five feet before realizing the signal was red. The signals had been moved when the station decking changed to accommodate a three-car consist. The operator said that the signal dropped from green to red as he started. This has happened before. A vote was taken and this will go to arbitration. A Ruter Garage stockkeeper asked for arbitration after receiving a Record of Warning following an accident involving a maintenance electric cart. The electric cart was not properly secured or marked for the mechanical defect of no brakes. There was only a small folded tag stuck on the steering wheel. The stockkeeper broke a plate glass window when the brakes failed to stop the vehicle. The discipline was excessive and not progressive. There have been accidents prior to this that involved electric carts and no discipline was ever administered. The cart should have not had the keys in it and it should have been removed from the floor area. Safety knew that the cart was being used while in an unsafe mode. The union is requesting that the Record of Warning be removed and replaced with a verbal warning. A vote was taken and this will go to arbitration. A former LRT operator asked for arbitration for discipline involving violating the Metro Transit Cell Phone Policy, a Class A violation, a Final Record of Warning and a twenty-day suspension. The operator transferred back to the bus side from LRT. He had received a call from dispatch, his phone was on but stowed away in his bag. He did not answer the call but lifted the flap and saw it was dispatch calling for overtime. He shut the flap and called the TCC on the radio and told them that he would call dispatch when he got into the station. He had Continued on page 4
Education Committee Advisor Dorothy Maki Chair Melanie Benson South Liz Goldberg Vice Chair Stacey Taylor Heywood Office Ilona LaDouceur Rec. Secretary Nicollet Alec Johnson Ryan Timlin Twaya McIntosh Debbi Sievers Blayne Williams Ruter Anastasia Bloodsaw Jackie Williams East Metro Philip Jarosz Heywood Garage Faye Brown Walter T. Curry, Jr. LRT Stephen Babcock Layout Carl Rice Lisa Callahan 725 Bldg. Scott Lindquist Editorial Board Ken Dolney Mark Lawson Gary Bier
Light Rail Facility
Stephen Babcock #3128 Carl Rice #6223 Lisa Callahan, Dr. #6716 A warm welcome to Robert Tapper, who has joined us as a rail operator coming from Nicollet Garage after 12 Years as a bus operator. (Now I'm currently not the last person on the seniority list here at rail!! woo hoo, lol - Lisa) There is a Safety and Security luncheon coming up. Look for the flyers around the garage as soon as the date is official. New dates for the terrorism classes are up around the garage. Take this interesting and beneficial class on your own time and get paid eight hours of OT for taking it. Fellow drivers, mechanics, cleaners, and anyone who would participate could do some articles about what life's like on the rails. Funny stories, anything you've seen, or that you all would like to see in an article, let us know. Bring some ideas to your Education Committee members. Anyone who thinks the buses get dirty on the inside, you should see the trains! They get disgusting. Hats off to you cleaners, you do a remarkable job. You're much appreciated, especially by the drivers and passengers who get the clean trains in the morning. One last thing: I've been here at Rail for just a couple months, and I have to say I just like it, it's great and thank you. - Lisa
Union Minutes Continued two prior violations on past phone policies. The punishment is too severe for this instance. A vote was taken and this will go to arbitration. An MJR operator requested arbitration for discipline administered after a violation of the Cell Phone Policy that came about from a customer service complaint involving the driver swerving lanes. The operator admitted to cell-phone texting while driving. He asked to be made whole and that the Final Record of Warning and twenty-day suspension be removed. It is unjust and unmerited punishment, too severe. The issue is that the company wrote it up as a one-year Record of Warning and then switched it to an open-ended Record of Warning after the grievance was filed. A vote was taken and this will go to arbitration. An MJR operator requested arbitration after being suspended for employee conduct while doing an overtime stub. The operator dropped off his last customers and, when he pulled out of the bus stop, he encountered a female driver with road rage. The automobile driver felt she had been cut off, followed the bus towards the garage, got in front of the bus, blocking it, got out of her car, went to the bus door and launched a tirade at the driver. She put her hand into her pocket in a threatening motion. The operator felt that he was in immediate danger and tried to spray the assailant with pepper spray. He missed, and she got in her car and followed the operator to the garage. No policies were violated as this was not a customer or a fellow worker. The driver did not report the incident after pull-in because he was trying to make it to a doctor's appointment. The automobile driver did fill out a police report, admitting to the road rage. Management claims the operator did nothing to de-escalate the incident. He received a five-day suspension for the use of pepper spray, and his authorization to use pepper spray was revoked. A vote was taken and this will go to arbitration. Financial Secretary/Treasurer's Report No members have passed away since the last meeting. President's Report Cell Phone Policy There are still issues, we are 1-1-1, (one win, one partial win, one loss.) the 20-day suspension has been upheld in two arbitrations. POST Operating Employment Policy If you do jail time, you cannot use sick leave to cover lost time. The company is now doing random background checks looking for employees that have prior convictions and filed for sick leave while they did their time (ie. DWI's). This is a dischargeable offense. Otherwise they have to wait until you are convicted to discharge. Health Care Costs will go down after the contract is settled. Contract language was dropped in the Aug 1, 2003-July 31, 2005 contract that defined the companyâ€™s share in a percentage, and the current language has specific dollar amounts. In the contract extension, the dollar amounts remain the same. Contract Meetings with management are being planned and we are hoping for a vote in February.
Union Minutes Continued Peter Bell has taken a lot of credit for things that he had no control over.
The thirty-hour limit for part-time drivers was waived during the snowstorm. In exchange, all but no-shows were excused the 11th and 12th, and lates excused from 13th thru the17th. â€œNo showsâ€? are not included in the agreement. Management passed out cookies with "I survived the snowstorm" on them. On January 2nd and 3rd, the union will have the coffee machines set to free vend to show appreciation to our members - Thank You! New Business The 2011 budget was presented and approved by vote.
January 2011 Speakers Barb Philman from Transit for Liveable Communities spoke of the appreciation her organization has for our members and the hope that the partnership will continue to grow. Many of our legislative friends are gone and Metro Transit is thinking about cutting service. She asked that we sign up and become a member. Lin Larkin Right, a community liaison partnered with the United Way, spoke about how her job is to help union members find resources. (They are endorsed by the AFL-CIO). One of their services is to help with mortgage modification. When you give to the United Way, it helps the workplace. Just dial 2-1-1. On Ann Pham spoke about FBI harassment and their search of homes on warrants based on alleged "material aid to terrorism." Most people who were harassed were from various unions. They are asking for support in their protest against the FBI's attempt to intimidate those opposing war. There is a House Bill #65 that aims to put the "Right to Work" agenda on the ballot in 2012. We need to be active if we are to stop this bill in today's environment. There are some obstacles to overcome before the union can even look at purchasing our own building. One of them is to become a non-profit corporation. There are not enough computers on the property for employees to access and print their paychecks, and no privacy in those locations. Union members who attended 11 or more meetings during the year will receive a sweatshirt and reimbursement for attending meetings. The company's random background check has not turned up any offenders. They checked approximately fifty employees. Arbitration Requests An MJR operator is asking for arbitration for a Class A violation, a Final Record of Warning, and a suspension for violation of the Cell Phone Policy. The driver was deadheading back downtown and management saw it. The union feels that the punishment is excessive and the Continued on page 6
Philip Jarosz, Dr. #65015 Safety Specialist Brian Motari retired January 3, 2011. Tom Herbeck was appointed temporary Safety Specialist. George Hernandez is now the Garage Coordinator. It's the time of year to get the Right to Know classes scheduled. These are a must for driving at Metro Transit. Does anyone need to renew their driver's license? These need to be renewed before they expire. Look forward to surprises in the kitchen and patio area this year. See Ken Dolney for more information. This has been a very challenging season of driving for everyone. We have had a good run at maintaining high quality service for the public. Let's keep it up and get through this March snow. The garage auction was successful and encouraging for those who participated, and will be bigger and better next time. We all benefit in some way.
The date for the Union Picnic will be August 7th Information will be in next issue.
Commuter Rail Big Lake
policy must change to account for variations. The operator came and spoke before the membership. A vote was taken and this will (not) go to arbitration. An FTH operator is requesting arbitration after being discharged for Violation of a Last Chance Agreement involving customer service complaints. Prior arbitrations have backed up, causing this situation to occur. They will all be heard at once. A vote was taken and this will (not) go to arbitration.
We'd like to congratulate Matt Schwartz on his new position of Skilled Helper and welcome Tom Martinson to Northstar Commuter Rail as a Cleaner. Matt was hired as a Cleaner for Northstar Commuter Rail last year and was promoted to Skilled Helper in November of 2010. Tom was a TIC Representative and started as a cleaner with Northstar on December 13th. We are happy to have both Matt and Tom with Northstar. Northstar Commuter Rail has started off 2011 with a bang! A lot of changes are happening for the Big Lake crew, starting with changes in shift times, with some going to 10-hour shifts instead of eight. The hope is to have more mechanics on staff during the weekends and during the heavier times of the day. Planning/Updates WiFi installations for remote download of camera data is ongoing. Remaining 3 & 4 car spot signs are awaiting installation in the yard. If you want the complete news, please subscribe to "Northstar VMF News" by contacting Jody Salen and requesting to be put on the email list. There is a lot of good information that we do not have room to print in this column.
A Nicollet operator is requesting arbitration after being discharged for job abandonment. He initially called in "sick and carry." Management has changed the entry three times, from "sick and carry" to FMLA, to request off without pay. He never received notification from the company at his home due to domestic upheaval. He spoke before the membership. A vote was taken and this will (not) go to arbitration. An FTH operator is asking for arbitration after being discharged for violation of the Operating Policy (adherence). He had two Class "A" and one Class "B" violations (one for sleeping). The union is asking for a Last Chance Agreement. He is a three-year employee and suffers from sleep apnea. He came and spoke before the membership. A vote was taken and this will (not) go to arbitration. A Northstar cleaner is asking for arbitration after being discharged for FMLA fraud involving a spouse. Minnesota does not recognize common law marriages. They have been together for 22 years and have a family. Management had suggested that she take FMLA. She now knows that this was the wrong action to take. She spoke before the membership. A vote was taken and this will (not) go to arbitration. Financial Secretary/Treasurer's Report Charles Bank, a fifty-year member, passed away. President's Report Contract Negotiations Two dates are scheduled. We are trying to negotiate non-cost items (i.e. mechanical seniority, maintenance clerk overtime, one day off guarantee for Transportation.) Michelle met with Susan Haigh, the new Met Council Chair, and Tom Weaver (administrator) and noticed an immediate change in attitude. Through that meeting came the agreement on Healthcare premiums. Maybe the Council will realize the need to make the employee feel needed and appreciated. House Bill #65 This would make Minnesota a "Right to Work" state. Right now, Minnesota is a "Fair Share" state. It would put it on the ballot for a vote in 2012. Tim Dixon (South Maintenance), Gary Bier (Heywood Office) and Ryan Timlin (Nicollet driver) are forming an action group to organize opposition against this bill. Metro Transit and ATU are working together and have agreed on wording for a law to make spitting on a driver, a felony. MSRS funds have increased 15% through investments. New Business By-Law change proposals were read for information only.
Notice from the Union Office
ATU Local 1005 and Metro Transit have reached a temporary agreement regarding the increased insurance rates being experienced by members. This agreement only affects ACTIVE EMPLOYEES. Efforts are being continued to include retirees in a similar agreement. The health insurance rates for employees shall be reduced by $50 per month for single coverage and $100 per month for family coverage for the following months in 2011: January, February and March.
Ilona La Douceur #66048 Faye Brown # 6331 Walter T. Curry, Jr. #3815
This relief on insurance rates shall be included in the reconciliation of rates that will occur upon settlement of the collective bargaining agreement and shall be considered as part of the total settlement package. Nothing in this agreement shall establish precedent for the rates charged to employees in future months of 2011, or for future insurance rate increases. This agreement shall expire March 31, 2011.
Effective January 1, 2011, Minnesota has a new law regarding entering and potentially blocking intersections. This law has been coined the “Don’t Block the Box” law. The law makes it illegal for vehicles to enter into an intersection if they cannot clear the intersection on the green light. Subd. 2. Intersection gridlock; stop or block traffic. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a driver of a vehicle shall not enter an intersection controlled by a traffic-control signal until the driver is able to move the vehicle immediately, continuously, and completely through the intersection without impeding or blocking the subsequent movement of cross traffic. (b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to movement of a vehicle made: (1) at the direction of a city-authorized traffic-control agent or a peace officer; (2) to facilitate passage of an authorized emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated; or (3) to make a turn, as permitted under section 169.19, that allows the vehicle to safely leave the intersection.
MAINTENANCE This department pick just started January 8. With this change are new evaluation and servicing preventive measures. Third-shift inspectors (mechanics) are now on 10-hour shifts. The shop has two new supervisors, Steve Sumner and Tom Maruska. If you have a bus that has a B.O. seat (SMELLS), let the shop know immediately. TRAINING The training department has been working really hard scheduling the right-to-know classes. If you have not signed up, they will get you in on their time, so please do so - it's overtime. SAFETY Bus and pedestrian accidents are happening. Please be aware of pedestrians walking around, on the side and in front of your bus. Remember to shut your bus down after the pressure has risen to 90 psi to do your pre-trip inspection, so the air quality can stay at a safe level.
CRYPTO Each letter stands for another. If you think A=F, for example, it would equal O throughout the puzzle. Clue: W= E (Answer on page 9 ) Submitted by Pat Kelehan, Facilities Tech. #5470 Z A Y B K X S S Y Y
B A W
Y G F
K X S S Y
H Y G
F X D D W V W G H W J Q C
J W B Z W W G
F V X R W V?
D W W F
D Y N X M O
D L Q V!
Northstar by Ilona LaDouceur #66048
Melanie Benson #854 Twaya McIntosh #9002 Debbi Sievers #64222 Alec Johnson #66034 Ryan Timlin #66279 Blayne Williams #77
Gwendolyn Lee, Driver 950, has become a full-time driver after being part-time for almost thirty-one years. She plans to work full-time for three years before considering retirement. Congratulations, Gwen! Recent retirees from Nicollet include: Leo Andrews, Driver 1131, with 30 years of service Kandy Duchene, Driver 126, with 32 years of service The training department would like to remind drivers to take along maps for the routes they are driving, in addition to the schedule. (The old paddleboards had the schedule on one side and the map on the other.) Please clean up in the kitchen area of the driverâ€™s room. There are little pests that enjoy food crumbs if we donâ€™t clean up after ourselves. A top-notch, brand new hoist has been installed in the Nicollet shop, similar to the one at Heywood.
Northstar service turned one November 16, 2010 and I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the year that passed and what is to come. A little background on the Northstar is that it is a heavy rail commuter service that begins downtown at the Twins' Target Field and ends its approximately 51minute trip (40+ miles) in Big Lake near Highway 10 and County Road 37. It makes stops in Fridley, Coon Rapids-Riverdale, Anoka and Elk River. Monday-Friday it does six trips: five early morning and one evening reverse trip going south to downtown, and five afternoon/evening trips and one early morning reverse trip. On Saturday and Sunday there are three trips going north and south spread out through the day. There is no Holiday service. The fare during the week is $3.00 to $7.00 one way and $2.50 to $5.50 on weekends. The weekend also offers discounts on the fares for children 6-12 and seniors 65+. In the original agreement, the fare to Elk River and Big Lake was to increase .50 and $1.00 respectively. After the first year of service, it was decided not to increase the fares. The fare for the Family Pass however, was increased $3.00 as of January 2011. Burlington Northern personnel run the Northstar trains and maintain the track. ATU members mechanically maintain the engines and cars, which includes cleaning, fueling and repair. We maintain the maintenance facilities, stations and schedule the service. One piece of information I found fascinating was that we have a "lifetime" lease with Burlington Northern at the rate of $100,000,000 for the use and maintenance of their tracks. I asked if the service will be extended to St. Cloud in the near future and was told that it would not. Not at this time anyway. One problem is the cost. There is a section nine miles north of Big Lake that is single track that would require another track, which I was told would be quite expensive. So how did Northstar do this year? The projected goal for ridership for January - November 2010 was 793,000 and actual ridership for the same period was 663,002 or -16.4%. Since this is primarily a "commuter rail" and unemployment was at 7-8% through last year, that surely would account for the deficit. For a regular commuter to travel to and from Big Lake to downtown 21 average workdays per month, it would cost them $ 294.00 monthly. Coming from St. Cloud to Big Lake on the Northstar Link shuttle would add an additional $126.00 for a total of $520.00 per month. With the news that gas prices will be going up a $1.00 or more by the end of 2011, this could be looking like a better deal as time goes on. I inquired about any service being cut (primarily the weekend service) and was told no service is being cut.
Page 9 I was told that Northstar did finish its year within its $16.8 million budget as it was able to manage its costs. Although ridership is down, the fare revenue from the Elk River and Big Lake stations was higher. The Northstar also had a 96% on-time rate. It seems the Northstar did do well for special events, particularly the Twins baseball games. The Northstar provided service to 60+ of the 86 home games and carried about 2,000 riders to and from the game. It went from a 3 to 4-car train up to an 8-car train, which was a challenge for loading and unloading riders. They also provided service for the Viking football games, carrying about 500 riders. They also had scheduled two Holidazzle rides for December 11th and 18th, although the one on the 11th was cancelled due to the blizzard. I asked about additional trips other than the ones per the contract and Bob Gibbons said that we were allowed an additional 35-40 trips per year. That would account for any Twins playoff or Vikings playoff (haha) games as well as special events such as the Holidazzle parade. The budget for 2011 is $17 million and the ridership goal is 750,000. Stats specifically related to Northstar from 11/1/2009 thru 12/31/2010: We've received a total of 184 customer inquiries. The breakout is: five complaints regarding conductor issues, three regarding safety, 62 regarding performance - we had, on occasion, issues with trains running late due to other external issues outside of our control. Four regarding fares, 12 regarding equipment, 20 regarding facilities (most had to do with snow removal), 51 on the route itself - everyone wants the frequency to increase and, finally, 20 service commendations. Typical Customer Feedback: I want Northstar to run all day - more frequent (All Twins Games every night for Holidazzle etc.) The lights are too bright in the morning on the trains - customers want one train designated for sleeping and/or lights turned off. When is it going to St. Cloud? Would like to see fares reduced. I would like to thank Bob Gibbons and Pam Steffan for their time and the information supplied to me for my article.
Jackie Williams #66180 Anastasia Bloodsaw #2297 SAFETY DEPARTMENT Safety supervisor Bobby Redd has done a great job at making sure Ruter is doing the best to run safely. He's in the bays checking buses and seat belt usage. When you see him looking and writing, it's for statistics. The orange vest lets you know he’s on the job. So feel free to stop in and ask any questions, he's really a nice guy. ADVERTISING Todd Sharp is the guy you see in the bays placing the signs on our buses to keep the public updated with new Metro Transit information and the sometimes funny and informative ads. TRAINING Garage Coordinator Harlen Daudt would like to let everyone know that Paul Kelly #2474 (the driver who fell off his roof in November and sustained severe injuries) returned home January 5, 2011. He is showing tremendous improvement.
We apologize: In the last issue the pictures were fuzzy. This was because the printer switched the paper to a less glossy finish. The printer offered to reprint or give us credit. We chose credit. Also, the Crypto got truncated when the box got moved somehow during the printing process. We would also like to apologize to Deb Sievers, Dr. #64222 out of Nicollet, for not mentioning her being missing from the photo of the Education Committee. She is a highly-valued member who also worked on the “Get Out The Vote Campaign.” Sorry, Deb!
Answer WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PIZZA AND A BUS DRIVER? A PIZZA CAN FEED A FAMILY OF FOUR!
Scott Lindquist #6401 Introduction to 725 Building As you drive down 7th St. near FTH, you will see the 725 building. Our brand new signage tells you that this is the Instruction Center (IC). In addition to the IC, this is a multipurpose Metro Transit complex with several departments located here. As you probably know, the Instruction Center is where operator training occurs - which includes new and current operator training, Safety Keys, Transit Ambassador, Marq2, etc. The other Metro Transit departments that are located here include the following: the Electronic Maintenance Department, Facility Maintenance Electricians, Farebox Repair and the Materials Management. These departments are home to the Electronic farebox techs, Electronics Repair Techs and Electronics Maintenance. These divisions repair and install such things as the Fareboxes, Go-To card units and cameras on new buses and other Metro Transit vehicles. The Instruction Center also has a Computer PC lab which is used by LOD for teaching and updating computer skills for all of Metro Transit personnel. News and Notes The Instruction center was pleased to announce a new fulltime Instructor in Brian Orr #8898 in January. Brian has been an Operator for about 22 years and a Relief Instructor at Heywood Garage for about 10 years. This brings the total number of current full-time Instructors to 11. Welcome, Brian.
Jackie Williams, New Member of the Education Committee I was born and reared in Gary, Indiana (affectionately called G.I.). I graduated from Tolleston High School. Shortly afterwards, I was sworn in as a Gary police officer. My assignments included vice squad, juvenile division, traffic investigation, communications and patrol. I attended Purdue University (Boilermakers), where I studied and pursued a degree in speech pathology, journalism and mass communications. Writing earned me the privilege to be selected to attend Oxford University in Oxford, England, where I continued to learn from the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). Here in the Twin Cities I continued my education at Rasmussen College, to obtain a degree in criminal justice. After moving to the Twin Cities in January of 1997, I worked several jobs, including as a dispatcher for both the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments. I began my career with Metro Transit in July 2006, starting as a parttime driver at East Metro, worked full-time at Nicollet and came to M. J. Ruter in 2008. I am also a Peer Support counselor and recently became a member of the Education Committee, where I can pursue my passions for education and communication, which I truly enjoy.
STATE BUS ROADEO by Deborah Sievers, 64222 It is time to get ready for the State Bus Roadeo..... We will be staying at the Kelly Inn, in beautiful downtown St. Cloud, July 23 and 24, 2011. The Heckler's Row group will be going Thursday, July 21. We are so excited this year because, not only do we get to go with last year's winner, Marshall Freeman, but this is the Heckler's 5th anniversary of traveling around the state to attend these roadeos. If interested in going, please contact Deb Sievers, Nicollet Driver 64222, at 612-695-0238, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, Heckler's has a Facebook page. Hope to see more of us out this year to cheer on our co-workers and have a great time.
TRANSIT SAFETY/SECURITY COMMITTEE (TSSC) MEETING MINUTES Disclaimer: Due to format changes, these columns are not exact replicas of TSSC minutes. We cannot assure the accuracy of all data. The exact minutes are posted after each meeting at the operating garages. December 2010 Members of the Committee Present: Christina House, Committee Chair Lisa Benson, South Danielle Julkowski, Management Advisor Diane Rude, East Darell Hanson, Nicollet Dereje Tafesse, MJR Leatha Falls, FTH Others in Attendance: Michael LaVine, Police Robert M Brevig, ATM/OJE/MJR+ Don Davis, OHB Maintenance Eric Isakson, TCC Deb Downing, Street Ops Michael McNamara, Rail Ops Brenda Himrich, Safety Brad Carlson. Nicollet CALL TO ORDER Christina House called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. in Chambers. REVIEW OF MINUTES November minutes were approved. POLICE REPORT Mike LaVine, in attendance: 16 operator assaults this year. Police have made 13 arrests of the 16 cases. There have been 2 incidents this last month, with snowballs, misdemeanor if charged. Brooklyn Center Police along with MetroTransit Police had plain clothes detail at BCTC on December 1, 2010 - 10 arrests.
Page 11 Police participated in a Federal Rail Safe Detail along with a Saturation Detail of Light Rail on November 24th for 4 hours. 13 departments involved. Police Saturation of Light Rail on November 26th, 20 officers involved. TCC REPORT Eric Isakson in attendance: Posting for TCC applicant has closed. 40 applications have been selected. Hope to hire for the position by the end of the year. Call Volume 19,449 Routine 2,136 Priority 79 Overt 255 Covert 31 Events 8 Dedicated SSRs All TCC staff attending Terrorist Training - Good Class - Strongly Recommend attending Ice Storm November 20-21. Drivers were stranded - Operators were to continue as best they could. - Call TCC to let them know if driver is stranded or has a significant problem. If necessary pull over until salt trucks go by. Decisions concerning driving during ice storms are made by Senior Staff/Management. 85 Buses got stuck, 28 buses in accidents - Safety is looking into more accidents. SAFETY Brenda Himrich in attendance: Safety is preparing for Right to Know Training which starts in January. Training will last one hour and 20 minutes. It will take place in January, February & March. In January a film will be made to cover winter driving bus issues. The top 10 locations for bus accidents were given. Correct parking at the Mall of America station needs to be stressed. There needs to be additional speed monitoring at MOA also. Proper turn signal usage needs to be addressed. Cars are making right turns in front of the bus at bus stops. RISK No report was given. LIGHT RAIL Mike McNamara in attendance: Ice cutters were installed on 4 LRVs during the ice storm. 2 op's falls. 1 at Target Field Stadium and 1 at the Tail Tracks. All pull outs were made. The new driver's seats had the wrong springs. They must be reengineered. Drivers will test them in the RCC when
Page 12 they arrive. The Rail Control Center is being rebuilt. Using a temporary room for 2-3 months. A window has been put in place in the hallway for check in. There will be four new consoles when the RCC is rebuilt. Projected finish is late spring to early summer. The 2 new supervisors have successfully finished five months of training. STREET OPERATIONS Deb Downing in attendance: Thank you to all who worked the ice storm. TCC & Street Ops are minimally staffed Saturday night and Sunday morning. Many stayed long hours or came in to help. Current Projects : Down Town St. Paul has construction for CCLRT that changes frequentlystreet ops is monitoring; The University construction on Washington that has narrowed streets - street ops are monitoring and working with the U to make sure buses can get through. Holidazzle event during December 46th Street Opening on Monday, December 26th - last minute issues and fine tuning taking place. MAINTENANCE REPORT Don Davis in attendance: " Preproduction - 105 Gilligs, 35 New Flyers . Do buses have winter tires? Articulated Buses - Yes, 40 Ft Bus - No Other Issues Darell Hanson raised the issue of a tool to clean off the ice on the front steps and the backdoor. The plastic ice scrapers do not perform well. New buses have heaters for the steps. Safety & Maintenance will check what other agencies are doing. Seat Belts extenders do not work on all buses. Don will check on other vendors. December 9th Safety Forum at the South Garage. Next meeting of the Transit Safety/Security Committee is January 6, 2011 at 10:00am.
January 6, 2011 Members of the Committee Present: Dereje Tafesse, Act. Committee Chair Lisa Benson, South Danielle Julkowski, Management Advisor Alec Johnson, NIC Leatha Falls, FTH Carl Rice, Rail Others in attendance:
Michael LaVine, Police Russell Dixon ATU Chuck Ahlberg, OHB Maintenance Eric Isakson, TCC Deb Downing, Street Ops Derrick Cain, Rail Ops Mike Conlon, Director of Safety Dave Larrabee, Risk Julie Johanson, Director CALL TO ORDER Dereje Tafesse called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. in Chambers. REVIEW OF MINUTES December minutes were approved. POLICE REPORT Mike LaVine gave the following report: 18 operator assaults this year. Police have made 14 arrests of the 18 cases. There have been 2 incidents of consequence this last month, (1) a person jumped from the flyover between the Lake Street Rail Station and the Franklin Rail Station (2) there was an assault with a knife on the Franklin Station platform. New officer with the Metro Transit Police is excellent at face identification from photographs. Mike LaVine expressed that any issues that MetroTransit Police could help with in any way should be brought to the attention of the MT Police Department. TCC REPORT Eric Isakson gave the following report: Call Volume 12,995 Routine 3,967 Priority 116 Overt 136 Covert (36 events) TCC staff has prepared a presentation for the Right to Know Training with emphasis on the correct use of alarms. There was discussion of what the policy is for responding to a request for police assistance. The policy is to send police whenever an operator requests them. SAFETY Mike Conlon gave the following report: The bus accident rate so far this year is 3.83 per 100,000 miles versus 3.93 for the first 11 months in 2009. Safety helped prepare the Right to Know
Training with assistance from Training and Transportation. Brenda Himrich has been working on a film for bus operators covering winter driving bus issues. A presentation was shown that was produced as an outreach to the public. Safety is a shared responsibility. He also gave several examples of the shared responsibilities. RISK Dave Larrabee gave the following report: After an accident/incident what does Risk Management do? Protects MetroTransit from claims being unjustly made. Uses video to support how an accident/incident happened. Requests that anytime there is an accident/incident that video is requested to be sent to Risk Management. LIGHT RAIL Derrick Cain gave the following report: New operator seats arriving this week. Looking for solution to dirty mirrors on trains. Operators have an opportunity to clean mirror at Target Field. Front windshield wiper gets iced up during snow storms. Mike Conlon will look into it. STREET OPERATIONS Deb Downing gave the following report: Primarily issues are due to snow. Ops is identifying narrow passages on streets and alerting the appropriate city government agency. She requested help in identifying any areas that need snow removed or any other hazard on the bus routes. The new Block the Box Law was highlighted and has been brought to the attention of the bus operators.
Page 13 A bulletin was placed in all bus operators mail boxes to request that they log off the fare box at all terminals they stop at and leave the bus. Criminals are stealing and fraudulently obtaining transfers and all day passes. Police have made arrests, but any and all deterrents need to be made to stop this activity. MAINTENANCE REPORT Chuck Ahlberg gave the following report: The rear doors on the new New Flyers buses are difficult to work. Maintenance has been working on a solution. Chuck invited all in attendance to look at a bus that had the work done on the door immediately following the meeting. The new MCI bus mirrors are difficult to use (they are flat). Drivers would like the entire mirror to be convex. Maintenance has contacted the vendor. The vendor states that the mirror is not available but they can be made. Maintenance is checking the cost and time involved to obtain the mirrors. Other Issues There was discussion about leaving customers on the bus while the operators were taking bathroom breaks. Next meeting of the Transit Safety/Security Committee is February 3, 2011 at 10:00am in FTH Chambers. Respectfully submitted, Florette Chenevert - Recording Secretary
What a Great Resource! In the early 1990's, the International AFL-CIO's Department of Education published a booklet entitled Building the Local Union. It's full of excellent information on strengthening unions by involving the membership. Chapter titles include: Local Union Leadership; The Role of the Steward; Local Union Committees; Planning for Local Unions; Recruiting Union Volunteers; Communication in the Local; New Member Orientations; Membership Meetings; One-on-One Membership Canvass; Local Union Newsletters; Other Communication Programs (Lunch and Learn, Study Circles, Education Programs). In addition, the booklet features information about the AFL-CIO and a list of other available resources. The AFL-CIO Education Department has been contacted and requested to update the list of resources so these materials will be available to interested members.
Martin Luther King Jr., Memphis 1968 by Ryan Timlin, Nicollet Driver 66279 Martin Luther King Jr., like so many other fighters for the oppressed, was feared by the ruling class. And, as always, the ruling class denounces these fighters while they're alive and puts up obstacles for their movement. They use the police to beat them down and send the dogs after them. But after the death or, in most cases (such as Dr. King) the murder of these leaders, the ruling class takes the words and ideas of these great leaders and distorts them for their own gains. By doing this, they attempt to make the legacy of these great fighters harmless. An example of how this is usually done to Dr. King's legacy is that in our history books they only mention his civil rights work. His work in the field of civil rights never ended, but was expanded, and he was drawing conclusions that caused even deeper fears within the ruling elite. King started speaking out against the Vietnam War because he saw it taking money away from communities and destroying lives. (There's a striking resemblance to today with the loss of jobs and attacks on the public sector while trillions of dollars are being dumped into war.) He started the Poor Peoples Campaign to fight ever-growing poverty and had entered the scene of the labor movement. The ruling class in society has always used racism and sexism to divide the working class, and King knew this. He also saw the reality that, even with all the gains blacks had made against the Jim Crow laws, there were still deep divisions in society. As King said, "What's good with integrating a lunch counter if a man doesn't make enough money to buy a hamburger?" This harsh reality would lead him to Memphis, Tennessee where, on February 11, 1968, 1300 black sanitation workers went out on strike over poor treatment, discrimination and dangerous working conditions. The straw that broke the workers' backs was when two Memphis sanitation workers, Echol Cole and Robert Walker, who had been looking for shelter from a storm in the back of their garbage truck, were crushed to death by outdated equipment. This was an uphill battle for the workers, the community and the AFSCME union. They were in a brutal and violent struggle with the city's administration led by the racist Mayor Henry Loeb, and Memphis was being divided along class and racial lines. Seeing what was going on had a deep radicalization on King, so much so that in his speech "All Labor Has Dignity" he called for a general strike in Memphis: "I tell you what you ought to do, and you are together here enough to do it: In a few days, you ought to get together and just have a general work stoppage in the city of Memphisâ€Ś" The slogan "I Am A Man" became the definition of the strike and the injustices that existed. The first mass rally King organized in Memphis broke out in violence, with business windows being smashed and private property being damaged. Because of this, King had to leave, which opened up the door for many to attack him, like Democratic Senator Robert Byrd from West Virginia calling him a "scared rabbit." King returned and, on April 3, gave his final speech "I've Been to the Mountaintop." In this speech he replied to the media and the public, saying: "The issue is injustice. The issue is the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants, who happen to be sanitation workers. Now, we've got to keep attention on that. That's always the problem with a little violence. You know what happened the other day, and the press dealt only with the window-breaking. I read the articles. They very seldom got around to mentioning the fact that one thousand, three hundred sanitation workers are on strike, and that Memphis is not being fair to them... They didn't get around to that. Now we're going to march again, and we've got to march again, in order to put the issue where it is supposed to be." Death threats had taken their toll on King, and he seemed to be worn out and acting like time had run out. In the speech he told people, "Like anybody, I would like to live - a long life; longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man." The next day, April 4, King was shot and killed.
Page 15 Today, things may have changed, but we are taking steps backwards in fighting racism. A 2009 report from the Economic Policy Institute showed that the Twin Cities African American unemployment rate was at 20.4% while whites' unemployment was at 6.6% . We need to learn from the past and not look at the Martin Luther King legacy the ruling elite wants us to see, but to see the one that existed! We need to look at the Martin Luther King who challenged the war in Vietnam, challenged the inequalities in the United States, challenged the bosses in Memphis and strove to unite the different working class races to fight for a better living standard, to fight for workers' rights, to fight for a better future!
Mr. Sanders Goes to Washington by Ryan Timlin, Nicollet Driver 66279 The cold December weather wasn't the only cold, harsh slap in the face U.S. workers had to face that month. December, the last month the Democratic Party controlled the House, Senate and White House, they showed the working poor how they really felt about their situation. Obama, with the GOP, pushed through the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich. This happened after the slow and almost non-existent recovery from the recession. The claim for the extension given by Obama was so that millions of Americans who are living on unemployment could receive an extension. Now I'm not attacking those who are receiving unemployment. They are on unemployment because the rich ruling class of this country, the richest ruling class in the world (the same ruling class that gambled millions on the stock market and caused the economic crisis we are in) get a break! This while they gambled our money away on Wall Street and lost peoples' jobs! Goldman Sachs gave huge sums of money to Obama's campaign, and many former executives of Goldman Sachs are in his Cabinet (such as Larry Summers). This is the same financial investment firm that has caused the default in Greece! Financial firms have harmed the Greek public sector workers as well. At least one politician had the courage to stand up to this. He is not a Democrat and he is definitely not a Republican, but a politician who considers himself a socialist: Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont. On Friday, December 10, Bernie took the floor at 10:24 a.m. and did not yield the floor until 6:59 p.m. Speaking for 8 Â˝ hours, he attacked the tax cuts to the rich! Bernie correctly showed that there is a big push being led by the Republicans to turn back the clock on this country: "They want to move this country back into the 1920's, when essentially we had an economic and political system which was controlled by Big Money interests, where working people in the middle class had no programs to sustain them when things got bad, when they got old, when they got sick, when labor unions were very hard to come by because of anti-worker legislation. And that's what they want. They don't believe in things like the Environmental Protection Agency. They don't believe in things like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, federal aid to education. And that is the fight that we will be waging. And I think to surrender on this issue is simply to say that we're going to be waging fight after fight starting within a couple of months." He correctly pointed out this goes beyond the bill, but also defines what is happening politically and economically, the agenda to weaken the ordinary people. As Bernie put it, "There is a war going on in this country. And I'm not referring to the war in Iraq or the war in Afghanistan. I'm talking about a war being waged by some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in this country against the working families of the United Statesâ€Ś Mr. President, in 2007, the top one percent of all income earners in the United States made 23-and-a-half percent of all incomeâ€Ś. one percent here, 50 percent here. But for the very, very wealthy in this country, that's apparently not enough. The percentage of income going to the top one percent nearly tripled since the 1970's." I want to say that what Bernie Sanders did was a step forward in the political situation that exists today. He correctly called for a mobilization outside of the beltway in D.C., a call for ordinary people to mobilize and not sit back and let this happen. But it was a mobilization to the phone, to call your senator or congressperson to oppose the extension of the Tax Cuts to the Rich.
Page 16 Mr. Sanders Goes to Washington Continued As a Socialist I disagree with this! I feel Senator Sanders should have used his position to mobilize the unions to organize a fightback along with the non-unionized workforce and the working poor. To call for a jobs program that will proved decent paying union jobs for workers! We cannot rely on the Democrats and Republicans through phone calls to strike down bills such as this. It is not in their interest. They receive corporate money along with money from the wealthy who want an extension such as this to exist.
Retirements Congratulations to November Retirees 11/02/10 Michael Craven, MJR Op. 2492 11/04/10 Michael Redmond, So. Op. 1113 11/06/10 Gregory Olson, EM Op. 2675 11/19/10 Michael Burkhardt, Nic. Op. 6709 11/24/10 Charles Mincey, Hey. Mech. 5367
Congratulations to December Retirees 12/02/10 Dennis Johns, Lead Sr Elec Rev Equip Tech, Farebox Repair 65032 12/03/10 William Larson, Hey. Op. 1540 12/17/10 Gary Andreen, Nic. Vault Puller 6327 12/27/10 Richard Hastert, So. Op. 416
Officer’s Corner Continued from page 1 Fewer People with Health Care Twenty-one percent more people lack health insurance in right-to-work states compared to free-bargaining states. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, January 2002.
As union members we have to stand together! We have to protect the middle class of this nation. Every working person deserves to have livable wages! Contact your representatives and let them know that we've come too far to take this huge step backwards! This state and nation were built with the blood, sweat and tears of union labor workers! Tommy L. Bellfield Sr.
Jim Chamberlin Retires
Retirees came out for Jim’s retirement. Jim Chamberlin will spend two weeks at their timeshare in Hawaii. We know he likes both ice and summer fishing and will be spending quality time at his cabin on Big Sandy near McGregor. Bob Byer has a cabin near Jim’s, so you may be able to ask him what Jim’s retirement plans may be.
Humanitarian Stories THE BAD GIRL AND THE CHURCH LADY HAVE SOME HUMANITARIAN STORIES THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOU. These drivers are doing these things not for recognition, but from the kindness of their hearts. We thought it would be nice to give them some recognition. There's a driver in our midst I know personally who wishes to stay anonymous. When he hears you've been off work, he will do the most incredible thing I ever heard at this job: He will write you a check to help out. Driver Crystal #66201 donated a kidney to save a life (and this isn't the same driver that I wrote about before). To help the ones without proper winter attire, a driver (Lillie #6828) buys hats and gloves and gives them out to children who ride her bus and are in need of them. On Route 16 there's a driver (nameless) who has befriended the sleepers on that route (homeless people who ride back and forward sleeping). He lets them sleep and not get off as long as they are behaving themselves. He has talked to them and knows some of their stories. One day a sleeper new to the scene harassed the driver, but the regulars, knowing the driver was too nice for someone to do this to him, put the troublemaker off. Weeks later, the man one got on the bus after being gone for a while and thanked the driver for his kindness. He was working then and back on his feet. Doug #2030 (ching ching) has for a while stood by the coffee machine off and on and has bought drivers coffee and brought doughnuts to share with the whole room. Ruter drivers Mike Mucker #65108 and Tim Hnida #65086, to help with garage togetherness, have a nonpayday potluck for their garage. Thank you, the cream of the crop of Metro Transit. If you know of any drivers you think should be recognized, please write to me at Heywood Garage: Faye #6331(Bad Girl) or text to (612) 227-1888; or write to Jackie #66180 (Church Lady) at M. J. Ruter.
6327 - Gary Andreen Retirement Gary’s retirement party was held in the drivers’ break room at South Garage on Friday, December 17. Gary began his career as a part-time bus driver in 1993 and transferred to vault puller in 1996. Gary worked 15-16 years at South Garage, only within the last year moving to Nicollet, and then finishing his career in the money room at Heywood. The people in the picture are: to Gary’s right, Abdul Ahmed, supervisor of fare collection and, to his left, Dennis Dworshak, supervisor of money counting.
Sweeping Changes by Pat Whelan Having been a cleaner here for 18 years, I do have a few observations to share with my fellow employees. Regarding Sweeping Each sweeper does 75 buses per night. That number has remained fairly constant. The architecture of the buses, however, has changed considerably and made the job more difficult. First of all came the handicapped seats and floor heaters; then came the low-floors with steps and nooks and crannies of all kinds. Every night a sweeper will find him or herself on hands and knees pulling out junk that will not sweep up. Some things cannot be retrieved at all. Push brooms (which have always been a great tool) are of very little use in low floors. Regarding General Cleaning Significant changes here: We used to do two buses per shift, and we could use hoses on everything except ceilings and drivers' areas. We now have to do three buses, and hoses may be used on floors only. Low floors pose additional problems, with much more glass in the driver's area and with a ceiling that can only be reached using stools or ladders. Notable things for Drivers The driver's area can be most difficult to deal with. Pulling trash from behind the seats is difficult, and cuts and scratches occur regularly. Sunflower seeds are often spit all over, and they carry as many germs as any bodily fluid. Drivers are most at risks from the poor hygiene of other drivers. Some disinfect their area before starting out. I don't blame them. Plastic liners should always be used in the trash bags. Notable things for Management By far the most necessary change is to eliminate cloth seats. Think about it, if you had a chair upon which 240,000 people sat in a year's time, would you upholster in cloth? Soiled seats are harder to detect and much harder to clean. Soap-water and vacuum extraction are the required cleaning process, but moisture breaks down the padding material. Vacuums don't properly dry the seats, and in short order you wind up with musty-smelling, mis-shaped seats which really need to be disinfected. And try getting gum out of them! These are just a few things of note off the top of my head. Thank you, Education Committee, for acknowledging the cleaners. Pat Whelan 3476 The sweepers and cleaners are the unsung workers behind the scene. Let's try to consider them during our workday. Thanks, Blayne Williams 77
What the heck is TSSC? by Darell Hanson As an elected committee member, I am realizing how little is actually known about TSSC, which stands for Transit Safety and Security Committee. This committee was developed to enable all Metro Transit operators to have a method of communication with the various departments that can impact our safety and security while performing our duties as bus operators. Each garage has an elected committee member who serves a two-year term and attends a meeting once a month along with a management advisor, representatives from Metro Transit police, OHB Maintenance, Street ops (supervisors), Safety, TCC (transit control), Rail operations, and periodically upper management . Any operator who wishes to bring an idea or concern before the committee may do so by speaking with the committee member at their garage or leaving a note in a suggestion box located at each garage. Many changes or new ideas have been implemented as a result of these meetings, which last for two hours and can get pretty exciting indeed. Here are just a few ideas that are a direct result of TSSC meetings:
Page 19 - Due to issues with the sun shade blocking the left mirror and a sore neck from always looking up, we moved the driver's side mirror down on all hybrid low floor buses. - The new hybrid buses floors were too slippery when wet or snowy so a new material was used to make them less so. - The new hybrids had some issues with glare on windows affecting the operator's ability to see safely out at night, so a new non-reflective paint was put on the right front wheel well and this helped considerably. - A small convex mirror was put on all Gillig buses outside the front window that allows operators to see if the bike rack is lowered with no bike on it. - A small convex mirror was placed to the right interior of all buses slightly behind the operator that allows them to see if there is someone sitting directly behind the operator. - New and brighter lighting was put up at the Brooklyn Center Transit Center as well as a better locking system for doors, making it more safe for operators using facilities there late at night. Another good way to learn more about TSSC would be to attend one of our forums which take place once a year at each garage. These are spread out to average one every two months or so. Look for a bulletin indicating dates and times.
TSSC Light Rail A 2011 LRT Safety Forum will be held at the Hiawatha Line O&M building located at 1810 Franklin Ave East. Mpls. on Thursday, February 10th, from 11a.m. - 2p.m.. It will be in the 2nd floor training room. Guest speakers will include: Vince, Sheri, Brad(Safety), Gene(Vehicle Maintenance), someone from the signal depâ€™t. and MTPD. Dave Rogers from the union will be available for questions. (Weâ€™re still waiting on a confirmation from John Mcguire.) We will be serving sloppy joes for lunch, the price is yet to be determined.
Health and Safety Ladies, it's hard, very hard when we are driving and our health is put in jeopardy. We're in danger of bladder infections, urinary tract infections, and there's strain on the kidney. We drive around with a full bladder, bouncing up and down in the seat; and half the time, with nowhere to empty it, we are left to our own devices. As women, we have a very difficult time finding suitable places to go. And you all know some of the things you've had to do. This is not safe or healthy. Metro Transit, please, on the behalf of drivers everywhere, help us come to some kind of solution when you come back from your clean, safe and warm bathrooms down the hall. To show we're not just complaining without trying to help, here are some ideas that maybe you can think about: 1. Port-a-Potty w/key (had one once on a route) 2. More time at turnaround to walk to a bathroom if one is there.
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 Dorothy Maki at: email@example.com. There were no submissions.
The Annual Black History Program held at the Heywood Garage will be a very exciting event. It will be held on February 25, 2011 from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. in the Heywood driversâ€™ room. There will be a featured speaker, vendors, entertainment and food. Please feel free to come out, support the event and enjoy yourself. Also, check with garage coordinators or Black History Committee members to get information on the raffle of the 32" HDTV, Blu Ray DVD player and the $75.00 Bryant Lake Bowl certificate. Thank you.
DRUG TESTING RIGHTS If you do not use the specific wording when you request results from a positive drug test, the agency has no obligation to comply. All they are required to do is give you a paper stating the results are positive. Every employee has the legal right to request, in writing to the Medical Review Officiers (MRO), copies of: the Litigation Package* of the initial test. (this will tell you how your test turned up positive); the Confirmation (breaks results down into specific levels); the Threshold levels (baseline of all tests) The Litigation Package can be nearly 100 pages of technical data, which cannot be analzed or understood by a layperson, including union officers. Professional interpetation is available at memberâ€™s expense, starting at about $50 minimum.
WEINGARTEN RIGHTS STATEMENT If disciplinary action is suspected, read this statement to your foreman: I request to have a union representative present on my behalf during this meeting because I believe it may lead to disciplinary action taken against me. If I am denied my right to have a union representative present, I will refuse to answer accusational questions and any I believe may lead to discipline.