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 2012 Executive Board and Members Show Up for Transportation Committee Meeting
"The labor movement means just this: It is the last noble protest of the American people against the power of incorporated wealth." Phillips (1811-1884) abolitionist, reformer and advocate for Native Americans What’s Inside... Officer’s Corner page 2 Union Meeting Highlights page 3 State of the Bus Fleet page 6 FamilyMedical Leave page 7 Lisa Benson page 9 Southwest LRT page 11 TSSC Minutes page 18 Retirements page 21, 22 Letters to the Editor page 22, 23 Obituaries page 24
On Monday, January 9th, members of Local 1005 and the ATU Executive Board came prepared to show the Transportation Committee that we wanted resolution on many of our unresolved issues. A week prior, on Monday, January 2nd, the Executive Board members and other members had begun to show up in the FTH Tower lobby with a variety of signs pertaining to these issues. They then spent the week educating the people in the Tower on what many of the no cost/low cost issues were. Local 1005’s presence at these meetings was successful. As of Wednesday, January 10th, management had sufficiently dealt with nine issues: • Allow Cleaners to bid normally on Commuter Cleaner jobs. Management was trying to create a separate process. The one-year commitment to Commuter Rail will still apply. • Pay back to retirees any overpayment they made on healthcare for 2011(affects 33 retirees). • Change Observation Reports to reflect only ADA and calling streets issues. • Change progression wage rate for operators to include all employees not at top scale to 30 days from date of hire effective July 1, 2010 (adds about two weeks of higher pay for 520 active members, and establishes a more equitable standard). • Money Room overtime agreement finalized. • Fixed Recognition Program on transfers. (In the past, a transfer resulted in a loss of recognition time in both departments.) • When a suspension includes holidays, the holidays will be included as work days missed when calculating days. • Any bus operators who want to turn the interior lights off at layovers/ pull-out/pull-in trips can call TCC and request permission if they believe there is a safety concern and there are no passengers on the bus. • Arbitration panel meetings Many thanks go out to all the Local 1005 members who assisted in educating management and the Met Council, and to those who finally resolved these issues.
LOCAL 1005 OFFICERS
Michelle Sommers Vice-President
Mark Lawson Recording Secretary/Ass’t. Business Agent
Recording Secretary/ Ass’t. Business Agent
Mark Lawson Financial Secretary/ Treasurer
Tommy Bellfield ATU Local 1005 Union Office 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Closed 12:00 - 1:00) 312 Central Ave. Suite 345 Mpls., MN 55414 612-379-2914 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.atu1005.com
Calendar Education Committee Meetings - 11:30 a.m. on the third Tuesday February 21st March 20th Membership Meetings on the fourth Tuesday February 28th - Mpls. March 27th - Mpls. 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Mark Assumes His Duties As the newest member of the ATU Local 1005 office, I would like to say that it was a pleasure to meet so many of our members during my campaign. The membership of our union is truly diverse and talented. As the political season is upon us, I would like to remind us all that now is not the time to tune out the the news and political rhetoric. Now is the time to become more involved. Every member of our local is working as a result of the government. Whether you receive your paycheck from Metro Transit, or a private company, decisions made in Washington D.C., St. Paul, and locally do affect your paycheck. As the funds for transit are cut, the ability of the officers to negotiate a favorable contract is curtailed. As budgets shrink, jobs are cut, resulting in open positions being eliminated. Further cuts could bring layoffs to reality. Many transit systems around the country have experienced layoffs and cuts in service. The fact that we have been spared large cuts does not mean we can rest politically. Last year, Governor Dayton and Minnesota politicians received 12.000 signed postcards from transit supporters. This was an influential factor in helping transit maintain funding in the budget solution last summer. So, we need your help. You need your help! It takes only a little time to send your representative an e-mail. Go to a town hall meeting and speak up for transit. Call you senator, and let them know that you are delivering a valuable service to the public. And most of all, hold them accountable on election day.
Union Meeting Highlights November 2011
Education Committee Advisor Dorothy Maki
Requests for arbitration A South operator requested arbitration for a responsible accident and Final Record of Warning. After a brief explanation during which the operator appeared, a secret ballot was cast. This case will go to arbitration. A South operator requested arbitration for a filed customer service complaint. After a brief explanation during which the operator appeared, a secret ballot was cast. This case will go to arbitration. A South operator requested arbitration for a filed customer service complaint. After a brief explanation during which the operator appeared, a secret ballot was cast. This case will go to arbitration. An FTH operator requested arbitration for a 20-day suspension and Final Record of Warning (Cell Phone Violation). After a brief explanation during which the operator did not appear, a secret ballot was cast. This case will not go to arbitration. An FTH operator requested arbitration for a filed customer service complaint and a three-day suspension. After a brief explanation during which the operator did not appear, a secret ballot was cast. This case will go to arbitration. A South operator requested arbitration for a 20-day suspension and Final Record of Warning (Cell Phone Violation). After a brief explanation during which the operator appeared, a secret ballot was cast. This case will go to arbitration. A South operator requested arbitration for a responsible accident and Final Record of Warning (third accident). After a brief explanation during which the operator appeared, a secret ballot was cast. This case will go to arbitration. Financial Secretary/Treasurer’s Report The following member passed away since last month’s meeting: • Charles Alvecrog – 50-year retiree Members stood for a moment of silence. President’s Report The arbitration award for a discharged Commuter Rail cleaner was denied. Continued on page 4
Chair Melanie Benson South Liz Goldberg Stacey Taylor Heywood Office Ilona LaDouceur Rec. Secretary Nicollet Alec Johnson Ryan Timlin Twaya McIntosh Blayne Williams Ruter Anastasia Bloodsaw Jackie Williams Scott Lindquist East Metro Philip Jarosz Doug Barton Heywood Garage Faye Brown Vice-Chair Walter T. Curry, Jr. Debbi Sievers LRT Carl Rice Lisa Callahan 725 Bldg. Stephen Babcock Layout Editorial Board Ken Dolney Gary Bier (To be appointed)
Retiree healthcare rates for 2012 were received and distributed for information only. A national effort is underway to persuade House Republicans on the Transportation Committee to support increased federal transportation funding. Rep. Chip Cravaack, Minnesota CD #8, is on the committee and a letter campaign has begun to urge him to support increased transportation funding. Further actions are being considered.
Carl Rice #6223 Lisa Callahan #6716 We say goodbye to Ed Volk, #9328, who retired on January 6. Ed was a train operator for eight years and a bus operator for three. Enjoy your retirement, Ed!!! Tom Kotila #2632 retired January 25, 2012 with 38+ years of service. We wish you well, TOM! We say hello again to William Morris, #68103. Welcome back! It’s that time again for the Right to Know and Rules classes. Be on the lookout for relief to take this important class.
President Sommers announced her invitation to a meeting in Washington, D.C. with other union leaders (ATU and TWU) to discuss bus operator health and safety issues. Seven executive board members recently attended the 2012 Minnesota AFL-CIO Legislative and Political Conference to better prepare ourselves for upcoming political challenges. A fundraiser is being held for the locked-out Crystal Sugar workers. It will be held at the UFCW Local 1189 union hall in South St. Paul on November 29, from 6–8 pm. All are welcome! Assistant Business Agent’s Report Dan Abramowicz reminded members that contract proposals are due in the union office by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11 and by-law proposals by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.
1/3 DONE! Construction of the Central Corridor light rail transit line is 32 percent complete. Light Rail trivia: 1) Service began in what year? 2) Coupler to coupler, how long is the one consist (car)? 3) How many people total can fit in one consist? 4) How many stations from end to end? 5) How many bus routes serve the light rail? Answers 1) Partial service 2004 2) 94 feet 3) 66 seated plus 180 standing, so when three trains are coupled together for games and events we haul at one time about 738 people. Wow! 4) 18 5) 46 routes connect to 13 stations. Approximately twenty percent of rail riders will arrive by bus.
December 2011 Arbitration requests An East Metro operator requested arbitration for an accident for which he was held responsible and subsequently issued a Final Record of Warning (third accident). This case will not go to arbitration. A Nicollet operator requested arbitration for a responsible accident. This case will go to arbitration. An MJR operator was discharged for Gross Misconduct. This case will not go to arbitration. An MJR operator requested arbitration for a responsible accident and a Record of Warning outside policy. This case will go to arbitration. An FTH operator requested arbitration for a Class B violation (calling streets). This case will go to arbitration. A Nicollet operator requested arbitration for a responsible accident and a Final Record of Warning (third accident). This case will go to arbitration.
Page 5 Financial Secretary/Treasurer’s Report
Two members passed away since last month’s meeting: Richard Bork, Sr. - retiree Humberto Chavez – retiree Members stood for a moment of silence.
President’s Report “Transportation Day” at the Capitol is set for February 23, 2012. “Transit Day” has not yet been announced. Congressman Chip Cravaack, CD 8, will be receiving more letters urging him to support transit funding. Letter collection in Duluth has been great. All the outgoing Executive Board members were commended for their service and dedication. Members were cautioned about requesting video from buses. Sometimes issues can and have come up before and after the incident for which the video was originally requested. President Sommers commented on her recent trip to Washington, D.C. for a joint meeting of the ATU and TWU leadership to talk about drivers’ safety and security. A survey will be coming out from the ATU International about restrooms and restroom breaks. Extra Board mark-up sheets will soon no longer display the specific reason an operator is off work. Instead, it will read “No Assignment” next to the operator’s name, to protect confidentiality. An increased number of members, mostly operators, have been getting DUIs, DWIs, positive drug tests and arrests.
Did This Ever Happen to You? Stephen Babcock #3128
"Buried" Twenty years ago, I was driving a bus northbound on the #5 line (Chicago Avenue). As usual, I was a few minutes late, which I didn’t like - for all bus drivers know it just takes missing one green light to get buried with people. As I was approaching 36th Street, and the light was freshly green, I noticed an older gentleman across the street. Not only was he waving his cane at me, but he had his other hand up waving, trying to dodge traffic while coming across the street against the light. Understanding how upsetting it is to miss your bus and be late, I pulled over to wait for him, letting the light turn against me. After almost getting hit, he finished crossing traffic. I opened my door, he entered, struggled up to the top step while hanging on the rail, step by step, stopped and said, “What time is the next bus, going the other way?”.... Buried. If you have a good story about transit, please send it to your Education Commiittee member for possible publication. Thank you!
Philip Jarosz, Dr. #65015 Doug Barton, Dr. #68273 Two new weekend part-time drivers are #71243 and #71245. David Jungwirth #2840 retired. Federal regulations class is mandated by OSHA. This starts in late January. Dates are posted on the board and ALL must attend at East Metro only. The kitchen is starting to take form as more improvements get approved. Any comments can be forwarded to Doug, Phil or Ken Dolney. Please check board for no-trespass photos posted weekly against pick room board. Drive Safely through this winter without much snow. Remember last year - sleepover. Lol
Commuter Rail Big Lake
Northstar Achievements for 2011 2012 brings a new year with new goals for the Northstar team. We were happy to reach our goals from 2011, including the following achievements: 1. Purchase of sixth locomotive 2. Ramsey Station funding 3. Served all Twins Target Field and Vikings Metrodome games 4. Chris and Joel became DSLE qualified 5. 96.2% on-time performance 6. Only one FRA reportable injury Popular free rides The Northstar (along with LRT and bus) provided free rides to passengers going to the Holidazzle parade on Dec. 10th and 17th. Demand was huge, as passengers filled the train at the Big Lake Station on the 10th. On Dec.17th, preparations were made to add another special train and make the regular service train consist larger. This time, passengers loaded on at Big Lake and filled the train to 1/3 capacity, with passengers loading at Elk River closing the gap. Although the first train did not stop at any other stations, the second train was able to pick up at all stations except Fridley. Welcome changes In December, John McConnell joined Northstar VMF as a cleaner. John was a bus operator for 20+ years. Welcome, John. A few schedule changes for the new year as well: Will Fetterly has switched shifts with David Linde. He’ll be working the 3-11 shift with David going to the 11-7 shift. Kelly Craven moves to daytime hours, working 7-3.
Paul Kirchner, from the bus
State of the Bus Fleet Melanie Benson, Driver #854 The Metro Transit bus fleet is always in a state of flux. Older buses are retired, newer buses are added - and many of us don’t have a clue as to when and how these decisions are made. This article is the first in a series that should give us some answers to these questions. There are currently 876 buses in the Metro Transit fleet: approximately four New Flyer Artics; 105 New Flyer LowFloor Artics; 97 Gillig 40ft. Hybrid LowFloors; 297 Gillig 40ft. LowFloors; 260 Gillig 40ft. StandardFloors; and three MCI coaches. Buses generally aren’t kept for longer than twelve years, so a number of buses purchased in 1999 are scheduled for retirement, although 20-30 may be kept around to use for the State Fair. New bus deliveries will also be used for the State Fair. The 40ft. buses 600-710 will soon be 12 years old. The youngest 40ft. standard-floor buses were purchased in 2003-04. There are currently no plans to purchase more standard-floor buses (only one manufacturer – Nobi - makes them); but orders will not be placed until mid-2013. This will be a multi-year procurement, covering the years 2014-2019. Metro Transit management will be soliciting input from drivers, mechanics and others as it prepares its specifications for the manufacturers. In past years, buses and chassis have been brought around to the garages for feedback. The factors taken into account when ordering new buses are: technology, comfort, ease of boarding, fuel efficiency, longevity, maintainability, reliability, test results, stability, and cost. New bus purchases are paid for with 80% federal funding and 20% local (state) funding. The hybrid buses are paid for with 90% federal funding and Continued on p.14
Family Medical Leave (Part 2) Doug Barton #68273 We last saw our friend ill-advisedly practicing Dick Van Dyke pratfalls in the garage and ending up getting his head broken for his troubles. He has diligently been calling in on a weekly basis to keep his manager up to date on his recovery progress. His manager at some point (usually within 30 days of continuous injury/illness absenteeism) will inform him about FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act). The requirements and benefits are expected and available to you, but why wait for the manager? We’ll go over them now. Who’s Eligible? As a Metro Council employee, you are eligible for FMLA if you have been employed for a minimum of one year and have worked at least 1250 hours. The employment doesn’t need to be consecutive, but does need to be at least 12 months. This means that you must have been employed for at least 12 months and have worked a minimum of 1250 hours prior to taking your leave. If you are married and both of you are employed by the Council, a maximum of 12 weeks FMLA leave may be used by both of you combined, and is permitted in the event of birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child, or the serious injury/illness of a parent. However, each employee/spouse is eligible for up to a 12-week maximum for his/her own injury/illness, or to take care of a parent or child. FMLA leave may be taken on a full-time, part-time or intermittent basis upon doctor recommendation and management approval. Leave may be paid or unpaid under Federal law. The determination of whether the leave will be paid or unpaid is dependent on if the employee has accrued paid time. Paid time will be used according to current ATU contractual agreement. At present this would mean that any accrued sick time would be used first, followed by whatever vacation time is available. After exhausting all paid leave, and if you still haven’t returned to work, FMLA will still be generating payments to your medical insurance to keep the premiums up to date. This will continue until you have reached the maximum time off allotted by FMLA. After that point, you will be required to pay the full amount of your medical premiums or your insurance will lapse. Definition of a serious injury/illness would be as follows:
Ilona La Douceur #66048 Faye Brown # 6331 Walter T. Curry, Jr. #3815 Debbi Sievers #64222 SAFETY Pedestrians - Please slow down, look, listen and be aware of your surroundings. Pedestrians are wearing hoodies, headphones and always in a hurry, all things that make it easy for them to step in front of your bus. The schedule is not worth a life or your livelihood. Talk to your safety person to see what can be done. We are still meeting our goals, so that’s great! MAINTENANCE #1300 series bus purchases are complete at Heywood. The white painted lines forward of the crosswalk have been touched up so you can see if a forty-footer can fit. Remember to take a trash bag liner - it really makes a difference when you’re sitting that close to the bag. When the diesel/oil tanks are finished, we will resume (BTR) pulling in the driveway.
1. Inpatient care (i.e. overnight stay in a hospital, hospice or residential care facility.) 2.
Continuing treatment by a health care provider that involves: A. A period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days. B. Any subsequent treatment or period of incapacity relating to the same condition that also involves: a. Supervision of a health care provider of two or more times. b. Treatment by a physician that results in a regiment of continuing care by a health care provider.
The 1005 Line Remember, you can always access past and present issues online at www.atu1005.com on the Education page. You can also see the results of arbitration votes and other meeting results.
3. Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy or prenatal care. 4. Incapacity due to a chronic long term health condition (i.e. asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, etc.) 5. Permanent long term health condition for which treatment will be limited or non-effective. This would require you to be under the continuing supervision of a health care provider.
Melanie Benson #854 Twaya McIntosh #9002 Alec Johnson #66034 Ryan Timlin #66279 Blayne Williams #77
Karyn Krech, retired Driver #100, known as "Lake Street Karyn" passed away January 22 after a long struggle with cancer. More information on back page. Transportation Januaryâ€™s retirements include Bernadine Woodards, Driver #545 and Robert Ueeck, Driver # 6381. Maintenance Drivers are asked to be especially conscious about how we pull buses into the bays. The new buses, with the extra-deep dash, must be pulled up so the extension hangs over the front line in the bay. Otherwise, the other buses pulled in will block the crosswalk, creating a safety hazard. Maintenance has a request for drivers before pullout: Please check signals and tires first, then pull ahead to check coolant and get help if needed. This keeps the front of the bays free for the movement of buses that need repair. Driver 854 is still looking for someone to help her arrange photos on the boards at the top of the stairs.
6. A situation requiring that you have to multiple treatments or restorative surgery after an accident or injury, or in the case of a long term illness such as cancer, arthritis, or kidney disease that would require medical intervention to prevent long term incapacity. Notification and Designation of FMLA Leave Employees will need to complete a Leave Application/Agreement and give it to their manager 30 days prior to taking leave. Should the leave be unexpected then the form must be completed and turned in as soon as possible to your manager. You will be notified by mail upon acceptance of FMLA leave. Medical Certification A Health Care Provider Form must be completed prior to taking FMLA leave (if leave is expected), and/or turned into your manager ASAP after your initial treatment. The Council may require a second opinion at their expense and by the doctor of their choosing. Upon completion of treatment and before your return to work, a fitness-for-duty report must be completed and turned into your manager. (This will determine whether or not you would be able to perform the duties of your job.) Return to Work The Met Council will require the employee on FMLA leave to periodically report on their status and intent to return to work. Should your status change in the amount of time you would need to remain on FMLA leave, you should inform your manager within two business days of the status change. For all workersâ€™ compensation claims and DOT safety sensitive positions a fitness-for-duty report is required and paid for by the employer. Should the employee indicate that their intent is not to return to work, all FMLA benefits will cease and notification of COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) will be sent to the employee. This is the federal law that provides many workers with the right to continue coverage in a group health plan. The medically disqualified employee would be required to pay this monthly expense going forward. Should you have any more questions on FMLA, search out your union rep and/or your manager and they will be able to help. Sources: U.S. Federal Employment Guidelines and Minnesota State Labor Law Metropolitan Council Policy Guidelines on FMLA Minnesota Department of Labor Guidelines
South Garage’s Lisa Benson
Stacey H. Taylor Driver #70055 Lisa Benson (Operator #9143), newlyelected ATU 1005 Representative to South Garage, never planned on being a bus driver for more than five years when she started her career in 1991. Benson’s father, John Westphal (retired Driver #164) suggested she start driving for Metro Transit (MTC) because it would be a “great” part-time job while she attended the University of Minnesota. “He told me I could drive A.M. and P.M. rush hours and take classes in between,” Benson said. She agreed with her father and took a part-time position offered by the MTC. “It was going great until they offered me full-time,” Benson said. “Then I said I’d take the money and the benefits.” During her 20 years of service Lisa moved to the full- time position; worked the extra board for a number of years; and worked as a relief dispatcher. You could say that, for Benson, transit is in her blood - or at least rooted in her family tree. Benson said her uncle and her sister both have driven Metro Transit buses. Also, Lisa is married to South Garage Coordinator Bob Benson. Lisa Benson stepped into her role as union representative following the November 9, 2011 Amalgamated Transit Union 1005 election. Mark Lawson left the position and was elected ATU 1005 Recording Secretary/ Assistant Business Agent. “Mark did an excellent job,” Benson said. “I watched others and Mark in that position, and when I knew he was going for a different position I decided to go for it and try to do it as well as Mark.” For the next three years, Benson will represent nearly 225 combined Continued on p. 10
MJR Black History Celebration Thursday, February 16, 2012 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. A $5 nominal fee includes turkey and dressing, ham, mixed greens, mac and cheese and Banana Surprise for dessert. Hosted by Lillie Loving #6828, Margaret Stephens #9069, Diahann Banks #70026, Alemu Foluke #63113 and Lorene Love #838 Please take the time to come on over and enjoy!
Jackie Williams #66180 Anastasia Bloodsaw #2297 On January 18, MJ Ruter celebrated a husband/wife team, Nancy Amerson #2356 and Richard Amerson #64091, who both retired on the same day. A late congrats to Harry Lewis #67132 who retired on December 30. We wish him well. Congratulations to Safe Driver Award Winners: Richard Pratscnner #1793 Mike Piere #8815 (20 years) Carla Simonson #9631 (14 years) Billy McLean #7015 (12 years) Sherwood Kenerson #5887 (11 years) Congratulations to TSSC winner Dereje Tafesse (DJ) #64154, who was elected to another twoyear term and is also the chair of the TSSC. Good job, DJ, we are proud of you. Pardon ‘their dust,’ but MJ Ruter is receiving a 1650 sq.ft. addition on our east side. Thanks for our training room, a muchneeded conference room, a fitness room with state-of-the-art equipment. (This replaces our Stone Age equipment that most operators are convinced is ‘hidden.’) Come on, operators, by the time we shed those sweaters and jackets, we should have plenty to be happy about. Oh, hopefully this will be the year operators will be allowed to wear face or mouth masks. The colds and flu symptoms are becoming very hard to shake.
South Garage’s Lisa Benson continued
Scott Lindquist #6401 Stephen Babcock #3128 The Radio Electronics shop is done with new bus installs. They are now revamping older artics' APCs (Automatic Passenger Counter) and upgrading the DVRs from GE to Verint. They are also finished with half of the MCI buses. New buses, the first prototypes, will be arriving in March or April. The Farebox Department is back to a full crew. A new pick just started. They have been installing a new E-prom to eliminate the past problems caused by the "daylight savings" time change. They should be done by February 15th.
South Garage drivers and dispatchers, as well as continue driving duties. “I have been thrown into the fire. It has been very busy,” Benson said. “On the driver’s side, I deal with grievances from cell phone policies to accidents; from customer complaints to absenteeism and contract issues.” Benson, who worked for some time as a relief dispatcher, said she also understands dispatchers because they are in a difficult position between drivers and management. “They are ATU, yet they have to do the hard job of marking drivers late or scratched,” Benson explained. “They are in the middle and get yelled at or blamed from those on either side. Sometimes there are miscommunications or misconceptions that occur between operators and dispatchers,” Benson said, “and I’ll have to try to mediate.” One common misconception she points out is the complaint by drivers that dispatchers give them bad buses on purpose. Benson said her experience on the other side gives her a different perspective. “The truth of the matter is that dispatchers usually just give drivers the next bus in line,” Benson said. “It is simple, if you are the next pull-out you get the next bus.” Benson said her union representative role is sometimes confused with other Metro Transit roles. “Although I deal with contract issues,” Benson explains, “I do not make decisions on what goes into the contract. Those contract decisions are left up to the executive board and the membership.” Benson explains that she is often called on to assist with drivers’ concerns that should be handled by peer support. “Many drivers come to us for issues ranging from family problems to issues with difficulty getting to and from work,” Benson said. “I try to give advice and help any way I can, but many of those issues are more related to peer support.” Benson often volunteers for other union and work-related jobs throughout Metro Transit as well as organizes the South Garage travel club. When she is not busy with her day job, Lisa can be seen volunteering as an animal handler of snakes and lizards at the Minnesota Zoo.
CRYPTO Each letter stands for another. If you think A=F, for example, it would equal F throughout the puzzle. Clue: D=E (Answer on page 15 ) Submitted by Pat Kelehan, Facilities Tech. #5470 A Z B X Y C Y W X D F V W C D F B Y T
X D B T V G W H
A B H C Y
X K L D
H V N L D C
W P H
Q B H D S Y W H'C
Z K R Y
X K L D.
SOUTHWEST CORRIDOR - PROJECT FACTS AND TIMELINE Ilona LaDouceur - #66048 The Central Corridor Rail Line is about one-third complete and is on schedule to begin service in 2014 as scheduled. So what is next on the agenda? Here are some project facts and a timeline obtained from the Met Council website.
Southwest LRT Project Facts • Approximately 15 miles long between Eden Prairie and downtown Minneapolis • 17 new stations • 29,660 riders per weekday by 2030 • $1.25 billion cost (year-of-expenditure dollars). Capital costs are expected from four sources:
the Counties Transit Improvement Board’s transit sales tax in the metro area o the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority o the State of Minnesota, and o the Federal Transit Administration. • Southwest LRT will operate from downtown Minneapolis through the southwestern suburban cities of o St. Louis Park, o Hopkins, o Minnetonka, and o
Page 12 Eden Prairie, o passing in close proximity to the City of Edina. • The line will connect major activity centers in the region including o downtown Minneapolis, o the Opus/Golden Triangle employment area, o Methodist Hospital, o the Eden Prairie Center Mall, and o the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes. • The line will be part of an integrated system of transitways converging at the Interchange in Minneapolis where connections using the Target Field Station can be made to o the Hiawatha LRT line, o the Central Corridor LRT line, with direct connections to the U of M and downtown St. Paul, o the Northstar Commuter Rail line, o the proposed Bottineau Transitway, and o future commuter rail and intercity passenger rail lines. • Hennepin County is continuing work on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. o
Liz Goldberg #1630 Stacey Taylor #70055 Theresa Collins, in honor of outstanding customer service skills, was just recently presented with the "Achieving Accomplishment Award." Theresa, full- time South Operator # 1378, has received, in the last three years, 32 commendations from her loyal and committed riders. We are not surprised, because we know this bubbly. effervescent, outgoing, cheerful and get-right-to-the-point person - and we are very proud of her. Congratulations, Theresa! Salad Dayz As of January 11th, South now offers salad for lunch, every other Wednesday for $3, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Start the year out right and add some crispity, crunchity, low-cal and high-fiber salad to your daily menu. Numbers.... South Garage currently has a total of 217 operators:170 fulltime, and 47 part-time operators (37 weekday/10 weekend). We operate 132 runs and have a 38-member extra board.
Reminder: Don't forget to shut off those cell phones and stow them away. The penalty is stiff - a Final Record of Warning and up to 20 days off.
Southwest Corridor LRT Timeline Here is the projected timeline for the SW Corridor light rail project: • Aug. 31, 2010 – Submitted application to Federal Transit Administration for approval to enter preliminary engineering • 2012 – Publish draft Environmental Impact Statement and begin Preliminary Engineering • 2013 - 2014 –Conduct Final Design • 2014 – Secure Full Funding Grant Agreement, committing the federal government to pay 50 percent of the project’s capital cost • 2014-17 –Construction • 2018 – Begin passenger service
More facts about transit found at southwesttransitway. org: •
In an average week, all vehicle miles traveled in the metro area total more than three times the distance to the sun, 93 million miles away. (Metropolitan Council) Every gallon of gasoline we burn produces about 19 pounds of carbon dioxide. The average car traveling around 12,000 miles per year emits 5.2 metric tons of CO2 emissions. (Environmental Protection Agency) Metro area commuters waste an average of 43 hours a year stuck
in traffic congestion. (Metropolitan Council, Texas Transportation Institute) MN/DOT predicts that the number of miles of congested roadways will increase from 183 in 2000 to 491 in 2025. In 1990, 30 percent of the region’s freeway lanes were congested during peak periods; by 2000, the figure had grown to 60 percent. (Metropolitan Council 2003 Survey) No. 1 - In a survey of metro area residents, traffic congestion ranked as the top concern, above crime, education, and housing. (Metropolitan Council Survey) By 2030, the metro area is expected to add nearly 1 million residents and 560,000 jobs, generating 4 million more daily trips, a 37 percent increase. (Metropolitan Council) Since 1995, mass transit ridership has grown by 20 percent. (American Public Transportation Association) It is estimated that the average person going to work in the Twin Cities wasted 54 hours in congestion in 2000. This contributed to a per commuter loss of $1,000 in time and fuel, which equates to $1.2 million for the region. (Minnesota Department of Transportation) By 1999, U.S. public transit systems were carrying more than 9 billion trips, representing the highest level of ridership in nearly 40 years. (American Public Transportation Association) Of the total mass transit growth, major rail transit modes totaled nearly 5.5 billion passenger miles or approximately 84 percent of the total. (American Public Transportation Association) In the past 20 years alone, the number of vehicle-miles traveled (all vehicles on all trips) on the region’s freeways has increased 127 percent. Congestion is worsening at a faster rate than in the past. VMT is expected to increase faster (+38 percent) than the population (+28 percent) over the next 25 years. (Metropolitan Council) The average American consumes more than 500 gallons of gasoline each year. At $3.50 a gallon, that’s an average of $1,750 each year. In future articles, I am going to research and report on the DEIS (Draft Environmental Impact Statement) and the Met Council’s 2030 Transportation Policy Plan that was adopted November 10, 2010. It is 12 chapters with over 250 pages. Chapter 7 is Transit (53 pages) and it’s the one I will be primarily researching.
Heywood Garage Annual Black History Program Friday, February 24, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. In the Drivers’ Area The theme for this year will be Education, and the speaker will be the Minneapolis Public School Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson. There will also be tables set up with information on available scholarships and classes. As always, there will be entertainment, food and raffles. In the next issue of The 1005 Line, look for pictures of the event and winners of the raffles.
Hope to see you there!
State of the Bus Fleet continued from p. 6
10% local funding. Retired buses are sold at auction, to others in the transit industry, to individuals, and to salvagers. When manufacturers design new buses, they take into consideration what their customers ask for, the law, and the constraints of engineering. Some features are just for design, like the expansive dashes on the new 40ft. lowfloor buses, which add more than a foot onto the length of the bus. Some of these design features require extra safety equipment, such as extra fans to clear condensation from the expanded and partitioned windshield. Part 2 of this series will address other safety concerns raised by changes in bus design. Many thanks to Jan Homan, Director of Bus Maintenance; Chuck Wurzinger, Assistant Director of Bus Maintenance for Technical Support; and all who contributed information for this article.
Janis Borchardt, ATU International VP, Swears in the New Executive Board at the December Membership Meeting
From left to right: John Hawthorne, LRT Maintenance; Ron Laumeyer, Overhaul Base; Tom Mevissen, Northstar Commuter Rail; Gordon Raveling, MJR Transportation; Dave Rogers, LRT Transportation; Gary Bier, Office/ Clerical; Mark Lawson, Recording Secretary/Ass’t. Business Agent; Dorothy Maki, Vice-President; Jody Theisen, MJR Maintenance; Michelle Sommers, President/Business Agent; Tommy Bellfield, Financial Secretary/Treasurer; Ken Dolney, East Transportation; Russell Dixon, Heywood Transportation; John Zapata, Nicollet Maintenance; Chuck Feucht, East Maintenance; Tim Dixon, South Maintenance; Clifton Bolden, Nicollet Transportation; Greg Stowe, Heywood Maintenance; Lisa Benson, South Transportation We hope to have regular articles on Board Members, starting with new members. (See Lisa Benson, South Transportation, page 9.) Missing: Dave Gosha, Rochester City Lines; Rocky Richardson, Steward, First Transit Mechanics
BUS ROADEO Deborah Sievers #64222 This year’s State Roadeo was held in September, 2011. The winners are: 1st place: Jack Berner - Heywood 2nd place: Randy Finch - South 3rd place: Idar Bilij - Heywood Congratulations to all the winners and garage champions! Also, I would like to congratulate the winner of the Roadeo T-shirt contest, Lisa Benson of South Garage. The 2012 State Roadeo will be held in Bemidji. The dates are July 20th-21st. Heckler’s Row will be going again this year and would like to see more people join us. If interested, contact Deb Sievers #64222 either at Heywood Garage or on my cell phone: 612-695-0238. I will be reserving the rooms soon.
CDL VERSUS DWI (DWI Wins Every Time)
Deborah Sievers #64222 With the rash of DWIs lately, I thought I would do an article on what happens if you drink and drive with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Did you know that if you have a CDL the blood-alcohol limit is only .04 versus .08 if you have just a regular license? Federal laws have held us to a higher standard as professional drivers. This includes driving your own personal vehicle as well as a commercial vehicle. You will lose your CDL if you are caught driving a commercial vehicle or your own personal vehicle! Do you know what the Post Employment Practice is? Taken from Metro Transit Bulletin #94 of 2011, it is as follows: If you are convicted of a DWI/DUI, Metro Transit will apply the same standard for post-employment serious driving and criminal convictions as it does pre-employment. You will not be eligible to drive bus at Metro Transit for 10 years. That is the case even if you plead down to reckless or careless driving and even if you transfer to another job in the company within 30 days. Did you know that you will lose your CDL for a year? Drinking and driving will cost you more than the fines that you have to pay, because the DOT will take your CDL for a year and Metro Transit only will give you 30 days to either get your CDL back or find another position in the company! Either way, you will not have the job that you started with. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has some tips if you do plan to go out and drink: 1. Have a sober driver - Plan ahead and have a responsible person available as the driver. 2. Have a house party, including non-alcoholic beverages for those who want the option not to drink. Maybe stop serving alcoholic beverages the last hour of the party. 3. If you have been drinking, please call a cab, a friend, family member, take a bus – or, if there is someone at the party who has not been drinking, ask them for a ride. 4. The saying “Friends do not let friends drink and drive!” goes a long way. If you see someone who is about to get behind the wheel after drinking, ask for their keys and help them find a way home safely. So, please be responsible and do not drive after drinking! A good saying to remember is: “TWELVE HOURS FROM BOTTLE TO THROTTLE!”
Save (Your) Face There have been a couple of serious assaults on drivers recently over fare disputes. Company policy is that drivers inform passengers of the fare once and then leave it alone, hitting the ‘5’ key on the fare box. These are hard times for everyone, drivers and passengers alike. Please do not argue with people over their fare, but inform them politely and as privately as possible what the fare is. Please don’t embarrass them in front of others, and don’t make it a question of your own pride. This will reduce the stress level for everyone involved – and it may prevent service disruption and/or injury.
Crypto Answer FLINTSTONE NEIGHBOR WHOSE FIRST NAME RHYMES WITH OUR DIRECTOR’S LAST NAME. ANSWER: BAM BAM [BRIAN LAMB]
Our Sincerest Apology It has come to our attention that some bus riders were offended by the “Bus Groupies” article in the last issue. We should not have printed this article without first reviewing the article with the riders involved. We would like to extend our sincere apologies. Please be assured that we understand that happy transit riders are the key to success in our careers, and we will strive to communicate with riders in a way that is inoffensive, and mutually beneficial. We will also not use bus riders' names in the future unless the union office has confirmed the approval.
Uniforms Unlimited Promotion Because of the rush of Metro Transit drivers coming in at the end of the year to obtain uniform items (just before their vouchers expire), Uniforms Unlimited tried a new promotion in 2011. Any driver coming in before November 30 would have a choice of free socks, free fingerless driving gloves or a free fluorescent traffic vest. An employee of Uniforms Unlimited confirmed that this was a great success, and that almost 90% of those shopping early chose the socks. Correction to November's Issue Regarding the column for the Commuter Rail, Brianne Waterhouse name was spelled incorrectly. We had Brianna not Brianne. It was also incorrectly reported that she transferred from TCC not TIC. We apologized for the error..
Some Highlights from the ATU International News Service Bush tax cuts widened the wealth gap CRS report shows The Congressional Research Service released numbers last week confirming that investment income was the biggest contributor to income inequality from 1996 through 2006. This message has been repeatedly delivered by the ATU and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett who explains that he pays taxes at a lower rate than his secretary does, because most of his money comes from investments that are taxed at only 15%, while tax rates for income can be as high as 35%.
12,000 - and counting - sending letters to Congress to save U.S. transit! Our campaign to get language providing transit systems with local control of their federal transit funds into the soon-to-be-introduced federal surface transportation bill is gathering steam. The provision will allow transit systems to preserve critical service and hold down fares during tough economic times to ensure quality, affordable public transportation. Join the campaign!
Obama NLRB appointments win ATU praise International President Hanley praised President Barack Obama for filling three vacancies with recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. "The president's actions are a strong step toward restoring the balance needed to ensure fairness in labor-management relations…," Hanley said. "We applaud the president for standing up to the Congressional Republicans who have threatened to circumvent the labor laws of our country…"
WIN an iPad2! The International has upped the ante and is holding a new lottery drawing for an Apple iPad 2. All you have to do is go to the ATU website and send us your email! Be sure to tell your fellow members to do the same to get a chance to win. More importantly, sending us your email will allow you to get the latest news and developments about ATU, politics, and the transit industry. And don't worry, if you've already sent in your email for the first lottery, you will be automatically included in the lottery for the iPad 2. Source: ATU Dispatch email dated January 18, 2012
ATU Fights to Save Transit Funding “Urban transit systems in most American cities, for example, have become a genuine civil rights issue... if transportation systems in American cities could be laid out so as to provide an opportunity for poor people to get meaningful employment, then they could begin to move into the mainstream of American life.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Nationwide there is a movement to cut funding to transit. We must fight to save transit, save our communities. Wisconsin Wisconsin Governor Walker has a history of cutting transit. In Milwaukee County his mismanagement ultimately required federal stimulus funds to address massive fiscal problems. On Saturday, January 14th, hundreds of transit advocates joined ATU International President Larry Hanley, Wisconsin “Fab 14” State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, 7th Congressional District Candidate Pat Kreitlow and other community leaders at a rally to save Metro Ride in Wausau, Wisconsin. The rally protested against slashed Monday through Friday service, the elimination of all Saturday service, and increased fares. With more cuts proposed for 2013, advocates are fighting against the extinction of Wausau’s transit system. ATU and its coalition partners will be ratcheting up the campaign to fight these cuts that could kill the transit system in Wausau entirely. Larry Hanley, ATU Federal Funding International President Under current law, only transit systems located in urbanized areas under 200,000 in population may use their funds for operating purposes. As a result of this policy and the continued shortage of state and local revenues, more than 85% of transit systems across the U.S. have cut or eliminated vital service or raised fares since the beginning of the current recession. Thousands of transit riders can no longer get to jobs and services, and thousands of transit workers have lost their jobs as well. These challenges are continuing, with more than half of transit agencies currently considering fare increases or service cuts. The Federal Surface Transportation bill is about to be considered by the U.S. Congress. This campaign is aimed at getting language in the bill to provide transit systems with local control of their federal transit funds, allowing them to preserve critical service and hold down fares during tough economic times so that working people may be offered quality, affordable public transportation. “This legislation is long overdue,” declared ATU President Larry Hanley. “Over the last two years, countless transit riders can no longer get to jobs and other daily tasks, and thousands of transit workers have lost jobs, all because of an arcane law that will not allow transit agencies serving areas of over 200,000 people to use their federal funds for critical operating expenses.” Minnesota The 2012 Minnesota legislative session starts Tuesday, January 24, 2012. The big focal point from a transportation perspective will be the state bonding bill. There are a number of key transit and bike/pedestrian capital projects that need a state financial commitment to move forward and, for some, to secure a federal matching grant. Sources: ATU International website, Transit for Liveable Communities.
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 1, 2011 Members of the Committee Present: Darell Hanson, Nicollet, Committee Chair Danielle Julkowski, Management Advisor Monica Kruger, Management Advisor - Training Rolland Green, LRT Daisy Frantz, Heywood James Minelli, East Metro Dereje Tafesse, MJR Lisa Benson, South Others in attendance: Mike LaVine, Police Chuck Wurzinger, Maintenance Brenda Himrich, Safety Christy Bailly, Transit Operations Pam Steffen, Customer Relations Deb Downing, Street Operations Dorothy Maki, Union John Cook, FTH CALL TO ORDER Darell Hanson called the meeting to order.
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REVIEW OF MINUTES November minutes were approved. FTH REPORT Daisy Frantz in attendance: • Washington Avenue bridge being narrowed (Rts. 3,16, 50, etc.) • Concerned about buses traveling from WB 4th St SE to SB 10th Ave (Rt. 652) - position of parked cars brings buses too close to these parked cars when making this turn. Cars are close to the crosswalk. • Concerned about traffic signal arrow for travel from WB Washington Ave to SB I-35W. • An OCR has been written on this issue, but she wants to keep awareness of the issue. • Relayed an operator concern from a weekday WB Rt. 61 operator who reports that at 7:31
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a.m., at Westminster and Larpenteur, kids are paying chicken in the street. Pam Steffen asked what school is in the area. This is unknown. Capt. LaVine said he would put a police detail on the issue. Rt. 19 - an incident involving a gun last night. Expressed significant concern about the security issues that are ongoing on Rt. 19. Talked about operators being in danger and that they don’t feel they’re getting support or help. Police presence was discussed - LaVine indicates there will be more plain-clothes officers riding and there will be more officers working at night in the coming year. Additional ways of addressing the issue were raised. Asking MADDADs to focus their efforts differently, saturation of the Rt. 19. Working with Service Development about issues related to heavy loads, routing and neighborhood issues. Possibly using GIS data if available. Attendees expressed mixed views about the advisability of shorting the route from its current terminal at BCTC. Daisy Frantz referenced late night as of particular concern. ATM Cook spoke about the difficulties faced by operators and indicated it’s not just at night. Christine Kuennen made the point that information needs to be gathered. Transit Control Center has good reporting about when MADDADs ride buses and she will gather this information. TCC reports can be used to gather information about incident times and locations that can be analyzed. John Cook asked for Capt. LaVine’s perspective about how operators should handle situations in which the operator doesn’t feel
comfortable calling about a situation because of uncertainty about how people onboard might respond, even though waiting compromises the response. Capt. LaVine responded that each person has to decide for themselves how to handle a given situation. He talked about operators and customers being afraid to do something as an issue within communities. He talked about the need for operators and riders to say something in order for things to be done. He noted that police can’t arrest for a misdemeanor that they didn’t witness. He also noted that police often end up finding people when good descriptions have been given. Pam Steffen of Customer Relations expressed willingness to have a Customer Advocate work with a team to address the issues. Christy Bailly thanked Steffen, but stated that they will take it up again with police and have an action plan by next meeting.
POLICE REPORT Mike LaVine in attendance: • Thefts of phones on trains are down. • Working with Mpls PD • Two weeks in November Safe Streets Detail, 4th St to 9th St…Hennepin to Nicollet and concentrating on 7th and Nicollet livability issues • Capt. LaVine mentioned joint work done at BCTC with Brooklyn Center, difficulties getting cases prosecuted in some situations, and crime moving from BCTC to Robbinsdale Transit Center when police focused on BCTC. TCC REPORT Christine Kuennen in attendance: • Will take over TSSC Rep position. (Eric Isakson has been in representing TCC at TSSC.) • Hired three new TCC Supervisors, so please be patient. • They will also cross-train Transit Supervisors so they cover TCC shifts and TCC Supervisors will train on Transit Supervisor work. • Is putting together Right to Know presentations. Is interested in ideas (needs them before next TSSC meeting.) EAST METRO REPORT James Minelli in attendance: • Chicago/Lake Transit Station…Elliot Ave. • Lines on street for traffic need to be repainted. Deb Downing put it on her list to pass to her
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boss but indicated this kind of thing will not be done at this time of year. Relayed an operator’s report that window washer fluid isn’t always filled in the buses. Wurzinger responded to the issue. Asked if squads riding buses could get transfers when they get off as well as when they get on (as a way to address operators’ complaints that officers don’t ride long enough/far enough/where needed.) Minelli and LaVine noted that there are various reasons officers get off (LaVine noted that operators thought officers were afraid to ride to the North Side when they saw them getting of NB buses at 7/Olson when actually they got off there because they were working as Safe Zone officers out of a budget designated for service in a certain area.) LaVine stated that officers are required to document the time they spend riding buses on their log sheets which are public documents.
SOUTH REPORT Lisa Benson in attendance: • I-35W/46th Street station chute was slippery on a recent day with snow. It needs salt sooner. It’s icy when the freeway isn’t because of the small amount of traffic on the bus lane. • Kuennen said MN Dot should be aware of this as a priority but she will contact them about it.
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LRT REPORT Rolland Green in attendance: 4th/Chicago - bar signals - request to be changed out Concern about operator safety in making latenight reliefs Brenda Himrich had reiterated that she represents the Safety Department for both bus and rail operations at the TSSC. Himrich will address or relay these issues. Dorothy Maki will check on whether late-night reliefs are addressed by contract for LRT operators, as they are for bus operators.
SAFETY REPORT Brenda Himrich in attendance: • Himrich provided handouts with accident statistics and handouts about shoulder lane “hot spots.” • Bailly pointed out numbers on the report in areas she indicates we need to pay attention to: pedestrians and bicycles. • Question came from DJ about ability to use shoulder lanes on Hwy 100 between I-394 &
Page 20 I-694. This led to a similar question for SB I-35W. • Himrich will check with engineering and facilities about this. • Himrich was asked to forward light rail safety and security questions about a signal light and security at the Franklin station to light rail management and safety. She will provide information at the next meeting. STREET OPERATIONS Debra Downing in attendance: • 3rd St/Cedar Ramp-Route Info done by Dave Hanson (#9451) addressing the situation. Not addressed in RI-ramp was intentionally designed as a right turn to slow traffic down as that area will become a major pedestrian crosswalk once construction is complete. Contractor has agreed to take curb area and ramp it so buses have an easier time making right turn - supposed to be done soon (verified w/Dave Hanson after meeting that it has been done.) • VA Hospital Bus stops - Committee was formed and met. Agreed that stops should be moved. Street Ops Mgr. will contact VA Hospital staff to get their input. • Semaphore timing - Several intersections have been identified as being “short” cycles. Advised group that lights are synchronized by city to work in conjunction with other semaphores to move traffic better during rush hour. City to be contacted and their reply will be communicated back to the group. RISK Not in attendance MAINTENANCE Chuck Wurzinger in attendance: • Parking Brake - push/pull - have looked at specs and have measured with a gauge finding they are “all over the board.¨ Best advice: Write up buses that are too hard to move, push or pull the parking brake. Those that are new will be submitted under warranty. • Farebox height - high enough for operators, low enough for customers, space to maneuver around, ADA rules, field of view, etc, many considerations. Last 4 buses - all same. Next step- are there ways to change • New operators report will be put out on trial, possibly beginning of January. • Cleanliness of seats. Product called The Defender (dust and moisture resistant) on
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passenger seats in v1310. Will talk to Recaro to see if have something available for operator seats. Discussion of removable seat covers. Perhaps work w/ Christy and Brenda. Seat belts - retracting - end too tight - will talk to Recaro V1330 - no light on destination sign key pad 1305 - too much glare from sign code Roadside light options…3200s 330/s - too much glare - see people in the bus reflected instead of out on the road
CUSTOMER RELATIONS Pam Steffen in attendance: • Transit Link Transfer Bulletin has been issued. • Miller free rides on New Year’s Eve • Buy 1 - Get 1 7-Day Pass from Dec. 5 thru Dec. 23, 2011 • 1/1/2012 - no more rail-only transfers • Be sure your garage has the fare poster dated Sept 2011, not older ones. M = Medical Condition (does not qualify a person for reduced fare.) L & A - reduced fare at all times T = reduced fare non-rush • Question regarding student paper disposable Go-To cards - seems to be going well - goal: eliminate magnetic ten-rides before next school year starts. MJR REPORT Dereje Tafesse in attendance: • Safety & Security Garage Forum - 12/15 ACTION ITEMS • Deb Downing: Put it on her list to pass to her boss but indicated this kind of thing will not be done at this time of year. • Deb Downing: Street Ops Mgr. will contact VA Hospital staff to get their input. • Brenda Himrich: Check with engineering and facilities about use of shoulder lanes on Hwy 100 between I-394 & I-694. • Chuck Wurzinger: Work w/ Christy and Brenda on cleaning seats issue • Dorothy Maki: Check on whether late-night reliefs are addressed by contract for LRT operators, as they are for bus operators. • Christine Kuennen: Will contact MN Dot about salting the Chute. Respectfully submitted, Emily Anleu, Recording Secretary
We enjoyed working with you, too, Bernadine! Bernadine Woodards, Driver 545 of Nicollet Garage, was given a rousing sendoff into her retirement on Wednesday, January 14 after 35+ years of driving. Bernadine, the second African-American woman driver hired by the MTC in 1976 (the first was Edith James), was joined by her family and friends for a celebration of her career. Several retirees joined current employees and members of management to wish her well. Thanking dispatchers for looking out for her over the years, Bernadine counseled other drivers to develop good relationships with them, as well. She got a lot of laughter talking about the long light at Bernadine will miss Nicollet Manager 35th Street and Nicollet that almost caused her to be late more than Ellen Jackson once: “It’s not my fault!” Responding to a question about her “most amazing experience on the job,” Bernadine said it would have to be the fact that many of her passengers followed her from one route to another. This is especially notable since she used to drive a crosstown route (Franklin Avenue) and switched to driving the 18-line on Nicollet. (Apparently, riding with Bernadine must have been more important than her passengers’ route to their destination.) Bernadine plans on enjoying her retirement by doing more of what she enjoys so much, and suggested that, in the future, we could probably catch her at Mystic Lake Erika and son Deshandre (holding their daughter Illana), – or in Las Vegas. James, Bernadine, son Reggie and sister Fatima
Arnie Libby Retires Arnie started in Material Management on September 22nd of 1986. He completed his service of 29+ years on January 3rd. He will finally have some time to do all the fishing and hunting he wants, but first he is going to visiting in Texas.
Arnie accepting his retirement jacket from Vice President Dorothy Maki.
Arnie, posing with his family: Nick, Susan, Cindy, Kevin, Jessica
Harry Lewis #67132 Retires
Harry retired from MJR Garage on December 30, 2011.
Harry was joined by his wife Loretta, grandkids Kaliyah and Kiara, cousin (retired FTH driver) Daddy Mac #331 and his wife Juanita.
Robert Ueeck, Driver # 6381, Retires from Nicollet with 18+ Years of Service Robert Ueeck was hired part-time December 27, 1993 and was promoted to full-time January 6, 1996. He was at LRT for a while, then Heywood, before he moved to Nicollet. Bob will undoubtedly be spending some of his time in retirement with his extensive collection of motorcycles.
Retired Members’ Clubs Northside Breakfast Club Meets 8:30 a.m. the 2nd Tuesday of each month at Barnacle Bill’s, Shingle Creek Parkway and Freeway Blvd, Brooklyn Center. Southside Breakfast Club Meets 8:00 a.m. the 1st Wednesday and the 4th Thursday of each month at the VFW Post, 67th Street & Lyndale Ave in Richfield. St. Paul Retiree Lunch Club Meets 12:00 p.m. the 2nd Wednesday of the month. Mattie’s (formerly Wells Lanes ) So. Concord St., South St. Paul 55075 Metro Transit Mechanic Teammate Meets at 12:00 p.m. the 3rd Tuesday of the month at Old Country Buffet (by Petco), 2000 South Robert St., West St. Paul
Shown with his wife and family
Retirements There were no retirements in November. Congratulations to December Retirees 12/08/11 Kim Wendling, Nic Op. 343 12/10/11 Gnia Vu, Nic. Relief Mark-Up Dispatcher If you have pictures or announcements of retirements, please contact your Education Committee member or the union office. If you want to join the St. Paul Retiree Club, contact one of the following: President Howard Osterkamp (651) 731-2428 Vice-President Jay Kerkvliet (651) 489-8281 Treasurer Paul Huber (651) 698-6551 Secretary Mary Huber (651) 698-5771
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.
Operator Assault We take assaults to operators more seriously than management, transit police, etc., simply because we are personally involved. Just recently, a Ruter operator was brutally assaulted by a passenger. This operator received injuries that will require several surgeries, plastic surgery, months of rehab, and possibly cause years of pain and suffering. We feel that operators should be made aware of who this unsub is, a photo should be put up at all the garages immediately, and an award should be offered for the arrest and conviction of this individual. Operators should be made aware that this assault occurred on the 19-line and could happen on any Metro Transit route. The public depends on us for transportation, and we attempt to offer a professional and safe ride. When anything less happens, operators are immediately held responsible. We are held responsible for short fares, no fares, not issuing transfers, not knowing the definition of ‘courtesy rides,’ not picking up passengers who are not in the bus stop, enforcing stroller policies, etc., etc. Maybe, just maybe operators should be encased in a closure that would protect them from such incidents, or have Transit Police ride the entire lines, (i.e.) all of the 19, 5, 16, 21 and other high assaultive lines. We ask: Aren’t stats taken to prove where the assaults are most frequent? Where is operator protection? Metro Transit Police ask, “Is everything all right?” This is only after riding a few blocks, receiving a transfer to prove they did something. Why can’t we have constant protection? There are some banks, grocery stores, etc. that have armed protection in high-crime areas. Why can’t we have some of the same life-saving luxuries? As a former police officer, I can certainly see the change in respect for public servants. Jackie Williams, Operator #66180, MJR
Civility Several months ago I wrote a book report about "Choosing Civility," a book by Dr. Forni. I remember saying that I liked it, but I'm sure some will think it's old school and out of date. I also said that Dr. Forni believes it's a timeless tool. Since that time I have noticed that there are many skeptics. That is understandable. I admit that it sounds like poetic idealism, and I know that, because it sounds simplistic, some people might think nothing in it is worth reading. I'd like to share with you a sample of his (Dr. Forni's) insights. The following is taken directly from the book: “What to do: Today the possibility of cross-cultural misunderstanding and conflict is always present. The more civil the members of society, the less likely (it is) for this possibility to become reality. Respect for diversity is part of the cognitive and emotional kit of the civil person, as is the ability to transcend diversity in the name of a common humanity. Will the next generation be able to acquire and practice these two moral skills? Nothing less that our future hangs in the balance. ... We have seen a connection between rampant incivility and a diminished quality of life. It is our job now to increase and spread that awareness (of productive human relations) and make concerted efforts to bring about the changes so many of us seem ready to welcome." PS: Doctor Phil likes to remind us that learning new skills is challenging, and "being right" is less important then being happy. Kim Henry Rice - Driver, East Metro Garage
In Memoriam Richard Bork, age 66, of Maplewood, passed away on November 30, 2011. Richard worked at Metro Transit for 33 years. He is survived by loving wife of 44 years Anna; children, Richard (Christine), Erzsi (Ferdi), Aunca (Billy), Zsuzsi (Sarah); six grandchildren; sister Lucille (Bob); brother Larry; many friends. Special thanks to Dr. Joe and Health-partners hospice.
Humberto Chavez #268 (retired) passed away November 4, 2011. No further information is available.
Richard F. “Dick” Trettin, age 56, of Blaine, passed away January 16, 2012. He was preceded in death by parents, Harold and Harriet; sister, Jan. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Debbie; daughter, Jessica (Brett); son, Steven (Aly); grandchildren, Starlette, Emily and Skylar; sisters, Barb (Bill) and Pat; brother, Lewis (Marilyn); other relatives and friends. Dick started as a part-time driver on May 31, 1994 and retired from Metro Transit on August 18, 2011. Memorials are preferred.
Karyn Krech, age 58, of New Brighton, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on January 22, 2012. She was preceded in death by her parents Francis and Lillian, and mother-in-law Virginia Trujillo. She is survived by her life partner of 12 years, Margo Trujillo; siblings Diann (Bruce) Fyksen, Janet (Bill) Probstfild of The Dalles, Oregon, David (Desli), Donna (Greg) Wahlstrom, Daryl (Jacquie), Brian (Lynne), and Craig (Kathy) of Portland, Oregon; 11 nieces and nephews; father-inlaw Floyd Trujillo; and other family and many friends. Karyn retired in 2008 after 30 years of driving Route 21(Selby-Lake) for the MTC, of which she was very proud. She was a member of the ATU 1005 – Mpls./St. Paul. Her funeral service will be Friday, February 10, 2012 at Saint John's Roman Catholic Church, 835 2nd Ave NW New Brighton. Visitation - 11 am to 12 pm, Mass - 12:00 pm, followed by luncheon and fellowship. 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 Officers (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 member’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.