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
Holiday 2013 Swearing - In Ceremony
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela.
What’s Inside... Officer’s Corner page 2 Union Meeting Highlights page 3 Material Management Recognition Event page 6 TSSC Minutes Page 8 Green Line Update page 9 Sleep Apnea – Part Two page 10 The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) page 12 Central Corridor “GREEN LINE” page 17 Restructuring Union page 19 Coat Drive page 20 Retirements page 21 Strollers and More
At the November evening membership meeting, the elected officers Mark Lawson (President) and Dan Abramowicz (Recording Secretary/ Ass’t. Business Agent) were sworn in by International Vice-President Michelle Sommers. This election was to fill positions when Michelle Sommers was elected ATU International Vice-President. The next scheduled election for a three-year term will be held in November 2014.
Local 1005 By-Law Proposals In addition to the ATU International Constitution, ATU 1005's bylaws govern the way our local union functions. The by-laws are open for additions or amendments each year. This year's schedule for by-law proposals is: By-law proposals are due in the union office by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, January 17. Each proposal must be on a separate piece of paper and signed by the person(s) submitting it. The by-law proposals will be read for information only at the union meetings on January 28/29. The By-Law Committee will meet at the union office on Wednesday, February 12 from 1:30 to 3:00 to review the proposals and make recommendations. Members may attend this meeting to speak on proposals. The membership votes on by-law proposals at the union meeting on February 25/26. Copies of the by-laws are available at the union office or through the union reps at your facility.
LOCAL 1005 OFFICERS President/Business Agent
Mark Lawson Vice-President
Dorothy Maki Vice-President
Recording Secretary/ Ass’t. Business Agent
Dan Abramowicz 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. January 21st February 18th Membership Meetings January 28th - St. Paul February 25th - Mpls. 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
MOVE >>> MN It’s almost here! The new legislative session will begin in February 2014. With this new session comes a transportation bill that will dedicate money to Minnesota transit, roads, bridges, bike and walkways. This bill is called Move MN and is supported by a coalition of over 62
groups from all different walks and perspectives. The immediate need to improve our congested and aging roads, replace deficient bridges, expand our transit system, and better connect Minnesotans by bicycling and walking is crucial to a world-class system. I have had the opportunity to meet with a few policy makers and educate them on a few of our issues: tight schedules, safety, bathroom and health concerns. I am looking for 100 volunteers to help educate more policy makers. Will you be one of the few, the proud, and the greatest ATU members to help get transit funding? Imagine - actually having a winter schedule for our buses so that when the snow comes, we are prepared and not stressed out about how the heck we are going to leave our next terminal on time; having more than two Metro Transit squads on the street in the middle of the night. The few, the proud….Let's get 'er done. Please call the union office at 612/379-2914 with questions or to volunteer.
MEMBERSHIP MEETING HIGHLIGHTS OCTOBER 2013 Executive Board recommendations ATU Local 1005 signed a commitment of support to the Transportation Campaign (Move MN). ATU 1005 contributed $5000.00 to Transit for Livable Communities. President’s Report Acting President Dorothy Maki reported: It’s been an honor and privilege to be Acting President for 54 days (8 days left). It’s been busy, and I apologize to those that we haven’t been getting back to quickly. “Move MN” is a coalition working towards passing a $50 billion/20 -year bill with dedicated funding for transit, roads, bridges, bike and walkways. This is not a fix, but a long-term plan to move transportation forward. We need dedicated funding. Talk it up! We need a big ground game. Fit for Life - taking care of health - It’s frustrating to sit with employees when they have 60 days to get healthy or they are done. The new St. Paul (LRT) facility has a huge room with nothing in it. It could be used as a gym. Also there is a place where machines could go. There is the Fit for Life survey - how many took it? There is also grant money available - up to $2500.00 for a garden or something. Call me for more info. The Minneapolis Labor Review shows the labor-endorsed candidates. Pick a candidate and do something one time - phone bank, door knock we officers can’t do it all. The ATU Ray Wallace scholarship is now hanging on Union boards. Ask the board member for a copy, or look it up on our web site. FMLA- the Department of Labor got together with us. 103 members had their FMLA denied or changed by the second opinion - 100%. We are still working on that. LES - the U of M Labor Education Service is offering a class on engaging younger workers. Let me know by Nov. 1st if you would like to go. Open Enrollment - We are attempting to have a table at Open Enrollment to talk about the Hardship Fund and COPE. You have to re-enroll every year. Financial Secretary-Treasurer’s Report
Education Committee Advisors Dorothy Maki Dan Abramowicz Chair Melanie Benson South Theresa Collins Heywood Office Ilona LaDouceur Rec. Secretary Nicollet Alec Johnson Ryan Timlin Joshua Freeze Ruter Jackie Williams Joseph Oladipo East Metro Philip Jarosz Doug Barton Heywood Garage Faye Brown Vice-Chair Debbi Sievers LRT Carl Rice Lisa Callahan Rail Support Facility Stephen Babcock Layout
The proposed budget for 2014 was read. Report of Rochester Dave Gosha reported: A Tentative Agreement was reached on October 16th. The Vote was last Sunday, October 20th. The TA was rejected- 75% NO, 25% YES. We are still talking, since we are very close to a settlement we can live with. We don’t want to cross the line and do actions until we need to. Rochester will be purchasing 34 buses in five years, and has hired a
Editorial Board Ken Dolney Gary Bier
Page 4 consultant to study the garage to see if they should switch to Compressed Natural Gas.
Light Rail Carl Rice #6223 Lisa Callahan #6716
We would like to take this opportunity to say farewell to Ed Byers, Deputy Chief Operating Officer – Rail. Good luck with your upcoming position in Austin, Texas. And welcome to Brian Funk, who will be Acting Director of Rail Operations while John Humphrey will be acting as the Deputy Chief Operating Officer – Rail. Another class of six is starting on December 16. Throughout light rail 177 new positions are being added, and to this date they have hired 106 (that’s 60%), so there is still a lot of continued activity. The Track Department welcomes five new maintainers: Andre Roshal, Jacob Tucker, James McDonnell, Christopher Wiemelt and Scott Longsdorf.
The Signal Department welcomes four new technicians: Alvin Proper, Michael Day, Joshua Cushman and Perry Gunderson. Traction Power welcomes six new maintainers: Fred Tio, John Miller, Todd Jacobson, John Stevens, Tim Cichosz, and Darin Larson. Light Rail Vehicle Maintenance welcomes their two newest electromechanics Doug Robinson and Ron Kammueller, who both started on October 28. If there have been any omissions, we apologize. Welcome to anyone who has started in the last six months. To date we have received 35 of the 59 new Type 2 Siemen light rail cars. 47 will operate on the Green Line.
November Requests for arbitration A South operator requested arbitration on her medical disqualification. This case will not go to arbitration. A South operator requested arbitration on a Filed Customer Service Complaint. This case will go to arbitration. A South operator requested arbitration over a Record of Warning for Customer Service. This case will not go to arbitration. ATU 1005 is requesting arbitration for a Record of Warning for Absenteeism which was not administered in a timely manner. This case will go to arbitration. The LRT Track Maintenance Department is requesting arbitration over the practice of nonATU personnel performing ATU work. This case will go to arbitration. An MJR Operator requested arbitration on a Class A Violation for Insubordination. This case will go to arbitration. Financial Secretary-Treasurer’s Report The following members passed away since last month’s meeting: Donald Lahd, 50-yr. member Stanley Thomas, 50-yr. member Stephanie Bennett #7704, FTH Operator Members stood for a moment of silence. Obligations
Please welcome the following new operators to Light Rail: November 4th Class: Aidarus Mohamed 66006 Andrew Dinkins 66193 Karl Obermeyer 69185 Bruce Nelson 70002 Dwayne Morris 70007 Sharay Houston 70030 Mohamed Aden 70068 Berhanu Mengistu 70181 Phuntsok Dhundup 70205 Dale Reak 70227 Abdullahi Houfaneh 70265
December 2nd Class: Troy Hayden 69172 Tigist Bentiba 70308 Beth Criger 70315 Bisrat Seifu 70182 Andrew Dolan 70323 Lorraine Payne 71001 Laurence Harvey 71013 Michael Stenberg 71018 Mary Jane Crawford 71020 Nasreddine Yahiani 68260 Ismail Jama 71064
Joshua Freeze #73473 took the union obligation. President’s Report President Mark Lawson reported: Some arbitration cases that were settled were: The LRT mark-up case where management altered the mark-up after it had been posted. We settled for half of the overtime hours requested (4 hrs.). - A member was accused of a crime but not convicted, and management discharged him while he was still legally able to drive.
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He was paid approximately six months of back pay. The case involving an operator defending a customer who was being attacked on the bus was settled. Management wanted to keep some documentation in his file even though the grievance was sustained in whole.
The cases that were recommended for arbitration during the Executive Board Meeting were briefly explained. Some of the cases of members who were denied FMLA or forced to submit to a 2nd opinion were collected and submitted to the Dept. of Labor. They investigated and, out of the 103 cases examined, 43 absenteeism occurrences were removed from members’ files. Members were advised to contact the union if they have occurrences that should be FMLA. So far, these mistakes have only been discovered in Transportation, but Metro Transit says they will be adopting the same rules in all other departments. The Dept. of Labor will be monitoring this for a while longer.
Ilona LaDouceur #66048 Faye Brown #6331 Debbi Sievers #64222
The Flex Spending Account rules have changed to allow participants to “roll over” up to $500 of unused money to the following year. That money would be in addition to the maximum amount currently allowed to contribute ($2,500). The proposed Letter of Agreement regarding Reduced Service Days for 2014 was withdrawn from the agenda. After some issues are addressed with management it will be brought back to the membership for a vote. Two Letters of Agreement will be signed shortly. The first letter addresses a new law from the Affordable Care Act which affects our contract slightly [Article 35, Section 1(a)]. The new law changes the time a member has to wait until eligible for health coverage. It changes from “3 months” to “90 days”. The other Letter of Agreement affects spousal and dependent life insurance (optional to employees). It separates the previously-combined choice to individual choices, one for spouse and South the other for dependents (children).
Philip Jarosz #65015 Doug Barton #68273
Vice-president’s report Dorothy Maki reported: There are ongoing efforts to support Local 1005’s Hardship Fund and COPE. Members who volunteered for political action were thanked for their efforts. Members were informed of a Walmart unionization effort on Nov. 29, from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in St. Paul. New Business The final budget for 2014 was discussed. The budget proposal passed.
Jackie Williams #66180 Joseph Oladipo #66152
Nicollet Theresa Collins #1378 Now that winter has arrived, please practice your safe driving and know your winter detours. Thanks to everyone who donated gently-used winter clothing for this year's event, and please start saving coats for next year's event.
Melanie Benson #854 Alec Johnson #66034 Ryan Timlin #66279
Material Management Recognition Event
Stephen Babcock #3128
This yearâ€™s event took place Wednesday, November 13, and as always it was a lot of fun. All the stockroom personnel got together to have a lunch (pizza) and then play a game of Jeopardy based on Material Management. Awards were handed out.
Electronic Department The electronic technicians have completed the latest series of radio/video equipment installation. A new tech has been hired but not on the property as of yet. Training Department The instruction department is really hopping these days. They are still training new operators at a steady pace. You can almost feel your seniority growing day by day. There are continual interviews happening for all positions, not just drivers. A lot, if not all of you have by now gone through the POD13 training with Instructor Denny Johnson. A special thanks to all the garage instructors who helped out to make the POD13 training a success. Farebox Department There is a new boss in town. Dennis Dworshak is the new manager of Farebox Revenues. He replaces Nick Eull. There is a pick going on among the farebox technicians. There was only one successful candidate for the position of equipment electronic technician out of 17 external and five internal applicants. Way to go, Steve Melby! Material Management Frank Launderville is retiring. Please see announcement on page 17.
Mike McGinley and David Butts receive their awards for outstanding audits at Big Lake stockroom.
Two more stockkeepers, Bob Buck and Bruce Biddick, join the ranks in qualifying for the Rule of 90 towards retirement.
Stephen Babcock accepts his plaque for 40 years. (Right)Dave Williams, retired stockkeeper, comes back to visit his former fellow employees.
Anytime we are together, we have a fun time. We all won prizes for participating in the Jeopardy game.
Even Chris Haefner received an award for "Procrastination."
DJ Rogers receives her 10-year service award.
Chris Kuefler receives his 5-year service award.
Sample Questions from our Material Management Jeopardy Game Fred, Bob, and Frank have a combined 103 years of seniority in Material Management. How many stockkeepers (from most junior up) does it take to equal that much experience? What is the most junior 24? (Trinity Jensen and below) The average number of stockouts per day for a service garage What is 1.87 per day? The total number of items issued in the last nine months (includes gallons of fuel) What is 1.285 million? It happens an average of 28 times a month in the bus service garages. What is an item added to a stockroom inventory or its quantity increased? The distance between the two stockrooms furthest away from each other What is 52.2 miles from Big Lake to South? Total number of items issued over the last twelve months What is 1,233,244? Inventory value of all stockrooms and warehouses combined (within $1,000,000) What is $33,721,860.15? Total amount of cycle count adjustments over the last twelve months (within $10,000) What is $309,188? The value of all transactions (receipts and issues) in the last twelve months (within $1,000,000) What is $166,643,489.39?
Total dollars issued the first nine months of this year, including fuel What is $53.909 million? The average immediate fill rate for the bus service garages What is 98.86% - 224,065 issues (minus bulk fluids, shop supplies and large quantity items such as rivets) with 2558 stock outs (scrubbed-out items such as DPF and DOC filters) Increase in dollar value of standing inventory over the last nine months What is an increase of 26.7%? 2013 - $42,724,097 2012 - $33,721,860 A measure of the amount of time it takes to replenish inventory What is the “Cycle Time?” (For 99% of our inventory that cycle time is less than 24 to 32 hours.) Total dollar value of parts lost and broken while in the inventory control system (Within $10,000) and our improvement for the first nine months of 2013 versus 2012 (within 3%). What is a DEC and negative ADC? 2012 – DEC’d out $91,364 2013 – DEC’d out $108,155 2012 – ADC’d out $169,701 2013 – ADC’d our $51,513 Total 2013 $159,668 Total 2012 $261,065 (38.8% improvement)
TSSC Minutes October 29, 2013 In attendance: Monica Kruger, Management Advisor Kermit Wallace, #2471 – Nicollet Terry Zeimet, #6992 – Rail Jerry Langer, #67203 – MJR Shenghai Vang Ly, #2409 – East Deborah Sievers, #64222 – FTH Art Hayne, #9414 – South Christy Bailly – Director, Bus Operation Mike LaVine - Captain, Police Jim Perron – Manager, LRT Mark Lawson – ATU Security Improvement/Problem-Solving Items Teens Causing Problems on Transit Vehicles Symptoms and facts list was passed out. Can we use this list to help us make a more focused statement of the problem? This will help us identify causes and responses better. The list was discussed looking for areas where information could be obtained to help with this process. - Christy Bailly – Can we define or identify which teens are causing the problems? Not all the kids are causing trouble. - Do we perceive the problem to be with the student passes? - Deb Sievers – Some students use cards after 10pm. I’ve seen them being used and they work after hours. - Captain LaVine – I feel this might be part of the problem, but it might not be all of it. Students can start their way home before 10pm and still be allowed to transfer and ride after 10pm. Go-To Card Use - Christy will check with Finance: Can money can be added to the student pass and can it be used after hours? Are student cards being used after hours? Kids Jay-walking at LRT Crossing - Police detail was added and the issue has been addressed - Next school year may need to remind the students Holding Train Doors Open
- Jim Perron– will check to see if it’s being documented - Kids ringing the bell at every stop and not getting off - SSR’s should be reviewed for kids causing trouble. Christy Bailly will email TCC and management about this. Robbinsdale and West Broadway – Kids delaying the bus - Can review SSR’s for more information? - Art Hayne will touch base with Arlene Armeli to get more specifics on the situation. Crimes or Calls Associated with Youth - Captain LaVine will look into what the data shows to see if there is a pattern. -
How many reports related to kids?
School Routes - Do the managers get a list of operators that are doing school routes? - Christy Bailly – We could create a survey for the school route ops to complete regarding their experiences. Customer Relations - Deb Sievers will contact Pam Steffen regarding customer complaints about youth. Updates and Summaries Phone thefts 257 – 2013 190– 2012 People aren’t being aware of their surroundings, not being watchful of their phone. - Perps hold open the door while another one grabs the phone. Some walk up and down the bus and look for people to rob. - When they are about to grab a phone they may put their hood up or get ready to run. Theft from person is a felony - Mark Lawson – Can we put a video on loop in the driver’s room to train drivers what to watch for and what to do when they see something?
Page 9 - Kermit Wallace – Can there be a canned message telling people to watch their phones? Christy Bailly – There can be one in the scrolling message area. - If it’s a canned message then if the op sees something they can active the message.
- Locks will be changed too. August – Spitting is now a gross misdemeanor assault - Had their first arrest since then. Assaults were discussed.
Response time - Priority 1 Average - 2.8 mins
- 11 aggravated assaults 2013 – arrested 9.
- Priority 2 Average – 8.3 mins
- Ops should always call in assaults and give a description because the follow up often leads to arrests.
Robbinsdale – Doors have been replaced. - Ops are accidently tripping the emergency alarm in the bathroom
Art Hayne – During the LRT overnight shutdowns there should be someone telling them not to cross in front of the train at Humphrey.
Green Line Update Lisa Callahan #6716, LRT It’s starting to look more like a finished light rail line, it’s 97% done with still more work that needs to be completed. The Systems construction portion is roughly 86% complete. The remaining work is complex and detailed: continued programming and testing of the ARINC SCADA control system at the Rail Control Center (RCC); traffic and bar signal programming; and testing of the communications system will be occurring over the next several months. Since August, the Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) test trains have continued and been energized through the University of Minnesota and as far as Chatsworth - and in Downtown Saint Paul. By Thanksgiving, the ______________(OCS) along the entire alignment will have been tested from the 35W tie-in to the Operating and Maintenance Facility (OMF). It is anticipated that the OCS will be up and ready in the OMF yard by the end of the month. (More to come in the next couple weeks. Anticipation and excitement are growing.) Most info from: Christine Kuennen, Senior Project Manager - Green Line, Metro Transit Rail News. POD13 Training All operators (bus and rail) will take or are taking a training which is called Professional Operator Development (POD13) and is focused on the joint-use area which will be known as the Washington Avenue Transit Mall or WATM. In the upcoming weeks, bus operators will be doing the driving in this area, practicing the lane sharing with the trains. Oh my, this shall be different for all. For more information on the Green Line project activity, see: http://metrocouncil.org/transportation/projects/current-projects/central-corridor/making/tracks.aspx
Talent Corner by Deborah Sievers
If you or someone you know has some special talent and would like to share it with your co-workers, please contact Deb Sievers at Heywood Garage or leave a message at 612-963-0298.
Sleep Apnea – Part Two One Driver’s Experience with Sleep Apnea Melanie Benson #854, Nicollet Several months ago, I wrote an article for this newsletter about the historical reasons that drivers at Metro Transit are being screened for sleep disorders like sleep apnea. These reasons involved studies done by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Highway Safety Administration. I was hoping to follow this up with actual drivers who had gone through the sleep study process. I talked with a couple of drivers who had had negative experiences and didn’t want to discuss the matter further or be identified. I offer many thanks to the one driver who was willing to share her positive experience. Heather (not her real name) decided in December of 2011 that she wanted to improve her overall health, and started with a complete physical. She had been told she snored, she would sometimes wake up in the morning feeling like she hadn’t slept, and she felt like she had some kind of “tunnel vision” when she drove. Her doctor recommended that she consult a doctor who specialized in sleep disorders at a Health Partners Sleep Center in Maplewood. This doctor recommended that Heather participate in a sleep study. The sleep study The study itself is an overnight process. Heather was given a comfortable room with a TV, a Sleep Number bed and a bathroom with a shower. This wasn’t your average hotel stay, however, because there were a camera and a microphone in the room, and numerous electrodes were attached to her skin: three or four on her head, two on her face, one on each ear, and others on her chest, stomach, sides, thighs and legs. These were all to be used by the testers to monitor her as she slept, measuring her sleep patterns and the amount of deep rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that she got. Lights had to be turned out by 11:00 and she was awakened at 6:00 One type of CPAP mask - an example of equipment worn to keep airways or 7:00, dressed, reported to the front desk, and was told she would open. have her results in a week. Test results What Heather learned from her sleep center doctor shocked her: In a 2 ½ -hour period, she had actually stopped breathing 129 times. The doctor prescribed a CPAP machine for her that delivers forced air while sleeping. The CPAP machine These machines come in different styles. One has small tubes that rest in your nose, and others have a mask to be worn over the nose or over the nose and mouth. They contain a memory card that measures how often you use the machine, how much sleep you get (by minutes and hours), patterns of sleep, and whether there’s any leakage. They can be used for sleeping at night or even for naps during the day and are fairly quiet. C-Pap machines are provided through Home Medical Equipment, and Heather’s co-pay was $40. Heather’s experience Heather started using the machine right away, and said the results were “amazing.” She felt rested in the morning instead of being “in a daze.” She guesses that a lot of drivers may be suffering from this sleep disorder and wanted to share what a positive experience it was for her to be diagnosed and treated for it, how it improved her life.
Interview with Connie DeVolder My understanding is that there are two ways drivers can be diagnosed with sleep apnea: 1) by their own doctors, independently of the DOT exam questionnaire about daytime sleepiness; and 2) by answering the questions about daytime sleepiness on the DOT questionnaire and then being asked to take a sleep study. Is this correct? If so, are these two categories of drivers handled differently? The diagnosis is done by the sleep study. Once the diagnosis is made, the employee is treated the same as far as the expectation to follow their doctor’s recommendation and providing documentation to the DOT doctor regarding compliance with treatment. Once a driver is diagnosed with sleep apnea and the decision is made to require the use of a CPAP machine, who monitors the usage of the device? A doctor from the clinic that administers DOT exams, or the driver’s personal physician? The sleep specialist, which is the driver’s physician Who determines whether or not the driver is “in compliance” with this treatment? The sleep specialist will run periodic downloads of data from the CPAP, it will indicate if the employee is compliant with its use. The sleep specialist then must provide documentation to the DOT doctor verifying the employee is compliant. What exact measurements is the software in the CPAP machine capable of making? It varies by machine but I’ve seen: how long it was used per night, the pressures used, flow limitation, if it’s leaking, arousals, number of times the user stops breathing, and an effectiveness of use. How is this information retrieved and recorded? The machine has a memory chip that stores the data and can be downloaded to a computer. Who provides these CPAP machines for purchase, and how much do they cost? Most folks get their machines at the sleep clinic where they do their sleep study. A quick look at one website and I see prices from $300 to $1000. Employee cost will depend on their insurance. I understand that drivers who are diagnosed with sleep apnea only get a one-year extension on their DOT medical authorizations instead of two. Does that only happen once, or does it continue from year to year? Sleep apnea is one of a few conditions which require a DOT renewal annually and that continues as long as the employee has sleep apnea. Are there other medical conditions that only allow a one-year extension on a DOT medical authorization? The most common are high blood pressure and diabetes. There may be others, and the doctor may determine more frequent monitoring is necessary for conditions that may be of concern. Many thanks to “Heather” and to Connie DeVolder for contributing to this article. Connie, RN, MPH, COHN-S, is the Human Resources Manager, Occupational Health.
CRYPTO Each letter stands for another. If you think M=E, for example, it would equal E throughout the puzzle. Clue: Y=E, X=T (Answer on page 15) Submitted by Pat Kelehan, Facilities Tech. #5470 Z A Y B
X Z C
W V D D G Y H
W Y X D C X A Y
DY K Y N X G C B Z V F
X D V B F G X
DVHGC X Y K A F
K Y D Y W C B R Z V F Y Q K Y M M Y B X.
M V W Y
L P X
X A Y
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Joseph Otoo-Essilfie #67312, LRT This article is the last in a series on workplace issues. The author has been promoted and will no longer be a member of this union. We thank Joseph for his many contributions and wish him well in his new position. The Family Medical Leave Act was enacted primarily in response to numerous complaints and concerns from female employees nationwide. The complaints and concerns mostly were about losing their jobs or being demoted after the birth or arrival of a child. Today, the law has gone through many changes and it is one of the most important employment laws in the country. Apart from the concerns and the complaints of female employees that helped enact this law, the typical nuclear American family made up of a husband, wife and two children has changed significantly over the years. In the mid-1970s this typical nuclear American family constituted about 40 percent of all households in the country. By 2004 this model fit less than 10 percent of all families, and between 1970 and 1983 the number of families headed by a single provider doubled. This trend continued over the years, and females heading families with children under the age of 18 doubled between 1980 and 1990 from 2.9 to 5.9 million in the United States. In our contemporary times, it is estimated that more than 20 million young adults have had to move back home because they could not live on their own. In addition to this trend, many other industrialized countries like Canada, France, Sweden, Germany, and Japan were providing generous leave to their employees. The combination of all these factors prompted the United States Congress to pass this important legislation. The legislation was signed into law by President Clinton on February 5, 1993, the first piece of legislation of his administration. The law applies to employers with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius. To qualify, employees must have worked for their employer for at least one year and for at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding the time off. Statutory Basis From The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, 29 U.S.C. & 2601 et seq.: â€œ(a) (1) Entitlement to leave - An eligible employee shall be entitled to a total of 12 work weeks of Leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following: (A) Because of the birth of a son or daughter of the employee and in order to care for such son or daughter; (B) Because of the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care; (C) In order to care for the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent, of the employee, if such spouse, son daughter, or parent has a serious health condition; (D) Because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the position of such employee.â€? This law saw another major amendment in 2008 when President George Bush signed an amendment to the law that would allow an eligible employee to take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period to care for a returning war veteran seriously injured in the line of duty. Though FMLA is federally mandated, a dozen or so states have state counterparts to the law. For example, many of the state laws also provide unpaid leave to care for a same-sex partner or otherwise expand the rules or coverage. A state equivalent may enable the employee to exhaust both the state and federal sets of unpaid leave without fear of losing his or her job. Time off under the Family Medical Leave Act is unpaid unless the employee has benefit time available or is receiving workerâ€™s compensation or some other paid benefits. If an employee has benefit time available, the employee will be required in some organizations to use his or her accrued sick leave, floating/ holiday hours, and general leave time, in that order.
Page 13 Serious Health Condition It is important to recognize that this law was designed to protect qualified employees, employees’ spouses, children (includes adopted children) and employees’ parents with “serious health conditions.” Even though “serious health condition” is subjective, some literature defines serious health condition as “an illness, injury, impairment or any physical or mental condition that requires inpatient medical care or continuing treatment by a health care provider.” This is very important, for “minor” health conditions does not qualify under the FMLA provisions and it saves time and money for employees to be familiar with who and what qualify under the provisions. A “slight” headache or a “minor” cut to the finger at work or home usually does not qualify under the law. However, a health condition lasting more than three conservative full calendar days requiring continuing treatment generally qualifies under the provisions. A serious health condition of your parent(s) qualifies for FMLA provided you meet the other conditions: worked for a qualified employer, worked at least one year and also worked for at least 1250 hours during the 12 months preceding the time off. A pet with serious health condition(s) does not qualify under the FMLA provisions even though a qualified employee may meet all the other criteria. Qualified employees’ mothers-in-laws, fathers-in-laws, aunts, cousins, boyfriends and girlfriends with serious health conditions are not covered under FMLA.
Joseph uses FMLA to care for his father, one of the ways this law can be used.
Employer/Employee Notifications The FMLA requires both the employer and the employee to effectively provide the necessary information to each other in order for the program to be successful. Covered employers must provide employees with certain critical notices about the FMLA. For example, a covered employer must display a general notice about FMLA (an FMLA poster) in a place where employees will see it. In addition to that, covered employers must: • Provide employees with general notice about FMLA; • Notify employees concerning their FMLA eligibility status and rights and responsibilities under the FMLA; and • Notify employees whether specific leave is designated as FMLA leave and the amount of time that will count against their FMLA leave entitlement. The employee also must submit the necessary information to his or her employer for a successful FMLA leave. For example, an employee intending to take FMLA leave because of an expected birth or
Page 14 placement of a child, or because of a planned medical treatment, must submit an application for leave at least thirty (30) calendar days before the leave is to begin. If the need for leave was not foreseeable and the leave is to begin less than thirty (30) calendar days from the date of application for such leave, the employee must give notice to his immediate supervisor and Human Resources as soon as the employee learns of the need to take FMLA leave. Failure to give timely notice may delay the start of leave and it may result in the denial of paid benefit time and/or disciplinary action. Leave and Medical Certification An employee requesting leave must complete the prescribed “Application for Family and Medical Leave” and submit a medical certification, the “Certification of Health Care Provider,” completed by the employee’s (or family member’s) health care provider confirming the existence of a serious health condition and the duration of the expected leave. Both the application and the medical certification should be submitted directly to Human Resources. Employees taking Military Exigency Leave must provide written documentation confirming a covered military member’s active duty or call to active duty in support of a contingency operation. Copies of the application will then be forwarded to the Department Head’s attention for approval. The FMLA application must be approved by the department head and Human Resources. The application for leave must state the date the employee is expected to return to work. The expected return to work date may not be more than twelve weeks from the start of the FMLA leave or 26 weeks in the case of Military Caregiver Leave. The medical certification for the employee’s own serious health condition must state the following: 1. The date on which the serious health condition commenced, the probable duration of the serious health condition and the date the employee can be expected to return to work; 2. The appropriate medical facts regarding the condition; 3. Whether the patient requires assistance and how the employee’s presence would be beneficial; 4. An estimate of the amount of time (frequency and duration) that the employee is needed to care for the family member. FMLA Fraud Cost: Your Job, Criminal Charges It is important for all of us to recognize that, as employees, the FMLA is a very important right to have in order to protect our jobs in case we need to some time off of work to nurse a “serious” injury or health condition or to take care of an eligible son, daughter, spouse, or parent(s). By the same token, employers have the right to properly scrutinize your entire application for fraud. If an employer determines that a fraud has been committed, the consequences are usually severe. The medical certification process is the biggest weapon employers have in combating potential fraud under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). It gives the employer right to obtain information from the employee’s physician about the medical condition and, at least for the first certification, to obtain a second or third opinion from an independent physician if they choose to do so. “Fraud” is a deception made for personal gain. Fraud is both a criminal and civil law violation, typically defined as the deliberate deception of another usually to obtain property or services unjustly. Sometimes we are deceived by our inner/personal desire through the use of self-deception, thus giving us “permission” to act in a manner that violates societal, work, or moral norms. Psychologists’ belief that we commit fraud (like FMLA fraud) when these three preconditions exist: Motive/Pressure, Opportunity, and Rationalization. We have to be able to manage our Id, Ego, and Superego so we don’t fall prey to fraud. “Akrasia” which is mostly defined as weakness of will; or acting in a way contrary to one’s sincerely held moral values is very difficult to beat considering our very nature or make. But we should always be guided by what happens to our friends and co-workers when found guilty of committing FMLA fraud or any other type of fraud. Psychologists call it “vicarious reinforcement”. It is a very important defense mechanism that helps us to avoid behaviors
Page 15 with dire consequences. FMLA is one of the most difficult employment laws in existence today (according to a 2007 survey of HR professionals). What constitutes a â€œseriousâ€? illness is so subjective, and that compounds the problem even further. Do not assume, ask your managers and HR. Failure to do the proper thing is not an excuse. It may cost you your job and possibly lead to criminal prosecution. Sources: United States Department of Labor/Wage and Hour Division (web) Bennett-Alexander, P., & Hartman, L. (2009). Employment Law for Business Ivancevich, J. (2010). Human Resource Management
ATU Members in Rochester Voice Concerns About Contract Negotiations with First Transit ATU members voiced concerns Monday, December 2, 2013 to the Rochester City Council regarding negotiations with First Transit, the contractor who operates Rochester Public Transit. ATU Members who drive RPT buses voiced concerns this evening that First Transit is attempting to change the pay scale in the ATU bargaining agreement. When First Transit made their successful bid to operate RPT, they were aware of the ATU pay scale and benefit package. Initially a six month agreement was reached, which expired at the end of 2012. ATU has been negotiating a long term deal with First Transit for more than a year. Thus far, three tentative agreements have been rejected by the membership. Each contained changes to the pay scale that would lower or freeze the wages of new employees. This would create a division among existing and new workers, since new workers would not receive pay raises alomg with the existing workforce. ATU believes First Transit should Honor the RFP on which they bid, and keep the pay scale intact. ATU hopes that an acceptable agreement can be reached soon. Source: www.atu1005.com Third-Shift South Garage Visit by Board Member Tim Dixon and Vice-President Dorothy Maki
Back row, L to R: David Fuelling, Mark Maybee, Dale Olson, Samuel Heitzman, Tim Dixon, Dorothy Maki Front Row, L to R: Michael Lamp, Daniel Richards, Sam Rott, Scott Trick, Kurt Anderson, center Awbre Henry
Members Sign Up to donate to ATU 1005 Hardship Fund
East Metro operators showed much generosity signing up for the Hardship Fund during open enrollment. Signing up were Roger Kropelnicki#72337, Kathryn Peters #72051, Allen Juaire #63085
Veterans Day at Nicollet was observed by two enlisted men, and a nice speech honoring them was read by Emily Anleu, Executive Assistant - Bus Transportation. Veterans Day is an official United States holiday that honors people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.) Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving. John Musil #5882 is a15-year driver and a veteran.
Open Enrollment for Healthcare
Open enrollment has Joanne Fetch answering benefit questions for OH member mechanic Martin Hauge and financial questions for Chris Kuefler, an OHB stockkeeper.
Central Corridor “GREEN LINE” Coming to You June 2013 Ilona LaDouceur #66048, TIC I have been following the new Green Line Light Rail systems quite closely. and have learned much over the course of the last few years. I get my information from the newspaper and other news outlets, Insight, online, the people who work at Central Corridor and here at Heywood, at staff meetings or just in conversations with others involved. The goal is to have the Green Line up and running by next summer, June specifically is the target. One of the reasons for this is that with Minneapolis hosting next year’s All-Star game, it is imperative that we are totally tested and at 100% before the July game. They are completely done with the construction, except for some minor pieces and they are installing the electrical and signaling. They also must perform thousands of hours of testing on the cars before they are ready to put them into operation. While this is being completed, tested and prepared for its big debut, they are hard at work daily on the Interchange at the Target Field station. And it is huge. Scheduled to open in 2014, the Interchange will serve as a central, multi-modal transportation hub and community gathering space in downtown Minneapolis. The Interchange embodies the principles of Open Transit, which integrates all models of transit, is development oriented, focuses on architecture that can create iconic indoor and outdoor spaces, appeals to passengers, residents, office workers and visitors alike, as well as integrating culture with transit. The Interchange will easily connect communities throughout the region through the Hiawatha LRT (the METRO Blue Line), Northstar Commuter Rail, and the Central Corridor LRT (the METRO Green Line), currently being constructed. The proposed Southwest and Bottineau Transitways will also stop at the Interchange destination. Near the Interchange, visitors will access daily bus operations that connect the Twin Cities Metropolitan area. The overall design of Target Field Station highlights open, flexible public spaces that bring together transit and urban culture into a one-of-a-kind transit station that enhances commuters’ experience and promotes stronger neighborhoods. Target Field Station will include an urban neighborhood plaza, with areas available for neighborhood bars and eateries, cultural, and entertainment spaces and community events. This unique urban area will hold natural, recreational and entertainment spaces, including the Great Lawn. In the winter, steam from the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center will melt snow and ice from walkways, paths and stairs. One of the defining features of Target Field Station will be the Great Lawn. The Great Lawn will be a large green ‘stage,’ providing new opportunities for pre-game events, community concerts, seasonal events, as well as a space for individual activities. The Great Lawn will create valuable green space and a new park for downtown, and provide 250 new parking spaces underneath. We have all heard about the economic disaster the construction of the light rail was to cause University Avenue. Economic hardships for businesses were offset by the following: The Ready for Rail Forgivable Loan Program won an award this fall at The Art of Collaboration – 2013 Twin Cities Community Development Awards hosted by Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Coalition and the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD). Knowing that the construction of light rail in the Central Corridor would have a significant impact on small businesses, the program provided a modest safety net for businesses that showed a loss in sales due to the construction. More than $3.6 million was loaned to 200 businesses. The no-interest loans ranged from $1,105 to $20,000. Nearly two-thirds of the businesses assisted were owned by people of color. One indicator that the program met its objective is that University Avenue has seen a net gain of businesses. The Metropolitan Council provided $2.5 million to support the program. The program was administered by the Saint Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority, joined by the Council, the city of Minneapolis, Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, MCCD and the Neighborhood
Page 18 Development Center. Since March 2011, out of more than 1,400 businesses identified on the entire corridor: • 122 businesses have opened • 90 business have closed • 24 have moved within the corridor • 28 have moved off of the corridor I thought this was very good news. Hopefully the next decade will see St. Paul and University Avenue grow and prosper. In my opinion, University Avenue really looks good. Of course, I am not the bus/train operator and do not have to navigate through University Avenue. Personally, I am excited and looking forward to the Green Line opening this summer. I live in Brooklyn Park so the Blue Line Extension is looking good to me too. I am also hoping that the Green Line Extension out to Eden Prairie and its current problems get resolved and everybody is on board in that part of the region as well. My thought is we are a growing metropolis where traffic and congestion is going to get worse, we are running out of room to build more highways or add more lanes and believe me as someone who lived in Southern California most of my life, that doesn’t work anyway; gas prices are up and down; smog and pollution while not a major problem yet …are becoming one. It is vital to find a way to move large amounts of people as efficiently and safely as possible. Ref: Metrotransit.org, Interchange.com, TCL, Central Corridor
Gossip and Rumors – A Form of Bullying? Deborah Sievers #64222, Heywood In Webster’s Dictionary, the definitions of gossip are as follows: a) rumor or report of an intimate nature b) a chatty talk c) the subject matter of gossip There is a lot of gossip going around lately, and people are getting hurt because of it. No one wins when we gossip. Webster’s also defines rumors as follows: a) information or a story that is passed from person to person but has not been proven to be true b) talk or opinion widely disseminated with no discernible source c) a statement or report current without known authority for its truth d) archaic: talk or report of a notable person or event e) a soft low indistinct sound; murmur Rumors are basically truthless chatter that gets out of hand. When talking about others, you may not realize what damage can be done. Gossiping and rumors could be considered a form of bullying. So, before you say something about someone, THINK!!! T - IS IT TRUE? H - IS IT HELPFUL? I - IS IT INSPIRING? N - IS IT NECESSARY? K - IS IT KIND? Please be kind to one another, because you never know if the words you say may be the last words someone hears!
ATU International President Hanley on Restructuring Union for Battle In a video message on www.atu.org, ATU International President Larry Hanley discusses ATU's plan to restructure the union to help locals fight privatization and other battles, as well as organize riders to join us in our efforts. "Multinational companies are the middlemen for cities, agencies and provinces to lower wages and eliminate pensions for ATU members," said Hanley. "But our locals have been struggling with these problems in isolation, bargaining separately with these huge companies. There has been very limited coordination among our locals. At our convention your delegates approved a plan to build an arsenal to deal with these companies." Hanley discusses the three major parts of the restructuring plan. The first is building industry councils of the locals that deal with the same employer â€“ Veolia, First Group, MV, etc. Second, ATU will help locals formulate and execute various campaigns around politics, rider organizing or other issues. Lastly, ATU will be expanding training of leaders and members to strengthen our union on all levels. "We will be enabled as a union to get and give you real support in your town to fight the battle that you have to fight for your pensions, wages and health care." Canadian bills for stiffer penalities for assaults on transit workers gain momentum. The Canadian Council's campaign to increase federal penalties for assaults on drivers got a boost when the Ottawa City Council unanimously endorsed Bills C-533, and C-402, urging their passage in parliament. The two bills stiffen penalties for anyone convicted of assaulting a transit operator. As of 2011, in Canada alone, the number of assaults reached an astonishing 2,061 attacks. These attacks are affecting not only bus operators but the public as well. "An assault on a transit operator should be an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes because the assault takes advantage of this vulnerable state, and is dangerous not just for the operator but all the passengers in the vehicle," stated Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson following the vote. "If a driver gets assaulted, he could end up crashing that bus, endangering not just his life, but the public as well. These are people who are just trying to do their job," says ATU Local 279 President Craig Watson. Transit is considered vital component in Canadian real estate development. As Canada's urban areas continue to grow so does the support for urban development to be centered around mass transit a new report found. Canada is seeing a continued increase in real estate value for housing, office space, and retail development located in major urban centers near mass transit lines. "With challenging infrastructure in all major Canadian centres coupled with the urbanization trend, there will be a continued demand for retail, office and residential space in our urban centres where there is easy access to mass transit," says one of the report's authors. This reinforces what ATU has preached for years: investment in public transportation is good for communities and their economy. It provides safe, reliable, and affordable access for workers, businesses and all citizens. Time to make the U.S. commuter transit tax benefit permanent. American commuters who take mass transit to work have been stepchildren compared to those who drive to work when it comes to the commuter tax benefit. Currently employers can offer plans to allow employees to set aside up to $245 a month before taxes to pay fares for subways, buses, commuter rail service and van-pooling transportation -- or to pay for parking. The problem is the tax break for parking is permanent while the one for mass transit isn't. It has yo-yoed for years. Now unless Congress acts, the maximum pretax set-aside for transit will drop after December 31 to $130 a month. Rep. Steve Israel and Sen. Charles Schumer are among a group of politicians pushing to pass the Commuter Parity Act, which would make the transit tax break permanent. "With public transit ridership at record highs and fares increasing across the country, the millions of commuters who choose public transit should not be penalized with a tax increase while those who drive and park receive a tax break. It just doesn't make sense," said ATU International President Larry Hanley. "It's long overdue for Congress to make this permanent." Another ATU hero The quick action of Local 1505 bus driver Tim McGinnis prevented a woman from being sexually assaulted in
Page 20 Winnipeg late last Friday. A member since 1987, McGinnis was driving his route when he noticed a man attacking a woman. He stopped his bus and immediately called police. The officers arrived quickly and the woman was not hurt.
Thirtieth Annual Coat Drive Theresa Collins #1378, South Thirty years ago, MTC employees Art Shelton # 1347, Anna Penland # 68310, Ron Maddox # 694, retired mechanic Donnie King, retired dispatcher Edith James, and retired transit supervisor Lloyd Hanson organized a coat drive as part of the former MTC Community Outreach Program. This tradition has been continued all these years by South Operator Art Shelton #1347, and has now been adopted as an annual event by the employees at the South Garage. This event has been incorporated as a soup kitchen, where this year the following employees made soups: Our thanks go out to Art Hayne # 9414, Anna Penland # 68310, Art Shelton #1347, Jayne Arendt-Verhelst # 67030, Darlene Evans # 65105 and to Assistant Transportation Managers Danielle Julkowski and Tony Elia for all the great- tasting homemade soup you lovingly made to share at this year’s event. Each year a goal is set. This year’s goal was to collect 100 clean and gently-used winter coats, hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, snow pants and boots. This year we greatly surpassed this goal, thanks to all of the employees (drivers, mechanics, dispatchers and ATMs) who donated warm winter clothing. I also want to send a big thank you to instructors Cheryl Kienietz-Hall #360 and Jean Hammonds #1374 for bringing their training classes, all of them bearing donated winter coats for this event. Since this is an annual event, make sure to keep watch for next year’s event - and start gathering more warm winter outerwear to donate.
New Member Takes Membership Oath Joshua Freeze #73473 took the union obligation before the morning November membership meeting. Joshua was a driver for 12 years in ATU Local 1549 in Austin, Texas. He served as steward and in various officer positions. He is planning to join the Education Committee in our local.
Crypto Answer WHEN TWO METRO TRANSIT RADIO TECHS MARRIED THE CEREMONY WAS LAME BUT THE RECEPTION WAS EXCELLENT.
Page 21 Retired Membersâ€™ Clubs
Retirements Congratulations to October Retirees 10/25/13 Diane Nokk, MJR Gar. Op. 9900 10/26/13 Jeffrey Goodwin, Hey. Gar. Op.180 10/28/13 Howard Merrill, E.M. Gar. Op. 9226 Congratulations to November Retirees 11/01/13 Harry Parker, E.M. Gar. Op. 9428 11/05/13 Roland Jones, So. Gar. Op. 2105 If you have pictures or announcements of retirements, please contact your Education Committee member or the union office.
Northside Breakfast Club Meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 8:30 AM. at Coon Rapids American Legion 11640 Crooked Lake Blvd NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433 Southside Breakfast Club Meets 8:00 a.m. the 1st Wednesday and the 4th Thursday of each month at the VFW Post, 67th Street and Lyndale Ave. in Richfield. 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 St. Paul Retiree Lunch Club Meets 12:00 p.m. the 2nd Wednesday of the month. Mattieâ€™s (formerly Wells Lanes ) So. Concord St., South St. Paul 55075 If you want to join the St. Paul Retiree Club, contact one of the following: President Howard Osterkamp (651) 731-2428 Vice-President Peter Lam (651) 770-8968 Treasurer Paul Huber (651) 698-6551
Frank Retires The retirement of Frank Launderville will be effective January 3, 2014. Frank will retire with over 33 years of service to Metro Transit. In 1980, Frank was a machinist in the Navy when he left active duty and immediately joined Metro Transit Bus Maintenance. In July of 1980, Frank moved into the Material Management Department as a stockkeeper. He worked 22 years supporting bus maintenance and then in 2002 he became the first stockkeeper for the Blue Line. For the last twelve years his home has been Hiawatha O&M. As the Material Management Rail Coordinator, Frank has been instrumental in leading the day-to-day operations of the light and commuter rail stockroom operations. Additionally, he has provided outstanding counsel to the Material Planners and management Please come and share a cup of coffee and a piece of cake at the Overhaul Base, Central Warehouse, on Friday, January 3, 2013 at 9:30 AM.
This newsletter is a group effort of the Education Committee members and the Officers of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005. We publish 1,000 copies that are distributed among the various facilites. Please return this issue to the facility (or leave it at a transit station) after reading it so the next member may enjoy reading it, too. A color issue and past issues are posted on www. atu1005.com for easy access.
Strollers and More Jacqueline D. Williams #66180, MJR As operators for the Metro Transit system, we have all encountered passengers unwilling to comply with Metro Transit Policy #52 on strollers. Research shows that the stroller policy has not varied much from 6/9/05(revised), 9/28/07 (revised), and 7/1/13. The policy states that strollers are welcome on buses, but customers are asked to adhere to the following rules for the safety of the child and other passengers: 1. Customers must fold strollers prior to boarding. 2. Folded strollers should be stored out of the aisle - either in the wheelchair area (if unused) or in the rear of the bus. 3. While riding, children should either be seated or held. As operators, this is something we see every day. The policy makers for Metro Transit deemed it necessary to include the following: “In crowded bus conditions, especially if the wheelchair area is being used, the stroller MUST be folded and under control at all times. Under these conditions, it may be necessary to REFUSE A RIDE if the passenger cannot and will not fold the stroller. If a stroller is occupying the wheelchair area, and a wheelchair customer is waiting to board, politely ask them to move from the space if there is sufficient room.” (Sidebar on the above) We do all what we can to avoid refusing a ride to a mother with children in strollers, regardless of the abusive language that proceeds out of their mouths in retaliation to the policy. As heartless as it seems, sometimes it is what it is. There is an article posted in the drivers’ room at Heywood Garage about a veteran operator who was stabbed after asking a passenger to remove her child prior to boarding. People are under so much stress, they strike out at what represents authority to them; but we have to remove ourselves from all liability by merely stating the policy. Some customers may have children with medical impairments that prevent them from folding strollers prior to and in some cases while riding the bus. Customers with these special circumstances have been given exception to Metro Transit’s stroller in the form of a waiver signed by the Director of Garage Operations. The waivers have been granted per the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Example Dear(Customer’s Name), Thank you for contacting Metro Transit regarding your concerns with your inability to follow our stroller policy. I understand that because your baby’s heart monitor is hooked up to a stroller, it is not feasible for you to fold the stroller as stated in Metro Transit’s policy. Therefore, I am granting you an exemption from our stroller policy and am allowing you to ride without having to fold your stroller before boarding the bus. You may use this letter as proof of your granted exception if an operator asks you to comply with the folded stroller policy. Metro Transit authorizes you to board and ride any Metro Transit bus or train without removing your child from her stroller before boarding the bus or train. Please be sure the stroller does not block the aisle in any way. Thank you. Upon checking with ATMs, their version is that in no way should we refuse boarding to a passenger with a stroller. Although we don’t wish to do so, there are circumstances that merit this action on the operator’s part. Operators following the proper procedures should take the necessary steps to have customer complaints regarding the stroller policy removed from our files.
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.
Come Together Right Now That was the famous line from the Beatles’ hit song. And with this past run-off of the election to fill the vacancies of president and recording secretary, and the POD 13, I’m starting to see that we are not united enough and coming together to make things happen like we all talk about. If we stood together and united to make our voices heard, we could make a difference. Can someone help me by explaining why we are driving on the Green Line tracks running through the U of M campus? Who thought up this bright idea - and did anyone consult a bus driver about how this could possibly be something that will make our job harder than it already was? I hear from union brothers and sisters all the time about “we don’t like” or “we don’t want.” I’ll write and speak our thoughts, others will go forth and speak our opinions, but now we need to speak up. Do you think things would have turned out this way if we had gone to some rallies, council or union meetings and spoken up? Who knows - but think about it. We can’t complain if we’re not going to do anything, we can’t expect someone to be our voice and they look back and we’re not standing behind them. I’m trying to make a change. Can we try to do it together? Thanks, and happy holidays to all. Faye Brown #6331, Heywood
In Memoriam Stephanie Bennett, 55, passed away November 18th, 2013. Stephanie had worked for Metro Transit since June 28, 1997, when she was hired as a part-time driver. She was promoted to full-time driver on December 27, 1997. Stephanie worked at MJR, East Metro, Light Rail and Heywood. She is survived by her wife, daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren and many friends. She loved hockey, fishing, cooking and many hobbies, but her biggest love was for her Great Danes, Ellie and Moose. Stephanie and Moose are now together. She will be sadly missed. Donald Lahd, age 86, of Crosby, Minnesota, passed away last spring. He was a WWII Navy veteran and worked for Twin City Lines/ MTC for 26 years, retiring to Crosby in 1986. Donald was preceded in death by his wife of 30 years, Hertha; and first wife; Kathleen Talle (mother); and sister Marion Geslin. He is survived by son, Arnold; daughters, Georgia and Diana; three grandchildren; and sisters, Lucille Sanasac and Martha Hollerup. Stanley Thomas, age 87, formerly of Oakdale, passed away on October 30. He was a beloved father and grandfather. Stanley was preceded in death by his wife Isabel of 64 years and he is the father of Mary (Dale Duerr) Thomas and Julie(Stas) Blanda.and grandfather of Stephanie (Fiance Kyle) Blanda & Michael Blanda. He is also survived by two brothers and many loving nieces and nephews. Stanley was a 42-year employee of the MTC. Special thanks to Cerenity Senior Care-Marian of St. Paul for their loving care. Cornelious Sykes, South operator, passed away December 3, 2013. The family requests no visitors at this time. A memorial fund will be set up in lieu of flowers. Details to follow. Please keep Cornelious’ family in your thoughts and prayers.
Season's Greetings from the Executive Board!
Left to right, front row: Dorothy Maki (Vice-President), Mark Lawson (President / Business Agent), Gary Bier (Office / Clerical), Dan Abromowicz (Recording Secretary/Assâ€™t. Business Agent), Tommy Bellfield (Financial Secretary / Treasurer) Left to right, second row: Kurt Anderson (Sentinel - South Maintenance), Jody Theisen (MJR Maintenance), Russ Dixon (Heywood Operators), John Zapata (Nicollet Maintenance), Gordon Raveling (MJR Transportation), Clifton Bolden (Nicollet Operators), Tim Dixon (South Maintenance), Tom Mevissen (Northstar Commuter). Left to right, back row: Arthur Hayne (South Operators), Ken Dolney (East Metro Operators), Dave Rogers (LRT Operators), Chuck Feucht (East Metro Maintenance), John Hawthorne (LRT Maintenance), Ron "Lummey" Laumeyer (OHB Maintenance), Missing: Greg Stowe (Heywood Maintenance), Dave Gosha (Rochester board member), Rocky Richardson (First Transit Steward)
Happy Holidays from the Education Committee! Left to right, front row: Joseph Otoo-Essilfie, Theresa Collins, Deb Sievers, Melanie Benson. Left to right, back row: Stephen Babcock, Jackie Williams, Ilona LaDouceur, Joseph Oladipo, Lisa Callahan, Faye Brown, Carl Rice, Dorothy Maki, Doug Barton Not Shown: Alec Johnson, Ryan Timlin, Philip Jarosz