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Officer Reports - Amalgamated Transit Union -Local 757

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Officer Reports - Amalgamated Transit Union -Local 757 Powered By Docstoc
					         LABOR
                                                                                                    THE
                                                                                                    BULLETIN
         PRESS
NORTHWEST

                                                                &                                                  Official Publication of
                                                                           AmalgamatedTransit Union Local 757
                                                                           503-232-9144 • 1801 NE Couch St.,Portland,OR 97232-3054


   Vol. 112, No. 1                                                                                    Portland, Oregon                                                                         January 7,2011


                                                                                                                         TriMet general manager Neil McFarlane writes, online:

                          And so you asked                                                                                  Financial Stability?
                                                                                                                            I feel like I need to say this again. With nearly 20 years of my life dedicated
                          By Jon Hunt • ATU Local 757 President                                                             to TriMet, I fully appreciate how much our ATU represented employees do,
                                                                                                                            and how hard their jobs are. I am not anti-ATU; I grew up in a union house-
                                                                                                                            hold. But more than anything, I am PRO TriMet. If TriMet thrives, we all
                                                                                                                            thrive. When the last ATU contract was signed just over seven years ago,
      2010 Roundup                                            our members would not pay for health insur-
                                                                                                                            medical insurance costs were about 12 percent of underlying payroll tax.
                                                                                                                            This includes active and retiree costs. Now it is about 32 percent. In 10
      F    irst let’s get to our yearly wrap-up.
            Valley negotiations continue; I will be heading
      up to Walla Walla to negotiate on Jan. 10 and 11.
                                                              ance. It’s amazing what can be done when labor
                                                              and management are working towards a com-
                                                                                                                            years, with no change it will be about 62 percent. How can we possibly con-
                                                                                                                            vince our taxpayers and riders of our value to the region with stats like that?
      First Student Portland is still in negotiations; we     mon goal.                                                     There is a different path. TriMet management and the ATU leadership work-
      will be meeting to continue negotiations Jan. 18            Unfortunately, that seems not to be the case              ing together to reduce health insurance costs, improve wellness, get the in-
      and 19. FirstTransit Region One will be continu-        at TriMet. While some members may not love
                                                              all of our tactics, I make no apologies. My job is
                                                                                                                            centives to support that (yes, that means financial incentives for us all), and
      ing negotiations Jan. 20 and 21. Negotiations with
      C-TRANhavegonetomediation;ournextdateto                 to get the best possible contract for our mem-                in the end we will be a healthy model agency, able to grow our service to the
      meet is in February 2011. We seem to be at a            bers, whether that be through negotiations or                 region, while retaining excellent benefits - just not the “same old” benefits.
      standstill in Salem; we have met with a mediator,       by sending the message that management may                                                                                   Best to you all,
      and the officer there has spoken to management,         not lie and steal hard-earned benefits from our
      but I don’t anticipate a quick resolution.              most vulnerable members and enjoy a restful                                                                                              Neil
          Canby has been settled. Salem MV has been           moment. My job does not stop when the of-
      settled, and Rogue Valley Transportation Dis-           fice closes. And although Mr. McFarlane does
      trict has been settled. We managed to maintain          not take it personally, we do. The information
      health insurance, retirement, and even an in-           picket outside his house on December 11
      crease in wages.                                        demonstrated that our members do not have
          Lane Transit District has settled. Even dur-        the luxury of leaving their jobs at the office ei-         ATU Local 757 President Jon Hunt responds:
      ing these tough economic times, our members             ther. Even if they’re not out working, they take
      there have seen no increase in their contribu-          their concerns home with them, and they’re still
      tions to health insurance. While we entered ne-         there on Saturdays and Sundays. One can only                     General Manager McFarlane’s article reflects the age-old mentality of “lets
      gotiations looking at a potential 22 percent in-        wonder how operations will be performed                       balance the budget on the backs of the employees.” TriMet obviously wants
      crease in what we were to pay, we were able to          smoothly when our frontline employees are                     to maintain a level of service that the taxpaying public will not support. So
      come to an agreement with management that               preoccupied by supporting their families.                     the solution for McFarlane is to claim that the employees make too much
                                                                                                                            and have too good of benefits.
                                                                                                                               This attitude discounts the fact that employees have bargained pay and
   Sending a message: Support transit workers                                                                               benefits for over 100 years with TriMet and its predecessors. Now, McFarlane
                                                                                                                            expects the employees to give up the gains they have made during that time.
                                                                                                                            Why? Because the public won’t cough up the money to maintain the level of
                                                                                                                            service TriMet wants to continue providing, so the employees that make the
                                                                                                                            system work have to pay for it.
                                                                                                                               Yeah, now that is an easy way out … isn’t it? TriMet wants employees to
                                                                                                                            go back to the pay and benefit levels of some 20 years ago, that the employ-
                                                                                                                            ees should understand and be happy to do it. And then, of course, 20 years
                                                                                                                            from now, when TriMet finds themselves in the same situation, they will be
                                                                                                                            back again with their hands out, asking for more concessions. You know
                                                                                                                            what the solution to the problem could be? Just give up our collective bar-
                                                                                                                            gaining rights and let the employer, out of the goodness and kindness of
                                                                                                                            heart, determine what our pay and benefits should be. Now that’s a novel
                                                                                                                            idea isn’t it?

   Local 757 members pay a visit to Trimet General Manager Neil McFarlane’s home.


     Amalgamated Transit Union - Division 757                                                                                                                                What IS this?
      Representing working men and women in Oregon and Washington at:
      TriMet • Lane Transit District • C-TRAN/C-VAN • Salem Area Transit • WHEELS •
      Rogue Valley Transportation District • Bend Area Transit • Canby Area Transit •
      Tillamook County Transportation District • Valley Transit Association • First Tran-
                                                                                                                                                                         The four outside pages, plus Page 8,
      sit (TriMet Lift, Portland) • City of North Bonneville • Portland Public Schools •                                                                                 are news from and about your Union.
      American Medical Response Northwest (Josephine County) • First Student                                                                                             The other pages are produced by the
      (Portland Public Schools, Corvallis School District, Corvallis City Transit) • MV                                                                                  Northwest Labor Press,and are about
      Transportation, Inc. • Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, Inc. • Lamar Adver-
      tising Company • ATU Retired Member Chapter                                                                                                                        the labor movement as a whole.
                                                                                                                                                  ATU LOCAL 757




  ATU Local 757 Officers                                                                                                                                                           Secretary-Treasurer’s
                                                                                                                                                                                   Report
  President-Business Representative...........................................................................JONATHAN HUNT                                                        By Evette Farra • Financial Secretary-Treasurer
  Vice President-Assistant Business Representative....................................................SAM SCHWARZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         percent for arbitration, 7 percent for legislation,
  Financial Secretary-Treasurer/Recording Secretary....... ............................................EVETTE FARRA
                                                                                                                                                              I  want to do my best at giving all of you a break-
                                                                                                                                                                 down of where members' dues go each month.
                                                                                                                                                              Because there are over 20 different properties, I'm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         and 3 percent for building and property main-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         tenance. The remainder of your dues stays
                                                                                                                                                              going to list all of the different per capita taxes that   within the Local to support contract negotia-
  Executive Board Officers                                                                                                                                    are paid through your dues.The amount you pay              tions and to defend the contracts you have. We
                                                                                                                                                              in per capita tax out of your dues is determined by        also have monthly expenses for labor history at
  C-TRAN................................................................... ................................................................ROY JENNINGS      the region or state you work in.There are about 40         $0.02 and for the Northwest Labor Press at
  First Student ...................................................................................................................ANNA TOMPTE                different dues structures that my staff and I deal         $0.76 that come out of everyone’s dues.
                                                                                                                                                              with every month. Here we go:                                  There is something else I wish to address.
  Lane Transit District (LTD).......................................................................................BRIAN PASQUALI                                ATU International, $11.10; Northwest                   During my time as your financial secretary-
  Portland Public Schools ...........................................................................................TERRY HOWARD                             Oregon Labor Council, $0.40; Lane County                   treasurer, I have never written about the general
                                                                                                                                                              Labor Council, $0.20; ATU Labor Council                    manager of any property whose membership
  Salem Area Mass Transit District..................................................................................KEN RICHINS                               (Washington state), $0.75; Oregon AFL-CIO,                 this union represents. It is my hope that this
  TriMet Center Maintenance............ ...................................................................KEVIN KINOSHITA                                    $0.81 and $0.13; Northwest Joint Council                   fact will lend some credence to the gravity of
                                                                                                                                                              Board, $0.10; Washington AFL-CIO, $0.85;                   what I'm about to write to you. TriMet's gen-
  TriMet Center Transportation.....................................................................SANDY GUENGERICH                                           Marion-Polk-Yamhill Counties Central Labor                 eral manager, Neil McFarlane, is consciously
  TriMet Powell Maintenance ..............................................................................................DAVID KAY                           Council, $0.25; Southern Oregon Central La-                and continually lying. He's lying to the public.
                                                                                                                                                              bor Council, $0.15; Clark-Skamania-West                    He's lying to the media. And he's lying to this
  TriMet Powell Transportation ......................... ................................................KHRIS ALEXANDER                                      Klickitat Central Labor Council, $0.34; and                membership.
                                                                                                                                                              Central Oregon Labor Council, $0.33.                           During a recent meeting between McFar-
  TriMet Merlo Maintenance.................................................................................................JEFF HUNT
                                                                                                                                                                  A portion of your dues then gets split into            lane, Beth de Hamel (TriMet's CFO), Ron
  TriMet Merlo Transportation..........................................................................JEFFREY ACKERSON                                       four categories: 7 percent for negotiations, 8                                           (Turn to Page 16)
  TriMet LRT Maintenance ......................................................................................................JOE RUFFIN
  TriMet LRT Transportation....................................................................................................TOM RUIZ
  TriMet Monthly Rated Employees.................... .....................................................BRUCE DUNCAN


  Liaison Officers
                                                                                                                                                                                   VP’s Report
                                                                                                                                                                                   By Sam Schwarz • ATU Local 757 Vice President
  AMR Southern Oregon-Josephine County ..................................................... SEAN GARTLAN
  Bend Area Transit......................................................................................................................VIC GILARDIN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ate with the people who keep TriMet running
  C-TRAN...................................................................................................................................SCOTT MILLER
  C-VAN ..........................................................................................................................JIM COLLELL
                                                                                                                                                              A    fter attending the TriMet board meetings
                                                                                                                                                                   it was apparent to me that the public is be-
                                                                                                                                                              ing kept in the dark and the Board has not been
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         on a daily basis.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            These are the same workers who will be
  First Student (Portland School Bus) ....................................................................................RAY GIBSON                          receiving the truth.                                       here long after the contractors and corpora-
                                                                                                                                                                 The general manager, Neil McFarlane,                    tions are gone.
  First Transit . ....................................................................................................................KATHLEEN BROWN          talked about extensive negotiations with con-                 McFarlane views the union members as
  First Transit (TriMet Lift) ......................................................................................................LES GREEN                 tractors and corporations. Yet he has not                  beggars with their hands out, and not as the
                                                                                                                                                              found the time to negotiate with the Union. If             people who show up each and every day and
  First Student (Corvallis City Transit) ........................................................................JOHN OLIVER                                  you attended the board meeting you heard                   make the wheels turn and fix what is broken.
  First Student (Corvallis Schools)......................................................................................STEVEN BLACK                         our president ask several times to meet with                  What TriMet seems to forget is that you are
                                                                                                                                                              Mr. McFarlane and negotiate, and while Mc-                 only as good as your team, and right now we
  LTD Secretary ..............................................................................................JOHN GELSOMINO                                  Farlane finds the time to meet with and make               are not a good team. There is no team spirit or
  LTD Maintenance.............................................................. ....................................TOM SHACKELFORD                           deals with outsiders, he finds no time to meet             comradery.
                                                                                                                                                              and discuss the workers’ concerns and negoti-                 Have a healthy and happy new year.
  LTD Extra Board ................................................ ......................................................DARRYL WHITAKER
  Portland Streetcar........................................................................................................HUGH OVERTON
  Rogue Valley Transportation District .......................................................................ROGER SPRY
  SAT Maintenance.................... ............................................................................................DON ELZNIC               Local 757 officer reports                                     years and that our retirees in the past fought hard
  Tillamook County Transportation District ............................................MARLENE TAYLOR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         for, giving up pay raises and more just to keep
  TriMet Merlo Extra Board ..................................... ........................................................STEVE ECKLES
                                                                                                                                                                               TriMet Center                             medical benefits.
                                                                                                                                                                               Transportation                               As for the three 10s for mini-runners, I will
  TriMet Center Extra Board .........................................................................GARY HERNANDEZ                                                            As reported by                            jog to hell and back to get rid of them, because
  TriMet Powell Extra Board.................................................................................GORDON DUNCAN                                                      SANDY GUENGERICH                          many of you are working your RDOs, preventing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         the ones wanting to go full time from doing so,
  TriMet Ruby Junction ..........................................................................................JEAN STRICKLAND                                                                                         and therefore making it a stressful work environ-
  TriMet Ruby Junction Maintenance ..................... .................................................DAVID LINGLE
  TriMet Elmonica ...................................................................................................GREG DODGE
                                                                                                                                                           H      ey hey, ho ho!!!###***!!!!!!!!! First of all, I
                                                                                                                                                                  would like to thank all of you in the trenches
                                                                                                                                                           on the line on Dec. 8 and/or 11. I hope the holi-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ment for those who are already full-timers. If you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         want to work like a Walmart worker, go work at
                                                                                                                                                           days were good for all. The time to stand together            Walmart! Work overtime for straight time pay?
  TriMet Elmonica Maintenance................................................................................. DAVE HARVEY                                 is now. United we stand, divided we fall. I want              WOW! What’s next, paying for your uniforms
                                                                                                                                                           all of you to know and understand that you are                out of your own pocket?
  Valley Transit.......................................................................................................................NICK NOTARAS                                                                         For your information, Mr. McFarlane and his
                                                                                                                                                           the union. Don't ask what the union is doing for
  WHEELS......................................................................................................................TERRY ROSE                   you, ask what you are doing for you! Let’s not give           developers … or, I mean, the board of directors
                                                                                                                                                           up what we have earned over the last 20 or 30                                                    (Turn to Page 8)



PAGE 2                                                                                                                         NORTHWEST LABOR PRESS                                                                                             JANUARY 7, 2010
                                                                                                    ATU LOCAL 757

                                                                                                                  destreek know so that the problem can be ad-              ment is swift and not humane. We have many

Officer Reports
(From Page 8)                                              We hit a few speed bumps during the previous
                                                                                                                  dressed.
                                                                                                                      The month of January, our floating holidays
                                                                                                                  will be renewed for the full-time employees who
                                                                                                                  are eligible in accordance with the collective bar-
                                                                                                                                                                            riders who should not be riding alone, but
                                                                                                                                                                            TriMet needs the guaranteed revenue, so if any-
                                                                                                                                                                            thing happens, we (the drivers) are the person
                                                                                                                                                                            who takes the fall.
                                                        year, but all in all it was a relatively good year. Ne-   gaining agreement. The floating holidays from                I have watched this service go from a great
time to plan a meal that must be hot and on             gotiations started in the fall and will continue          last year do not carry over.                              service to our clients to one of mediocrity. Smoke
time. All it takes is one person to criticize all the   into 2011. With solidarity and perseverance, we               The safety department has implemented the             and mirrors can only fool the riding public for so
hard work you put in to it to ruin your day.            can make 2011 a decent year as well. I wish               use of the wood block for the proper application          long, and then it will fall apart with a big bang.
Vanessa, you did a great job. Thank you.                everyone a prosperous New Year and above all a            of the tire chains on the bus. Many operators             Requiring more and more productivity with less
                                                        safe one.                                                 have wanted this for quite a few years. Kudos to          and less will bite all of us sooner or later. Hope-
                                                                                                                  this practice, as it is much safer than the old ways      fully we can stem this tide before it is too late.
                                                                                                                  we were taught.                                              Safety first for us as drivers, and safety for all
                  C-TRAN/C-VAN
                  As reported by                                            First Student                             In the winter weather we need to remember             our riders at all times! Until next month!
                                                                                                                  that no one can force us to go into a situation
                  ROY JENNINGS                                              Portland                              where we endanger ourselves or the safety of oth-
                                                                            As reported by                        ers. You can tell Lift Central dispatch when it is
                                                                            ANNA TOMPTE                           too dangerous to access transport. If it is not safe,                        TriMet Powell
H      appy New Year! We are now less than 11
       months from our funding initiative.
                                                                                                                  don't do it. Keep yourself safe. Bring proper
                                                                                                                  equipment. If the electrical goes out on the bus,
                                                                                                                                                                                               Transportation
    In the last couple of months, your Union has
picketed TriMet, TriMet’s Board of Directors, and
                                                        H      ope all of you had a wonderful holiday vaca-
                                                               tion. Well, it’s a new year, and let’s try and
                                                        make it better than last year. We got the medical
                                                                                                                  you will not have heat or communications. Carry
                                                                                                                  a blanket, gloves, and extra clothing to protect
                                                                                                                                                                                               As reported by
                                                                                                                                                                                               KHRIS ALEXANDER
now the house of TriMet’s general manager. (The         taken care of and back to the way it was. We are          yourselves. If the group homes send the clients
position of general manager at TriMet is the same
as executive director/CEO at C-TRAN) The rea-
son for all these informational pickets is that
                                                        starting negotiations again on the 18th and 19th.         out without warm clothing, say something. We
                                                                                                                  are responsible for the safety on our bus.
                                                                                                                      Any goal is within reach if we all work to-
                                                                                                                                                                            H      ello, brothers and sisters. I hope you all had
                                                                                                                                                                                   a fantastic holiday season. In December at
                                                                                                                                                                            Powell we had no new grievances or firings. I
TriMet is violating Oregon state law. While pick-                                                                 gether to attain it. Until next time….                    would like to thank all of those members who
eting the house of TriMet’s general manager, Neil          Salem Area Mass Transit                                                                                          have come out to support us at the pickets we have
McFarlane, even though it was raining cats and             As reported by                                                                                                   had at the Board of Directors’ meetings. Please
dogs, more than 120 ATU members, as well as                KEN RICHINS                                                                                                      check out the Union webpage for videos and for
representatives from unions from around both                                                                         Bend Area Transit                                      future picket information.
Washington and Oregon, were in attendance.                                                                           As reported by                                             During the month of January, I want every-
    On Nov. 9, 2010, if you were at the “trailer                                                                     VICTOR GILARDIN                                        one to request off for signup, and take your time.
park” you would have seen C-TRAN’s manage-
ment just sitting in Conference Room “D” while
                                                        T    his last month has seen a small new develop-
                                                             ment in our ongoing 18-month negotiation.
                                                        The general manager and the new HR director
                                                                                                                                                                            That’s your right; who cares what anyone says?
                                                                                                                                                                            We need more people involved, and if you’re will-
we were meeting all day with the mediator. Since
management did not have an opportunity to
meet with the mediator, and since our next meet-
                                                        have met with me on four occasions. So far there
                                                        is nothing to write home about, but at least they
                                                        appear to be willing to talk about potential resolu-
                                                                                                                  H      i, all. I have nothing new to report on.
                                                                                                                         Melanie Gibson, my shop steward, reports
                                                                                                                  to me that since my termination, all has been
                                                                                                                                                                            ing to sign up, please contact your union rep, or
                                                                                                                                                                            e-mail atuactivist@atu757.org
                                                                                                                                                                                The Union will be asking for input on the
ing is currently scheduled for Feb. 1, 2011, we         tion to the dispute.                                      quiet. My grievance is in process for Step 4. I don't     three-day work week, and wants to hear from
won’t be making any type of progress on the op-             The rest of the story is the same. Patience is        know about unemployment. It's been put on                 you, so please watch union boards for more infor-
erator’s contract until February. I’m hopeful (I’m      the name of the game. Continue to expect re-              hold. The unemployment office stated there was            mation. I will wrap this up by saying a big thank
trying to be optimistic here) that I will have          spect for the stressful hard work that you have           an issue with it. Paratransit Services has blocked        you to Powell operators for filling those food bar-
something good to say/bring to you (the mem-            been doing. The nice letters and articles of appre-       it, I’m sure! So, until it’s unblocked – if that hap-     rels. As of this e-mail, we have filled over five bar-
bership) in my March 2011 article. (I have no           ciation from management are all fine and cool.            pens – my wife is our only source of income for           rels. Virginia, out of her own free time, took cash
knowledge of any movement by management,                However, all we really want is a respectable signa-       now. I have however, been looking for another job!        donations and bought food. If you have any
but there is always hope!)                              ture on a respectable labor agreement.                    Not easy! Well, enough of that. Hope everyone             questions, please contact me at 503-890-4870 or
    Since there was nothing to report on the oper-                                                                had a nice Christmas and also a great New Year’s!         e-mail Trimet6213@msn.com.
ator’s contract last month, the December issue of
the “In Solidarity” newsletter was postponed. I                            FirstTransit
hope (again I’m trying to be optimistic here) to
                                                                           Region 1                                                                                                            TriMet Monthly
have something to inform you about in February.
                                                                           As reported by
                                                                                                                                     First Transit                                             Salaried Employees
    This month’s Union meeting is scheduled for                                                                                      TriMet Lift                                               As reported by
Jan. 9, 2011. I hope everyone reading this article                         KATHLEEN BROWN
                                                                                                                                     As reported by                                            BRUCE DUNCAN
has a wonderful year!
                                                                                                                                     LES GREEN
                                                        H      appy New Year, everyone! We are now en-
                                                               tering the new year and still have not yet
                                                                                                                                                                            I  had three outstanding grievances heard at Step
   Valley Transit
   As reported by
                                                        reached an agreement with First Transit. This
                                                        month we will return to the big table. There are a
                                                        few important issues that need to be negotiated
                                                                                                                  D      ecember started out as a very tough month
                                                                                                                         for Region 2 Lift, as packed manifests took
                                                                                                                  their toll on our drivers. No time to take our re-
                                                                                                                                                                               3, with little resolution. We are going to arbi-
                                                                                                                                                                            tration over court pay on RDOs. Two warning
                                                                                                                                                                            letters were not removed. In the discussion, there
   MARK BROTHERTON                                      before we can get together and vote on this con-          quired breaks, and barely enough time for lunch,          were concerns about communications skills and
                                                        tract. Hopefully it does not take too much longer.        is causing problems with schedules and drivers            lack of proper training. The company agreed that
                                                        The economic portion of the contract is the most          alike.                                                    we may need more training and would set up

H     ello, everyone. 2010 was a decent year for
      the employees of Valley Transit. The win in
the February election enabled VT to keep and
                                                        important stage of negotiations. TriMet is a really
                                                        good example of what the employers are doing to
                                                                                                                      As always, we drivers must remind ourselves
                                                                                                                  that safety is Number 1, and we must consider
                                                                                                                  manifest times as estimates only. If we are late in
                                                                                                                                                                            communication classes. I will be amazed if this ac-
                                                                                                                                                                            tually happens.
                                                                                                                                                                                The fare inspectors are still waiting for their
                                                        cut costs by offering insurance that is substandard
maintain services. The Washington Legislature           and costly, changing the level of benefits. This is a     our appointed rounds, Dispatch is required to             Step 3, but there also has been an unfair labor
passed HB 2986, an act that required the appoint-       trend that is affecting transit companies nation-         make the schedule work. If they refuse to do so,          practice filed with the Oregon Employment Re-
ment of nonvoting labor members to public trans-        wide.                                                     it is their problem, not ours.                            lations Board (UP-042-10).
portation governing bodies.                                 The ATU is not interested in rollbacks. We                More drivers are getting into trouble because             A new grievance was filed over a seniority vio-
    A grievance was filed and a complaint was           move forward, not backwards. We all deserve de-           shortcuts are taken which are not safe, and this is       lation resulting from the new shift filling SOPs,
filed with Washington Labor and Industries re-          cent medical benefits and a living wage. The cost         catching up with all of us. If you value your job in      but the grievance over the SOP is still waiting to
garding family leave. As it turns out, VT has been      of living continues to rise. We need proper com-          this poor economy, then we all must work                  be heard. We have had a few issues over not being
adding protected leave hours to the VT’s atten-         pensation. Portland, Oregon, has been declared            smarter and not take risks which come back to             called for extra work or not given correct infor-
dance policy. In doing so, any hours that were          the most expensive place to live in the region by         bite us in the you-know-where.                            mation for extra work. Time slips and grievances
protected leave were counted toward the atten-          a study conducted by the employment depart-                   I urge all paratransit drivers to take a close look   that were submitted from employees that made
dance disciplinary policy. VT has been disciplin-       ment this month. First Transit bought into our            at what has to be done and do it as safely as pos-        no requests or made no contact with the station
ing employees using those hours for years. Not          economy when they bid for our contract.                   sible, as help from management is hard to come            agents have been denied. We have had several
anymore. Another route may be added if funding              On Dec. 24, 2010, all of our checks should            by. The human touch we knew in the past is in             people paid who made requests or spoke with the
is appropriated. These things have all been for the     have had a holiday bonus. If you did not receive          the past. Any minor mistake now is considered
best.                                                                                                             an act against nature or the system, and punish-                                           (Turn to Page 16)
                                                        your holiday bonus, please let me or Joel Van-

 JANUARY 7, 2010                                                                       NORTHWEST LABOR PRESS                                                                                                      PAGE 15
                                                                                                  ATU LOCAL 757



Farra
(From Page 2)
                                                        TriNet Dec. 8, 2010, “Although I'm disappointed
                                                        the Union's unfair labor practice (ULP) is blocking
                                                        the arbitration and preventing us from resolving
                                                        the underlying issues of salary and benefits, we
                                                                                                               Hamel will ride solely on her testimony. She's not
                                                                                                               out there writing B.S. like McFarlane, but she will
                                                                                                               definitely have a decision to make when she gets in
                                                                                                               front of a judge and court reporter.
                                                                                                                                                                     this article, but I prefer to be the one sitting over in
                                                                                                                                                                     the corner keeping to myself. I don't really like
                                                                                                                                                                     speaking publicly. I don't like bringing attention to
                                                                                                                                                                     myself. And I absolutely loathe having my picture
Heintzman, Jon Hunt, Sam Schwarz, and 757's             would have frozen wages and benefits … regardless          The sole reason I got involved with the union     taken. But at the next TriMet board meeting (with
arbitration attorney, Mike Tedesco, I asked Neil        of whether the ATU had filed the ULP    .              was because of my passionate stance against dis-      cameras rolling, my face up to a mike, and McFar-
McFarlane, “If we had not filed the ULP and were            Really, Mr. McFarlane? Because that's NOT          honesty and the abuse of power. Corporate dis-        lane's legal counsel sitting next to him), I plan to
still waiting on the original contract binding arbi-    what me and five other people heard in that room       honesty and abuse of power turns my stomach …         ask Neil how he intends to not perjure himself or
tration, would you be implementing this new in-         that day.                                              and right now, Neil McFarlane turns my stomach.       force Beth deHamel to do likewise when they take
surance structure on our members?” He re-                   Neil McFarlane and Beth deHamel will be fac-       For me, this is personal, and you should be taking    the stand in the coming months.
sponded, “No, I wouldn't be.” I followed up by          ing a judge and a court reporter in third party un-    it the same way. He has essentially gone on record       I was disappointed by the fact that we were not
stating, “based on the timelines that [attorney]        fair labor practice proceedings in the coming          and printed a statement that conveniently avoids      able to attend the holiday parties at TriMet's
Mike just gave us, our case wouldn't have even          months. Because of the statements that were made       the fact (THE FACT!) that I asked that question       garages this year. The parties were scheduled by
been heard by an arbitrator before January, and         in that room during our meeting, McFarlane and         and he responded the way he did. He has since         TriMet during our meetings week when the exec-
then the arbitrator would have the case for             deHamel will have to either perjure themselves or      gone on and glossed over that contradiction with      utive officers (Jon, Sam, and myself) were scattered
months.” Mr. McFarlane did not disagree with this       admit TriMet committed an unfair labor practice        lies, while conveniently implementing a new in-       across the two states pulling 14-hour days for
statement.                                              and that McFarlane made false statements in his        surance policy that pulls money from YOUR pay-        union business.
    In absolute contradiction to this verbal ex-        recent articles and statements to the media and this   checks! How “personal” can things get?                   I assure you, TriMet’s scheduling was not by ac-
change, McFarlane wrote in an article posted on         membership. Personally, my respect for Beth de-            You wouldn’t think so based on the length of      cident.



Officer Reports
(From Page 15)                                          opening sessions of negotiations, we were able to
                                                                                                                   January Meetings
                                                        sort through and get to the heart of the matter
                                                                                                                 Charter                                             Prescott, Portland
station agents and still did not get work.              and determine that the biggest problem they
                                                                                                                 Charter members meet 7:30 p.m.Monday,               Rogue Valley Transportation
    If you are on vacation but still want to work                                                                Jan. 3, at the Salvation Army, Rose Center          Medford members meet 7:30 p.m. Thurs-
                                                        were facing was the cost of health care. So again,
your RDO, make a red book request. If the sta-                                                                   for Seniors,211 NE 18th Ave,Portland (18th          day, Jan.6, at Bruno’s Pizza and Pasta, 2105
                                                        what began as a doomsday scenario for the mem-
tion agent calls for extra work, call back and make                                                              & Sandy Blvd, adjacent to the ATU office.)          Roberts Rd., Medford.
                                                        bership became more of a troubleshoot, and
                                                                                                                 Charter day members meet 10 a.m. Tues-
an offer if you don’t want the shift they called        through some minor adjustments to the health
                                                                                                                 day, Jan. 4, at Schoppert Hall, 1801 NE             C-TRAN/C-VAN
about. Most of the holiday sign-ups have been           care plan, we came to a decision point and a                                                                 Vancouver members meet 7 p.m. Sunday,
completed. Thanks to all who submitted re-                                                                       Couch, Portland.
                                                        point where the membership needed to have say                                                                Jan. 9, at the Laborers Hall, 2121 NE An-
quests. It greatly helped speed the signing process.    over how we would proceed.                               Salem Transit/WHEELS                                dresen, Vancouver,Washington.
    We still had some problems with the red                 As many of you know, we were faced with the          Salem members meet 7:30 p.m. Tuesday,
book. Don’t forget to place your name in the            choice of either taking the proposed contract            Jan. 4, at the West Salem Branch Public Li-         Tillamook County
book before it closes. There is not a one-month         with minor changes to the health care plan, or           brary 395 Glen Creek Road, Salem.                   Transportation District
limit for requesting to work, only to request time      facing the District implementing (forcing) a                                                                 Tillamook members meet 1:00 p.m. Sun-
off. If you want to work next July 4, you can en-
                                                                                                                 Lane Transit                                        day Jan. 9, at 212 Main Street, next door to
                                                        health care plan on the membership at a cost             Eugene members meet 7:30 p.m.Wednes-
ter it now. I hope everyone did something to en-        passed on to the member of as much as $270 a                                                                 Beach Pancake House in Tillamook.
                                                                                                                 day, Jan.5,and Eugene day members meet
joy the holiday season. For me I was off to the         month (for families) starting in January.                10 a.m. Thursday, December 16, at the               Valley Transit
Holiday Bowl in San Diego. See you at the next              So the Union recommended this contract for                                                               Valley Transit members meet 5:00 p.m.
                                                                                                                 Woodworkers Local Lodge, 1124 South A
informational picket.                                   one year, with plans to start sitting down again                                                             Sunday Jan.9,at 140 W.Maple,Walla Walla,
                                                                                                                 St., Springfield.
                                                        to bargain in March or April. And while there                                                                WA
                                                        were a small number of non-economic issues               Corvallis First Student
                   Lane Transit                         constructed with the proposal as well that we feel       City Transit/Schools                                AMR Northwest Josephine
                   District                             ultimately will benefit the membership, we view          Corvallis members meet 7:45 p.m. Thurs-             County, Bend Area Transit,
                   As reported by                       this short-term deal as a "pause" or part one of         day, Jan. 6, at Woodstock Pizza, 1045 NW            and LAMAR Advertising
                                                        two, to see how things shake out, not only on a          Kings Blvd, Corvallis                               See your liaison officers.
                   BRIAN PASQUALI
                                                        couple of other properties, but here at LTD              Portland and First Student                          PLEASE NOTE: ATU members are invited to
                                                        where apparently more funding is rumored to be           School Bus Drivers                                  attend any of the above-listed meetings.

I  t has been a while since my last communication
   with you in the ATU 757 Bulletin, and for that
I apologize. One of my major concerns is that our
                                                        supplied.
                                                            That's all for this month. There’s far more ma-
                                                        terial readily available on our blogspot:
                                                                                                                 Portland School Bus members meet 6 p.m.
                                                                                                                 Thursday, Jan. 6, at Rigler School, 5401 NE
newsletter in the Northwest Labor Press, which is           atu757.blogspot.com.
intended for you, the member, continues to be
distributed to those for whom it is not intended.
During the contract where we are trying to com-
municate with you the member about somewhat
                                                                           TriMet Merlo
                                                                           Transportation
                                                                                                                    Retirees’ Corner
sensitive material, the last thing I want to see upon
walking into a supervisor’s office is a copy of that
                                                                           As reported by
                                                                           JEFF ACKERSON                           The following retirees will celebrate birthdays in January: Harold Alt; Diana Anderson;
material. If you know of or are one of the members                                                                 Garry Babikoff; Frank Bernal; David Blowers; Neil Burley; Michael Carter; Darryl Cruze;
passing the union communications off to supervi-                                                                   Paloma Czwpieski; Kathy Danforth; Barbara Davis; Robert Deisner; John Drozda; Betty
sors, be advised you are breaking an oath you took
as a member and are jeopardizing your member-
in-good-standing status.
                                                        F   ellow operators: I want to begin by wishing all
                                                            of you a peaceful new year. The Merlo garage
                                                        looks spectacular! I would like to thank Mars
                                                                                                                          Edwards; Mark Eide; Jesse Exton; Larry Fraley; Lonny Fults; Paul Headley; Melissa
                                                                                                                               Hoffman; Charles Hoyt Jr.; George Hysmith; Thomas Inukai; Wallette James;
                                                                                                                                 Dorothy Jones; Walter Klemperer; Raymond Knauer; David Magnuson;
    Moving on, thank all of you for taking the          Bringas, Bruce Hansen and family, Roger Warner,                          Edouard Marrel; Dan McCormick; Arthur McKee; Merle Meyer; Philip
necessary time to decide on your contract. After        Melissa Nase, Starla Laney, Aspen Liggett and Is-                          Moen; Dale Monroe; Paul Moore; John Moore Jr.; Douglas Muhler;
checking through the last few ratifications, this       abel, and everyone else who participated in the                            Jacqueline Nichols; Danna Osburn; Douglas Richards; Walter Robertson;
was easily the highest turnout for a vote in the        decorating. Thank you all for the joy you have                              Bruce Ruby; Virginia Schafer; Charles Scholl; Alfred Schultz; Ronald Scis-
last 10 years. The proposal passed with a land-         brought to the garage.                                                     som; Dean Shearer; Allan Shive; Jeannine Simonsen; Barbara Sippy;
slide, and while this is clearly not a trophy con-         I would also like to thank all who contributed                            Sharon Snow; Thomas Spears; David Stauffer; Steven Stinson; Richard
tract for all to behold, hanging on to what we          to the ATU Food Drive. We collected two 55-                                         Swensen; Cliff Topper; Jana Walker; Alice Webb; Sandie White;
have in this economic climate shows that there is       gallon drums of food this year.                                                       Michael Wilson; Jack Young.
no better time to be a unionized workforce.                In closing, two operators who were legends in                                            The names of the 50-year members are in bold type.
Without our ability to collectively bargain, the        their own minds have retired. Congratulations to                                              The ATU 757 Retired Member Chapter’s next meeting
District would have simply taken away every-            David Speck and Mike Carpenter. Good luck!                                                    will be Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. at the Mil-
thing they intended to. Instead, when they              You will both be missed!                                                                     waukie Elks Lodge, 13121 SE McLoughlin Blvd.
handed over their doomsday proposal in the


 PAGE 16                                                                             NORTHWEST LABOR PRESS                                                                                   JANUARY 7, 2010
                                                                                                    ATU LOCAL 757



ATU Local 757 Officer Reports
(From Page 2)                                                This is a reminder to all of my fellow union        the big glass cabinet next to the lunchroom. Each        show up to work or not. If their job duties are so
                                                         brothers and sisters at TriMet: I hope you have         garage is different; ask your officer where the of-      vitally important, isn’t your job, the responsibility
of transportation, just passed somewhere in the          not forgotten that in the last contract, the Union      ficial area is.                                          of making sure a living breathing human child
neighborhood of $1.8 billion in building the             made concessions for TriMet that saved this or-             Congratulations go out to Steve Spilka, for he       arrives safely and intact to and from his family
Milwaukie light rail with a transportation bridge        ganization millions in currency. The helper clas-       is retiring this month. Steve was an E-Board offi-       even more deserving of being paid your guaran-
for rail, bikes and pedestrians. Let’s not worry         sification was frozen and all the new hires that        cer back in the day. Steve has had many jobs             teed rate every day that you show up to drive
about the Sellwood Bridge; let’s wait until that         enter into the maintenance department are now           while at TriMet. He will be greatly missed.              your route?
bridge falls in the river. But yet not a single penny    called service workers. Still they want to take         Happy trails, and don’t be a stranger.                      If you are feeling disregarded, disrespected or
can be found for operations.                             more from you and me. It will never be enough                                                                    undervalued, I implore you to speak up, speak
    Who is going to operate it, maintain it, clean       for them. That’s why we must hold our ground,                                                                    out and speak often. Remember, in-service meet-
it, as we are not staffed enough to operate, main-       stay strong and stick together.                                                                                  ings are called driver’s meetings, the perfect fo-
tain and clean what we have now? That is one of              As writer Christopher Dowsett put it in an
                                                                                                                    Portland Public Schools                               rum for these discussions. Here’s looking forward
the final offers, and I will fight for all new and       article in Strategic Finance Magazine: “The                As reported by                                        to a successful remainder of the school year. I pray
old union brothers and sisters. I will end this with     symptoms of denial in companies are very similar           TERRY HOWARD                                          you had a cool Yule and a frantic First. In soli-
a quote from Thomas Szasz: “The stupid neither           to those in people with a superiority complex: ra-                                                               darity.
forgive nor forgot; the naive forgive and forget;        tionalizing, avoidance, blaming others. Arrogance
the wise forgive but do not forget.”                     and complacency are often borne of success. An
                                                         arrogant company has fought and won enough
                                                         battles that it starts to believe it is impervious to
                                                                                                                 D      isgruntled friends, don’t be confused over
                                                                                                                        where your frustrations should be aimed. It’s
                                                                                                                 not the union. Management once again is treating
                                                                                                                                                                                             TriMet Merlo
                  TriMet Powell                                                                                                                                                              Maintenance
                                                         external forces.”                                       us like outsiders, or contractors, if you will. We are                      As reported by
                  Maintenance                                TriMet received a stern wake-up call this past      every bit as employed by Portland Public Schools                            JEFF HUNT
                  As reported by                         election from the people. Governor Kitzhaber, it’s      as any other person in any other department or
                  DAVID KAY                              time to replace the Board of Directors, hopefully       administration. Therefore we deserve all of the
                                                         with humans who care and listen to the public
                                                         as they are being addressed. Thanks for your
                                                                                                                 same opportunities to gain information through
                                                                                                                 the district’s online system. I will not rest until      T     his month I had no new pre-filings or griev-
                                                                                                                                                                                ances. I did, however, have three go before

A     s of this writing, our holiday food drive was in
      its final days and we were close to 1,000
pounds. Most properties were on their second or
                                                         time.                                                   management recognizes the drivers as their equals
                                                                                                                 as district employees. I’ve talked to numerous staff
                                                                                                                 members at different schools and they were ap-
                                                                                                                                                                          the Step 3 panel. One was about trading days off
                                                                                                                                                                          and jury duty, but it was withdrawn without prej-
                                                                                                                                                                          udice because the grievant did not ask for a trade.
third barrel. One notable exception is First Transit                        TriMet Center                        palled by the things we discussed, everything from       The grievance was about overtime for the westside
Group. The employer insisted we pull our barrel                             Maintenance                          our break room, to being left out of meetings with       truck job. It was a split decision, which means it
so they can put one of their own up. I find it inter-                       As reported by                       all staff present. [Note to management: According        will be moving on to arbitration. The third griev-
esting First Transit is having a food drive for its                         KEVIN KINOSHITA                      to the dictionary, drivers ARE STAFF. Staff:             ance was about the stimulus projects that were in
own workers by taking donations from its work-                                                                    1) a group of persons, as employees, charged with       violation of the contract. The work that was per-
ers. I suppose it is easier than paying a livable wage                                                           carrying out the work of an establishment or exe-        formed by contractors was all maintenance work
from the get-go.
    We have two new pre-filings this last month.
Both are facilities issues. One is over contracting
                                                         I  hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. I want
                                                            to thank everyone who helped out and partici-
                                                         pated in the Shriner’s Toy Run, donating to the
                                                                                                                 cuting some undertaking.]
                                                                                                                     The topics also included our input concerning
                                                                                                                 making the routes we drive more efficient, and
                                                                                                                                                                          that we would have normally done had it not been
                                                                                                                                                                          for the stimulus money. Just because it is stimulus
                                                                                                                                                                          money does not give TriMet the right to break the
out, and the other is a callout issue. A Step 2 con-     food barrels, the giving Christmas tree and any         the drivers not being allowed to access the Inter-       contract. In facilities maintenance, we have also
cerning “callout pay” was heard also.                    other charity drives to help out the less fortunate.    net. It is our right as employees to be treated fairly   combined all of the grievances about stimulus
    I hope everyone’s holiday was a good one, but        It’s been a tough year for a lot of people.             and equal to all employees. It’s the end of 2010,        projects in facilities into one grievance. There was
now it is back-to-work time. Be on the lookout                This past month a new style of chain was           and we are still fighting for our rights of equal        a split decision from the panel, which means it will
for dates of additional work actions. Also, the          tested for snow and ice. They were put through          status. To add to this blatant lack of respect, the      be moving on to arbitration.
rhetoric is very deep. Remember that your union          the test up in the mountains on snowy pavement.         majority of us (drivers) have been doing our jobs            You can help settle this grievance before it goes
officer is the best source for up-to-date informa-       The chain is a combination of cable and actual          or have been employed with the District much             on to arbitration by putting pressure on Rock
tion.                                                    chain links. There are some modifications that          longer than our current management team and              Scott to settle it. Let him know how you feel
                                                         still need to be done. The chain is lighter in          even their predecessors. I find this embarrassing        about your work being contracted out. I find it
                                                         weight and easier to rebuild.                           and degrading. As you all know, the only way to          quite ironic though that TriMet received $54 mil-
                    TriMet Light Rail                         The other test was on the 2100 series bus that     understand and appreciate what we do is to do it.        lion in stimulus money and yet they can not pro-
                    Maintenance                          had the InstaChain system installed. There were         As a trainer, I have always said I can teach anyone      vide the most basic of human comforts by giv-
                    As reported by                       problems with this system, especially on hills          how to drive a bus, but I can’t teach them how to        ing them a bathroom in the new fuel house. Let
                    JOE RUFFIN                           when the bus came to a complete stop. Hope-             be a bus driver. Yes, it is true that managers have      me be clear, I am not saying that they didn't get
                                                         fully some of these bugs will get worked out.           gone through training and hold school bus cer-           just some small unisex bathroom with no hand
                                                              The theme of 2010 was, “cut, cut, cut, and         tificates, but that is not enough to gain an under-      soap. Nope, I'm saying no bathroom at all, not

H      ello, brothers and sisters. Happy New Year. I
       hope you all made it through the holidays
with some money left in your bank account. In
                                                         more cuts.” As far as bus maintenance, we have
                                                         lost so much. Everybody remembers the Christ-
                                                         mas four. We are battling to retain that.
                                                                                                                 standing of what we go through every day. As far
                                                                                                                 as I’m concerned, until you have taken a route of
                                                                                                                 your own and dealt with the numerous personal-
                                                                                                                                                                          even a place to wash their hands.
                                                                                                                                                                              The four Executive Board officers in mainte-
                                                                                                                                                                          nance have always gotten together to meet and
the world of rail maintenance, grievances are being           It’s not going to start off as a Happy New Year    ities and situations on a daily basis for a year or      discuss the issues, but in the last few months we
filed weekly as the fight continues with manage-         for 2011; just ask the retirees. All of us will start   two, there is no way to truly appreciate what we         have taken the opportunity to formalize it into a
ment contracting out our work. All the informa-          paying for our medical benefits. We can make a          do. It is evident to me — when management                monthly meeting where we include the liaisons
tional pickets have been a great success, thanks for     difference in getting through these difficult times.    continues to add to our already stressful jobs by        and shop stewards in maintenance. Our goal is to
all of your support. Keep your eyes on the union         If you can’t make it to an informational picket,        denying us their support and ignoring our con-           be consistent in all the shops so that we are com-
boards and the ATU 757 website for updates and           there are phone numbers and e-mail addresses            cerns for safely and efficiently transporting stu-       ing out with the same message, but also for train-
upcoming events.                                         available for the TriMet Board of Directors, gen-       dents — that they do not understand what we              ing stewards. And in turn they train us in what's
    Brothers and sisters, TriMet’s existing manage-      eral manager Neil McFarlane, Shelly Lomax and           do.                                                      going on in their shop. The reason I bring this to
ment, along with their predecessors, have made           Hayden Talbot. All of their information is on the           Here’s another example of management treat-          your attention is that the shop steward position is
some very unintelligent, unwise and detrimental          union board. Let these people know that you are         ing us differently than others: The parking situa-       a thankless job, including coming in on their
decisions that have fashioned this once great,           not thrilled with having to pay for your benefits.      tion is awful. There is staff parking, but we are        own time and with little or no sleep to help you
trustworthy, hardworking organization, viewed            In fact, we are taking a pay cut in our wages.          not allowed to park in the so-called staff parking       and to keep you informed. So please take the op-
so by the public and their employees alike, into              There is a TriMet Board member who under-          spots. Again, we are PPS employees; we are staff.        portunity and say thanks to them. They deserve
an untrustworthy, unlawful, arrogant and incom-          stands what we are going through. His name is               One last thing I’d like to touch on is the recent    it.
petent company.                                          Lynn Lehrbach. I would like to thank him for lis-       argument over what’s regular and what’s extra                I would also like to thank Vanessa Sebastian
    TriMet treats the public and its union workers       tening to us and trying to get the issues resolved.     work. Let me start by stating that your route            for putting on Thanksgiving and Christmas din-
as if we are a burden upon them. We the passen-               All maintenance job postings are supposed to       should never be referred to as extra work under          ners at Merlo. If you have ever done a holiday
gers, operators, and maintenance crews, are the          be behind a locked glass cabinet. That is the offi-     any circumstance. Be aware that management is            dinner at work, you know that it takes a lot of
supporting foundation that keeps this organiza-          cial area. The area for Center Street is upstairs in    paid for every day of every month, whether they
tion operating.                                                                                                                                                                                            (Turn to Page 15)

 PAGE 8                                                                                NORTHWEST LABOR PRESS                                                                                     JANUARY 7, 2010

				
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