Welcome to 2 Broadway. A place where it seems as if transit employees are disciplined at a higher rate than cases at Supreme Court (there were 16k disciplinary action notices issued in 2015 alone).
A place where union representation can make any legal aide look like Johnny Cochran. A place where if you go in, chances are you’re going to leave with a parting gift, anything from re-instruction to termination. A place where union reps fraternize with management, on and off the clock. Yes, management, the same ones who hand the members they’re supposed to represent discipline. All of this mingling is done in the same building. In other words, welcome to Transit.
Ask any transit worker how they feel about discipline and they will tell you it’s out of control. Then ask how they feel about their union and you will probably get another not so assuring answer. It’s not uncommon for an employee on their first infraction to get “days in the street” (transit lingo for suspension without pay). Many workers are almost forced to accept this discipline because of poor representation, intimidation and fear of losing their job.
With transit workers already being way behind in the wage column compared to other city agencies, MTA have a unique way of making employees pay for their discipline in the form of a “fine”. Let’s say you get 30 days in the street, but you can’t afford to miss 30 days of work because of obvious reasons, the MTA will let you work under a stipulation called “70/30” where u only receive 70% of your wages and the other 30% in confiscated. Where that other 30% ends up is anyone’s guess.
The main question is why does all discipline go down to 2 Broadway? Why doesn’t it stay in house? The superintendent on duty is supposed to have control of his or her terminal and it is virtually their house. Picture for every little thing that goes on in your personal home, you have to call 911 (2 Broadway) to get order? Does that display a person that has their household/terminal under control? No it doesn’t.
Did you know that management/supervisors are supposed to run their unit/terminal in a way that no disciplinary action is needed? Certain measures are supposed to be established to prevent unnecessary discipline. Please read below….
Also, another misconception during the discipline process is that employees are supposed to prove their innocence. That is untrue. Management must present the burden of proof that the employee was in clear violation of the rule and they must present their evidence first. Management proof should be in the form of witness, radio transmission or lack there of, equipment data etc. Hear say shouldn’t be enough, but believe it or not, union reps have allowed it… Please read below….
Management has a tendency to bring up an employee’s whole career discipline record to make them look like screw-ups. Did you know that there is a time limit on the violation and can’t be used against you after a certain time has elapsed? Check it out below….
TWU Local 100 representatives should make this information available for every member to have and review. Does your union rep even know this information exist? They probably don’t have a clue about it. A lot of TWU reps are in office, not because of their reputation of having knowledge and fight or even being a leader for that matter, but because of being popular. A union rep being popular, but not knowledgeable is only going to lead to a weak defense and people getting days in the street.
Inexperienced and ill-prepared union reps who are learning on the job isn’t such a good thing either, especially when employees livelihoods are on the line. Union reps can play the role of your lawyer especially when fighting discipline. Would you hire a lawyer who is learning on the job or an experienced one with knowledge and fight?
Furthermore, employees must do their part in following rules and regulations as trained to avoid discipline, especially when you have union representation that’s not willing to bust a grape in a fruit fight.
I say all that to say this… What union rep is kicking ass at 2 Broadway?
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6 thoughts on “Why is transit workers discipline out of control and why TWU local 100 don’t fight back?”
Thank you for this article.
I would like to know where I could get this information from, what book of rules and regulations or manual.
Thank you for your time and assistance.
Most of the time all problems were contained and worked out in house.I’t’s a shame that a lot of management now just send everything downtown..It seems to me they just don’t back their men.These are the same men that go above and beyond for these same bosses.Plus some of the Formen don’t have a clue what they are doing.Just saying from my experince.Leaving the job soon,not what it used be .
I came from a union job that was represented by the teamsters, they are a much stronger union, the workers are more united, and the union reps actually go above and beyond in helping you in any disciplinary action.
Funny thing is all this information has been available to members since the day they have been hired. Most just don’t pay attention. Better yet, most don’t seek out this information until it’s to late. It’s very easy to blame a union. Most people incarcerated stay in the law library. Teach yourself how to win. No one is going to fight for your livelihood like you will. Educate yourselves. Also, start becoming active. If you see where change is needed offer your help. We can all sit back and point the finger, but what are we actually doing to help them. If you have more than 10 years left on this job, you should be out there offering your help to educate our people. Self-hatred comes in many forms. Sometimes we need to look more at ourselves than others to find the answers.
For many years it has been said “there is no light at the end of the tunnel” signifying the large percentage of people of color working in civil servant jobs. The intent of mgmt for the last twenty years has been to intimidate, harass, deduce the amount of people of color in the rank and file. When the Irish dominated the rank and file this harassment was non- existent . All hourly employees must be familiar with the rule book and follow it. Do not, I repeat do not give ammunition to mgmt to destroy you and family, which is their ultimate goal. Be on time everyday of your career , when an incident happens, don’t panic assess the situation prior to getting on the radio, do not let any T/S/S goat you into running off at the mouth. Last but not least save your money and find a good labor lawyer before you need one. There are no Frank Boone’s left to represent you, so handle your business and know mgmt is not your friend. work safe. Ret. M/M Rasheed Ali
When I enter the property in 1978 all employees were given a brown rules & regulations book
with all the rules & regulations of each Dept and then General rules & regulations ( time & attendance).
For your own safety you were expected to learn them, now it seems a dumb employee
is a good employee.
In all up coming contracts employees should be given a up to date contract,
all rules and regulations concerning their departments and general rules & regulations.
The worst thing you can do is knock your union in public especially social media,
never knock managers too as they are reading this also.
Never be forced to give statements before union reps are at the scene of an incident.
There is only 1, I repeat 1 color on this property and it’s BLUE.
STICK TOGETHER, DON’T SHOVE EACH OTHER INTO THE FIREPLACE
WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES, NO ONE IS PERFECT.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL