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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