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MBTA Union has gone insane

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 08:55 am
Recently in Boston there was a trolley crash that injured about 50 people and destroyed 3 trolleys. The cause, some bonehead was texting while driving the trolley. Just last year, there was another crash that injured several people and killed the driver " again the cause texting.

Now granted it is common sense not to text while you are responsible for a bus/subway or trolley full of people, but apparently these employees lack this common sense. So the MBTA decides they need to implement very strict rules so these boneheads do not make this mistake in the future.

The cellphone policy is believed to be the nation's strictest; it forbids on-duty operators from keeping a cellphone or other electronic device in a pocket, purse, or anywhere in an MBTA vehicle. Those caught using a cellphone while driving can be fired after a first offense; those caught in possession of one will get a 10-day suspension and can be fired on second offense.

The union that represents MBTA subway, bus, and trolley operators filed a grievance against the T's stringent new cellphone policy yesterday, . The reason: His members have been worried that they will not be able to take care of personal business while on breaks during their shifts.

So is the MBTA being unreasonable with this strict rule? Or like I believe the union has gone insane.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 4,174 • Replies: 24
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ebrown p
 
  2  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 09:40 am
@Linkat,
The union is supposed to represent the employees. So in this discussion, it would be helpful to look at this from the point of view of an employee facing what she thinks are excessive and burdensome workplace rules.

If my employer told me I shouldn't be using my cell phone on work hours, I would probably consider this reasonable. If they banned me from having a cell-phone in my pocket during, I might squawk. It seems to me there is a big difference between the two.

Not being able to make personal phone calls during break times at work would be a big deal to me.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 09:54 am
The union has a good argument. The rule should be no cell phone use while operating, and perhaps none while on duty. Management should be able to teach the policy and police the policy. This rule looks to be a management cop-out at the expense of the well being of the employees, it is the easy/cheap solution, not the best one.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 09:54 am
@ebrown p,
I would normally agree - but they have shown that they cannot be trusted not use them.

I would think a compromise would be to allow them access to phone service. The demands have said they wanted to have use of their phones for personal reasons during work hours - it wasn't just during breaks.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 09:59 am
It was also odd in that the Union first agreed to the restrictions and then later changed its mind.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 09:59 am
@Linkat,
Quote:
I would normally agree - but they have shown that they cannot be trusted not use them.


if that is the case then this organization has serious problems that need addressing. If the quality of the employees or if the management/labor relationship is so bad that a no cell phone use while on duty policy can not be expected to work then management needs to be either called to account or replaced. Management taking the easy/cheap poor solution to the cell phone problem is an indictment upon them.
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 10:11 am
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
Management should be able to teach the policy and police the policy.
how hard is it to learn, and remember, not to use a portable device while driving a vehicle full of passengers?
i'm all for the decision -- the union has no leg to stand on...
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 10:35 am
Quote:
Aiden Quinn, 24, received the three speeding tickets in his private vehicle, two in New Hampshire in April 2007, and one in Massachusetts in 2002, sources told ABC News.

Quinn, who was hired as a minority because of his transgendered "female-to-male" status, was born Georgia Quinn and boasts on an Internet networking site that he was one of the first transgender hires by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, sources said.


http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=7561561&page=1

I submit that management has not shown that there is a major cell phone use problem, which should be a requirement before imposing this drastic cell phone ban. I also submit that the root cause of this crash is management hiring unqualified people, and that this cell phone ban policy is likely managements attempt to deflect the conversation away from their own failure to perform.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 11:11 am
Quote:
it forbids on-duty operators from keeping a cellphone or other electronic device in a pocket, purse, or anywhere in an MBTA vehicle. Those caught using a cellphone while driving can be fired after a first offense; those caught in possession of one will get a 10-day suspension and can be fired on second offense.


There is reasonable and then there is ridiculous.

Firing people for having a cell-phone in their pockets is an example of the latter. Imposing knee-jerk policies on all employees based on the misdeeds of a few is wrong. This is a meaningless reaction designed to make top mangers feel good about themselves-- and it shows a disrespect for their employees without making the public safer at all.

What is wrong with the MBTA management working with employees and the public to come up with reasonable ways that truly make public transportation safer?

Instead of working with employees, they have decided to pass down this ridiculous mandate from on high against cell phones in pockets. (For the record, no one is arguing that cell phones in pockets hurt anyone).

The union, representing the employees, is trying to open a dialog on what is reasonable. I don't see anything wrong with that.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 11:12 am
@hawkeye10,
have you ever seen the operators? I have - maybe why I no longer take public tranportation.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 11:14 am
@ebrown p,
The employees have proven that they couldn't follow the rules of not texting and not using their cell phones while operating twice already.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 11:20 am
@Linkat,
Employees who have proven that they "couldn't follow the rules of next texting ... while operating" should be fired. No one is disputing this. The question is rather the rest of the employees who don't use a cell phone while operating should be allowed to keep cell phones in their pockets or purses.

Just a question Linkat... do you have a cell-phone on your person at work?


Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 11:52 am
@ebrown p,
Yeah - right after they kill another trolley full of people.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 11:54 am
@ebrown p,
Yep - but I don't operate any vehicles while at work - cell phone isn't an issue any how. If work told me I couldn't bring it, then I have a phone on my desk. Also, work offers "phone rooms" where one can make personal calls during breaks - which is similar compromise to what I suggested for these employees during their breaks.

I am also smart enough to know not to drive and text.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 11:55 am
@ebrown p,
And no one has injured anyone in my office by texting or using their cell phone.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 12:01 pm
@Linkat,
I think it is fair to say they can't use cell phones while driving for safety reasons. I'm guessing that the employees take breaks at some central facility and not on the cars. Why can't they store their phones in lockers or person bags and to use on breaks?
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 12:15 pm
@engineer,
Of course, engineer, the issue here is coming up with such a reasonable compromise that is acceptable to all sides.

Compromise means all parties being able to express their voice, and to have their concerns considered. Linkat's disdainful attacks on the MBTA employees, tarring all of them to the misdeeds of a few, isn't a good way to arrive at the desired solution.

The MBTA union exists to represent the voice of the employees. I find it hard to see how these attacks against the union are justified. What is wrong with the employees having a voice in an issue that clearly affects them?

It will serve all parties best; the MBTA, the employees and the public, if a reasonable policy is formed based on the knowledge and needs of everyone.

Attacking the MBTA employees for having an opinion on the environment they work in doesn't help.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 12:24 pm
@engineer,
I agree with that - and the new rule states that can't have it on them when operating a vehicle - so they could have in a locker or elsewhere.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 12:25 pm
@ebrown p,
I bet you are an MBTA operator or the like.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 12:28 pm
@Linkat,
Quote:
I bet you are an MBTA operator or the like.


LOL. I am a software engineer... an industry that is a long, long way from trains or unions.

 

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