at a crossroad...any advice?

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by bigbrownsoreback, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. bigbrownsoreback

    bigbrownsoreback New Member

    This is the first of many questions that inevitably will be asked by me and before I go on any further..I want to say thanks for any input received...Here's the scenario....Mid 50's year old package car driver with almost 24 years under my brown hat...Injured at peak and like the trooper we all are, decided to work it thru not wanting to leave my center scrambling to fill my route...The injury occurred on the job and after medical advice from an orthopedist on my route, the words MRI and surgery started to ring real loud...The injury by the way was reported immediately, and my optimism thought it was a sprain and would heal with some personal time I had coming. But it didn't and I filed under Workers Comp.

    The injury required surgery,casting and the future of rehab and then probably what I fear most of all....back to work and very uncertain of the direction management will take in this situation. And like many of you, the horror stories of how UPS treats their senior drivers is dissappointing.

    I have seriously considered retiring early and avoid the treatment that seems to befall anyone approaching 25 years of service. And in my case, the decision to protect myself by filing under Workers Comp, has no doubt made the future of harassment and termination a strong reality.

    I have retained the services of a workers comp lawyer because my injury may leave me with partial loss of full use of my leg and I don't see myself back on my route in the same capacity prior to the injury and as far as UPS accommodating me after release....well, I don't see that happening either. The retaining of counsel further clouds the future, though it offers me the security of protection in light of the injury.

    I am ready to leave and I would have preferred my UPS career to have ended on a more positive note...And it still might...But this company is notorious for not listening to their drivers and not making adjustments for those injured on the job to get back being productive.Especially those of us in our fifties

    "....consideration of the employees age and condition" is contract language I never understood! any advice or opinions are appreciated
     
  2. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    I hate to say it, but you are going to have to go into "survival mode" and do what is best for yourself. Your management isnt going to cut you any slack. The brutal reality of UPS is that once you are no longer able to make them look good on paper, you become a liability rather than an asset and you will be treated accordingly.
    One thing that will have to change is your own definition of success. If you can look at yourself at the end of the day and say that you gave your best effort, worked safely, and took care of your customers as best you could...then the day was a success whether your management chooses to aknowledge it or not.
    You were smart to report the injury and retain a lawyer. Keep being smart. Take care of yourself.
     
  3. rod

    rod retired and happy

    If you go back ask for light duty work. That's what the company doctor had prescribed for me when I went back after being off for 2 1/2 months with a back injury. (1st time I missed work in 17 years by the way). Oh yeh-part of my light duty route was picking up at large printing company. Nothing like 2 or 3 pallets of printed material to get the back back into shape.:whiteflag:
     
  4. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Big Brown

    This is still a touchy subject for me.

    Working while hurt. I once worked for more than 8 hours on a broken foot. And that decision still haunts me 20 years later.

    Asking the center management team for consideration with your recent injury? I doubt that. Even with 30 plus years in, I had to file several grievances on getting myself out of the old 1000. Only had 3 in a center with 120 trucks, and they saw to it I had one all the time. I really believe had they not been so stupid about the whole thing, I would still be driving at this time. As the most senior delivery driver, what was the big deal about putting me into a low rider?

    After tearing up one knee on the job, I was put on TAW with the restrictions of very limited walking, no stairs or climbing etc etc. So what did the center manager decide they needed me to do? Wash windows on the package cars and tractors in the early AM. After three days of hobbling around trying to protect the hurt knee, I ended up torquing (Laterally torn menicus) the other knee worse than the original injured knee. So now we had to deal with two badly torn knees, not just one.

    After sugeries on both knees, and several months of rehab, I went back to work on friday. That following Wed I had a drs appointment at which time he took a look at my knees. The company nurse was there. He asked her for the job description for what I do.

    She handed him a paper (she intentionally gave him the sheet for Feeder work instead of delivery thinking that he would release me again into package) and he began to delete what I was not to do. So he ended up disqualifying me for the job. And as it ended up, it was even feeders that I was not able to do.

    So after 33 years of service, I ended up having to buy out my last three years (only at UPS with a teamster pension will the math say you have to buy out three years with 33 years of service to equal 30 years pension.) thank God I had the money in the 401K to be able to do it with.

    While the whole episode was really crappy, and the center manager should have some liability for (his) the actions, I have pretty much put it behind. There are several days a month, sometimes even 10-15 where I really have a hard time walking because of the pain and swelling. BUt such is life.

    I prefer to dwell on the positives.

    Now, on to your situation.

    You really need to do the math. Your financial picture will have a lot to do with what your options are. If you are pretty much debt free, then your options are greater without having to move, lose the house etc. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, then your really need to think about either getting rid of debt or staying at UPS as long as you can.

    In my case, the doctor disqualified me from my job. UPS would not, and your case can not create a job for you. Part of the Union benefit, as any job that is created for more than 30 days then becomes a regular position that now is open for bid. So even if they wanted to, they cant. The job they created for you would be up for bid in a year, and someone else would have it, putting you back where you are right now. A losing propsition for both you and UPS.

    So my advice is to research your options, do the math, Pray on it. It is a hefty decision.

    d
     
  5. bigbrownsoreback

    bigbrownsoreback New Member

    you mentioned buying out three years..explain that please...I would retire with 25 years but at this moment have 23.5
    The lawyer I retained is one of the best in the country and I know she will gauge the situation to do what is fair

    Retiring and getting as far away from the underhandling of mamagement is my goal. I have lost all trust in this company doing what is right by us. And that, coming from an optimistic and loyal employee, is disheartening
     
  6. Ms Spoken

    Ms Spoken New Member

    Since we are on the subject: If your someone with an injury why should you use the with-drawl Union card? Could that hurt you in the long run?
     
  7. raceanoncr

    raceanoncr Well-Known Member

    You use it so you don't have to pay union dues for the period that you are out. You must be a member in good standing, have current dues paid up.

    Am on that now with 4-month hip replacement and saved me $70/mo in dues. No penalty. Just notify em when you go back and continue. Have done it for knee surgeries too. No problem
     
  8. bigbrownsoreback

    bigbrownsoreback New Member

    The withdrawal is a way to save funds when expenses start piling up once you go out on an injury....But it's safe to say that most drivers aren't aware of this and might be under the assumption that a withdrawal means you aren't protected ...I did....

    My current situation has me on the internet and on this site daily as a way of educating myself and the options ahead for me

    I'm thinking of adding a new post that might generate response from all of us that might have some valuable information to add in case a fellow employee
    gets injured and needs some advice.....and we know the injuries will continue to be a part of the UPS way of life

    Browncafe has been extremely helpful for me and has opened my eyes to situations I thought were either conjured up or exaggerated

    I have seen the light, so they say
     
  9. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Threads such as this are why I am constantly urging both my co-workers and fellow UPSers on BC to get supplemental health insurance, whether it be AFLAC, Combined, or whomever. We all have seen the AFLAC commercials where the duck is paying the bills while the guy is laid up on the couch. I have Combined and it has helped me pay my bills during my three prior surgeries and my most recent, which was this past Friday for a trigger finer, which I scheduled on a Friday as I was on vacation the following week (this week). I will get a check from Combined for the time that I was off work plus for the surgery itself, which is in addition to my vacation pay. I did not file this as a comp case as the surgery was minor, the recovery period is only 1 week and I will be back to work on Monday. Payments that I received during my 3 prior surgeries were all in addition to my comp pay.

    Temporary withdrawal from the Union sounds like a good move but do you have to pay back the dues that you missed while you were off?
     
  10. raceanoncr

    raceanoncr Well-Known Member


    Nope
     
  11. Fnix

    Fnix Active Member

    All these people getting surgeries makes me not want to work for UPS anymore. Is it really that bad as a driver? All of you need surgery?
     
  12. bigbrownsoreback

    bigbrownsoreback New Member

    Heres the catch 22.....you give the best that you have for your customers and ultimately the company and this best now becomes a threshhold with no exceptions.... and believe me, as we age, the aches and pains that we stormed thru in our 20's and 30's, become pivotal,chronic and draining. AND the company continues to increase your workload..because you did it before and you can do it again, and your pride as a driver compels you to perform or face the harrassment firing squad

    But to me, one of the major contributors to ones physical health is the stress in your life and your ability to deal with it. From a package car drivers perspective, UPS STRESS IS MAJORLY DESTRUCTIVE

    I could never nor would ever consider 30 plus years under UPS as a package car driver and I applaud those that have made it that far

    Do I sound like I hit the wall?
    I have and it happened the first of this year with the injury I am currently rehabbing over:knockedout:
     
  13. Fishbulb

    Fishbulb Member

    i'm 30 & had back surgery, may have to go for it a 2nd time.
     
  14. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Evenin

    I think our local automatically places you on the union no pay list if you are on workers comp. I never did have to pay union dues, and did not ever fill out any paperwork stoping the withholdings on my checks.

    As for the buying the last three years out, it is only if you are injured on the job, and you have enough time in to buy the additional time. You can purchase one year for any reason, but the additional two only if you become hurt on the job. You can do it with 22 years in to buy up to 25, or at 27 to buy up to 30. I would think that most joint councils are different with different rules. I dont even know if ours still have that available, but it was during the time I was going out.

    Bottom line is this. Much of what they are attempting to teach the driver for safety compliance would have made a big difference in my life, had I started the methods sooner.

    Things have changed big time at UPS. But something that will not change is the physically demanding job itself, and the long hours that it takes to do the job. So please use Methods. Its for you, not UPS.

    d
     
  15. Upslady20

    Upslady20 Member

    At our building we have two full time employees one used to be a driver the other one was the full time mechanic.. both were medically disqualified to do their regular jobs.. they both now have what I would assume is 22.3 jobs..those jobs are never bid.. should they be???
     
  16. hseofpayne

    hseofpayne Guest

    I wrecked the Brown Car about 2 years ago, no fault of my own, and have had 2 surgeries. UPS has fought me the whole way, first trying to prove I was not really hurt, and then suggesting I may be too hurt to return. UPS is currently facing a class action lawsuit regarding their 100% healed policy. Basically, if you have any restrictions, they do not provide alternate work after 29 days of light duty. You can Google "UPS lawsuit workers comp" and find the case. I have been offered a buyout but I can't afford to just quit. I had an ACDF 2 level fusion but I am optimistic about my recovery. Just put me back in the game coach!
     
  17. bigbrownsoreback

    bigbrownsoreback New Member

    when you say you were offered a buyout, but can't afford to quit...explain that because I am looking at all my options...I have a lawyer on my case, but I also want to look at getting to my 25 years and then retiring...I currently have 23.5 years of service
     
  18. wily_old_vet

    wily_old_vet New Member

    In regards to withdrawal cards. If you work one day in the month you will have to pay dues for that month.
     
  19. feeder53

    feeder53 ADKtrails

    Take the time to heal, worry about UPS when it is time, and let the chips fall where they my. You will know what to do when you come to that juncture....Be careful on a medical retirement as it affects your pension..Do your homework and you have legal council......I wish you the best. And as upstate had mentioned.....additional insurance on the high stress jobs is great. I have it for outside of here as they do not cover acts of war......
     
  20. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    That is an interesting post. Is there insurance that does cover acts of war?

    d