Can UPS fire a driver for not knowing Ketter verbatim?

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by ups1990, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. ups1990

    ups1990 Well-Known Member

    Here in So Cal, management is turning up the heat on drivers by threatening us with termination for not being able to recite the answers to the Ketter questions, verbatim. UPS, say's that, its drivers should fully understand the concepts behind the ten pt commentary, the five seeing habits, yard control and proper steps to lifting and lowering . Could the company, fire an employee for failing an audit?
    Hypothetically, lets say a 20 yr driver with zero accidents and zero injuries gets fired. At panel, the Union could say an employee is being terminated not for an accident, or an integrity issue nor for any other termination offense but simply for a lack memorization to a a few questions. All of us need our drivers licenses but how many here could pass a written DMV test, today? What about a driver that has a case of high blood pressure and fails his DOT examination, would this person also face termination? It just might be that a persons retention ability is poor, but excels at being a driver. Many a drivers have had numerous accidents, yet are still employed by UPS. I can't see a driver getting the axe for not scoring 100% on ketter, while having a perfect UPS driving record.
  2. over9five

    over9five Senior Member Staff Member

    No. It would be laughed out of Panel.
  3. This is a sore subject for me as well and it's being threatened in our center too. I liken it to studying for a final, or a bar exam. Yeah, you can cram and retain the information fairly well for a short period of time....but could someone do as well if asked to do it again without warning? Weeks, possibly months later?

    Why isn't this stuff treated like hazmat training? Prove you know the material and get re-certified on an annual basis. But our stewards have taken a different route. They tell the company to pay us to study, which they do once every few months....and then we feel like we are now obligated to retain the information until the next scheduled "study" time. For once, I would like to see where this is a requirement for employment in the contract. Until then, I wish our Union would tell them to quit harassing us!!!!
  4. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    They were trying that line on the DOK stuff around here for a while, they never actually said they would fire someone over it but verbatim knowledge was always being referred to as "a condition of employment". Eventually they moved on to some other issue, and I suspect the same thing will happen there.
  5. stevetheupsguy

    stevetheupsguy sʇǝʌǝʇɥǝndsƃnʎ

    Fired? NO!
    Threatened? Yes!
  6. tourists24

    tourists24 Well-Known Member

    They are on us hard here and have been for a while now. Our center ranks near the very bottom in our district for accidents and injuries. I guess they think if we memorize these then all will be solved.

    We have a lot of warning letters and suspensions here, but none have even made it out of our local level meetings (they are being held over til next meetings). Mgt is telling us that they are not going to pay us. We are to study them on our own time. I am anxious to see one of these taken on.
  7. over9five

    over9five Senior Member Staff Member

    Well, there's your out. We are hourly employees and are paid for ALL time spent in service to the company.
  8. JonFrum

    JonFrum Member

    They will take you out back by the dumpster and rough you up for adding an extra "t" to Keter. Pleading that you spelled "verbatim" correctly won't help.
  9. BrownArmy

    BrownArmy Well-Known Member

    I'm sure I'll get a lot of flak for this, so let the flaming begin...

    Drivers, it's not all that hard to commit to memory the 5 & 10, 8 keys, 5 points, etc. etc.


    A previous poster is talking about cramming like it's the bar exam or something. You don't need to be a rocket scientist, a doctor, or a lawyer to be able to recite these simple safety points.

    Is it like kindergarten? Absolutely.

    Will being able to recite verbatim these safety points make you a better driver? Absolutely not, unless of course the simple act of repeated rote memorization and regurgitation will keep the concepts fresh in your mind...

    My guess is that your management team could care less whether or not you could recite the 5 & 10's, etc...the simple fact is that they 'work as directed' from their higher-ups, just as we 'work as directed'.

    Simplest way to stick it to the man in this case is to know your 5 & 10's down cold (as well as the 8 keys to lifting and lowering, the 5 keys to avoiding slips and falls, the 8 keys to yard safety, the 3 points to avoiding meteorites, the 17 points to avoiding Zombies, etc. etc.).

    When they come asking, you nail it, and they move on.

    We get paid a lot of money to move cardboard, it's not that big of a deal to recite some kindergartner crapola.
  10. mensch

    mensch Banned

    Ketter does not require you to be verbatim
  11. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    I agree with the poster who compared learning this material to cramming for a final exam. During our last audit, which was a mock Keter audit, I was pulled aside when I came off road and asked to be prepared to be interviewed the following morning. I spent about an hour studying the material that night and 15 minutes in the morning reviewing it and I had it down cold for the interview.

    We were told that we had to have a strong knowledge of the material but that it did not have to be verbatim.
  12. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    Brown Army gets it.

    I was told that the centers that have the lowest accident and injury rates also typically score very high on the Keter questions.

    No matter. At my center, 1/2 dozen of us know them and coincidentally, we are the ones that are always asked. The one year that Keter people were at our center, drivers punched out and left their boards by the mechanics bay (the Keter people were hanging out by the board racks, the mechanics bay is at the opposite end of the building.)
  13. hurricanegunner

    hurricanegunner UPSPoop

    If they're going to make us memorize this drivel, then stick with it. Sooner or later, UPS will throw the five, eight, and ten keys in the same dumpster as the six safe work methods and HABITS. Then they'll make up a whole new batch of drivel for us to memorize and this whole nonsense starts all over. Pick something and stick with it.
  14. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    There it is right there. Do I understand the concepts? Absolutely. Can I do it verbatim? Nope.
    Ask me a question about a safety situation and I`ll tell you how to get out of it or more importantly avoid it in the first place. Safe driving has been drilled into my DNA since I started driving 21 years ago and I`ve pulled it off safely for every one of them. But if you want to hear how good your "keys" sound repeated back to you then buy a parrot.
  15. tourists24

    tourists24 Well-Known Member

    It may be simple to you, but I dont study them unless I am being paid. Sorry, I spend enough time at work and I will not bring it home with me. I know them fairly well because we review them at our PCM, but not well enough to have them memorized when asked at random. Simple enough, pay me and I will study them and then recite them to you. If not, I will do my best and take my chances.
  16. tourists24

    tourists24 Well-Known Member

    +1.... good point Cach....
  17. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

    I got a warning letter in a district audit because I didn't repeat it word for word. I passed a Hub audit giving the same answers and scored 100%. The company calls it "work as directed", even though it is not in the contract. The union business agent just says that we have to try to answer. I grieved the warning letter and lost. They will just come up with something else to memorize, and ignore the safety concerns that employees bring up.
  18. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    I'd be steaming about that. I might even make a point of being front and center for the next keter audit so I could answer every question with "I don't know, my center team never trained me on that". I like to earn my warning letters.
  19. softshoe

    softshoe Member

    I hope you were on the clock when you did all that studying. In our area you get paid to study
  20. stevetheupsguy

    stevetheupsguy sʇǝʌǝʇɥǝndsƃnʎ

    Aren't they all? They say the same things in every center, T.

    Oh, and Ha Ha Ha.

    I'm not gonna flame you, but, you must understand that not everyone is just like YOU. Some people won't retain the info like you do, believe it or not. Why doesn't UPS just drill us all year round, and not just when Keter is around the corner. This way all of the info would be fresh on our minds.

    Why would you do this on YOUR own time, when UPS is more than willing to pay you for your study time?

    Well said.

    LOL, +1