Correction to one of my posts

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by dannyboy, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    A while back, there was discussion on using helpers on bikes, etc delivering away from the driver. In some cases, the driver most likely would not even see the helper during the day, but instead make drops for the helper, then pick up the diad at the end of the day.

    I posted back saying that this type of behavior was not allowed, as the hearing process allowed only for helpers to work in close conjunction with the driver, and not as a separate entity.

    But it seems that in the last contract, this language was conveniently dropped from the book. Basically, if the company wanted, they could take all Christmas increases in work, hire enough part timers to deliver it, and have the regular drivers only doing what they do the rest of the year. And none of these helpers would get paid anything but helper wages.

    So I stand corrected. It seems Hoffa had to figure out ways to sweeten the pot for the CS buyout, and this language was one of those sweet treats for UPS.

    And of course, for all you die hard union believers, they will be back to win back this in future negotiations, as it should never have been allowed to vanish from the contract in the first place.

    Next thing you will see is the language dealing with subcontracting disapear......

  2. JonFrum

    JonFrum Member

    Article 67, Section 5 of the New England Supplement still refers to "package driver helpers." This suggests to me that the helper must work with the driver, and not independently.

    There are degrees of independence, however. A helper could deliver one stop at a time, returning to the driver for further instructions after each stop. Or he could deliver several stops with a two-wheeler before returning to the driver. Or he could be given a big cart full of stops and a bike to keep him independently busy for an hour or so. Or he could never see the driver and work out of a dropped TP-60 or even a feeder left in a mall parking lot.

    When does the degree of independence become so great as to require the use of a second package car driver at driver's pay, and not a $9.50 helper?

    The language also says "Helpers will not be allowed to do any driving work whatsoever." I realize driving a bicycle is different than driving a package car, but when we voted on the language, how many members intended to authorize semi-independent bicycle-and-cart delivery? At the very least, it seems to violate the spirit of the No Driving language, and arguably the literal language itself. The No Driving language does not say no package car driving, it says no "driving work whatsoever."

    Incidentally, this Supplement allows helpers to be used two weeks earlier than previous Supplements.
  3. Bubblehead

    Bubblehead My Senior Picture

    Danny I think you are missing the point.
    The company already had the freedom to hire seasonal full time drivers for the holidays from November till Jan.1 in most areas.
    These drivers have no seniority rights and are kicked to the curb come New Years.
    The practice of using helpers is to close the gap in the limits of the company's infrastructure.
    We only have X# of vehicles, package cars that is.
    Rentals are far less efficient, as are the seasonal drivers.
    Put a helper on the car with an experienced driver and they have proven to show a significant increase in production.
    Any helpers utilized away from the car, to me, is no different than a seasonal driver.
    It has been long practiced to drop a helper at a high rise apt, etc, while the driver does some surrounding areas.
    Anything that keeps the truck moving.
    I hate the new contract and feel we have taken some significant steps backwards, but this issue isn't one of them.
  4. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    As a practical matter there are some pretty severe limits on the amount of work that a helper on a bike is even capable of.
    Rural areas are out. Hilly areas are out. Snowy areas are out. The bikes may have some limited usefulness in retirement parks or apartment complexes in places like Florida, but for a pretty large area of the country they just dont work.

    I think that they are a temporary fad. Some genius from corporate... who probably never worked as a driver himself...had a bright idea and wrote a memo, and as a result of that memo the bikes are now being forced upon areas that dont really want or need them. I think that, in time, the limited or virtually nonexistent benefit that the bikes offer will become apparent enough that the bikes will fade into obscurity. Sort of like the "Remote Initiative" they tried to cram down our throats about 15 years ago.
  5. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND


    I did not miss the point. I understand all that. What you failed to do was read my post, or it could be I did not post it clearly enough.

    The contract before this one. It was very plain. A helper was to help a driver during his day. THat is why they called them driver helpers. Yes, he could drop the helper off with a two wheeler full of deliveries, and pick him up down the road. They had CONTACT during the day. This was filed on and upheld at the panel, they could not just dump packages out on road somewhere, and let helpers deliver them.

    And as a result, drivers were held responsible for the deliveries up to a point.

    In the new contract, there is nothing that says UPS cant dump a bunch of work out for "helpers" to deliver, and the helpers would never have contact with the driver. Or the driver with the packages the helper delivers.

    I did not say it was bad, good, or both. All I said was that I was wrong in stating that the language is in the contract, because it no longer is.

    Jon, unless there is language pinning UPS down, they pretty much have a carte blanc doing it their way.

    I just found it very interesting how the teamsters would allow things like this to just "disappear" from the contract.

    Waiting for the time too that helpers will be year around, and who knows what they will deliver, and who takes it to them.

    Things are changing, and the teamsters seem to be leading the pack for change......

    Wonder why?

  6. Bubblehead

    Bubblehead My Senior Picture

    What I was saying is that UPS has and always has had "carte blanc" during the peak season.
    My point was whether it be a helper or a seasonal, it doesn't really matter.
    Now when and if helpers are permitted outside of the peak season, I'll agree that the Teamsters have let us down.
    The National Master has been significantly watered down and weakened in this latest contract.
    Fortunately regional and local supplemental language still supersedes in many instances.
    When and if these agreement are compromised, we have big problems.
    If we don't already.
    I just don't think this issue is one of them.
  7. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    There is a pretty huge difference between "year around helpers"---which would be a strike issue as far as I am concerned---and allowing helpers to ride bikes for 4 weeks during peak season.

    The bottom line is that, for the most part at least, the bikes are a bad idea and within a couple of years I predict that they will be gone from most areas.

    The math doesnt pencil out. UPS isnt saving any money with the bikes. They are probably already aware of that fact, but whoever came up with the idea in the first place is probably high enough up the corporate ladder that no one has the balls to tell him how stupid his idea really was.

    I'm going to have a bike helper in my area. He is going to spend several hours on his bike doing what would take the two of us about 45 minutes if he was on car with me. To accomplish this, UPS is going to have to spend at least $25 a day just to rent the U-Haul trailer that myself or another driver will tow out to the area with his stops. The bike and the trailer and all the accessories (helmet, light, flag, lock etc.) had to have cost at least $500. Whoever tows the trailer out there will make an extra $.25 per hour all day for pup pay. He will spend an extra 15 minutes a day (on OT) hooking and unhooking the trailer and breaking trace (extra miles) which will require yet another driver to help him make service on his NDA in the AM. I will also have to break trace in order to meet the helper, go through the load, and take any packages that are too big or heavy for him to haul around with the bike. And this is assuming that we dont get any snow. When it is all said and done, the amount of time and money that is actually saved by having a helper ride a virtually nothing.

    Whoever came up with the bike idea never thought it all the way through. He had a pretty picture in his mind of some guy riding a bike around for $9.50 an hour, but he forgot one simple fact...the devil is in the details.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  8. satellitedriver

    satellitedriver Moderator Staff Member

    The photo op of us being "green" is priceless.:sick:

  9. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND


    That was my take on Bikes. The current bunch is sucking up the BS on Global responsibility to cut all fossil fuels.

    Dont get me wrong. I come from a very poor family where conservation was carried out because of need. And I see this coming again under Obama, just so they can push their agenda. After all, they are the ones that would like to see gas at $10 a gallon to force us into not using gas.

    But I also see the movement away from what was originally intended with helpers. In some areas, they already use helpers two weeks before Thanksgiving, other areas even sooner. And as long as they were actually "driver helpers", that was no big deal. I can see more stretching of the contract in the future with what has happened in the current contract.

  10. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    I think it was the '93 contract where we agreed to allow the company the "flexibility" to only offer a 4 hr gurantee to the two lowest seniority drivers on the dispatch. They had begged for this language for years and when we agreed to it there were a lot of hard feelings and doom-and-gloom predictions from who thought it was but a first step towards the complete loss of our 8 hr gurantee.

    16 yrs later not only do we still have the same 8 hr gurantee but the company no longer even uses the 4 hr language. Once they had the freedom to use it, they discovered that it did not save them any money.

    Bike helpers will be the same.
  11. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    In many cases the use of a bike helper winds up increasing total miles driven...for the simple reason that if you drop a trailer full of stops for your bike helper in the AM, you must then drive back to the trailer at the end of your day in order to retrieve it. Its another one of those mundane little details that never crossed the mind of the person who came up with the idea to begin with.
  12. Pkgrunner

    Pkgrunner Service Provider

    Kind of along the same line as the EDD dispatcher not figuring in having to break off for NDA commits or Business stops when configuring a planned day....
  13. MC4YOU2

    MC4YOU2 Yep, not wearing brown anymore

    We got 2 bikes last year and they were noy even used 1 day. I know they will try again, but as has been said, sometimes the co has to actually lose some money trying before they see the light.
  14. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Problem is you all are so focused on bikes.

    What happens when they use another type of vehicle?

    Incrementalism. Works to bring down strong countries, why not a strong contract.......?

  15. Bubblehead

    Bubblehead My Senior Picture

    I hear you Dannyboy, but this isn't a setback.
    The companies long time availability to put on seasonal drivers makes this a mute point, doesn't it?
    Helper on a bike, seasonal driver in a Ryder rental, they're a peak season option only, with no claim to any seniority.
    When that changes to include time periods other than peak, then hit the panic button.
    I'm all for a strong contract and agree that ours has weakened in recent efforts, but not on this issue.
    What are we losing?
    What am I missing?
    Do you believe with the availability of hiring seasonal drivers, that stronger helper language will force the company to hire more full time union drivers?
    I don't see it ever happening.
    The union will never press the company to hire on full time drivers that have no chance of being utilizing the rest of the year.
  16. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    UPS will do what ever is the cheapest to get them through peak. That simple. It is interesting that there are other times as well that the company can use "driver helpers", not just the month between thanksgiving and Christmas.

    But the point I am trying to make is this.

    Today, they are trying out bikes. Yes, this will be a failure, but it makes the green tree huggers at UPS feel great that they tried, and they can brag to their green buddies that UPS is leading the way.

    But look further down the road, if the driver helper is no longer actually helping a driver. Already it is being used at malls, where the driver never sets foot into the mall during the season, only helpers.

    So take large sections of home deliveries. They drop off a TP60, and the "helper" drives up in a mule or golf cart and makes deliveries in that manner. Is that helper actually a helper, or would he fall under a driver job. What is the legal dividing line between a helper, and a temp driver? The vehicle?

    BTW, golf carts are already being used by helpers in some areas. So whats the next step?

    Now, all this being said, it really does not matter to me one way or another. Just realize that when on a slippery slope, its hard to stop the downward progress. And I see the disappearance of the driver helper language as that first slippery step down that slope.

    Time will tell.

  17. JonFrum

    JonFrum Member

    In addition to the current New England Supplement allowing driver's helpers two weeks earlier than in the past, UPS no longer has to make H&W contributions into the various H&W funds on helper hours either.

    The current H&W contribution rate is $7.86 per hour. ($314.50 maximum per 40-hour week.)

    The rate increases yearly until in the final year of the Contract it will be $8.91 per hour. ($356.50 maximum per 40-hour week.)

    UPS saves quite a bundle by giving the work to an army of "helpers" rather than regular employees in the bargaining unit. It also helps to explain the financial trouble the H&W funds are in.

    We have some part-timers who could earn extra money and experience as peak helpers or drivers, but instead they are mostly limited to three-and-a-half hours a day, and the work goes first to off-the-street seasonal temps.

    Just a while ago we had layoffs of full- and part-time people, and now suddenly UPS has a desperate need for 50,000 helpers and temporary drivers. Was there some spectacular economic recovery that I missed? Or are they just milking the concessionary Contract for all it's worth and keeping the Teamsters as weak as possible?
  18. Bubblehead

    Bubblehead My Senior Picture

    Why would UPS have ever made health and welfare contributions on employees who aren't eligible for any of these benefits?
    I'm not saying they haven't in New England, but they never have here.
    Seems like an unreal expectation to me.

    Secondly, here, inside part timers are eligible for helper hours up to 8 hrs total daily. They are also to have first consideration before off street helpers.

    Finally, 50,000 helpers and temporary drivers? Can that number be correct? Are any of the laid off employees still laid off while these temps are in place. Of course not.

    I am very active in the union and the first to acknowledge recent contractual shotcomings.
    We are a little premature in crying that the sky is falling on this issue.
  19. JonFrum

    JonFrum Member

    Because it's bargaining unit work?
    Because the work could have been done by regular employees if UPS scheduled things differently?
    Because UPS has to fund the H&W plans one way or another. Either they pay for all hours worked, helpers included, or the Teamsters would negotiate a higher contribution rate for regular employees to make up the shortfall in helper contributions.
    Because seasonal workers who are kept or called back after Peak, under certain circumstances get retroactive seniority to their original date of hire and may qualify for H&W benefits?
    It's the other way around here in New England. That's one way concessions work their way into the Contract. One area, at a time.
    Yup. That's what the UPS press release says. . . .
    In most years the number is even higher.
    How could you know that? Layoffs occured all over. I hope they are all back but I have no way of knowing. I saw in another thread that some laid off drivers were offered helper jobs at helper pay, not their driver pay.
    How many total hours nationwide would you allow to be done outside the seniority system before you actually objected? Enquiring minds want to know?
  20. Bubblehead

    Bubblehead My Senior Picture

    I don't object because I haven't seen anything different than I've been seeing for my 23 years working here. Peak season is a built in variable to the business and the contract. As soon as any of these practices stray from the proscribed time frame I will be right next you guys, up in arms, crying foul.
    I do however want to reiterate that there are many other issues where the contract has been significantly compromised. It is these other areas that I believe we need to concentrate our attention and efforts. I'll jump off the soap box without listing these areas in the interest of staying on topic. Might be a good topic for another thread though.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009