Cover driving, unscheduled but forced to come in

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by bdmiz, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. bdmiz

    bdmiz New Member

    In our center, management will post a list for cover drivers which shows whether or now they are driving the following week. These are posted on friday. I check this list every friday so that I can plan out the hours for my other job for the following week.

    Last friday I checked this list and was unscheduled to drive for the week of 1/12/09-1/16/09. So I lined up the hours for my other job. I go into work on saturday for air driving and I get a message from from our district manager "please leave your phone on monday morning, we may need you to drive." I check the list which still shows unscheduled.

    Monday comes, and I wait until 8:45am for the call asking me to come in, it never comes. I start to head to work and right when I get there at about 9:15am my on road supervisor calls me and says, "we have a route sitting here, can you come in and do it." I told him no I cannot since im already at my other job, just move down the list to the other drivers below me. He says ok, no problem. 30 minutes goes by and he calls back, I don't answer. He leaves a message which states "look we need you to come in, its a bad deal if you don't come in. Call me lets talk about it." As I'm sitting there thinking about whats going on my center manager calls me. He leaves me a message which states " We need you to come in, we have a route sitting here. I know you said you can't do it but you have to come in. If you don't, I'll sit down with a shop steward and you'll get a warning letter. Then, if you do it again we'll pull your DOT card."

    I immediately called my shop steward and left him a message detailing what had just happened. He gets back to me and says basically the way he interprets the contract language is cover drivers are OFFERED the work in seniority order (which i declined). Then when that process is complete, the work is ASSIGNED in reverse seniority order. He's telling me that ASSIGNED means they can force me to come in if they have more routes than cover drivers sitting. IE there are 2 people below me, there are 3 routes sitting, they can FORCE all 3 of us to come in. And if we don't, we get warning letters.

    My center manager said basically we won't be disciplined since this has never happened before. But I was in the right since there was only 1 route sitting there. He should have forced the lowest driver to come in.

    But what I'm trying to find out, has this happened to anyone else before? Is this correct interpretation of the contract? They purposely understaff themselves and then they are always working supervisors and trying to keep me on call in the morning. With a second job to work when im not driving it makes it extremely difficult.

    HEFFERNAN Huge Member

    This is basically a ploy to keep them mininumly staffed at all times. As much as it sucks putting you on the spot like that, they will probably be doing that a lot in the future. It's there job to make sure they have plenty of people to accomodate staffing issues. When they don't need you, they won't even look in your direction. When they do, they'll call and threaten your job so you feel guilty. Thankfully you have senority over 2 drivers on the list so you are alright.
  3. browniehound

    browniehound Well-Known Member

    First of all you have nothing tho worry about. You were not "scheduled" to work. Management must give you 24 hours notice to force you on a day you are not scheduled to work.

    Realistically, how can they expect to call you 30 minutes after the center start time and expect you to come in? I think it would be an answered prayer to them if you came in that day. I know when I'm off I don't answer the phone and don't know anyone who does unless they are desperate for hours.

    They can only assign from the bottom up if the drivers are given 24hrs. notice. That can't assign from the bottom up when you are told to stay home.

    They have no leg to stand on to issue a warning letter unless you are leaving some details out. What's even more absurd is the threat to pull your DOT card, lol! Your DOT card is pulled for medical reasons or bad urine samples, not for disiplanary purposes. Man, if you believed that line you are very new, very naive, and need to talk with the shop steward before you submit to very peculiar threats by your center team.

    Does the center manager even have the authority to pull your DOT card? I doubt it. I think that authority belongs to a doctor.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009

    HEFFERNAN Huge Member

    I forgot to mention that !!!!

    That is a bush league move by management to make you feel you're job was threatened !!! Just to say that shows lack of contract knowledge.
  5. softshoe

    softshoe Member

  6. bdmiz

    bdmiz New Member

    So if I understand what you're saying correctly browniehound, they must give me 24 hours notice before they can even begin to force me into work? I'm talking about being unscheduled, being called into work and being paid top rate BECAUSE its an unscheduled day.

    So my question is, if I am unscheduled to drive and due to the poor staff planning of management they end up with routes sitting, can they FORCE me in to work?

    If so, how do they interpret this from the contract language?

    I don't see how they can force me to be on call like that. What if I was out of state, at the doctors, or whatever. I automatically get disciplined?

    And I didn't fall for that line from my center manager, I know that when they are up **** creek they will say and do whatever they can to make you come into work. I never answer the phone unless I need the hours and i can make it into work.

    When I say has this happened before, I'm wondering if other cover drivers out there have experienced this interpretation of the "new" contract recently.
  7. scoobypanda

    scoobypanda Active Member

    If working at UPS and you are laid off they have to inform you by the end of your shift. UPS doesn’t have to post a layoff list. If you are off and there is a layoff they have to notify you by 4:30 the day before. This can be done by telegram. They can call you and ask you to report to work in the same day. But it is your choice to come in that day and they have to pay you from your start time. They do not have to pay from your start time if you're called to cover a sick load. When reporting back to work UPS has to also notify you the day BEFORE, by 4:30. This also can be done by telegram. IT IS NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO CALL OR WAIT BY THE PHONE. THEY LAID YOU OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    He was not laid off, he was simply not scheduled for the day, most likely due to volume or staffing. He was most likely called at the last minute due to a driver calling in sick.

    Our cover drivers are instructed to call each morning by a certain time unless they have already been scheduled to work. Now, if they call in and are told no and then mgt calls back saying that they need them they would have no recourse if the driver says no. It could be that the driver has kids that are not old enough to be in school so daycare would be an issue or it could be, like the OP, the driver has another job to which he has already committed himself for the day but, for whatever reason, once your are told no I would think it would be your choice as to whether to come in or not.
  9. LastBest&Final

    LastBest&Final To Endeavor To Persevere

    If they didn"t call you until 9:15, something was messed up! They forgot to scheduled someone for a route and didn't notice until all the cars left the building but one, or for some reason a driver couldn't make it in and they did know about until then. If they have a hard time getting a hold of you, they will schedule you for work, but call you one hour before your start time and tell you not to come in.

    When they can't find a driver to do the work they will use an Air driver or a part-timer. If they can get them, a supervisor will do the work(not good). A supervisor doing hourly work is not what any one wants to see, and we need make sure to do what we can, so it don't. It sounds like you did what you could.

    It is sad they need to threatened you, but they find it works on alot of people. The ends justify the means sort of thing, but it's still wrong.
  10. steeltoe

    steeltoe New Member

    Years ago this type thing would happen to a guy at my dads work. He would be unscheduled and then they would call him in. When he said he could not, they threatened to fire him in the future. The next time they called when he was scheduled off, he just told them that he had a couple of beers earlier. I'll can be there, but I need someone to come pick me up. He worked 3rd shift. Needless to say, they found some other sap to do the work.
  11. thom1842

    thom1842 New Member

    I have a couple questions about PT air cover driving and rather than start a new thread I used the search function and got this one, so I thought I would just add on.

    I have been cover driving air for about 1.5 years now and have never been unscheduled more than 3 times in a month. Recently I have been unscheduled for entire weeks, occasionally someone calls in sick and I get to come in, but more often I just stay home. This is my only job and I am trying to get through college, my three questions are these:

    • I used to work on the ramp, on a day I am unscheduled can I work a ramp shift like I did before I drove?
    • Is it true that if I don't work for two consecutive weeks I lose my benefits?
    • If they begin laying off drivers can I return to the replace the lowest seniority member on the ramp?
    Thanks, I always appreciate the help, especially because my steward is hard to get a hold of and doesn't know the contract very well.