Stewards insights!

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by Cole, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Cole

    Cole New Member

    I thought I would start a thread where those of us that are stewards can offer our advice to others for certain circunstances. All stewards welcome no matter your beliefs.

    My hopes are we can teach and learn various ways of enforcing our contract, and issues at work etc...

    I would like to keep this only as a discussion on issues at work, so please let's not discuss the Teamsters vs the APWA in this thread.

    Thanks in advance!:thumbup1:

    Without writing my Autobiography, I'll give a brief history of my time at UPS, or brief as I can.

    I started part-time in 1987 on the preload sort loading the feeders in what we called the doghouse, and did that for quite awhile. After those first couple of nights, I was wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into. One funny thing, I was loading in the trailor with a guy studying to be a preacher, so I would try to taper my language to be respectful of him. Anyway, this guy would lay some serious curse words out, so I didn't have to. Things like GD it!! A few F bombs here and there. LOL So I would say, "man I thought you're going to be a preacher" his response "F_ _ K YOU'! LOL

    So it can truley be said, that UPS can make a preacher cuss!

    The first year I didn't know what a Union was, or what I was paying them for. After about a year, they hired people off the street and skipped right over alot of us, and not even seeing the contract, or knowing anything about it, we did start asking questions, but the full time steward at the time, wanted to play head games and act like he didn't know what we were talking about when we asked to see a union book, after quite a while we finally got the union book aka the contract book. The got away with alot when we/I was ignorant, but times changed quickly as knowledge when used is power.

    I started being a steward sometime in 1988, and stayed on it for the rest of the time I was part time, which was until 93. I didn't want to go straight into driving and be a steward, due to the trial period and not knowing that much about the full time portion of the contract, but the drivers said they were writing my name in, in the election for stewards etc...They did and I won one of the Steward posts, and have been going at it since then.

    One issue I would like to discuss in getting started on to the purpose of this thread is one that is tough to defend to some degree, and that's attendance.

    The reason I am opening with this is because though I have only seen a couple of people fired attendance got a couple of them.

    Things they can't use against you are: (1) paid sick days, approved /vacation days personals. they are negotiated benefits. Please always request to see which days they are using if you are in the office for attendance. Also FMLA, (Family Medical Leave) which is a Federal Law. They like to tell you you have to be cleared by HR, but notice is to be given as soon as you know, and if you are the primary care taker of the individual you are taking to the hospital. I'll post more extensively if anyone wants more on the FMLA later.

    Various Supplements will differ, so I can only speak from mine. (Atlantic Area Supplement)

    Tardiness and absentee rules mandatorily must be bargained under the NLRA (National Labor Relations Act), under my supplement it says at least 1 hour notice for absences, and for tardiness it says "where an employee does not report at the scheduled starting time, the dailey guarantee shall be reduced by the amount of lateness, if allowed to work by the employer."

    I have never seen them reduce the dailey guarantee for that. Everyone would be late everyday if they did.

    The problem comes when people call in over and over and it makes the union and you and especially the worker involved look bad, so please be careful and know when you're crossing the line. If you've been written up, and given a warning letter, you know if you're getting out of hand with it. Also make sure the company has follwed the progressive discipline, as outlined in your supplement etc...

    All comments and suggestions welcome.

    When filing a grievance once it comes to the putting it in writing, I suggest you look for an article under the national master where applicable, unless your supplement stronger.

    Another issuse I think people should be made aware of is change is start time because often they will just change someone's start time without proper notice, and when done improperly, you can get time an 1/2 for all unscheduled hours if your supplement allows it. "When the starting time of 50% o more of a shift is changed, one weeks notice shall be given, except in the event of an act of God. When the starting time of less than 50% is changed, reasonable notice of 48hrs is to be given. If the company changes an employees start time, the employee will be compensated at time and one-half for all unscheduled hours worked in any one day.

    I bring this up because I notice that they give not even 24hrs notice to drivers to come in and take the 10 point check list test, so you can make e'm pay you (1-1/2) if you so desire. Check your supplements be sure. It's under "Paid for Time" in my Supplement, which is different than the Paid for Time in the National.

    I suggest to anyone and everyone to always keep up with your hours of work. Write them down, make them put a time clock you can punch up, if neccessary. I know especially with part-timers, they have alot of "payroll errors". Article 17 under the National Master deals with the back pay issues. Don't back down if you're due penalty pay and stay on your ba's behind about it.

    That's all for tonight, but please feel free to add to, and or make suggestions for other defenses for these any issues you wish to.
  2. 30andout

    30andout New Member

    The last time I had a over 9.5 issue I went to our steward and ask how we are handling these he said very rudely "how many times do I have to tell you guys". That was the first and last time it was mentioned. By the way, before someone says vote him out, he was self appointed. No one in the center wants the job.
  3. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    "before someone says vote him out,"

    I was going to say, you and some of the boys meet him in the parking lot and teach him some manners.
  4. Fredless

    Fredless APWA Hater

    What a true Teamster attitude. Screw voting him out or anything, lets just kick his ass. I hope you're being sarcastic.

    Back on topic, about the pay issues - god thats a battle for me monthly it seems. Usually happens with them not paying me for air work at all, what little I can get now days anyway. Most the part timers in my shift don't even know about the 3.5 gurantee.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
  5. Cole

    Cole New Member

    See article 17 regarding back pay and penalty pay. As far as the talks about the bad steward, I have to say that's pretty cowardly when you say no one wants the position. The contract is clear in Article 37 regarding excessive overtime. The individual must make it known he/she doesn't want the ot, and filing on it is the wat to do that, once you have spoken to management about it. There are people who want to work the ot, it is up to you the driver to step up on this issue, so the steward cab process the grievance etc...I have seen weak stewards that only look out for themselves, but when the membership gets involved, and takes action in the way of voting that person, out things can change, but if you're excepting him to hold your hands and do everything for you, that person can easily get burnt out, or complacent.

    You can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink.

    When I was part-time and driving air we went through the bs imho criminal stealing of our hours, and had to fight like crazy. There is better language now, but weak if not enforced. You can file a lawsuit if the union fails to get your money for you/ fails to represent you. You can seek 2 1/2 times owed you, but you pretty much need to use the union first. Don't be afraid to stand up for your blood and sweat. Alot of times a manager is trying to look good on paper and doesn't turn in the hours. If caught they will fire them usually.

    You did the work demand to get your pay. Keep up with your hours and check and make sure it is proper. Show your fellow workers their guaranteed hours, and become a unit to be reckoned with.

    I ask that this thread be questions, suggestions, etc...
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
  6. trucker1946

    trucker1946 Guest

    I was a steward for 35 years,I am now retired,I would gladly assist and answer questions to the best of my ability,I am still active in my local union as a retired member,just come in the chatroom or post a question,Ill do my best to help,Dave:thumbup1:
  7. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    Great idea cole, i to am a steward and love ups but also love outwiting them at their own games.
  8. 3brownstars

    3brownstars Member

    We have some very fine people in our center who would make great stewards, but they get no support out of the local. So any fight they get into with mgmt., they are just spinning their wheels and then they face retaliation.

    I do have a question about 22.3 jobs. Why can't drivers who bid on and win 22.3 positions get any overtime? In our center the part-timers are allowed to start early and get more hours per shift than our 22.3 employees on the local-sort. If the pre-load is short handed and they can't get enough or any part-timers to double shift they use drivers, which I think is fine. But if a 22.3 employee has more full-time and company senority than a driver, the driver is still granted the extra work. By the way our BA has approved of this nonsence.
  9. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    The company does have the right to use lower seniority employees at regular time to avoid paying overtime to higher seniority employees. It sounds like in this case overtime is being paid, now i have to ask is this 22.3 employee within that classification? Ifso their should be a double shifting or extra work sign up sheet signed at the end of the month for the 1st of the following month. Now if the employee is skilled to perform the work article 44 SENIORITY, seniority should prevail, now keep in mind there are several different contracts out there. Here in chicago we havent had a driver bid into 22.3 work yet, were looking for some one to be the first.
  10. 3brownstars

    3brownstars Member

    Yes, the 22.3 job is classed local-sort/car-wash.
    On the local sort they bring in part-timers 2-3 hours before the sort starts and they end up on overtime after only five hours, and some nights they work as many as 9-10 hours.

    As far as the double shift extra work sign up sheet article 44 is the "over 70 pound service package handling" in the master agreement. But that aside, I know of what you are refering, our BA has taken the companies' side on this, so WHAT DO WE DO?
  11. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    Go to your membership meeting, bring some people to show support and find out which ba runs your ups bas, here we have 1 agent who all the other ones answer to. Explain to him/her the concerns, that partimers are getting 9 to 10 hours a day and you only 8. Thats a problem, I hate telling people to shop around for answers but here i believe thats your only choice! Good luck.
  12. 3brownstars

    3brownstars Member

    We only have one UPS BA in our local. The only other UPSer there is some sort of organizer to try and get people to join. If you happen to see him all he says is let me talk to the BA and see what he thinks.
  13. Cole

    Cole New Member

    3brown, follow up on the person, and if tgrievances have been filed, send letters to the ba, requesting the status of the grievances.
  14. gandydancer

    gandydancer New Member

    The only situation I can think of where a lower seniority employee can be kept on the clock in preference to a higher seniority employee is if the lower seniority employee hasn't made his guarantee. The language in our supplement is, as I recall, very short: One sentence reading something like "The Company agrees that the principles of seniority shall be of prime consideration in the operation of its business...". I'm not aware of any language saying the company can trump this to avoid overtime.

    Now, if both employees have 8 hour guarantees the one who isn't on overtime also hasn't made his guarantee. But if, say a 22.3 is on overtime in his second job and a part-timer has made four hours but not five, then I think management has to cut out the one with less seniority, not the one on overtime. If you disagree, please point to the contract language justifying your position.
  15. gandydancer

    gandydancer New Member

    Per the contract, only part timers can double shift EXCEPT that the company must use all alternatives to supervisors working, which may mean preload work must be offered to full timers.

    I would think that early start should be available on a seniority basis, including 22.3s, the only complication being that a 22.3 has two defined jobs and it could be argued that that an early start to do, say, air shuttle, would not be an extension of the 22.3's first job if that first job were, say, "hub sort". I wish I had my Supplement to hand, tho. I think the actual language talks about "extra work" being offered on a seniority basis...

    In an attempt to minimize overtime our management pushed the start time of 22.3 auditors from 5p to 6p, with part timers taking over from 5p to 6p. That was grieved, deadlocked, withdrawn at third(I think) level for lack of time, had its reintroduction objected to by UPS, started over again and is still so far as I know in process. Well over a year now. Maybe two. Meanwhile most of the auditors lost their jobs to sizing machines... I had my grievance over part timers who signed a backup ODC list starting in ODC before me (my first job is "capture") "attached" to that somehow...and I can't find out where it stands.

    What rationalization does your BA offer for his position?
  16. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    Gandy as i also stated my contract is seperate from the national. That is how it is done here, not saying that i agree. Article 44 states that seniority shall prevail in all instances not the equipment. Remember their are things agreed upon or arbitration rulings that you can fall back on that arent in the contract.

    Let me ask you if youve ever heard of super seniority= Thats were i take the 1 week training for feeder on my own time as for say a seasonal position, then i get sent back after the seasonal period, should i go to the top of the waiting list over others who declined seasonal and wanted a ft permanent feeder job?
  17. 3brownstars

    3brownstars Member

    Our BA says "Well the 22.3 is only guaranteed 8 hours", which is no position other than roll over and play dead.
  18. 3brownstars

    3brownstars Member

    Grievances have already been torpedoed by our BA.


    BU!! SH!%
  19. gandydancer

    gandydancer New Member

    I'm ft inside (22.3 "capture"/"hub sort") in NorCal, despite the title of this thread, not a steward. So I have limited insight into driving issues and no special access to arbitration decisions...

    Still, an arbitrator presumably must cite either language or practice in reaching his decision. He can also be wrong, resulting in practice contrary to language being "correct". Still, I think its worth pointing out that, so far as I know, there is no language in Master or (any) Suppliment to justify the assertion that magagement has the right to override seniority to avoid overtime. I've grieved the issue twice, been awarded back pay at prepanel once (no precident value) and the second time the practice stopped after a week and I never heard about my grievance again... As far as I can tell, it's a simple pricing-of-labor issue. And if seniority means anything it is that the more senior employee gets the work if he wants it even if his labor costs the employer more.

    As far as accepting seasonal work meaning you go to the top of the feeder list...I don't see why it would. It does mean that you are qualified to do the work so that if work must be done you must be employed to do it in preference to management or outside hire, and if you get enough days in to make seniority... viola, you're a feeder. But everybody ahead of you on the list who wasn't trained is going to have a grievance, I think.
  20. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    Gandy im sorry i explained it wrong, The company has the right to work an employee into their guarantee while sending home a Higher seniority employee, however if that lower senior emp. gets more hours its grievable.

    When it comes to the super seniority that is how its done here. Theres always addendums to the contracts that might not be in the contract, which can cause alot of confusion. When you get hired into a seasonal position it does not matter how many days you put in they can still send you back, because at that time it was vacation cover help, or xmas help.