Transit/Organizing- Connect Transit objects to bus dispatchers being part of union

Posted: January 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

January 3, 2013

BLOOMINGTON — Connect Transit is arguing that the labor union covering 82 of the bus system’s employees should not expand to include dispatchers.

In November, Amalgamated Transit Union Local No. 752 filed a petition to represent additional workers, including an administrative assistant, receptionist and seven dispatchers.

The local ATU currently includes bus drivers and maintenance workers.

At the time, supporters said such a move would solve problems including unequal treatment and inconsistent adherence to policies.

But Connect Transit, formerly called Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System, said in a Dec. 13 objection to Illinois Labor Relations Board that the seven dispatchers are supervisors and ineligible for inclusion in the union.

“An unavoidable conflict of interest would arise if the dispatchers were included in the bargaining unit that contains the very same operator-subordinates that they discipline and direct,” said the letter, obtained by The Pantagraph through the Freedom of Information Act.

Connect Transit said dispatchers choose which drivers receive overtime work, assign vehicles to drivers and serve as the “front-line” for determining whether to discipline drivers.

Connect Transit’s objection does not appear to address the administrative assistant and receptionist positions.

ConnectTransit General Manager Andrew Johnson, citing policy, declined comment, saying it was a personnel matter. Local union president Mick Ferrell was not immediately available Thursday; he earlier indicated he would decline comment.


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