MBTA forced to hire back Green Line driver who fell asleep on the job, tested positive for cocaine

The Herald reports on several "sacked MBTA punks" whom arbitrators ordered the T to hire back. In the case of the sleepy coke user - fired less than a month after a fatal trolley crash in Newton - the arbitrator found the drug test violated her privacy rights by ordering a drug test.

Neighborhoods: 

    Topics: 

    Free tagging: 

    Comments

    Arbitration is broken.

    By on

    In my experience, the arbitration system as a method for resolving these kinds of disputes is hopelessly biased in favor of employees.

    To paraphraze a famous line about what it took to get thrown out of Guns 'n Roses, you pretty much have to freebase a kitten for an arbitrator not to reinstate you. With back pay. And other damages. Frankly, some of stuff mentioned in the Herald article is minor compared to some cases I've seen.

    Hence, whenever it is a viable option, I decline to accept arbitration provisions, in in cases where that is not viable, I seek out other vendors or service providers.

    Unfortunately, we don't have an alternative public transit provider. Ugh.

    Is it?

    By on

    If you ask the other 15 of the 22 people who went to arbitration and didn't get their jobs back, I bet they have a different opinion on how well arbitration works.

    As for the other 7, if the MBTA agreed to fire people within a certain time limit after they are accused of a crime, like assault (sounds like it wasn't on the job even though it was against a co-worker), then if they don't do it, they are in the wrong to fire her. If it means firing her before she's guilty, then she should have thought about her job before she even showed up at that gas station to be considered for arrest.

    The person convicted for child rape in 1987 played by the rules and got a job in 2000 (13 years since his crime) before they refused to hire for sexual abuse violations. He was asking for a promotion when they fired him by back-dating their 2004 rule change against him. Fair?

    The woman who got her job back after 7 months of injury time for getting egged wasn't expounded on enough in the article to know what the arbitrator was thinking or not...funny, they had details on everyone else, so I'm guessing her claims may have had some legitimacy but the Herald dumbed it down to make it sound like a sham.

    Then the article discusses the sleeping cocaine user. Why did her union rep let her submit to the drug test just for sleeping on the job? Why should a company be allowed to ask for a drug test just because you were caught sleeping on the job? Now that the drug test is thrown out by the arbitrator, can the MBTA review her case for discipline solely due to sleeping on the job and can her anyways? The article doesn't say.

    Speaking of what else the article doesn't say...it said there were 7 arbitrated cases that got the employees rehired. This isn't the original Gilligan's Island theme song where you get to name 4 egregious ones and then say "...and the rest". Where's the Professor and Mary-Ann? Where are the details on the other 3 arbitrated cases that they found?

    I think it's safe to assume that those were people who were so egregiously UNfairly fired by the MBTA that the arbitration process worked to get them their jobs back and the Herald couldn't make any stink surrounding them.

    So, 15 of 22 cases (68%) didn't get the fired person their job back. 3 of 7 arbitrations (43%) got people unfairly fired their jobs back...that's a success rate of 82% in the arbitration process even if you give the most biased assumption that 4 cases in the article were the worst thing in the world to happen at the MBTA this past year and we're all going to die now because of it.

    But, no, don't put down the pitchforks and torches on account of me...please, whip yourselves into a frenzy...just be sure to turn off the lights when you're done. Thanks.

    No Mandatory Drug Tests?

    By on

    I find it more amazing that there are no mandatory drug tests for the drivers or anyone who is responsible for public safety.

    Even if there are no routine drug tests, at a minimum an accident should automatically trigger a drug test. That is what the FAA requires of pilots after any accident.

    is the Newton crash relevant here?

    The article doesn't say that the suspended driver was actually involved in that crash. There's a legitimate issue here, but that was poor reporting or editing on the Herald's part. The driver of the Newton train was killed in that accident, and to my knowledge drugs and alcohol were not determined to be a factor there.

    Why it's relevant

    By on

    After the crash, the T stepped up testing of trolley drivers - and found this one driver.

    I particularly like the one about the A&B on colleague

    The T waited until she had pled guilty, i.e., was "convicted", to fire her. Which seems completely reasonable, as you wouldn't want to fire an innocent, wrongly accused person. But apparently the arbitrator thought they should have fired her earlier. Which would probably also have been impermissable- a Catch-22. So stupid.
    I'm a strong supporter of unions, but some of these people are just turkeys. Sleeping on the job, assaulting a coworker, pedophilia- one wonders why the union would even bother with these cases, as they just end up reflecting poorly on T workers and public employee unions in general.

    Started riding my bike

    By on

    I started riding my bicycle, because it's becoming more efficient, and SAFER then the MBTA.

    Not kidding, but a little.

    MBTA management

    I have a few older family members who worked for the T in various capacities, and they all tell me that the MBTA has a horrible track record of workplace issues. They have lost millions of dollars in lawsuits for all different types of things. Racial bias and sexual harrassment are probably the worst two things, but the MBTA has failed to keep a safe work enviornment for its employees and they have also failed to properly train, discipline, promote, demote and basically manage their employees.

    Union labor laws like the one mentioned here is just another place where the MBTA has failed horribly.