In the wake of the new M.O.U. between Local 205 and the city of Chattanooga, workers are having more of a say on things like policies, payplans, and ensuring that public employees are treated with the dignity, respect, and fairness they deserve. Here are three more recent developments that will help city workers safety and improve efficiency.
- Moccasin Bend Workers Win Cellphone for On-Call employees. Thanks to the hard work of union steward Terry Davis, public works employees who are on-call do not have to hover over their landlines if they don’t have personal cellphone service. Eligible 0n-call employees are now issued cellphones so they can be reached at any time. This improves efficiency and prevents employees from being written up if their own cellphones or landlines malfunction or if they have a limited personal cellphone plan or bad wireless access.
- Band-Aid Kits Now Standard Equipment On Public Works Vehicles. It seems like a no-brainer that sanitation workers and other Public Works employees who are in the field and are likely to get cuts and scrapes as part of their daily work would be able to get a Band-Aid kit on their truck so they wouldn’t have to stop what they were doing just to get bandaged up. But for some reason, this is what has been the case for years. SEIU members raised the issue with department administrators and eventually management relented and is now adding Band-Aid kits to all vehicles. This change not only improves safety for employees, it promotes efficiency so that truck crews don’t have to spend work time going back to their worksite just to get a bandage. All other major work rules and procedures related to injury-on-duty are not impacted by this change.
- Union Forming Safety Committee. SEIU Local 205 has been asked to help develop programs and ideas that could improve safety for Chattanooga city employees. Again, this speaks to a new relationship wherein workers who have “in the trenches” experience have a voice in their working conditions, rather than relying entirely on the limited experience of administrators and bureaucrats. Union members who are interested in being involved in the new Safety Committee are invited to contact their union steward or the SEIU representative for more information.