Hundreds of members tuned in to our UPS Teamsters United webinar "Make UPS Pay for Supervisors Working." Watch the webinar recording below, and check out these frequently asked questions to help you take on supervisors working at your building.
Frequently Asked Questions:
There are always supervisors working in my building. Where do I start?
Start by talking with your coworkers about the problem. Get other members on board with enforcing the contract before you start filing grievances. Supervisors working isn’t helping them, it’s taking money out of members’ pockets. Once you have won people over, start with the low-hanging fruit.
When is it not a contract violation for supervisors to do bargaining unit work?
It is the responsibility of management to staff the operation. In rare cases, when an “act of god” occurs, and there is a situation management could not possibly have planned for, it is permitted for supervisors to do bargaining unit work. For example, if there is a major storm and many members have unplanned absences.
Why is it important to ask the supervisor why they are working before I file a grievance?
Grievances can be thrown out if management is not given a chance to correct the problem. Ask why they are working, offer to do the work instead, or ask them to bring a bargaining unit member over to do the work. Always document the supervisor's response in your grievance.
How is quadruple time penalty pay triggered?
Quadruple time penalty pay is triggered by the third violation in a rolling 9 month period. For instance, if Supervisor Jim works on January 1 and January 2, and those grievances are filed on January 2 and 3 and settled on January 30, all grievances filed between January 30 and October 30 should be settled based on quadruple time penalty pay.
Should I file a group grievance on supervisors working?
More grievances against supervisors working violations is better than fewer grievances. Instead of filing group grievances, have a grievance writing party. Get members together to fill out grievance forms and file together. Including witnesses will strengthen your grievances and help combat divide and conquer and retaliation.
Supervisors are constantly working at the end of the shift, even when I file. What else can I do?
Make sure everyone on your shift knows they are guaranteed 3.5 hours of work every day. If management tries to send members home, they can request their guarantee if they are willing to stay and work. If management still sends them home, file a grievance under Article 22 of the NMA.
Lots of members are afraid that management will retaliate with harassment or unfair discipline if they start filing grievances. How do we overcome fear of retaliation?
Don’t go it alone. Involving other members is the best defense against retaliation. Find a few coworkers who will file grievances with you, and ask members who are not ready to file grievances themselves to be witnesses on your grievances.
Article 21, article 37 grievances and NLRB charges are other possible tools to push back against retaliation for union activity. Every situation is different. Contact TDU for advice and support.
How long should it take for grievances to be settled?
The grievance process can take a long time. This is why it's important to build as much support as you can for enforcing the contract and to be consistent. Don't fall into the trap of filing over a short period of time and then "letting it go" while you wait for a settlement. When members are filing consistently and filing often, it becomes harder for grievances to ignore. Follow up with your Business Agent or Shop Steward to check on the status of your grievances.