Dear Mr. Kelsey,
I would love for this to be a ‘congratulations’ for a well deserved retirement. Unfortunately, with how COVID has been handled at this agency, especially regarding Operators…. I cannot.
I have in the past, been very grateful (and surprised) at your quick and courteous responses, to mine and others concerns.
Below are emails I have sent to my rail management. Your management team is segregating for COVID reasons…..they say. Not “social distancing,” “segregating.” Without a doubt, this is just another DISREPECTFUL slap in OPERATORS’ faces. It really does seem, that the only purpose for TriMet middle mgt. (currently) is to terrorize, harass, and discriminate against OPERATORS. COVID is just a convenient excuse and ‘acceptable’ way to do so. Is this your ‘legacy?”
Rail Operators have walked through the shop for over 30 yrs now. Now, we’re expected to take the ‘long’ way around, to get to our trains….even though, mgt is sooooooo concerned with us leaving the yard on time. I can tell you….I’m not concerned about leaving the yard late. It’s your mgt team that is. Then you allow changes to make it even longer to get to our vehicles?? IN THE FREEZING COLD…
This new “policy” (or whatever it is) via signage (really? Signage?) was made with no information given to Operators…..our badges still allow us to enter…therefore we are “authorized” to be in there. No LEGITIMATE reason. If you’ve seen how few maintenance people are in the area that Operators use, you would know this.
Why are we disciplined so harshly, and way too often, for MINOR rule violations (your mgt team is fishing for rule violations!)…yet mgt does not have to follow protocol?? All badges, except for maintenance, should have been disabled for that door, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY….OPERATORS SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED, AND GIVEN MORE TIME TO GET TO TRAINS. This is just ANOTHER disrespect thing…and nothing else. Mgt does not “think out” this, yet if we don’t “think out,” we’re disciplined.
As I told my mgr. Operators have been treated like 2nd class citizens for too long….now we’re “lepers?” Can’t walk in the safety zones, can’t use the restroom?? Again, 30+ years, and now we’re being segregated…..all in the name of “COVID??” If this is truly a “COVID” thing….then why is everybody allowed in the Operator areas?? When do we get our own areas??? “OPERATORS ONLY.” Break rooms…that only Operators can use?? IF this truly is a “COVID” thing…and not just another “2nd class citizen Operator” thing. This is SEGREGATION. This is not “social distancing.”
We are told to inform passengers. When we have delays…inform… it lessens anxiety, etc. Yet, we do not get that same RESPECT. Is this your legacy?
We’re harshly disciplined for masks, yet are sternly rebuked if we say anything about passengers not having masks. So it’s only a serious virus, when Operators take their masks off, for probably less than 5 minutes?? TriMet SUSPENDING them, etc.? As if there isn’t enough stress, under these conditions?
Having to take “the long way” around, and not be able to walk through the shop, may seem minor to you….but it is “the straw that broke the camel’s back” for me. As my right by labor law, I am going to do, whatever I can possibly do, to convince Operators not to sign in early; and to not rush, as we have to take the long way around, in the freezing cold, to get to our trains. We may want to walk faster, because of the cold…but that is when we trip and fall.
I would love to file HR complaints DAILY for the disrespect shown to Operators, and I may, after I finish my “final brief” for an ERB case. I know….they fall on deaf ears. I know…Operators get disciplined for being “disrespectful,” yet mgt gets NOTHING, unless they actually break the law. We break policy….discipline. Mgt breaks policy…rewarded. Is this your legacy?
One more thing….side note….we’re told to “ignore verbal abuse” in our 5 minute de-escalation training. Yet, if we “verbally abuse” mgt….we get disciplined. Are we less “human” than mgt? ….2ND CLASS CITIZENS? We are all employees, should we all be treated equally? At least as “humans?” Sorry, I just went through re-cert…and forced to watch a Diversity/bias HR thing…that again, TriMet mgt does not abide by, but Operators are expected to. In this day of recognizing “systemic injustices,” TriMet should get a ‘failing grade.”
With all this said….I would like you to REVERSE the ‘maintenance only’ through the shop to get to our trains, and/or the restroom. I would like mgt admonished for not following protocol, and not INFORMING OPERATORS. More importantly….stop the CONSTANT COVID chaos. I realize many working from home, may be going stir crazy, but we are in the “real world.” We need structure….not beat downs.
SIGNED-TRIMET LIGHT RAIL OPERATOR