And Trimet executives/managers thought I was a tough cookie to crack. This guy is 1000 times worse!
Mr. Cusack, Director of Labor and Employee Relations:
Once I have all the documents that have been requested for Grievance #1154, we can discuss when to have a meeting. Please understand. I want to avoid using valuable company resources unless absolutely necessary. I’m sure you would agree. As for misconduct by your team, until I have all the documents (minus the investigatory notes/documents/public records taken during the meeting on April 15, 2020 by ASM Donnie Vercher; and subsequently shredded by ASM Vercher) for both Grievances 1119 and 1154, I do not believe it would be prudent to file any formal complaints. Please understand.
With respect to recording meetings, that is where we will just have to agree to disagree. Frankly, I find your statement, in your email below, ironic. You say we need to have this “hearing in person to avoid any misunderstandings”; yet recording the hearing, would guarantee no misunderstandings; or at minimum, maintain a detailed record.
To my knowledge TriMet currently records the following audio and/or video communications. I am sure there are more, but here’s just few that I know of:
· Records all calls from Operators to Station Agents mainline (audio) at all garages (including Rail Station Agents)
· Records all calls by both Bus and Rail Operators to Dispatch (audio)
· Records Bus Operator (both audio and video) while in service (including deadheading)
· Records Rail Operator (both audio and video) while in service (including deadheading)
· Records all Transit Centers (Video)
· Records all Rail platforms (Video)
Mr. Cusack, to not record investigatory and/or disciplinary meetings in my opinion, is not only inattentive, it is irresponsible of the District. You offer absolutely no rationale for your decision making process, when it comes to recording these types of meetings. Absolutely none. That should raise red flags to everyone.
This may be news for you, but when it comes to holding meetings/hearings with certain members of your team; information can most certainly be misunderstood, misrepresented and/or deleted entirely (ie. shredded).
For example, I recently participated in an investigatory meeting with Director Kathryn Wittman, ASM Donnie Vercher, myself and an ATU Representative. Mr. Vercher was introduced by Ms. Wittman, and she informed us that Mr. Vercher’s reason for being at the meeting, was to take meticulous/detailed notes. Those notes were/are a matter of public record. Based on what I observed during the meeting, I can only assume Mr. Vercher’s notes were so meticulous, specific and detailed, that he had no other choice but to shred said notes/documents. Especially after asking Mr. Vercher to make note of Ms. Wittman (Vercher’s boss) smiling or laughing, while I was explaining what took place.
In my view, Ms. Wittman was completely disrespectful to me during the meeting. Why do you suppose Mr. Vercher destroyed public documents? Do you believe it was an accident? I most certainly do not; given what transpired during the meeting. Specifically, when Ms. Wittman learned about an eye witness, to the incident that took place on March 31, 2020. I find it absolutely astonishing, Ms. Wittman had no idea about this witness. What is even more disturbing, is that one of your team members, ASM Jean Cook, chose not to inform Ms. Wittman of the witness. The witness was present during the entire conversation with ASM Cook. Why would Ms. Cook choose not to tell Ms. Wittman, and/or leave factual, material information out regarding a witness? Do you believe it was an accident? I most definitely do not. Since that time, the witness has put in writing, ‘I saw no misconduct on anybody’s part.’
Now, after reading a two page document, that appears more like a fictional short story written by Administrative Assistant, Sonja Larson, regarding what supposably took place out in an open area at Merlo Garage; Ms. Larson also fails to mention a witness of any kind. Do you believe that was an accident? I most definitely do not; it is a pattern. IF YOU AND THE DISTRICT WANT TO AVOID MISUNDERSTANDINGS, AND PROTECT THE TRUTH, YOU WOULD RECORD THE MEETINGS. Again, there is absolutely no rationale, to your decision making process. RED FLAG.
Mr. Cusack, what we have here, is a pattern of systemic corruption and deceit from TriMet, and its “leadership team.” I am convinced that the District’s actions by Director Wittman, and her team, is just another example of retaliation against me as a former Union Executive Board Officer; for exposing serious corruption of the District. The District’s actions are nothing more than an attempt to intimidate, bully, and harass me as an employee, so that I keep silent.
Another glaring example of TriMets corruption, retaliatory action(s), and what should be a clear “conflict of interest” by Human Resources/Recruiting; is a denied promotion to Rail Operator, that I applied for in October 2018. Specifically, and including, but not limited to you and your department; took retaliatory action against me for exposing TriMet management, and it’s handling of Grievance #xx61 (2017). The grievance raised serious issues, that included physical threats of violence, and possible multiple Civil Rights violations by the agency and its management; against at least one or more of their employees.
I assert, as a result of my involvement as the Union Officer in Grievance #xx61, I was denied a promotion by a key HR employee in the aforementioned grievance, Chartisha Roberts, (former TriMet HR- employee 2019) HR Recruiter Operations-Transportation. As a result, Grievance #9783 was filed against the District in January 2019, for not following hiring practices. Specifically, Article 2, Section 2 Paragraph 10 and 13 of the Working and Wage Agreement between ATU 757 and TriMet. The Step 1 Hearing was denied by the District and HR Supervisor Recruiting, Scott Erickson (former TriMet HR employee 2020) on February 21, 2019. The Step 2 Hearing was denied by the District and HR Business Partner- Labor Relations, Christopher Parra(former TriMet HR employee2019/2020) on March 26, 2019. The denial of my promotion, was not only retaliatory by Chartisha Roberts, but a clear conflict of interest; having both HR Representatives/Recruiters, Scott Erickson and Christopher Parra involved in hearing the Steps 1 and 2.
At the end of the day, I have done nothing wrong to warrant discipline, of any kind, and will continue to report any wrongdoing on the District’s part. In my view, your decision to not allow the recording of both disciplinary and/or investigatory meetings, indicates that you and/or your colleagues are facilitating the corruption.
Mr. Cusack, the District and its management can do better. You should DEMAND IT! I KNOW I DO...
What ever happened to transparency, accountability and “DOING the RIGHT THING?”