Scheduling as a weapon


Under the terms of our contract, BTS is required to “offer” RPT’S and SPT’S “equitable distribution of offered hours.” It means they need to give all BTS workers an equal opportunity to work any available hours within a team territory or common locality.

BTS is always looking for creative ways to take advantage of contract language, even if the spirit and intention of a clause is clear. Scheduling is no exception.

We can’t stop them from taking this approach. But we can prepare you to handle these attacks. Knowledge is power. The more we all know about the terms of our contract and the tactics of our employer, the stronger we are as a team. And the stronger we are as a team, the more likely we are to arrive at equal terms with our Employer and Bell Craft employees.

Our contract says that “scheduling” shifts guarantees you an 8 hour or 10 hour work day. These days are mandatory.

BTS is waiting until the same day to “offer” you work, and trying to get away with offering a 4-hour shift. These hours can be considered under “equitable distribution of hours.”

The Union’s interpretation of the collective agreement is that a “same day” shift is “offered hours” and the Union believes that the decision to work or not is for the member and not BTS to make. This has been the practice for 20 years. The Union will be grieving this issue, and proposing to BTS that the issue be sent to arbitration for a decision.

If you receive disciplinary notice of any kind, contact your union steward immediately so that we can we can engage the company and file a grievance on your behalf.

Most of us are after full work days. We want guaranteed hours, the small bit of room to plan ahead (pick up the kids? take care of a parent? Run an errand?), and the dignity of knowing what we’re doing the next day when we go to bed at night.
This kind of stability affects our quality of life. Bell doesn’t think our quality of life plays a role in their bottom line. They’re wrong about that, of course, and it would be nice to change their minds in the long run.
The Bell Craft RPT employees are not facing the same tactics and we all know who our “REAL” employer is, so why not treat us equally, and not as a second-class workforce.