953 Back   System Absenteeism Policy (as explained by Labor Relations)

"Worst of the Worst"

     Following the meeting in Kansas City at which the "new" absenteeism policy was discussed with the assembled General Chairmen it seemed, for a brief period of time, that a concrete and uniform policy had finally been adopted and operating employees could know exactly where they stood regarding the Carrier's expectations of their availability for service.  Documents handed out at that meeting were the basis of the preceding news item on this website concerning the "new" absenteeism policy.

     Unfortunately, the information presented at that meeting led to a misunderstanding.  Rather than revealing a fixed standard of availability, which is how the presentation was perceived by this General Committee, Carrier officers were merely setting forth their definition of "the worst of the worst" in terms of absenteeism.

     As the language in the following letter demonstrates, operating employees are still in the dark concerning availability levels expected of them and may become liable for discipline for exceeding parameters that are vague and ill-defined.  Essentially, management can't, or won't, tell you what "full time employee" means, but you will be notified when you are, in their subjective view, not one.







Mr. J. W. Babler
Genera! Chairperson
United Transportation Union
307 West Layton Avenue
Milwaukee, Wl 53207-5927

Mr. D. L. Hazlett
General Chairperson
United Transportation Union
5990 SW 28th Street, Suite F
Topeka, KS 66614-4181

Mr. R. E. Karstetter
General Chairperson
United Transportation Union
4702 West Commercial Drive
North Little Rock, AR 72116

Mr. D. Martz
General Chairperson
United Transportation Union
13384 E. 10500 N Road
Grant Park, IL 60940

March 15, 2004

N 390.60 - 4              S 390.60 - 4
U390.60 - 6               W390.60 - 4
390.60 - 6                  450 - 4
VP 1.50 - 1

Mr. L. R. Bumpurs
Genera! Chairperson
United Transportation Union
400 Randal Way, Suite #102
Spring, TX 77388

Mr. T. L. Johnson
General Chairperson
United Transportation Union
4411 Old Bullard Road, Suite #600
Tyler, TX 75703

Mr. J. K. Klein
General Chairperson
United Transportation Union
501 Mission Street, Suite A
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Mr. J. Previsich
General Chairperson
United Transportation Union
7960B Soquel Drive, #381
Aptos, CA 95003


          This refers to our discussions in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 2, 2004, regarding Union Pacific Railroad Company's Attendance Policy. The purpose of this letter is to clarify a misconception regarding that policy.

          That misconception is based on a belief that the long-standing fundamental tenet of Union Pacific's Attendance Policy - that all employees will be full-time employees -has been replaced by the criteria used to identify the worst offenders of the Attendance Policy. This belief is incorrect and does not in any way reflect the content of our discussions in Kansas City. Any employee who uses any attendance standard other than "full-time" is in violation of Union Pacific's Attendance Policy and subject to discipline.

          As a reminder, the criteria discussed in Kansas City are the standards currently being used to identify the "worst of the worst' employees with respect to attendance. It is only for the purpose of identifying those "worst of the worst' that the criteria we discussed in Kansas City is being used. The criteria do not by any measure create or serve as a threshold for determining who is in compliance with the Attendance Policy. There are many employees not identified through application of these criteria who are not in compliance with Union Pacific's Attendance Policy and, as mentioned earlier, they too are subject to disciplinary action. Moreover, it is important to remind everyone this criteria can and will be revised as needed to facilitate and enhance our focus and efforts on identifying those who are not fulfilling their obligations as full-time employees of Union Pacific.

          I trust this explanation sets the record straight as to the proper application of Union Pacific's Attendance Policy. Any counsel to your constituency to the contrary is misguided. Specifically, any counsel that the current "worst of the worst" criteria discussed in Kansas City establishes a threshold attendance level different from "full-time" could result in disciplinary action toward a constituent.

          In conclusion, I ask that a copy of this letter be forwarded to your local officers in order to ensure they properly understand the purpose and workings of Union Pacific's Attendance Policy, including our use of the evaluation criteria. A copy of this letter is also being provided to all Union Pacific officers involved in the administration of the Attendance Policy. If you have any additional questions regarding this policy, please feel free to contact your Labor Relations Director, Scott Hinckley (402-271-2339) or me at your convenience.



                                                                 A. Terry Olin
                                                                  General Director - Labor Relations                                                                  Arbitration & Negotiations

cc: Mr. J. J. Marchant
      Mr. R. D. Meredith
      Mr. W. E. Loomis
      Ms. S. F. Boone
      Mr. T. M. Stone
      Mr. R. D. Rock
      Mr. R. P. Guidry - Spring, TX
      Mr. A. L. Hallberg - Roseville, CA
      Mr. C. R. Wise
      Mr. F. A. Tamisiea - LM005NR
      Mr. R. B. Weiss
      Mr. D. J. Duffy - Room 1206
      Mr. J. H. Koch - Room 1206
      Mr. W. S. Hinckley - Room 1210
      Mr. M. Brazytis - WT08
      Mr. T. F. Jacobi - Roseville, CA
      Mr. J. M. Santamaria - Kansas City, MO
      Mr. M. F. Kelly - LM005NR
      Mr. S. R. Barkley - Spring, TX