Toledo Talk

Labor/union problems with the city water dept?

My office building is across the street from Biggby's coffee shop which is in the same building as the water company.

I went there today for my normal afternoon latte fix and there was a sign in the cashier's office of the water department stating they closed today at 1 for a meeting. There was an employee sitting outside their door in a foldup chair telling customers that they could deposit check payments in the drop box outside on the street and if it was a cash payment they could come back tomorrow afternoon. I would be furious if my water bill was due today and I took off work to come downtown to pay it in cash.

The employee said they had to shut down early for a meeting today and would be closed tomorrow morning.

I was told in Biggby's that the union is ticked off about something and they called an emergency meeting and they are voting on it tomorrow morning.

If the union has an issue, why aren't the meeting being held after or before normal office hours and those people work 8 to 4:30 with an hour lunch and two 15 or 20 minute breaks a day (and some take more than that who smoke a lot). Why can't they vote on their own time? Or stay open and vote in shifts. It doesn't take three hours to vote

I'd love to know how much this is costing the taxpayers. We are talking a half day for a meeting and at least three hours to vote.

created by classylady on Jun 26, 2014 at 03:35:31 pm     Comments: 14

source      versions


Comments ... #

Because it's the water department. They don't give a shit about providing good customer service when they're open.

posted by hunkytownsausage on Jun 26, 2014 at 04:56:18 pm     #   3 people liked this

It's also where the city hides all the a$$hole employees they're too chicken-chit to fire.

posted by Foodie on Jun 26, 2014 at 09:23:16 pm     #   2 people liked this

Agree completely Foodie. When someone f's up royally on the city's payroll instead of getting fired like they would in the private sector, they create a new six figure a year position for them in the water dept.

When Bell's deputy mayor really messed up and cost us over $50G, they created a six figure a year job for him in the water dept. instead of firing him.

Another city employee who doesn't even have a college degree, somehow manages to get a commissioner's job that requires a degree whose wife works for UT and gets a tuition waiver decides to get reimbursed from the city. He gets caught and would have been fired on the spot in the private sector and probably had criminal charges filed against him. But since he's a city employee he gets moved to the water department in a six figure a year job.

Not only is the water company a dumping ground for the city f-up's they get positions created for them giving them an increase in pay for doing nothing.

posted by classylady on Jun 27, 2014 at 12:49:45 am     #   2 people liked this

I was told in Biggby's that the union is ticked off about something and they called an emergency meeting and they are voting on it tomorrow morning.

So...did you bother to confirm this information with anyone who actually knew what was going on? Or, do you just believe whatever you hear in Biggby's?

I've never heard of a contract that allows the staff to shut everything down so that they can have a union meeting...but I suppose it's possible that one exists. Even so, to believe that one existed, I'd need a more solid foundation than "I heard at Biggby's..."

posted by Sohio on Jun 27, 2014 at 10:32:32 pm     #   3 people liked this

It's just reported that the union approved a 3-year contract. That's why they were allowed to shut things down. They were listening to the union board explain the proposed contract and then voted on it afterwards.

When I was with the Police Department we would occasionally have to work without the civilians if they were doing the same thing with their contract.

posted by shamrock44 on Jun 27, 2014 at 11:38:27 pm     #  

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2014/06/27/Members-approve-city-union-contract-by-wide-margin.html

Blade story says the vote was 6a-6p. The informational meeting must have been the evening before.

posted by Sohio on Jun 27, 2014 at 11:53:50 pm     #  

shamrock44 posted at 11:38:27 PM on Jun 27, 2014:

It's just reported that the union approved a 3-year contract. That's why they were allowed to shut things down. They were listening to the union board explain the proposed contract and then voted on it afterwards.

When I was with the Police Department we would occasionally have to work without the civilians if they were doing the same thing with their contract.

So......we bring the water department to a standstill (I realize it's rather hard to tell the difference between that and them actually working) so the taxpayer funded public employees can vote on their contract? They can't cut into their mindless evening TV watching to do this - it has to be done on our dime and inconvenience we, the people once again?

Yep. Sounds exactly like Tole-duh politics and related shenanigans.

posted by Foodie on Jun 28, 2014 at 05:12:49 am     #   1 person liked this

Foodie that's exactly how it worked with the AFSCME Local 7 union employees with the Police Department when it was time to vote on a contract.

Police Officers, no (different union) but Local 7 members such as Records Clerks, etc. yes.

posted by shamrock44 on Jun 28, 2014 at 07:09:14 am     #  

I work downtown and know that DPU closed the customer service center Thursday afternoon for a union meeting, but not sure what it was about (I'm figuring it was an informational meeting to discuss the new contract being voted on yesterday).

Something that really irritates me though is I was told the meeting ran until 5:30 and most of them have a quitting time of 4:30 and they got paid for that extra hour.

Yesterday morning the customer service dept was open and non-union (aka management) employees were taking payments. I'm not sure if they were handling customer service issues or just accepting payments.

Like foodie said it's hard to tell if 90% of those people are working or at a standstill anyway. There are a few great employees there, but at least 75 percent are screwoffs and if you eliminated their positions, no one would notice.

The city of Toledo needs a website like Dayton's water dept. You can go online and look at your account 24/7 and pay it online via an e-check or credit card with NO CHARGE. The City of Toledo charges an absurd fee to use a credit card and there is a sign in the cashier's window that they won't even accept coins (even if rolled) totaling more than $2.

They use the 5/3rd branch in the same building that is like 20 feet directly across the hall from the DPU customer service center and they have a police escort walk them over there every afternoon for their deposit. Instead of them dropping the deposit off and returning to work both the DPU clerk and the police officer take a seat in the bank and bs or read while a teller handles processing the deposit (which can be 45 to 60 minutes if the bank is busy). Why do they have to wait? They either talk or read so it isn't like they are watching the teller process the deposit. Seems like they should drop the deposit and an employee can go back and get the deposit slip or a teller at 5/3rd could just walk it across the hall. The teller isn't bringing back any cash from the bank deposit.

posted by jamesteroh on Jun 28, 2014 at 10:21:02 pm     #  

^^
This kind of crap multiplied by millions of similar positions and actions across the country. Is it any wonder cities and municipalities are broke?

posted by Foodie on Jun 29, 2014 at 08:49:40 am     #   1 person liked this

Sounds like Detroit's water dept isn't ran any better. Over half their account holders are deadbeats and they are now starting shutoffs after not doing them for a decade.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-detroit-water-20140629-story.html#page=1

It kills me the deadbeats are considering a class action suit and the lady in the pic has been without water for six weeks but can still afford to have her nails manicured

posted by jamesteroh on Jun 29, 2014 at 07:10:55 pm     #  

jamesteroh posted at 07:10:55 PM on Jun 29, 2014:

Sounds like Detroit's water dept isn't ran any better. Over half their account holders are deadbeats and they are now starting shutoffs after not doing them for a decade.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-detroit-water-20140629-story.html#page=1

It kills me the deadbeats are considering a class action suit and the lady in the pic has been without water for six weeks but can still afford to have her nails manicured

And don't forget the tattoos and the nice hair. Obviously she has her priorities straight. But I'll probably get accused of being racist or making generalizations for pointing that out....

posted by dell_diva on Jun 29, 2014 at 07:17:38 pm     #   2 people liked this

"you look mahvelous" --Fernando

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXydX9p_ZxA&feature=kp

posted by justread on Jun 29, 2014 at 07:23:19 pm     #  

dell_diva posted at 07:17:38 PM on Jun 29, 2014:
jamesteroh posted at 07:10:55 PM on Jun 29, 2014:

Sounds like Detroit's water dept isn't ran any better. Over half their account holders are deadbeats and they are now starting shutoffs after not doing them for a decade.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-detroit-water-20140629-story.html#page=1

It kills me the deadbeats are considering a class action suit and the lady in the pic has been without water for six weeks but can still afford to have her nails manicured

And don't forget the tattoos and the nice hair. Obviously she has her priorities straight. But I'll probably get accused of being racist or making generalizations for pointing that out....

Are you a racist? Do you WANT to be accused of being a racist? What, exactly, did you say, that was based on race? It sounds to me like you are a bit defensive.

Incidentally, you ARE making generalizations--albeit, not obviously based on race--in your observation.

First of all, you are assuming that, because this person has visible tattoos, that they must have abundant disposable income and/or they are irresponsible with money. In fact, once you have a tattoo, you have it pretty much for the rest of your life, unless you get it removed, which is complicated and costly. For all you know, this person may have gotten those tattoos years ago, when times were better for them. It is also possible that the tattoos you see were paid for by someone else...you don't really know. So, by definition, you are making a generalization.

You also cite the person in the picture as having "nice hair." "Nice hair" is a matter of opinion. To be perfectly blunt, the person pictured has hair that reminds me of what Mrs. Sohio's hair looks like when she first gets out of bed; having had no chance to do anything with it. You also are excluding the possibility that the person pictured has a beautician background; or that someone in her immediate family has one, thereby giving her the advantage of being able to garner "nice hair" at a lower-than-average cost. So, once again, by definition, you are making generalizations.

Another poster mentioned this person having manicured nails; when in fact, the nails I see look like fake press-ons to me. But I'm not a nail expert, so maybe I'm wrong...just an example of how perspective can alter your outlook on things.

I'm pretty sure looking at a picture of someone, and using what you see in that picture to assess their situation, is the essence of "making generalizations." So, while I don't intend to "accuse" you of anything, I think it is fair to state that you are, as a matter of fact, making generalizations.

posted by Sohio on Jun 30, 2014 at 12:31:03 am     #   4 people liked this