Local 35 Grounds Maintenance keeps Yale’s campus running safely as tough winter wears on January 24, 2011Posted by Local 34 in Federation.
During what is shaping up to be one of the most severe winters in recent years, the Grounds Maintenance department in Local 35 keeps the Yale campus accessible and safe.
Working around the clock in the snow and ice, the men and women of Grounds Maintenance plow and shovel, spread gravel and salt and fight back the elements so the classrooms, laboratories and libraries can stay open.
Everyone who works at Yale is deeply grateful for the sacrifices the Grounds Maintenance crew makes every day. In severe weather they are away from their families and work all hours of the day.
The heavy snows this year have been particularly challenging because, like many other departments, Grounds Maintenance is struggling with understaffing, a situation only made worse because the difficult work conditions can lead to injuries. They also have to fight to make sure that management provides them with the equipment they need to get the job done, from working plows to adequate gloves for below-freezing temperatures.
Our union family is thankful for the work that Grounds Maintenance does because they make sure the rest of us can get to work. As this difficult winter goes on, we also hope that Grounds Maintenance workers get the support and respect from the University that they deserve.
Local 34 Members in Dermatopathology Stand Up for Injured Coworker January 24, 2011Posted by Local 34 in Members.
When Clinical Technologist Mike Napoletano returned to work in the Dermatopathology lab after breaking his collarbone, his coworkers responded by adapting the workflow, picking up the parts of his job that he couldn’t do, and having him in turn take parts of their jobs that he could still complete.
Department management and Human Resources decided, however, to send Mike home and require him to use his paid time off until he was fully healed, which could be weeks out of work. Mike’s fellow union members decided to act.
“There’s plenty of things that Mike can do in the lab despite his injury, and with snow days and sick days taking a lot of people out of work, we really need all the help we can get to manage the workload this month,” said Clinical Technologist Jess Corbett, Local 34 Executive Board Member for the area.
“We all felt strongly that we could reorganize the work to allow Mike to fully participate and meet the level of performance we need in the lab. We decided to go to the department management and insist that they bring Mike back to work.
Committee members went to the manager as soon as she got to work that day to ask for a meeting. Nine of our union members from the lab and the clerical support team told her that we felt Mike should be brought back to work and reimbursed for the time he missed.
The manager said she’d go to HR and get them to clear Mike for work as long as he could produce a doctor’s note okaying him for light duty. He was back at work the next work day. We’ll file a grievance if we need to, to get him reimbursed, but acting collectively was definitely the fastest way to get him back on the job.”