Earlier this year, Union Pacific instituted a revised attendance policy for transportation employees. This new policy contained the following provision which allowed them to discipline employees who utilized their collectively bargained compensated leave days (personal leave, vacation, etc.):
Q: 7. Are personal leave or single vacation day(s) subject to review under the Attendance Policy?
A: Personal leave and/or single vacation days may be subject to review if the use of these days indicates a frequency or pattern of avoiding work and failing to protect one’s employment on a full time basis.
Such compensated time is part of the collective bargaining/agreement bedrock guaranteed to operating employees. Unilateral changes to how such compensated time is utilized is highly improper under the Railway Labor Act.
In response, SMART TD General Chairpersons Brent Leonard representing GO 953, Al Nowlin representing GO 569, Jerry Kalbfell representing GO 225, Roy Davis representing GO 577, Steve Simpson representing GO 927, and Gary Crest representing GO 887, worked together in solidarity, serving a single notice of SMART Transportation Division’s intent to initiate a strike unless Union Pacific removed this egregious new provision from its attendance policy.
Upon reviewing the Organization’s position, Union Pacific removed the policy provision restricting the use of compensated leave, and SMART Transportation Division members will not lose time over a work stoppage due to this issue. This is a precedent-setting victory in the protection of member’s use of their compensated vacation and leave days.