New Rules Weaken Overtime Protection at UPS

Under a contract loophole, UPS and the International Union have agreed to new restrictions that will make it harder for drivers to file grievances against excessive overtime.

Our contract is supposed to protect package car drivers from unwanted excessive overtime. But in a memo dated Dec. 18, the International Union announced that it had negotiated new guidelines that will make it tougher for members to file excessive overtime grievances.

Click here to download a copy of the memo.

The new guidelines make it more difficult for members to get on an Opt-In list which gives them the right to file a 9.5 grievance—and some drivers on extended routes will not be allowed to get any relief from excessive overtime.

In the last contract, UPS agreed to raise the penalty for 9.5 violations to triple time pay. In exchange, the company insisted that the contract require drivers to sign an Opt-In or Opt-Out list.

The company’s goal was to limit the number of drivers who could enforce their protections against excessive overtime. But it didn’t work. Most drivers who were given the choice signed the Opt-In list and protected their right to file grievances.

In many areas, UPS never bothered to post the Opt-In lists. That made all drivers eligible to file 9.5 grievances.

Restrictive Guidelines

Under the new guidelines agreed to by our union, no driver will be eligible to file a 9.5 grievance until they have signed an Opt-In list. A driver can only add their name to the Opt-In list after they have worked three days over 9.5 hours in a workweek.

Then they can go to the Center Manager’s office and request to be added to the Opt-In list. The list will not be posted. It will be kept in the Center Manager’s office.

Once a driver signs the Opt-In list, they must stay on the list for five months. After that the driver will be removed from the list. The driver will have to work more than 9.5 hours on three days in a work week again before they can sign an Opt-In list gain.

Until now, drivers in the Central Region have used Article 12 of the Central Region Supplement, which makes no mention of Opt-In / Opt-Out lists.

At this point, there is no definitive word on whether members will continue to be able to file under the supplement without qualifying under the new 9.5 guidelines.

Extended Routes

The new guidelines also contain a loophole that allows the company to keep drivers on extended routes from grieving excessive overtime.

Under the rule, drivers on extended routes are entitled to relief from excessive overtime “provided the company can reasonably dispatch work to other drivers.”

UPS has been insisting that drivers on high mileage routes cannot file 9.5 grievances. You can bet they will use this vague language to their advantage.

Mid-Contract Change

Many members are asking how the 9.5 rules could be changed in the middle of the contract.

A loophole inserted in the new contract created a 9.5 Committee and gave it the power to “adopt guidelines” over the implementation of the 9.5 language. See Article 37, Section 1(c).

The new guidelines were agreed to by our Union Representatives on the 9.5 Committee.   Click here to download a copy of the memo on the new excessive overtime rules.

Click here to let us know what is happening with excessive overtime in your building and/or to get help with 9.5 issues.

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