New MTA Staff, New Challenges, New Opportunities

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Summer has come to an end and Fall is upon us, even if the weather has not gotten the message.  The change in the season brings many changes to the MTA and new business from the MTA Board.  Those changes have brought new challenges but also new opportunities for this General Committee and our members.

CEO Phil Washington has predictably brought in his own management team to help him lead the agency.  He made changes in staff from Public Relations to Operations and even created the new position of Chief Innovation Officer that we are following closely.  This General Committee had a chance to meet with the new head of Operations Jim Gallagher earlier in September. He is a strait forward, get things done kind of guy and he seemed very eager to clean up many of the issues we have been dealing with.

One of the issues that I am very concerned about is the backlog of cases at Third Level and arbitration.  Your General Committee has been scheduling arbitrations and pre arbitration and I have been working with Labor Relations to address the issues that are leading to the backlog.  We are starting to see some positive changes but there is a lot more work left to be done.  I will continue to be vigilant and use the tools in Article 27 to bring about swift and positive decisions for our members.

As many of you know, I have been traveling around to the divisions to meet with our members.  Although I have not had a chance to visit all of the divisions yet, I have noticed a positive change to morale in the places I have been.  I believe that changes to the discipline rules have changed the relationship between management and labor for the better.  I am committed to continuing this trend of increased morale and that why I plan to be a much more visible and accessible General Chairman than my predecessors.  If you see me at your division, please come up, introduce yourself and tell me about your day.

Finally, I want to remind everyone that October is open enrollment for our healthcare benefits.  Please carefully review the materials and plan options sent to you by our Trust.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call our Trust Fund Offices in Irwindale.

In Solidarity,

Marco Gudino
General Chairman