I would like to thank all the members of Local 1564 for their overwhelming support for myself in the last election. It is truly an honor to serve this membership and I will strive everyday to continue to earn your trust and confidence.
I would not be able to do this job alone. I have one of the best group of officers and I want to thank them all for their excellent work. I would also like to thank our Vice Local Chairman and Treasurer, Andy Carter. With his help we have been able to fight a number of arbitration cases that I am confident will result in a win for our operators. Our Board of Trustees also performed and audit of our Treasurer Andy Carter, to ensure that our members' money was being properly accounted for. Our Board of Trustees gave Andy, and his books, the seal of approval and I would like to thank the Board for their excellent work.
A lot of good work has been done, but we will continue to fight hard everyday to make the lives of our members better. In our last contract we were able to eliminate the Two Tier System so that all operators can reach the top of the pay scale. The pay increases along an operator's career path also help to recognizing our members for their seniority. In the future, I will be working to reduce the years it takes to reach the top of the scale so that our members can enjoy the fruits of their labors sooner rather than later.
I would also like for Labor and Management to have a much better working relationship and I believe the contract is helping to accomplish that goal. Progressive Discipline and a better working relationship with management, can help us to resolve cases before they even reach arbitration. This way our members get back to work quicker and Union money is not unnecessarily wasted on lawyers and arbitrators.
Along with greater work protections, I would also like to see greater physical protections for our members. I had a opportunity to view a new prototype of a protective barrier that will be installed on the buses soon. I am generally pleased with the design because it finally provides some sort of protection for our operators. I have been lobbying management aggressively to get theses barriers installed at Divisions 5 and 18 as soon as possible. I am eager to see how they perform and what our members' experiences with them is like.
Finally I would like to see a greater involvement and attendance at our union meetings. This is not my Local. This is our Local. Our strength is our members. It is only with the participation of our members that we make this Union better.
It is an honor to serve and represent the hard working members of Local 1564 and I thank you all for your continued support.
Ulysses “Butch” Johnson
Chairman Local 1564