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Metro bus driver disputes firing

A Metro bus driver who was photographed texting while driving a bus and later fired has filed a grievance over her dismissal, according to Metro.

Metro has not yet acted on the grievance, Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel said.

"The grievance process is a multi-step process. The grievance is still ongoing at this time," Taubenkibel said.

A rider took a photo of the driver as she was texting on Feb. 19, tyson.gifand the picture was posted on the blog UnsuckDCMetro.blogspot.com. The blog posted news of the grievance filing Wednesday.

It is against Metro rules for drivers to text or use phones while operating vehicles, and Metro launched an investigation following the appearance of the photograph. Metro identified the bus operator, who had been a Metro employee for more than two years, and terminated her on March 18.

Union officials declined to comment on the case.

-- Ann Scott Tyson

Metro adopts one-strike policy

By Michael Bolden  | June 3, 2010; 6:20 PM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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Comments

The correct URL is unsuckdcmetro.blogspot.com

Posted by: unsuckdcmetro | June 3, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and news of the grievance was also first reported on unsuckdcmetro.blogspot.com

http://unsuckdcmetro.blogspot.com/2010/06/filin-griev-bk-2-wrk-soon-cu.html

Posted by: unsuckdcmetro | June 3, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I thought it was also against the law in the jurisdictions Metro services for *any* driver to be texting while driving - why is the driver not facing criminal charges?

Posted by: Moonwolf | June 3, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Judging from the fact that unsuckdcmetro had to *AGAIN* comment to get attribution or a link correction it seems that WaPo is is either clueless or is willfully ignoring a source they frequently go to.

Also, if the link wasn't correct the first time, where's the "Correction/Update" admission?

As much as I love the Post and want it to survive, simple things like this give me little hope.

Posted by: NotForYou1 | June 4, 2010 3:20 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for getting it right, Post, but how about a little transparency with the TWO corrections made in this post?

Posted by: unsuckdcmetro | June 4, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to know what the grounds for the grievance are. If she was caught texting, that's a pretty clear violation of the policy. What could she possibly argue? That she was at a stop light/sign? That she was waiting at a bus stop? I doubt the driver has much of a chance of success. Deal with it, and move on.

Posted by: akchild | June 4, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

It's the same old story. Many people think they're special and that rules/laws don't apply to THEM. And when they're caught breaking a rule/law and disciplined or ticketed, the usual whine is that it's either discrimination or that they're being singled out.

Posted by: checkered1 | June 4, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Metro hasn't fired any white drivers for this, therefore it is discrimination.

Posted by: seraphina21 | June 4, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

her only argument could be she was checking her call log?

Unions suck!

Posted by: joebananas1 | June 4, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

This is actually pretty much of a non-story. Any union member can file a grievance. That doesn't mean they prevail.

Grounds? Hmmm...There was a photo posted on an anonymous blog site that didn't show the drivers face and the photo doesn't indicate whether the bus was moving or not. There is an anonymous witness that is cited on the anonymous blog. Does the anonymous witness time of photo match up with the time that the fired operator was at the alleged location? Has the original photo been provided to the management or is there a possibility of photoshop? Did the anonymous witness provide a bus number that doesn't match the number of the bus that the operator had that day? Does the anonymous witness come forward to testify?

On the issue of penalty. Does the "punishment" fit the "crime?" Some would argue vehemently--yes--anyone operating a bus while texting should be fired. Others may argue that a suspension for a first offense is more reasonable or perhaps disqualification from operating a bus or train--making them eligible for other employment such as custodian. What was the overall safety and work record of the employee? Should that be considered?

These are among the questions a union would have to answer or face court charges of failing their "duty of fair representation."

Posted by: kreeggo | June 4, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

We go to unsuck first, before the Post for Metro news.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | June 4, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

for the record the bus was not only stooped it had broke down. the driver was calling metro to report the break down but the incident was right after a number of other metro incidents so metro fired her.Now we are getting to the bottom of the story . that is why you need unions so you can get truth.

Posted by: papaal06 | June 4, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

if the bus was broke down, the operator would be standing either in the driver area, or outside the vehicle, calling CENTRAL DISPATCH with the cellphone.

The pic clearly shows the operator, attempting to hide the phone, while using the right hand to hold the steering wheel.

papaal06. . . your attempt at explaining the picture doesnt add up w/ the facts as given, or shown.

Posted by: Robbnitafl | June 4, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

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