Thou Shalt Not Be Stupid

       It’s never too early to start thinking about what you would like to see in the next contract. Too often we focus on the money and the benefits and ignore the opportunity to make some changes in the language. We’ve done well with this strategy, the money is good and that goes a long way toward smoothing over some obvious problems with the language. One glaring mistake that we’ve made for too many years though is that we have not added a clause that says the company does not have the right to be stupid. 
      When I was a Steward, every day I had people come up to me and say things like:
     “They are sending me out today on a route blind. Somebody else who knows the route is doing the route I know. How can they be that stupid?”
     Or, “I’ve got an 8-hour today and more stops then I had yesterday. Do they really think that’s going to work?”
     Or, “They wrote me up for a mis-delivery and I was on vacation that week. Are they stupid or what?” 
     My response was always the same. “There is nothing in the contract that says they can’t be stupid!” 
     Article 11 of the Master Agreement is not being used right now. It’s listed now as “Reserved”. I think this may be what they reserved it for. I think the language would be simple enough to write. “The company agrees to pay one hour at the overtime rate to anyone to whom they do something that is deemed to be really stupid.” Then the monetary penalties would increase if the stupidity continues. 
     It’s never to early start making a list of what you want to see in the next contract.
Let’s start with Article 11.