A lot of people think UPS issues discipline as punishment for mistakes. UPS likes to say that discipline is not designed to punish, but is a tool they use to raise awareness and change behavior. I had many arguments with UPS management over the use of discipline.
My biggest complaint is that I feel discipline is unnecessary to change the behavior of adults. We are not children. No adult is happy about getting spanked. We are all old enough to change our behavior without UPS threatening our jobs. If the bad behavior is reviewed and a promise is made to correct it, then what’s the need for discipline? Management counters that the first time a mistake is made; it usually is only talked about and documented. Then, if it’s not corrected, discipline is used. Most discipline, they say, is given on the second offense.
Progressive discipline should never be taken lightly. Whether intended to punish or not, it’s always a threat to your job. Warning letter, suspension and then termination. Three strikes and you’re out. You should always file a grievance when you receive discipline and you should never receive discipline without a union steward present. Discipline without a steward present is invalid.
So why do we have discipline? Unfortunately, because it works. It’s cheap and effective. It gets immediate attention and in the short term, it gets results.
How do you avoid discipline? It’s simple.
Use the methods.
Every day at every stop.