New York City transit workers and union officials are upset about a memo that has recently been released. In the memo, the MTA dictates a new policy that only gives token booth workers a maximum of 10 minutes to go to the bathroom and get back to work.
According to reports, the new directive was issued because there have been cases of workers leaving their booths to move their cars so they don’t get parking tickets.
Every station is different so some employees will have it worse than others, reports The Daily News. If someone works close to a bathroom the 10 minute limit may not be as big a deal as it is to someone who has to walk quite a ways to get to the facilities.
“Sometimes you’re traveling just 20 feet; I’m not going to lie to you,” said Paul Piazza, an executive board member with Transport Workers Union Local 100. “But sometimes it’s two or three blocks away. That’s why there can’t be a time limit.”
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One MTA employee did not sound particularly enthused with the new rule.
“I don't even want to drink water or coffee because I know I will have to go to the bathroom soon,” Tareque Ahmed, a Queens token booth clerk, said. “This policy is ridiculous. Some people take longer than others...”
The bulletin was issued on Feb. 4 by a vice president in the NYC Transit division. A MTA spokesman said it should be viewed as a guideline rather than a set-in-stone rule.
“We wouldn’t penalize someone if they are just a couple of minutes late coming back from a legitimate comfort break,” Charles Seaton said. “The main reason is the safety and security of the employee, plus frankly, not leaving the booth unattended, which doesn’t do our customers any good.”
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Seaton pointed out that if an employee has to notify a supervisor when they leave as well as when they return to their booth, as is stated in the memo, it lets management know that the employee is safe.
Source: (The Daily News)