All it took for CTA President Forrest Claypool to start saving on absenteeism was to take a close look at the labor contract, and enforce it consistently.
That's what he told the Sun-Times editorial board last week: "We finally figured out that we were not consistently applying discipline ... and we were losing grievance cases because of that inconsistency and managers were handling it all differently," Claypool said.
It was last October that Claypool was demanding changes in work rules, including those for absenteeism that he said cost the CTA $40 million. But it was March when the CTA determined it wasn't "consistently applying discipline." From the Sun-Times blog post:
"We finally realized that we had the tools," Claypool said last week at a meeting with the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board. "...Once I finally realized that if we just trained all of our managers to handle the cases exactly the same, handle all the cases consistently and enforce the collective action guidelines as written in the collective bargaining agreement it would have an impact. And it has, tremendously."
The CTA also installed some technology, with check-ins that are electronic, so it knows exactly when "people are coming and going."
"We have definitely culled millions of dollars out of absenteeism," Claypool said.
Nice reporting job on this by Tom Frisbie, a former colleague of mine at the Sun-Times.