Disgusted and, yes, heading towards disgruntled
For my entire tenure at BART, our raises have *always* been below the national average. For example, the past four years the averages were: 3.5, 3.9, 3.8 and 3.9. We got 0, 2, 2 and 3. This has created some problems in BART hiring more educated and/or technical staff since pay has gotten well below average for a lot of positions (not everyone is a TO or Station Agent). What I've noticed management doing, however, is hiring people into different job classifications but having them do the same work while getting paid a lot more money. When we try to have this issue addressed, it is spun in the press as us trying to use "work rules" to cost BART money. To me, it's a basic unfairness to have to train people who are making $30K a year more than the experienced employees doing the training.
People gripe about "lazy public employees" but, after awhile, a place like BART just wears you down mentally, especially when you realize you will get NOTHING for doing a job above and beyond the call of duty other than being berated by your own management every four years.
I have sympathy for those on the front lines, too. Is there some overtime abuse, probably. But, overall, most people who put in a lot of extra hours give up time with their family and friends to do so. Instead of THANKING its employees for giving up their holidays and days off to keep service running when staff levels are too low, or working double shifts when there's a problem such as a fire, management uses this overtime *against* its employees for negotiating purposes and to turn public opinion against us. I *dare* management to make overtime optional--they can't and won't do it, the trains wouldn't run.
I would say overall I've been a good employee. I have always gotten very good reviews, but of course the only reward BART gives good employees is more work since they know we won't say "no".
I'm really starting to feel like I've been a fool. If this contract sucks as bad as I'm afraid it's going to, I'm just going to start putting in my 8 hours, then going home, regardless of whether I'm still in a meeting, discussion, etc. I also plan to start using up the enormous amount of sick leave I've accrued to look for work elsewhere, or may just retire. I'll take four weeks of continuous vacation, like the contract says I can, rather than one week at a time. Do doctors still put people on 'stress leave'?
The way I feel after these negotiations and our badmouthing by management and Linton Johnson is that this may be the first time in my life that I just walk off a job with no notice and without giving my successor(s) any information about my tasks, etc.