DOTS Drivers Deserve Safety and Respect

Recently, an AFSCME-represented bus driver was assaulted when he asked that three young people wear masks.  After being denied boarding, the teens proceeded to throw objects at the bus and damaged it.  When the driver reported the incident, management first tried to blame him and said that no one should be denied boarding if they are not wearing a mask.  Management also threatened the driver with disciplinary action. Not only did UMD's position on this violate the Governor's order on mask usage, it was wrongheaded and put workers and riders in danger.

AFSCME quickly raised awareness of this incident and management's failure on social media and in the press.  Not surprisingly, the public's response to this was swift, and management quickly reversed course.

DOTS workers submitted a letter in April demanding a voice in determining what a safe return and a safe workplace would look like, and they were rebuffed.  Local 1072 also issued our own demand to bargain in May, which was declined by management.  UMD's go-it-alone attitude towards health and saftey led to this incident, and it will continue to have failures like this until they recognize that they must negotiate with AFSCME.