Fast Track Steward Graduate Fights and Wins at Concord DMV

Article Published on July 29, 2022

When management at the Concord Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office provided improper notice on upcoming schedule changes, Job Steward Alicia Garner took a stand against management, enforced our contract, and improved working conditions for her fellow workers.

Alicia has been a state employee for nearly 10 years, almost half of that time as a DMV employee. She was appointed to her stewardship just a year ago and completed the Fast Track training program.

After nearly two years of consistent 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. scheduling for the 45-person office, management posted a change in work schedules with only two business days advance notice, in violation of our contract and without reasonable respect or consideration of the away-from-work lives of the DMV employees.

What’s more, the newly-issued schedule had contact violations of break and lunch schedules. For example, some employees were to be sent to break an hour after coming to work or going to lunch after working five or more hours. What’s more, there was an assumption on management’s part that on any given day, employees would be mandated to work overtime without notice.

“We are essential employees, serving the public in uncertain and dangerous conditions since day one of the pandemic. Then, they drop this schedule change on us,” said Alicia. “Not acceptable.”

Seeking to solve the issue informally and regain the respect from management her fellow workers deserved, Alicia worked her way through three layers of management, all of whom thought it was okay to violate our contract. Early on, one of the office managers actually said, “this has been approved by the union.”

“This is a black and white issue. The contract calls for five working days’ notice,” Garner said. So, she enlisted the help of Local 1000’s Union Resource Center, and ultimately, Anica Walls, our Vice President for Organizing/Representation.

Fighting rude and disrespectful behavior from management, canceled meetings, and in some cases, outright lies, Alicia’s efforts prevailed. Schedules are now being posted in a timely fashion, breaks and lunches are timed appropriately, and overtime is being offered, not expected.

“I couldn’t have done this myself,” said Alicia. “With the help of my fellow employees, union leaders, and the Union Resource Center, this might not have been fixed.”

Alicia’s advice for the next person or group to have their rights violated? “Stand up, you can do this. The union has your back, and legit always wins.”