T ‘Picking Room’ taking a hike
Software replacing manual shift section process
THEY CALL IT THE PICKING ROOM, the place where T union employees go one at a time by seniority to pick their schedule for the next quarter by making marks on paper sheets posted on the walls.
T officials said a new labor agreement approved on Sunday by the Carmen’s Union and Monday by the T’s oversight board will automate the picking process and make the room unnecessary. The officials said new software will allow workers to make their shift selections remotely on their phones or computers and reduce overtime for workers who monitor the process.Brian Shortsleeve, the T’s acting general manager and chief administrator, said the picking process would typically take eight weeks to complete. He said the T will introduce electronic roster picking software over the next 12 months that will allow the transit authority to develop weekly work schedules maximizing operator work time.
Shortsleeve said the 20 inspectors assigned to the picking process will no longer be paid extra and overtime work will be eliminated, saving the T $4.7 million in the first four years of the contract. He said another $2.6 million will be saved by eliminating situations where workers inadvertently schedule themselves for shifts too close together in violation of a rule requiring a 10-hour break between shifts.