LDRM presents “Phase 2” production standards to local leadership

Summary: On Thursday LDRM met with UE 228 representatives (via phone) to present the company’s “Phase 2” production standards. 
LDRM’s Phase 2 plan includes both increases to production rates and a new focus on discipline for failure to reach those rates. While taking some factors into account in multiple areas, other areas that have backlogs LDRM plans to implement standards that are simply unachievable. Read on for details.

UE 228 E-board and stewards, along with our field organizer Zach Knipe met via phone with LDRM to discuss their Phase 2 proposal for “production standards” aka quotas. Representing LDRM was Rick Mills – Site Manager, Shawna Caouette – Change Manager, Mickey McGuirk – AOM, Greg Naffa – AOM, and Jamie Reinhardt – AOM. Rick stated that the intent of Phase 2 is to implement the ability to discipline for failure to maintain standards. 
Beth Wheland, Lily Moore, Celeste Brooks, Dee Towne, and Shane Tassinari spoke on behalf of the units that would be most affected by the implementation of these Phase 2 numbers.
LDRM was looking to slightly increase , Celeste pointed that out that their data for CP production numbers was based on a point in time when CP had additional coding in ART to cover for cases that had to be put in the hold queue and weren’t completed. This is important as now only cases that have been completed count towards your total. Celeste also pointed out that if you have a large case, think dozens to over a hundred pages, it counts as one case and can throw your numbers off for an entire week.
Beth and Lily echoed this concern for DR, and all UE members present questioned the drastic jump in the number of cases expected to be completed per hour in DR (an increase of over 2 cases per hour) considering we have had reports that the actual average of cases processed is around 4.2 per hour, which is below the current expectation of 4.5. When questioned about this Rick stated “Historically we have been able to process that many cases.” In this case historically means somewhere around 2012 prior to switching to the No File Review system, and switching back to full file review in late 2016. These numbers are also suspiciously close to the numbers that PAE wanted to implement in January of 2017, and was stopped because it was a unilateral change in our work environment. Since then the NLRB, under the guidance of former General Counsel Peter Robb, gutted a long standing precedent that did not allow for unilateral changes without bargaining. The upside for us is that LDRM’s focus during negotiations was on implementing an incentive system, and that our union contract maintains that any standards must be reasonable.
We also questioned the increase of 10 cases per hour for both Visas and Passports in FR as several members, including some who have been in Facial since its inception, are on performance improvement plans for quality. Which raises the question of how is someone supposed to improve their quality when they are expected to do even more. At this point Rick admitted that unlike other units where they removed the top and bottom 10% of processors and based their average on the 80% between, in Facial they just took a straight average of all workers. We did point out that this isn’t a fair representation of what they said they would be doing to calculate standards, and is not how they are calculated in other departments.
There were other increases in other units, some that seem drastic but are based on what is actually done/ possible. There has also been the introduction of standards on tasks that were listed in Phase 1 but not increased.
We made clear that we are well aware of the issues they need to address, and Zach clearly stated that the expectation is for LDRM to maintain reasonable standards as set out in the CBA and that it is likely we will grieve any discipline handed down for failing to maintain standards.
Management was given lots of feedback, which they have stated that they will review.
UE 228 has not agreed to any of these standards. If new production standards are presented to you by management please know that these standards (or any disciplinary action taken as a result of these standards) remain subject to the grievance and arbitration procedures and will continue to be challenged by local leadership.

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