Training Commentary


Although training activities are to continue, change will happen with the organizational structure, with the dissolution of the National Training Center, a not-for-profit entity, and its replacement by two Taft-Hartley trust funds to support training. A notice of layoffs recently filed with the state of Michigan indicating the center will cease operations at the end of the year lists 97 affected employees, although it's unknown whether some or all of those employees might be employed in the new organization. Staffing needs are yet to be determined. The new vision for joint activities and training between the union and company is contained in a memorandum of understanding on the FCA-UAW Center for Employee Development, which was included with the 2019 labor contract documentation. Officials would not comment on whether the FCA-UAW Center for Employee Development is the name planned for the new training operation. "The parties recognize the importance of conducting joint activities consistent with sound oversight, governance and accountability including strict financial controls and compliance with applicable laws," according to the memorandum. Joint activities in the 2019 FCA/UAW national agreement cover a range of areas, including new hire orientation, health and safety, World Class Manufacturing and technical training. The memorandum noted that an audit of the trust funds conducted by an independent firm will happen each year and that "the joint purchase, sale or distribution of FCA-UAW promotional products and novelty items shall be prohibited." Benjamin Eisner, a Philadelphia-based attorney who is cocounsel to the National Training Center, said UAW members and others should be aware of several features of the transition to the trusts, including greater transparency. "They also should know that the people in charge of the trusts will be accountable, held to strict fiduciary standards, and subject to careful oversight by independent auditors and by government regulators," he said. "The planned sale of the Nine Mile Road facility will not affect UAW members directly, but they should know that any sale will be made prudently, in accordance with applicable law, with proceeds of the sale ultimately going to the trusts, as stated in the memorandum of understanding between the UAW and FCA." More: Can the UAW take a reform cue from the Teamsters' direct elections?


But, those cameras were turned off for about a month. The city of Cedar Rapids told TV9 the derecho took those cameras offline after they lost power on August 10. The cameras stayed off until September 4. While the cameras were turned off, the vendor for the cameras accessed the cameras for damage while the city replaced signs during the time. The cameras gave out around 5,300 tickets during August, which was a record low number of citations. Normally, the cameras regularly give out around 15,000 tickets a month. City Spokesperson Greg Buelow told TV9 in an emailed statement the city believes these high-speed cameras make the roads safer and help change behavior. “Before automated traffic enforcement cameras were in service, there was a 43.2 percent chance that an accident on U.S. Interstate 380 that is monitored visit by the ATE system would result in an injury,” he said. “After the cameras were activated, the likelihood decreased to 26 percent.” TV9 also learned of those tickets, which are contested about a quarter of those are dismissed. The city says those tickets are dismissed for a number of reasons including being a vehicle reported as stolen or an emergency vehicle.