The union representing three New York City Transit Supervisors who were hit with multi-day suspensions for failing to properly advise the agency of unsafe track conditions is vowing to fight the sanctions.
New York City Transit Supervisors John Beckles and Daniel DeSanctis received 15-day suspensions while Jackie Ferguson was banished for five days.
Railroad Ties Fell
The penalties were the result of an NYCT investigation into the circumstances leading up to chunks of rotted railroad ties falling from the elevated portion of the B and the Q lines that run through the Ocean Parkway station in Brooklyn June 14 at 4 a.m.
No one was injured.
Subway Surface Supervisors Association President Mike Carrube said his members were being scapegoated because the union went public about the agency’s record of ignoring dilapidated track conditions.
“We went back a couple of years and we found that our members had submitted on their track inspection reports that these tracks were very dangerous,” he said in a phone interview. “Those track reports were submitted to their superiors and they submit them to someone higher. It went all the way up the chain, and nobody did anything about it.”
Following the Ocean Parkway incident, Mr. Carrube publicly complained about what he said was the lack of follow-up by management on the reports being generated by his members. “Like everything in the Transit Authority, when their managers are culpable for a problem, they try to pass the buck down the ranks on working people, like our three members here.”
Warned of Ties Hazards
According to NY1, “a database of inspection reports shows a May 2017 inspection that warned of ‘danger of debris from deteriorating ties striking pedestrians/vehicles’ and another inspection report from June 4 stated “rotten ties presents a hazard of falling to the street.”
The union leader said there was also a flaw in the reporting system that may mask issues like the Ocean Parkway track conditions.
“There is a memorandum out there from the Superintendents that tells our people not to duplicate any safety issue that already exists,” he said. “In other words, if you go out there and spot a safety problem and you report it, if the following guy goes out a month later and finds the same condition on the same track, he is not supposed to put it on his report because it’s already there on a previous report. They say don’t duplicate.”
“NYC Transit takes track maintenance very seriously and will never compromise safety,” MTA Communications Director Tim Minton said in a statement. “We investigated an incident involving debris falling from elevated tracks during the summer in Brighton Beach, for which disciplinary action is pending. Given the number and roles of those employees involved, the matter was also referred to the MTA Office of the Inspector General.”
Mr. Carrube said he planned to fight the suspensions through the internal hearing process. “But if we can’t get these three cases tossed out completely, it is definitely going to arbitration,” he said.
Not the First Time
Ten days before the Ocean Parkway mishap, NY1 reported metal debris from a train running on a portion of elevated track of the Number 7 line in Queens narrowly missed a pedestrian.
“It’s at least the third time this year debris has fallen from elevated tracks in Queens” reported the cable-news outlet. “In February, a rotted wood plank impaled the windshield of an SUV beneath the 7 line on Roosevelt Ave. near 65th St."
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