PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Five Pittsburgh Public Works employees are back on the job after a five-day suspension.
Sources confirmed the employees refused to fill potholes late last week, told their supervisor they were all sick and went home.
“They were sick. They were all asked to turn in doctors’ excuses to support their sickness,” Public Works director Mike Gable said. “Five of them said they were sick. They, again, they didn’t produce doctors’ excuses to warrant their sickness, so they were suspended accordingly.”
Sources indicate the employees had patched potholes for several hours. When they were asked to patch more potholes, they collectively decided they weren’t going to do that, and they all became “ill.”
They served their five-day suspension and are back at work Thursday night.
Sources confirm this incident was part of a larger so-called crackdown on Public Works employees who may not be working as hard as expected. Included in that process are GPS tracking systems on every Public Works truck.
“We’re always looking at the GPS information to see how productive our crews have been,” Gable said. “It has resulted in some disciplinary action, yes.”
The city just started looking at GPS data. The GPS systems show where city vehicles have been, how fast they’re going, how long they’ve idled or been shut off.
This sort of tracking is common in private sector companies, such as FedEx.
Public Works employees say their union contract says they’re not allowed to be disciplined based on GPS data.