Buildings and Grounds of officials have decided to revise the current shuttle bus schedule and lengthen drivers' work shifts by the end of the week. Thomas E. Curtis '81, a representative for drivers who are considering affiliating with the Teamsters Union, said yesterday.
Edward W. Powers, associate general counsel for employee relations, last night confirmed that B&G officials plan to change the shuttle schedule, but added that he was unaware of any proposed lengthening of drivers' work shifts.
When they asked the University to recognize their right to unionize last week, drivers also demanded changes in the current shuttle schedule, longer work shifts, and increased wages.
The shuttle drivers' demands did not affect the University's decision to revise the current schedule, which was implemented only three weeks ago, Powers said, adding, "The new runs just weren't functioning well."
On the Quarter Hour
Curtis said that Carl V. Swanson, superintendent of central services for B&G, decided yesterday to revise the schedule so that buses will run every 15 minutes, instead of the current rate of every 12 minutes.
Swanson was unavailable for comment last night.
Drivers have said, since they began protesting the new schedule three weeks ago, that the 12 minute intervals between runs made it difficult for passengers to know when to expect service.
If the University said that the schedule changes came as a result of drivers' efforts to unionize and were designed to remove the drivers' Incentive for unionization, the Teamsters could file an unfair labor practices petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Curtis said.
"These changes should not have any effect on our plans for forming a union." Curtis said, adding that a union could guarantee drivers a voice in the schedule-making process.
Curtis added, however, that drivers will now "feel like they've gotten something out of their attempts to unionize."
An overwhelming majority of shuttle drivers submitted union authorization cards to Teamsters Local 379 yesterday, Curtis said, adding that Teamsters of ficials are currently considering the drivers request for affiliation.
Teamsters representatives did not file a petition for the drivers' right to unionize with the NLRB yesterday and were unavailable for comment.
University officials have so far refused to comment on whether they will recognize the drivers' right to unionize. But several drivers said Monday that Harvard officials told them in a recent meeting that the University definitely would not comply with the request for recognition.
One reason the Teamsters and drivers have delayed the submission of the unionization petition to the NLRB is that the board's precedent generally does not recognize the right to unionize workers who are primarily students, Curtis said.