You’ve informed the union and your drivers that GPS units have been installed in company vehicles for GPS tracking but their response was less than favorable. Now what? Don’t worry, we can help! We have provided the following recommendations to assist you in getting union buy-in to your telematics purchase.
Navigating Union Thoughts
The unions may feel that they have no say in the telematics program and therefore reply with a “no” pointing to concerns around privacy, “big brother,” and conflicting union policies.
We are knowledgeable that Unions submit Grievances through their Bargaining Units and it’s based on Past Practice, which governs the outcome of the Grievance. Past Practice doesn’t always take new technology into consideration and that should be discussed. Technology advances and changes. Often, Driver policy is not signed by the union drivers.
How to succeed with Unions
For a successful implementation of a GPS Insight telematics program, it is critical to:
- be positive! Communicate to all union workers that GPS is installed on all company-owned vehicles to protect them and recover assets. Without GPS tracking, you have no evidence to back drivers and refute claims.
- offer rewards or recognition for conducting safe driving practices, if possible.
- roll out GPS device installation and tracking across all vehicles and not just a certain union’s vehicles to avoid any concerns around biases across any union workers.
- provide consistent data access.
- implement homogeneous deployment and reporting/alerting across the fleet.
There is the ability to hide speed data from the system if this is a union concern.
- emphasize that GPS Insight has very specific and secure user permission profiles to ensure no one sees or has access to any data they shouldn’t.
Lastly, if you are able, position the GPS program within a company policy, which must be signed and acknowledged by union drivers. This has been a successful route with other customers who also deal with unions.
If you would like to view a few sample policies, please see the below:
Recommended First Approach
First impressions matter, right? Yes! Making a good first impression with your union drivers may help union adoption as the union hears positive feedback from drivers. We have provided a five-step approach to help you make a good first impression for your telematics purchase.
Provide a thorough introduction and training about GPS tracking to all union workers covering:
1. Why they use it (to ensure safety/ensure fleet Maintenance/utilization)
2. What information is being looked at (specific reports, no speed data/false positives, etc.,)
3. How the data is being used
4. Award system for safe driving
5. Full disclosure about the rollout, preferably having a union manager and driver assist
A customer shared that for the first six months everyone thought the GPS telematics program was “big brother” and none of the union drivers had created user profiles in the system, even the union dispatchers. After clear, consistent communication about the goal behind telematics and time, union driver engagement has increased.
Again, consistency and positive reinforcement are the game-changers. There cannot be variance across any of the union groups as that can get them in trouble. Slowly, telematics usage has evolved to include odd hours, an in-depth involved safety program, and more, but the communication as to why this new tool was needed, the knowledge that the requirement applies to all fleet drivers, and that the program must be implemented is key.
If your organization uses GPS technology the right way, you’ll call out the performance of your best employees. Then, you’ll work with other employees to model those positive examples. This boosts morale and provides unions with the incentive to provide a positive environment and protection for union drivers by buying-in to a GPS telematics program.