The Washington Post

Metro and union working to start new employee hotline

Metro and its largest employee union — Local 689 — are working to start a new hotline for workers to anonymously report “close call” incidents.

The hotline comes out of recommendations from the National Safety Transportation Board’s investigation of Metro’s deadly 2009 Red Line crash.

Officials said they are still working out details of a memorandum of understanding with the union on the hotline and don’t have a timetable of when it will be working. It is expected to serve as a way for employees to report on incidents concerning safety and other matters.

An independent group will monitor the information, send it to a team of peers to review, and look for chronic problems, according to union and Metro officials. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s statistics division is working with Metro and the union to set up the hotline system.

Union officials said they have some concerns that issues raised to Metro’s Inspector General or the transit agency’s safety department result in employees being disciplined or their names not being kept confidential.

Jackie Jeter, president of Local 689, said she hopes the new hotline will “allow people to feel more comfortable with reporting incidents that they would not have normally reported to the authority.”

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.

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