I’ve been working in the area of fleet management with GPS racking for more than 12 years now. I wonder, with a “shaking my head” kind of wonder, how long it will take before business and government leadership realizes how utterly remiss they are if they are not supervising their vehicles and workers using GPS tracking?
I will more than pay for itself … what’s the REAL reason you are scared to know what your employees are up to?
Hamilton fires 29 city road workers who allegedly ran personal errands when they should have been patching potholes
When a small army of road crews left the city’s public works yard, the “hot box” of fresh asphalt in each municipal truck was full and the workers had a list of potholes needing repair.
At the end of the day, the asphalt was gone and workers confirmed their roads had been fixed.
Sixteen of those city work crews, however, were secretly followed by private investigators armed with video cameras and access to GPS tracking devices on the trucks one day in October.
The result of the covert surveillance was unveiled by the city Monday: Almost all those monitored were fired —29 unionized employees, with another two suspended without pay — accused of drawing a day’s pay for, in some cases, just minutes of actual work.
The workers are accused of spending the day in coffee shops, bars, at their homes and running personal errands.
(emphasis added: I can assure you, from direct, personal experience, this happens ALL the time in both commercial operations and municipal work forces. It is happening RIGHT NOW in your city, unless you are already monitoring for it.)
They weren’t patching roads, they would go and do personal things
“They weren’t patching roads, they would go and do personal things,” said Lloyd Ferguson, chairman of the public works committee.
“To do less than an hour’s work for a full-day’s pay is unconscionable. That’s why we had to deal with it so swiftly and so severely.”
He called it the largest purge of municipal employees in Hamilton’s history.
What happened to the asphalt is still under investigation.
A city worker told the National Post some employees dumped it into sewers or ravines, while others sold it to private paving companies doing driveway patching.
A Hamilton resident told the Post a door-to-door salesman from a paving firm bragged in the summer he would patch their driveway using genuine fresh asphalt, “the same stuff used by the city.”
Chris Murray, Hamilton’s city manager, said the case started through internal monitoring of productivity that flagged a problem. The city then retroactively checked records on GPS tracking devices installed on most of its work vehicles.
The GPS data showed some trucks had not travelled to the areas some workers had been sent to and for which employees had signed off at the end of the shift as having attended.
Outside investigators were called in, leading to the covert surveillance and further investigation.
“What our evidence reveals is that not only was that work not done, but they weren’t even working,” said Mr. Murray. “What they said happened and what in fact happened were two different things.”
Each of the 31 employees under suspicion was interviewed individually. Only two spoke truthfully about their activities, said Mr. Ferguson.
While the workers who came clean each received a 30-day suspension without pay, the remaining 29 were fired for neglect of duty, theft of time and breach of trust.
That almost all workers who were followed — randomly selected by investigators — were found to be breaching city expectations is concerning, said Mr. Ferguson, who is also an elected city councilor.
“It does beg the question and, believe me, members of council will be asking these questions of how rampant it is,” he said.
“I would suspect that this is not unique to Hamilton.”
Chris Murray, Hamilton’s city manager
Mr. Murray? I can assure you it is not unique to Hamilton at all. Thanks for standing up, recogniz9ing an issue, and taking a responsible approach to rectifying the rape of Hamilton taxpayers. If only more city management would take their role that seriously.