Canteen Shutdown Management Meltdown

Since the beginning of March, the employees of GWC have not had access to adequately stocked canteens, or vending machines. For over 60 days employees have been asked to make due with substandard conditions, and remain productive when they are being denied access to food and water! While we can appreciate the email sent out over 8 weeks after the shutdown announcing that “legal restraints are currently preventing the KBA (Kentucky Blind Association) from placing a permanent vendor in the Gateway Center Canteens.” This late declaration also stated that “The KBA planned to have a temporary vendor in next week to keep the vending machines operational until the legal issues are resolved,” well it’s next week and the vending machines remain empty.

It is now clear, Management does not have this situation solved. At this point with the failed temporary vendors, and promises of stocked vending machines that remain hollow, we must move forward with implementing solutions!  You have rights!

In the 2016 National Agreement Under Article 27 Section 1G states that the employer is to provided employees access to refrigerators, and similar appliances, i.e. coffee pots. If these items are not provided in the canteens, you have a right to have them in the work area. Such items must be inspected and approved in advance. To obtain approval go to OS GETSERVICES from IRWEB, click on FACILITIES then click Safety Accident reporting then click Ergonomic Evaluation.

IRM 6.610.1.2.7 (07-30-2015) Lunch (or Meal Period) and Break An approved period of time (normally 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 1 hour) in a non-pay and non-work status.

Lunch or meal period schedules may vary by office based upon work requirements, and the availability and convenience of eating establishments.

Not only have the Canteens/vending machines shutdown, we’ve also had the closing of Skyline, leaving employees with minimal affordable options. Due to the change in availability, and convenience of eating establishments in the Covington area, employees that require additional time to eat or engage in permitted personal activities should request to extend their lunch breaks. You are required to change your TOD (Tour of Duty) when extending your lunch break, to either come in early or leave later to make up for that additional time.

NTEU73 will continue to work to ensure employees needs are met. We understand the hardship this is causing especially to those employees working the phones, or have mobility issues. If you need additional assistance or have any issues getting approval for appliances or extended lunch breaks, please notify us immediately! You can come into the union office or send us an email at,

Tanesha McCants