Van Etten Board discusses drug and alcohol policy –

Concerns were raised on June 8 about Van Etten’s new drug and alcohol policy at the town’s board meeting. The drug and alcohol policy had been set in place with the primary focus on employees with a Commercial Divers License (highway and truck drivers). After the policy was drafted and approved, the town board received a letter from Local Union #529 explaining that they are not in agreement with putting a policy in place that included disciplinary consequences that have not been agreed to by both parties. The disciplinary action in question was the termination of an employee for violating the policy.

Councilperson Fred Swayze explained that the Union did in fact already agree to these disciplinary actions in a collective bargaining agreement. According to the agreement, “the employer has the right to discharge an employee, without pay, for violation of the drugs policy, consuming alcoholic beverages on the job and willful disregard of safety of the public and other employees.”

The board passed a resolution to reply to the Union with a letter stating that the agreement was done lawfully and complies with federal and state law, and that they have agreed to everything in the policy already.

Deputy Supervisor Harold Shoemaker raised another concern. He described a conversation between Highway Superintendent Trim Grippo and Town Supervisor George Keturi about where the drug and alcohol test results should be sent and who they should be sent to.

Allegedly, Grippo told Keturi that he thought the town clerk, Dawn Rose, should not be the person to receive any of the results pertaining to alcohol and drug tests. He said that they should be addressed to Keturi himself and sent to Keturi’s home address. According to Shoemaker, Keturi agreed to this arrangement.

Neither Grippo nor Keturi were at the meeting.


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