December 2017 Labor Rep Reports
Case: EAA was contacted by an EAA member who is a supervising Forensic Print Specialist who was concerned about the impact Hepatitis A epidemic could have on her subordinates. She was concerned that forensic print specialists engage people who have Hepatitis A or are carrying the virus and go into environments that are conducive to the spread of the disease.
Outcome: In response EAA contacted the Councilmember Mitch Englander, the Chair of the City Council’s public safety committee asking that the City to pay for hepatitis A vaccines for all forensic print specialists, photographers and polygraph examiners. EAA was notified by the Councilmember’s Englander’s office that he thought the idea was an excellent one. Consequently the Councilmember was having a motion drafted that would make vaccines available to all City employees who work in positions where it is likely that they would have exposure to hepatitis A.
Department: Public Works
Case: A member received a NTCD for not receiving authorization prior to working overtime. The member initially contacted the Union because he didn’t get paid the OT. The Union called management and advised them that he must be paid if he worked the extra hours.
Outcome: The Department paid him but also handed him a NTCD at the same time. The Union filed a grievance and argued that the employee is sent out on emergency cleanups that can’t be vacated at the end of a shift and having to work past end of shift was part of the nature of the job. In addition, the grievant attempted to contact the supervisor but it went straight to voicemail. He then sent a text to him. The Supervisor had a new phone number that he had only provided to a few people. The grievant was not one of those people. The supervisor argued that he should have called the other Seniors to get the correct number. The union argued that the grievant is also a Senior and should have been provided the number like his peers were. He should not have to jump through hoops to get it while trying to respond to emergency cleanup. The grievance was granted at the second level and the notice was rescinded.
Department: Recreation and Parks
Case: [ARB-3447] On February 25, 2015, Arbitrator John M. Caraway issued a decision that the Department of Recreation and Parks pay Recreation Supervisors a 5.5% differential over their highest paid subordinates. The department refused to comply with the decision and maintained that they made a mistake in calculating the supervisory differential, overpaid the Recreation Supervisors, and that the supervisors reimburse the department.
As in all arbitration cases EAA requested that the Arbitrator maintain jurisdiction should there be a disagreement as to the Arbitrators award. In this particular case due to actions taken by RAP’s HR Director over an extended period of time eventually resulting in the actions described above EAA asked the Arbitrator exercise his jurisdiction over the case. The Arbitrator, Mr. John Caraway, did so and reheard the matter on October 4, 2017.
Outcome: Arbitrator Caraway ruled in favor of EAA/Recreation Supervisors and ordered the department to “restore the supervisory differential to all affected employees retroactive to the date the supervisory differential was removed.” In doing so he stated that the testimony offered by the department was “only hearsay and self-serving testimony incapable of supporting any such findings” to justify rescission of the supervisory differential. Furthermore, the Arbitrator found that the department’s argument that they applied the wrong method in calculating the differential that resulted in the overpayment “to be abject [miserable, despicable] twaddle [rubbish, nonsense]” and that “sophistry [deceptive reasoning] of it’s [departments] position in the arbitration was ample demonstration the department did not want to pay the supervisory differential and essentially its argument is that after many years of interpreting the requirements of Administrative Code Section 4.62.2, it simply did not know how it was done. This position strains credulity [gullibility].”