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  • Laid off, Employer fails to acknowledge recall rights need advice

    I was laid off in October, along with over 75 other officers from my department. After being laid off, we were offered our jobs back as "temporary Pool" scab positions with no benefits and no union representation and no guaranteed hours. Some of my laid off partners took these pool positions.

    Over the past few months they began to call some of us back to work as regular status, however, they have called back what seems to be only those who worked the pool positions. Some of these officers ranked near the bottom in seniority and were called back before someone like myself who is at the top of the list. All of us laid off were on probation, because of this our employer states that we have no seniority, and thus they can call back in any order they want.

    Our newly elected union filed several grievances about this, while also negotiating a contract. Although separate issues, they claimed to have settled the grievances at the same time the contract was presented to the members for a vote. The grievances were settled a week before their arbitration date. They have settled as follows:

    1. Upon being called back laid off officers will start a zero seniority, with credit only towards probation.

    2. Those laid off will be called back in order from this point forward, however those previously called back will remain and thus have received a jump in seniority.

    Does anyone know if there is anything that can be done about this? I'm going to lose all of my seniority, pay raises, etc. I’m considering getting an attorney, but I’m not sure it will help. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    So you were laid off while on probation and your wanting to argue about not having seniority? If I were you, I would be thankful to even have my job back.

    Comment


    • #3
      I suspect a lot of it will depend on what your city charter or civil service rules say about layoff procedures. In the government agency I retired from, layoff seniority within each rank was predicated on total years of service with the government agency. Similarly, reinstatement was based on total years of service.

      You need to closely look at what your civil service rules say, particularly with regard to probationers. However, if your union says they have already settled the grievance in this matter with the city, then you may have little recourse. Traditionally, unions are considered to be the exclusive representatives of their membership, so often courts refuse to even hear cases brought independently by an unhappy officer when their union says they have already resolved the matter. To do otherwise says the union does not represent the officers and any deals they make on behalf of their membership are not binding.

      As far as the union getting less that what you wanted in resolving your grievance while negotiating the membership's contract, welcome to the world of labor relations. Contract negotiations are a matter of give and take and everything is on the bargaining table. It wouldn't surprise me if your union gave up a few things you wanted in your grievance, in order to get other things of greater value to the entire membership that they wanted in the new contract. It just happens.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DetroitAgent09 View Post
        I was laid off in October, along with over 75 other officers from my department. After being laid off, we were offered our jobs back as "temporary Pool" scab positions with no benefits and no union representation and no guaranteed hours. Some of my laid off partners took these pool positions.

        Over the past few months they began to call some of us back to work as regular status, however, they have called back what seems to be only those who worked the pool positions. Some of these officers ranked near the bottom in seniority and were called back before someone like myself who is at the top of the list. All of us laid off were on probation, because of this our employer states that we have no seniority, and thus they can call back in any order they want.

        Our newly elected union filed several grievances about this, while also negotiating a contract. Although separate issues, they claimed to have settled the grievances at the same time the contract was presented to the members for a vote. The grievances were settled a week before their arbitration date. They have settled as follows:

        1. Upon being called back laid off officers will start a zero seniority, with credit only towards probation.

        2. Those laid off will be called back in order from this point forward, however those previously called back will remain and thus have received a jump in seniority.

        Does anyone know if there is anything that can be done about this? I'm going to lose all of my seniority, pay raises, etc. I’m considering getting an attorney, but I’m not sure it will help. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
        First of all, you need to get over your bitterness at your coworkers. They are not scabs for taking open positions, even if they were temporary. You had the opportunity to take one of those positions, and you turned it down, now you are saying that it's not fair. Life is rarely fair.
        What is Perseverance?
        -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
        -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
        -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


        BOP - BPA - ICE

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by L-1 View Post
          I suspect a lot of it will depend on what your city charter or civil service rules say about layoff procedures. In the government agency I retired from, layoff seniority within each rank was predicated on total years of service with the government agency. Similarly, reinstatement was based on total years of service.

          You need to closely look at what your civil service rules say, particularly with regard to probationers. However, if your union says they have already settled the grievance in this matter with the city, then you may have little recourse. Traditionally, unions are considered to be the exclusive representatives of their membership, so often courts refuse to even hear cases brought independently by an unhappy officer when their union says they have already resolved the matter. To do otherwise says the union does not represent the officers and any deals they make on behalf of their membership are not binding.

          As far as the union getting less that what you wanted in resolving your grievance while negotiating the membership's contract, welcome to the world of labor relations. Contract negotiations are a matter of give and take and everything is on the bargaining table. It wouldn't surprise me if your union gave up a few things you wanted in your grievance, in order to get other things of greater value to the entire membership that they wanted in the new contract. It just happens.
          Well our old union president, who is on the transition team, states that according to civil service rules, we do not have callback rights. The attorneys that actually work for our new union say he is wrong, and our seniority is spelled out in our contract. Our new union has boasted that when this went to arbitration, it would be decided in our favor hands down. I too am feeling that this issue was used as a bargaining chip.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Spoken View Post
            So you were laid off while on probation and your wanting to argue about not having seniority? If I were you, I would be thankful to even have my job back.
            Originally posted by TheKansan View Post
            First of all, you need to get over your bitterness at your coworkers. They are not scabs for taking open positions, even if they were temporary. You had the opportunity to take one of those positions, and you turned it down, now you are saying that it's not fair. Life is rarely fair.

            There is more to the story that i did not mention. If you guys knew the entire story, and all the details, you might see it a little differently.

            And TheKansan, despite your opinion, I dont care what line of work were talking about, hiring a non union worker to fill a union position = SCAB. And I never said anything negitive about my partners, period.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by DetroitAgent09 View Post
              Well our old union president, who is on the transition team, states that according to civil service rules, we do not have callback rights. The attorneys that actually work for our new union say he is wrong, and our seniority is spelled out in our contract. Our new union has boasted that when this went to arbitration, it would be decided in our favor hands down. I too am feeling that this issue was used as a bargaining chip.
              There have been cases where a union member has sued their union for failure to represent them. This can be a real uphill battle because the union has a lot of discretion as to how it handles matters and it has the entire resources of the membership's dues with which to pay its attorneys to defend against such a suit, whereas you just have your savings.

              In addition, win or lose, the union is still your representative in dealing with management. Stick a thorn in their side now and it may well determine the level of enthusiasm with which they represent you on individual issues in the years to come.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

              Comment


              • #8
                We have a pretty strong collective bargaining unit here, I don't know what your MOU with the city states but ours is pretty clear. Officers on probabtion are At Will employees and are not covered under the contract until as such time they have successfully completed an 18 month probationary program. Now almost all pay their dues and become members in the Fraternal aspect. Though it is understood they have no rights under the bargaining unit.
                "I would rather live one day as a Lion, than a thousand years as a Sheep."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DetroitAgent09 View Post
                  And TheKansan, despite your opinion, I dont care what line of work were talking about, hiring a non union worker to fill a union position = SCAB. And I never said anything negitive about my partners, period.
                  Well I guess I am a scab then. I chose not to join the union at my present job. Kansas is a right-to-work state.
                  What is Perseverance?
                  -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
                  -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
                  -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


                  BOP - BPA - ICE

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    TheKansan, If you choose to opt out, that is one thing. And I will admit in law enforcement that would be a brave decision, as representation could prove priceless if needed.

                    However when union members are laid off and replaced the next day with non-union employees, that is where I have an issue.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TheKansan View Post
                      First of all, you need to get over your bitterness at your coworkers. They are not scabs for taking open positions, even if they were temporary. You had the opportunity to take one of those positions, and you turned it down, now you are saying that it's not fair. Life is rarely fair.
                      Wrong! In a Union Shop, they are Scabs. Laid off 75 and hire some back at lower pay with no benifits= Scab.

                      Your Union reps should be taking care of it. If they are not, get the others together and grab a local lawyer and put together a suit. You should be hired back in order. If the Union isnt taking care of you then take care of yourself.
                      It takes a Wolf.......

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TheKansan View Post
                        Well I guess I am a scab then. I chose not to join the union at my present job. Kansas is a right-to-work state.
                        If your pay and benifits are based on Union negotiated pay scales and benifits then you are not a scab, but just some one who wants to reep the benifits of a Union without paying for it. Not a Scab, just a cheap ***!
                        It takes a Wolf.......

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Irishluck31 View Post
                          Your Union reps should be taking care of it. If they are not, get the others together and grab a local lawyer and put together a suit. You should be hired back in order. If the Union isnt taking care of you then take care of yourself.
                          We had 3 pending grievances regarding this issue. We were told multiple times that if this reaches arbitration, this would be decided in our favor without a doubt as it is clearly written in our contract. The grievances were "resolved" at the same time our new contract was offered for a vote. Arbitration was only a few days away, and now they have resolved it?

                          They "resolved" the issue as follows:

                          1. All temporary workers that were called back/reinstated out of order will stay.

                          2. From this point forward they will call back in order (thus recognizing our recall rights).

                          3. We will receive credit towards probation, but not seniority (those called back out of order, will receive a jump in seniority).

                          4. We will have a seniority date (original hire date) and a new hire date (when we are called back).

                          5. We will receive a prorated amount for the balances of our sick and vacation time (my class gets 100%, anyone under us gets 50% or less).

                          I’m sure there is more to it as they are hesitant to release the settlement agreement to us. However they "claim" that all we have to do is call, and come and get it. Which we have tried multiple times without success.

                          It appears that they are recognizing our seniority but picking and choosing how they do it.

                          And now under our new contract a "newly" hired officer could be froze at 10% below minimum pay for years. With a new hire date, I can see them labeling us as new hires, and freezing our pay. Our union has a verbal agreement with the employer that this will not happen to us, and "assured" me that the verbal agreement will land arbitration in our favor, in the event that the employer does freeze our pay. And I know thats BS.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I dont know if I like all of that stuff...

                            Recalling out of order reeks of scab workers and good ol boy administrators.

                            Not sure which union your with, but it seems like it could be done better..

                            Good Luck
                            It takes a Wolf.......

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We just elected POAM, they took office about 2 months ago. Our previous union was basically non-existent. Many of us looked forward to having POAM represent us. But I must say after seeing the contract they offered, and how they settled the grievances for those of us on layoff, to say that many of us are disappointed is an understatement.

                              The contract they offered was almost a copy of the one that was voted down almost 4 to1 back in October. This time we had a forced yes vote and surprisingly to none, it passed by a landslide.

                              And what they settled on for our grievances is basically what the employer offered when the grievances were initially filed. This more than likely would have been awarded in our favor had it gone to arbitration. What did they settle?

                              We need to give them a chance, they inherited a neglected step child (our department). But for them to roll over for admin just as our previous union did, does not make us happy. I was a POAM supporter, but now I’m just disappointed.

                              Comment

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