Arbitrator Rules City Failed To Maintain Safe Staffing Levels When It Assigned Specialty Officers to Patrol

Police-Patrol-CarBy: Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

In the City of Markham, an Illinois arbitrator ruled that the city violated its CBA by assigning members of specialty units (traffic detail, detectives, community service, etc.)  to fulfil the minimum staffing requirements of four full-time patrol officers.  This case because the contract provision at issue was not developed during bargaining decided in interest arbitration.

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Arbitrator Finds Just Cause For Discharge Pennsylvania Corrections Officer Who Uses Sick Leave To Participate In Facebook-Posted Body Building Photo Shoot

By Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

i_m_with_stupidIn County of Allegheny, 134 LA 134 (Heekin 2014) the arbitrator upheld a discharge of a corrections officer who used his sick time, rather than his vacation time, to travel to Dallas for a photo shoot for a body building magazine.  The Officer’s participation was confirmed with posted pictures of his photo shoot on Facebook.  The arbitrator found just cause for the Officer’s discharge given that the CBA stated that sick leave was “not a right of taking” such as vacation and the fact that a poor discipline record including a recent last chance agreement. The arbitrator rejected the Union’s claim that there was a “right” to use sick leave as if it was a form of vacation.

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Arbitrator Rules Against Alaska Correctional Officers Association In Dispute Over Pay Rates For Voluntarily Demoted Officers

By Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

step downIn State of Alaska, 133 LA 1436 (DiFalco 2014) an arbitrator ruled that the State properly paid Correction Officers who voluntarily demoted themselves back to a lower classification, even though the result was that they were paid less than if they had not been promoted in the first place. The arbitrator conceded that while the results of this were unfair to several Corrections Officers, he stressed that it was not his job to do what was fair but to interpret the contract language as it appeared in the CBA.

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Arbitrator Looks to “Course of Dealing in Advance of a Dispute” to Interpret an Illinois Collective-Bargaining Agreement with Police Officers

By Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

contract-reading-contract-with-magnifying-glassIn Village of Shiloh, 133 LA 234 (Suardi 2013) the Arbitrator held that the Village did not violate the CBA with the Village’s police officers when it scheduled certain cover shifts not explicitly provided for in the CBA.

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Pennsylvania Arbitrator Rules Against Police Union in Veteran’s Day Holiday Pay Dispute

By Geoff Kiernan

christmasclub_imageIn City of Butler, an arbitrator held that the City did not violate its CBA when it paid a police sergeant time and a half in overtime pay for working during a holiday parade, rather than providing both overtime pay and holiday pay premium.

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Florida Arbitrator Finds Sheriff’s Office Unilaterally Changed Firefighter Union Release Time

By Geoff Kiernan

past practiceIn Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the Arbitrator held that the city could not unilaterally change the way in which the Union President was paid for doing Union work on the clock, especially when such a change violated an established past practice.

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Illinois Police Dispatcher’s Grievance Time Barred By The Collective-Bargaining Agreement

By Jordan L. Jones

hangingtimeIn City of Marion, the arbitrator denied the police dispatcher’s grievance for in-service incentive training pay finding that the grievance was not filed timely under the CBA.

The dispatcher received a paycheck on February 28, 2013, and noticed that there was not a wage increase that should have been included for in-service incentive training under the CBA. The dispatcher subsequently filed a grievance with the city on March 22, 2013.

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Officer’s Grievance Gets Plowed When Appellate Court Finds Issue of Snowplow Work Not Arbitrable

By Anthony Rice

SnowplowIn City of Naperville v. Ill. Fraternal Order of Police, the Illinois Appellate Court held the issue of refusing to hire a police officer to operate a snowplow, while off duty, was not arbitrable because the parties’ CBA did not have an expressed provision stating otherwise. [Read more…]

Florida Mass Drug Testing Arbitration Result Appears to Turn on its Facts and CBA Language

By Jim Cline

CommentaryOccasionally, an arbitration decision calls out for a bit more explanation and the Arbitrator’s Ruling allowing the Ocala Fire Department to “Mass Test” its Firefighters is one such decision.  As described in our recent case note on the decision, the arbitrator found that the reasonable suspicion language in the CBA allowed the City to undertake a “mass test” all firefighters with any type of access to fire trucks from which narcotics had gone missing.

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Standby or On-Call? Union Successfully Grieves Baltimore County Failure to Pay Deputies despite 12-Year Past Practice of Nonpayment

By Mitchel Wilson

Time is MoneyIn Baltimore County, Arbitrator Richard Trotter granted the Union’s grievance for lost compensation for Deputy Sheriffs who are subject to being called into work while they are off duty.  

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