Arbitration Paper

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This essay is about an arbitration case that had happened in real life as well as a summary of it and the outcomes.

This case is between the city of Waldenville and the municipal workers union, which included David Novak. David Novak is an employee who is being disciplined for tardiness. He had a 10-day suspension due to the tardiness. He filed for a grievance and the case went to arbitration. David feels very strongly that his rights have been violated. It appears that he has maintained a clean record and has letters of recommendation.

The city provided evidence that backed their claim that David was punished justly for being tardy. The city claimed he has been late 4 days in a row prior to his suspension. To back this up, his supervisor Mrs. Lee Curtis testified. She had said that a bulletin was posted on June 5th and she held a meeting that explained to all the employees of the consequences of being late. It was said that the employees all understand what it was all about. It was mentioned that the bulletin was posted four days before the layout. The day after the meeting Novak was ten minutes late and a half hour late to starting work. She had reminded him that he was going to have to comply to the bulletin. The following days after he was late again. She gave him an oral warning stating that he would have to be punished if he did not comply with the rules, followed by a written warning. He refused to comply and received disciplinary action.

Thomas Calloway presented evidence supporting the company. He brought up evidence that a private consultant study showed extensive abuse by employees which is costly to taxpayers. This expresses that employees are not only costing the company money but taxpayers as well. He supports Mrs. Curtis’ testimony that employees were aware of the consequences and that they were notified properly by means of the bulletin and had meetings with their supervisors. The meetings discussed the intentions of the rule enforcement and the discipline that would follow if these rules were violated. He also mentions that there was a collective bargaining agreement in which justified the discipline that Mrs. Curtis set upon David.

A copy of the reprimand was presented, and it was said that David did not take it seriously at any point. He had said that “jogging stimulated his mind and body” which to Mrs. Curtis made her feel like he took his exercising more seriously than his own job. To Mrs. Curtis, David appeared to be argumentative and came across as uncaring. It was recorded that after being late for three days, on June 10th, he returned from his lunch break on time, but he ate lunch at his workstation. It was a trend for David to eat lunch at work while working instead of taking the break. There was a previous award that was presented on behalf of David.

This previous award was different because it was not controlling. It involved the fire department instead of the company to enforce an order. This case had clear cut contractual language, unlike the other one which was not based on a contract; hence there was no agreement. Another form of evidence was the recent published arbitration award where employees were responsible for knowing what was in the contract and the obligations. This was very similar to this case because employees were aware of what their responsibilities were and what would follow if they did not follow up on them. It was also known that it was the employees’ responsibility to call employer and report absences on a timely basis. Therefore, if David were going to be late, he could have communicated this to the employer.

The cities’ contract with municipal workers was presented at the arbitration. It outlined the city and unions’ agreement on a fair and effective guideline for their relationship with the company. It gave management the right to suspend for just cause. In this case, David was late, and management believed it was just cause since it was gone over in the meetings and employees agreed to the rule and discipline. There was also the principle of progressive discipline in which Mrs. Curtis made David aware of the potential consequences of violating the policy twice. Based on the continual lateness, suspension was the result; especially since he had no excuse for his tardiness.

On behalf of David Novak, the bulletin did not say anything about lunch breaks. There was no date which might constitute proper notice. Without a date, it is hard to tell when the policy will go into effect. The Chief of Internal Medicine had told David to get more exercise in which he interpreted that he should jog before lunch to get rid of the tension. He had stated that he tried to communicate this to Mrs. Curtis, but she was not willing to hear anything he has said. On June 10th when he was suspended, he had claimed that he was not late to his workstation but was late days before it. The previous award arbitrator Marshall held that the same hospital could discipline an employee for smoking in a posted nonsmoking area. It was said by Murphy that the rule had never been enforced and ignored by management. Hospital had not properly notified the employees.

I believe the evidence from the city is enough to constitute that David Novak was in the wrong. I do believe he should have communicated the reasons for his tardiness. This would have eased tensions between him and Mrs. Murphy. When tensions were eased, there could have been a way to work around this and punishment could not have been a factor. The bulletin was solid proof that employees were aware of this rule and punishment that could follow. The meeting was secondary to the bulletin and reinforced the bulletins’ outline. In the meeting, the employees were informed and if they had any complaints, they could present them. A general agreement of understanding was formed as no employees had complained or presented any confusion.

David Novak was informed of the rule and consequence and should have taken the necessary precautions to avoid this. It seemed he did not care about the job; considering he was late multiple times despite multiple warnings and that is very unacceptable in any company. The cities’ contract with the municipal union further established that there was already an agreement between them that gave the right to justify a suspension. In this case, tardiness proved to be a justification; especially since he did not have any reasoning for his lateness.

 

Source:

“Waldenville Grievance Arbitration” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b30qUsvBP8A


Submitted: May 20, 2021

© Copyright 2021 anaredding20. All rights reserved.

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shortstorycreator

Good job Ana! great paper! You will sure get a good grade on it!

Thu, May 20th, 2021 7:03pm

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