ARTICLE 6 – ADJUSTMENT OF DISPUTES AND ARBITRATION
The Union may designate a Steward whose function shall be to serve as a negotiating representative and process grievances submitted by employees or the Union. Discussions between the Steward and the Employer’s representative shall be at such time and place as not to interfere with work in progress. The Employer agrees to grant reasonable time for the Steward to meet with its representatives for grievance resolution. The Union will notify the Employer in writing upon the appointment or change of a Steward.
A grievance is any dispute, controversy or complaint involving a condition of employment, the interpretation or application of any provisions of this Agreement or any other difference or dispute between the Union or the employees and the Employer.
Grievances shall be taken up for adjustment between the employee and the immediate supervisor in the presence of the Union Steward. The discussion of the grievance with the immediate supervisor must take place within thirty (30) days of its occurrence or from knowledge of its occurrence or it shall be deemed waived. In the event a satisfactory settlement of the issue is not reached within three (3) working days from this meeting, it shall then be reduced to writing by the National Representative of the Union or his designated representative and then be discussed with the Employer’s president or his designated representative within thirty (30) days. Should the parties fail to adjust the matter satisfactorily within thirty (30) days from the date of submission of the written grievance, either party may request arbitration by giving written notice to the other party. Any time limits may be extended by mutual consent.
An arbitrator shall be secured and the arbitration shall be conducted under the then existing Voluntary Labor Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association.
The Arbitrator’s fee and all expenses connected with the arbitration shall be borne equally by the Employer and the Union.
The Arbitrator shall only have jurisdiction and authority to interpret, apply or determine compliance with this Agreement and (where involved) to determine if the discipline or discharge is reasonable and for just cause. The Arbitrator shall be authorized to make an award of the appropriate remedy, if any, including pay for lost time where applicable. The Arbitrator shall not be authorized to alter, amend, or change in any way the terms of the Agreement.
The parties, by mutual consent, can extend any of the time limits in this Article in an endeavor to settle a grievance amicably.
The Employer agrees that the National Union Representative or his designated representative may visit the work site at reasonable times for the purpose of investigating specific grievances or other business pertaining to the contract, except that no investigation shall interfere with the efficient operation of the shop or interrupt any of the work performed by the employees.
No Steward shall be discriminated against by the Company because of faithful performance of his duties as Steward.
A union Steward may be granted unpaid work time to attend to union business upon reasonable advance notice and without loss of any benefits. A union Steward shall not attend to more than thirty (30) days of union business in any calendar year.
ARTICLE 7 – DISCHARGE, SUSPENSION AND DEMOTION
No employee covered by this Agreement shall be discharged, suspended or demoted except for just cause. Proven use of or being under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, or dealing in controlled substances, at any time immediately before or during the work day (including breaks) or while in uniform, using a company vehicle or on company premises, shall be just cause for discipline up to and including discharge. The only issue for an arbitrator in such a case shall be proof of the use, being under the influence of or dealing in such controlled substances or alcohol. Copies of written warnings shall be supplied to the shop Steward. Written warnings in an employee’s file for longer than thirty-six (36) months shall not be used for disciplinary purposes except when similar infractions have occurred within the 36 month period.
Employees may review their personnel file at least once in a calendar year.
The Employer shall give the appropriate Union Representative immediate notification in writing of a discharge, suspension or demotion. Such notice shall contain a full explanation of the reason for such action.
A written claim that the discharge, suspension or demotion was without just cause must be filed by the Union within 33 days.
Subject to Section 1 hereof, the question of whether “just cause” exists for the discharge, suspension or demotion shall be subject to the grievance and arbitration procedure.
- An employee who has less than twelve (12) months of service shall be considered probationary and, as such, if discharged by the Employer shall only have the right to grieve the discharge to the first (1st) level of the grievance procedure.
- If an employee has twelve (12) or more months of service, the Union’s claim shall be subject to the grievance and arbitration procedure of this Agreement.
ARTICLE 8 – SENIORITY – LAYOFF
Seniority is defined as length of continuous service with the company from date of hire or rehire following a termination of seniority as defined in Section 7. Employees with less than twelve (12) months of service shall be considered probationary and not accrue seniority for layoff purposes during that period.
The Employer will recognize the principle of seniority during a layoff. Employer will give three (3) weeks notice to any employee who is to be laid off, or in lieu thereof shall give three (3) weeks pay or allow the employee to work at another job for three (3) weeks at his then current hourly rate of pay.
If layoffs are necessary due to lack of work, the Employer and the Union will discuss possible alternatives, e.g., accelerating vacations, but if no alternative is mutually agreeable, the Employer will use the following order for layoffs:
- Probationary employees shall be laid off first.
- All other employees shall be laid off in reverse order of their seniority rating.
When work resumes, employees with the most seniority shall be recalled first.
When employees are recalled to work or laid off, notice shall be given to the Steward containing the name and order of layoff or recall including the reason.
The Employer shall post a seniority list on the bulletin board and shall keep it up to date.
Seniority shall terminate if:
- An employee quits;
- An employee is discharged for just cause;
- An employee fails to report for work within five (5) days when recalled to work by registered mail or telegram provided that no employee shall lose seniority if said employee notified the employer of his intent to return to work within five (5) days and returns to work within two (2) weeks;
- An employee is absent for two (2) consecutive work days without giving notification (exceptions will be made for bona fide extenuating circumstances where communication to the Employer is not possible);
- (e) An employee is on disability for more than twelve (12) months.
- (f) An employee is on layoff for more than eight (8) months.
The Employer agrees to recognize the principle of seniority in the promotion of employees to higher rated jobs within the bargaining unit. When ability is equal, the employee with the highest seniority shall be given preference.
The Employer agrees to post all job openings which occur. All employees will be offered the opportunity to submit their names for consideration in accordance with Section 8 above.
Seniority shall not accumulate during layoff. Seniority shall accumulate during a worker’s compensation absence for six months only. Seniority shall accumulate during a disability absence for only the time disability payments are paid.
ARTICLE 9 – HOURS OF WORK AND OVERTIME
Subject to the operating needs of the Employer, including requirements of its customers, the normal work day shall be eight (8) consecutive hours from 7:00 A.M. until 3:30 P.M. excluding a one-half (1/2) hour unpaid lunch period and the normal workweek shall be Monday through Friday. Meal periods shall be taken near the midpoint of tours.
All work performed beyond eight (8) hours in a day or forty (40) hours in a week shall be paid at the rate of one and one-half (1 1/2) times the employee’s regular rate of pay. There shall be no pyramiding of overtime. The Employer shall determine when overtime shall be worked and shall have the right to require the employees to work a reasonable amount of overtime. Notice of overtime shall normally be given four (4) hours before the end of the work day except in the case of emergencies.
All work performed on Sunday shall be paid at double the straight time rate of pay.
Each employee shall be permitted one relief period of fifteen (15) minutes during the work day.
To the extent practical and consistent with operating needs, the Employer will endeavor to equalize opportunities for overtime within classifications.
When an employee is called out on a trouble or emergency call outside of his regular working hours, he shall be paid from the time he leaves home until he returns home with a minimum of two (2) hours at the time and one-half (1 1/2) rate. Response time for a call out is one hour, however, no discipline will be issued as long as the response time does not exceed 90 minutes.
When employees are requested to be available for emergency service calls (standby), the standby pay shall be $40.00 for the entire standby rotation. There are two such rotations: 3:30 p.m. Monday until 7 a.m. Friday and 3:30 p.m. Friday until 7 a.m. Monday.
Qualified on-call employees may swap schedules with other qualified employees with management approval.
To the extent practical and consistent with operating needs, call outs shall be rotated.
An employee required to work six (6) hours or more on night call out, with at least two (2) full hours past midnight, beginning on a day on which he or she has already worked a regular shift, and only where he or she is scheduled to work on the next calendar day, shall, at the Employer’s discretion:
- be allowed to report four (4) hours late on such next calendar day, or
- be allowed to leave work four (4) hours early on such next calendar day in either case without loss of pay. The employee’s preference as to the four (4) hours off shall be given consideration.
- An employee working sixteen (16) straight hours will not be required to report to work for ten (10) hours.
An employee required to work eight (8) hours or more on night call out, with less than two (2) full hours past midnight, beginning on a day on which he or she has already worked a regular shift, and only where he or she is scheduled to work on the next calendar day, shall be allowed to report to work two (2) hours late on such next calendar day. Employee shall work, and be paid for, a six (6) hour shift on this next day, unless additional work hours are required. Employee will notify Department Manager of his arrival plans prior to the start of the next work day.
An employee required to work four (4) hours or more past midnight on night call out, but less than six (6) hours total, beginning on a day on which he or she has already worked a regular shift, and only where he or she is scheduled to work on the next calendar day, shall be allowed to report to work two (2) hours late on such next calendar day. Employee shall work, and be paid for, a six (6) hour shift on this next day, unless additional work hours are required. Employee will notify Department Manager of his arrival plans prior to the start of the next work day.
Hours employee receives pay for, but are not actually worked, do not count towards the hours calculated to determine whether the employee receives this benefit as detailed in Section 9.
To the extent practical and consistent with operating needs, if work on the weekend is required, the employee shall be notified by 5:00 P.M. on the Thursday immediately preceding the weekend.
A night shift crew person shall work hours of Monday to Friday from 3:30 p.m. until 11:30 a.m. Time after 11:30 a.m. will be designated as overtime. The night shift crew will be designated as first on-call from Monday through Thursday. A night shift differential of ten percent
(10%) shall be added to the base wage rate of night shift employees. Work schedules of employees for night shift assignment shall be rotated periodically, first among volunteers by seniority selection or by management assignment if there are no volunteers.
Any employee who is required to use their personal vehicle for business use will be reimbursed for business miles at the IRS rate.
ARTICLE 10 – PAID HOLIDAYS
Paid holidays shall consist of the following holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Day after Thanksgiving
- Christmas Day
- 2 Floating Holidays
Should any of the holidays fall during the employee’s vacation, he/she shall receive an additional day with pay. If any of the holidays fall on a Saturday, the holiday will normally be observed the prior Friday. If any of the holidays fall on a Sunday, the holiday will normally be observed the following Monday. Floating Holidays shall only be scheduled on regular work days.
An employee will be paid for eight (8) hours of his regular rate of pay when off for a holiday. If the employee is required to work any of the above holidays, he shall be paid at the rate of one and one-half (1 1/2) times his rate of pay for each hour worked in addition to the regular holiday pay listed above.
To be eligible for holiday pay an employee must:
- have accrued ninety (90) days of seniority
- not have failed to report to perform scheduled or assigned work on the holiday after agreeing to work such holiday except for good cause shown; and
- have actually worked his full last scheduled work day preceding the holiday and his full first scheduled work day succeeding the holiday unless excused by the Employer. Section 5. To the extent practical and consistent with operating needs, holiday work shall be rotated.
ARTICLE 11 – VACATIONS
Vacation season shall be from January 1 to December 31.
Effective January 1, 2005, annual leave accrues to the benefit of the employee at a biweekly rate, as set forth in the following table:
Continuous Service Vacation Entitlement
Less than 5 years 80 hours (2 weeks)
5 to 10 years 120 hours (3 weeks)
Over 10 years 160 hours (4 weeks)
Vacation may be taken only in eight (8) hour (full day) increments and must be approved by supervisor in advance in writing.
Vacation selection shall be made at least thirty (30) days prior to the time requested. Subject to operating requirements, selection will be granted in seniority order. Company decision on vacation scheduling shall be final.
Vacations for any given year must be completed within the calendar year, except that up to ten (10) paid days may be carried over into the following year. Unused vacation days not subject to carryover shall be liquidated in cash only where the Employer has requested the employee forego such vacation. Vacation days not used or eligible for carryover shall be lost.
When employees are removed from the active payroll for any reason, except discharge for just cause, they shall be paid the vacation allowance for the time not used provided they give two (2) weeks notice and actually work the final two weeks.