Nebraska Association
of Public Employees

Gering NDOT Member Has Unjust Discipline Overturned

Highway Maintenance Crew Chief Matt Husted is a NAPE/AFSCME member who works for NDOT at the District 5 Headquarters in Gering. In December, Matt and his supervisor had a discussion about the Highway Maintenance Crew being on call during the holiday season. Both men had worked long hours that day and the conversation got a bit heated, including Matt’s supervisor threatening to call him in on Christmas. Around a month after the conversation, Matt received a Notice of Allegations claiming that he had failed to maintain an appropriate relationship with management.

Matt did the right thing and called his NAPE/AFSCME union representative right away. As a union member, Matt had full access to our professional field staff for representation. A member of the union’s field team assisted Matt in preparing for his pre-disciplinary meeting and then represented him at the meeting, arguing that he did not fail to maintain appropriate relationships with management. After the pre-disciplinary meeting, Matt received a Notice of Discipline giving him formal written warning for the alleged offense.

Matt once again reached out to his union representative for advice. Matt was wise to reach out right away because employees only have 15 work days to challenge contract violations by filing grievances. As his representative explained, while a written warning may sound insignificant, it’s a serious charge. Any formal discipline in any employee’s personnel file can be used to progressively discipline them in the future. This progressive discipline can include termination, which is why it is important to challenge unjust discipline through the grievance process. Since Matt did not commit the alleged infraction, his union representative filed a grievance on his behalf challenging the discipline.

During the grievance process, a Hearing Officer determined that NDOT violated the labor contract by formally disciplicing Matt. The Hearing Officer ordered that the discipline be removed from Matt’s personnel file. Now, this improper discipline can’t be used against Matt in the future to discipline him more severely. As a union member, Matt knew he had the strength of thousands of members standing in his corner as he fought this unjust discipline. If you’re not yet a union member, click here to learn more and join us today.

Nebraska Association of
Public Employees