NAPE/AFSCME member Jimmy Kazalski recently won a grievance and had his three-month disciplinary probation rescinded and any record of the disciplinary action removed from his personnel file.
On March 20, 2023, Jimmy, a Recreation Specialist for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS), was given a Statement of Charges. He promptly contacted his union representative and asked for representation at his March 27 pre-disciplinary meeting. On May 1, he was given a Notice of Discipline. The notice was dated April 27.
Our labor contract requires that agencies either impose disciplinary action within 30 calendar days of the pre-disciplinary meeting or they must request to extend the 30-day deadline by a maximum of 15 days. To meet this deadline, NDCS would have needed to issue the Notice of Discipline no later than April 26.
NDCS argued that it had requested an extension, providing an email chain wherein a supervisor granted the extension as evidence to back their claim. However, NDCS did not issue a notice of extension to NAPE/AFSCME or Jimmy in writing. Our union contract requires that agencies be transparent about any extensions so that the employee knows how long the disciplinary process might take.
The discipline has since been vacated from Jimmy’s personnel file. He made the right call by contacting his union representative, and it’s vital that all NAPE/AFSCME members know that they have the right to representation throughout the disciplinary process. If you find yourself facing potential disciplinary action, contact us right away.