NAPE/AFSCME member Ruth Herman recently prevailed in a grievance after her application to pick up additional shifts was declined.
Ruth works as a Vehicle Operator II at the Beatrice State Developmental Center (BSDC). However, Ruth is fully qualified to perform the duties of a Developmental Technician II, and she often volunteers to pick up additional shifts in this classification because the facility is short staffed.
Before moving to transportation, Ruth Worked as a Developmental Technician Shift Supervisor, so not only is she qualified, but she has a long history of performing the functions of this position.
“I usually get anywhere from 15 to 30 hours of overtime a pay period working as a Developmental Technician,” she said. “And I like going back because I get to be involved with the individuals that we care for and the staff I used to work with.”
As she has done for years, Ruth requested to be temporarily reassigned for 31 hours of work as a Developmental Technician II, but management refused to allow Ruth to be reassigned. Because of management’s actions, some of those shifts were worked short-staffed and other employees were mandated overtime.
“I rely on that overtime to help ease the loss of wage I took when I transferred to being a Vehicle Operator,” she said. “It’s also difficult for staff to be mandated overtime over and over again. If I can ease that a little bit and also help myself and my wages, that’s a perfect world.”
Ruth said that she had a lot of issues getting an explanation for her denied request. She quickly reached out to her NAPE/AFSCME union representative and a grievance was filed on her behalf.
An arbitrator ultimately ruled that BSDC violated our union contract by not allowing Ruth to work the additional shifts that she had volunteered for. Moreover, BSDC mandated overtime to other employees — something that would not have been necessary had they allowed Ruth to work. This also violates our union contract because the agency did not make every effort to avoid assigning mandatory overtime.
As a result of the arbitrator’s decision, DHHS was ordered to pay Ruth for the 31 hours that she was entitled to work.
If you have any questions about overtime or temporary reassignment, contact us right away.