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  Public Employee Press

PEP Feb 2001
Table of Contents
  La Voz

Public Employee Press

Local 1549 member wins $13,000 grievance

As a result of expedited arbitration, Clerical-Administrative Local 1549 member Mildred Lawrence has been awarded $13,000 in back pay for the out-of-title work she did since 1997.

The arbitrator also ordered that Ms. Lawrence receive additional money for every six-month period that she continues to do the work of higher-paid employees.

“I think the union did a great job,” said Ms. Lawrence, a Clerical Associate 4 at the Administration for Children’s Services. “I want to thank my rep, Jestina Roberts, my union attorney, Audrey Browne, and my director, Loretta Williams, for helping win this grievance.”

Beginning in February 1997, Ms. Lawrence was assigned the duties of a Principal Administrative Associate 1. These tasks were substantially different from the appropriate work for the Clerical Associate 3 title she held at the time. After management failed to compensate her accordingly, Ms. Lawrence contacted Local 1549 and filed her grievance.

At Step 2, in March 1999, the Dept. of Social Services determined that Ms. Lawrence was performing the duties of a Clerical Associate 4 and awarded her back pay retroactive to October 1997, when her grievance was filed.

Union keeps fighting
However, Ronnie Harris, the assistant director of the Clerical Administrative Division, thought she deserved more.

He helped Ms. Lawrence move the grievance through Step 3 and eventually to expedited arbitration because she was still not being paid for the PAA 1 duties she was assigned. His persistence paid off.

On the same day as the arbitration hearing, Impartial Arbitrator Al Viani sustained the grievance. He ordered that “the grievant shall be paid at the minimum salary rate of a Principal Administrative Associate 1 retroactive to October 5, 1997 and for so long as she continues to perform her current duties.”

The result was a $13,000 retroactive payment and the possibility of additional money for every six months that the Office of Labor Relations finds Ms. Lawrence is being assigned higher title work.

“I felt the settlement was fair,” said Ms. Lawrence. She advised Local 1549 members to act promptly if they find themselves in similar situations. “File your grievance right away. Don’t wait like I did,” she said.

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