N|P partner Gary Nolan recently won an important arbitration victory on behalf of NEPBA Local 570, which represents the Norfolk County Correctional Supervisor’s Union.
In order to ensure that certain individuals do not receive special compensation not otherwise available to all superior officers, the union and the Sheriff agreed to phase out so-called out-of-rank pay for certain appointed assignments. When the union discovered that a particular officer continued to receive special, non-contractual compensation, it challenged the practice through the grievance process. After a series of denials by the employer, N|P and NEPBA took the matter to arbitration.
The Arbitrator ruled that the Sheriff’s Office violated multiple CBA provisions as it was paying the selected employee at an increased rate of pay which was never posted and never made known to other union members. In rejecting all of the Sheriff’s legal arguments, the arbitrator found that the decision to pay the appointed lobby officer the special rate of pay violated the parties agreement that all such officers by paid “their rank pay and not a higher rate of pay.”
The NEPBA and its Local brought this important case to ensure that individual bargains that violate the union’s contract are eliminated, as such side-deals negatively impact the union’s ability to protect and improve wages and benefits for the group as a whole.