After several months of discussions regarding ways to reduce mandatory overtime, much of which is required on an almost daily basis with minimal notice, as well as callouts in the Call Center, Local 15 has reached an agreement with the Company on a Pilot which will allow Part-Time Customer Service Representatives to volunteer for overtime opportunities before forcing Full-Time Customer Service Representatives.
The overtime pilot is structured to continue to afford the same volunteer overtime opportunities to the Full-Time Customer Service Representative workgroup as existed prior to the Pilot, while allowing Part-Time Customer Service Representatives an opportunity to work voluntary overtime instead of scheduling and requiring mandatory holdover overtime and/or conducting callouts for the Full-Time Customer Service Representative workgroup. The Pilot includes language which protects Full-Time Customer Service Representatives overtime opportunities. It also includes a provision which covers bypass issues.
Both parties’ goals heading into the discussions were to allow the employees that wanted to work additional hours the opportunity to do so and allowing the employees who did not want to work additional hours the opportunity to go home, while still protecting contractual language. The Pilot accomplishes those goals. All overtime opportunities will continue to be afforded according to the cumulative overtime list.
The Company’s increased focus on providing customers with a “premier” experience has led to longer call handling times than had been anticipated, which has had a direct effect on wait times and caused more mandatory overtime and callouts this year than in the past. Local 15 Business Representatives Michael Freeman and Fabian Vela worked closely with Customer Care Center Director Nichole Owens, Resource Management Manager Jose Galvez, and Labor Relations Principal Debra Staples on this Pilot.
This pilot began the week of October 22, 2018 and will run through December 3, 2018
Call Center Pilot Program to Reduce
Mandatory Overtime and Callouts
Call Center Agreement
Local 15 and the Company have reached an agreement that provides some relief to over four-hundred members who work at ComEd’s Call Center and addresses management’s staffing concerns. The agreement allows for Part-Time Customer Service Representatives (PT CSRs ) to be offered a voluntary increase in scheduled hours through November 2, 2018.
The agreement includes a guarantee for weekly overtime for Full-Time employees in the Call Center. Additionally, the number of guaranteed releases for Full-Time employees will increase from sixteen to twenty-one employees; and from six to eleven for Part-Time employees. The number of guaranteed releases available each day as well increase from ten on the day shift to fifteen, and from one to two for the evening and afternoon shifts. These larger amounts are improvements on the numbers contained in the Call Center Voluntary Overtime and Guaranteed Release Agreement, which allows Call Center employees to be able to schedule and attend personal events outside of work without having to worry about being held for overtime at the last minute, or with short notice due to call volume or service level.
Most importantly, the Company agreed to post to fill vacant Part-Time Customer Service Representatives positions before mid-September and guarantees certain staffing levels through the remainder of the year.
Quarterly SASS Testing Reminder
In the fourth quarter of last year the Company returned to quarterly Support and Administrative Selection System (SASS) testing, which is used for determining eligibility for most clerical jobs. For the last few years the Company had moved away from the quarterly testing and instead had been administering the SASS test on an as-needed basis, oftentimes after an employee had already been offered and accepted a position. As a reminder, in order to be considered eligible for a clerical position requiring the SASS certification, applicants must have passed the test prior to the selection call.
As part of the 2009 SASS Agreement, any person employed by the Company in any clerical position (other than that of Entry Clerk) as of November 30, 2009 was automatically grandfathered under the previous Clerical Aptitude and Battery and typing test and is considered an eligible bidder for any demotion, promotion, or lateral opportunity for which successful completion of the SASS testing would otherwise be a prerequisite. Employees who are grandfathered by the agreement are not required to successfully complete SASS testing.
All clerical and physical employees who were not considered grandfathered and are interested in filling any open clerical position except that of Entry Clerk, Customer Service Representative, Energy Technician, or Senior Energy Technician position are required to successfully complete SASS testing as a prerequisite in order to be considered an eligible bidder for any such clerical demotion, promotion, or lateral opportunity.
If you are not either grandfathered under the old test or have not already successfully completed SASS testing and are interested in a clerical position which requires SASS certification, make sure you keep an eye on the weekly job postings for upcoming SASS testing dates.
NOTE: Although Physical employees are not eligible for regular clerical job postings, physical employees interested in applying for open clerical positions are still required to successfully pass SASS testing in order to be considered an eligible bidder any time an open clerical job is run as an Informational Posting.
CLERICAL JOB BIDS
The Procedure and Ground Rules for Clerical Job Calls were made permanent in April of 2014 following a successful run as a pilot. Since that time it has proved to be a very efficient and transparent way to fill clerical positions which are contractually offered based on seniority alone.
The difference between a pre-bid on positions and a proxy acceptance is one of the few issues that has come up recently. An employee can pre-bid on vacant positions that are posted during a week that they are out of the office. Also, an employee can submit a proxy indicating their preference for positions that will be filled during the job call itself.
The Clerical Pre-Bid Form, which is distributed weekly along with the Clerical postings, is used to submit a bid on open positions that are posted during a week that an employee may be on vacation or a leave. Filling out and submitting this form merely gets an employee on the list of bidders for the position(s) they have indicated a preference for during the period they are out of the office.
The pre-bid is NOT an acceptance of a job offer.
Once the list of bidders for a position has come out, employees have the option of submitting a proxy indicating their preference(s) of jobs they have bid in advance of the call that the Company will use to serve as an acceptance or decline of any job that may get to them on that call. The proxy is usually in email form and must indicate which position(s) the employee is interested in accepting, and must preference the order or priority if they bid on multiple jobs being offered on the call.
As a reminder, if an employee does not dial in to participate in the clerical job call, and does not have a proxy on record indicating their intent for the position(s) they have bid on, the Company will skip over that individual and move on to the next senior bidder. Once the call is over all selections are finalized. For details, see the Procedure and Ground Rules for Clerical Job Calls, which was added to the most recent printing of both the ComEd/BSC and Exelon Generation Collective Bargaining Agreements.
In 1975, the United States Supreme Court in the case of NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc. 420 U.S. 251 (1975) upheld a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision that employees have a right to union representation at investigatory interviews. It held that employees in unionized workplaces have the right under the National Labor Relations Act to the presence of a union steward during any management inquiry that the employee reasonably believes may result in discipline. These rights have since become known as the Weingarten Rights.
During an investigatory interview, the Supreme Court ruled that the following rules apply:
Rule 1: The employee must make a clear request for union representation before or during the interview. The employee cannot be punished for making this request.
Rule 2: After the employee makes the request, the employer must choose from among three options:
· grant the request and delay questioning until the union representative arrives and (prior to the interview continuing) the representative has a chance to consult privately with the employee;
· deny the request and end the interview immediately; or
give the employee a clear choice between having the interview without representation, or ending the interview.
Rule 3: If the employer denies the request for union representation, and continues to ask questions, it commits an unfair labor practice and the employee has a right to refuse to answer. The employer may not discipline the employee for such a refusal.
In July 2000, the NLRB under the Clinton administration extended the Weingarten Rights to employees at nonunionized workplaces. On June 15, 2004, the NLRB under the George W. Bush administration effectively reversed the previous ruling by a three to two vote.
Know Your Rights! Weingarten Rights are use them or lose them!
Quarterly SASS Testing Resumes
— Requirement for Most Clerical Jobs —
In late 2009 Local 15 and Commonwealth Edison Company, Exelon Generation Company, and Exelon Business Services Company entered into an agreement to replace the previous Clerical Aptitude Battery (CAB) and typing test with the Support and Administrative Selection System (SASS) test for determining eligibility for most Clerical jobs. As part of that agreement, the Company agreed to schedule quarterly testing, so that employees could pre-qualify for positions for which successful SASS testing was a requirement. Over the last few years the Company has moved away from the quarterly testing, and has instead scheduled testing on an as needed basis, oftentimes after an employee had already bid on and accepted a position for which successful SASS testing was a requirement.
In mid-October, the Company notified Local 15 that they were going to return to quarterly testing (as required by the agreement), and subsequently put up an Informational Posting announcing the testing. In order to be considered eligible for a position requiring the SASS test, applicants must have passed the test prior to the selection call.
As a reminder, any person employed by the Company in any Clerical position (other than that of Entry Clerk) as of November 30, 2009 was automatically grandfathered under the previous CAB and typing test is considered an eligible bidder for any demotion, promotion, or lateral opportunity for which successful completion of the SASS testing battery would otherwise be a prerequisite. Employees who are grandfathered by the agreement are not required to successfully complete SASS testing.
All Clerical and Physical employees who were not considered grandfathered and who are interested in filling any open clerical position except that of Entry Clerk, Customer Service Representative, Energy Technician, or Senior Energy Technician position are required to successfully complete SASS testing as a prerequisite in order to be considered an eligible bidder for any such Clerical demotion, promotion, or lateral opportunity.
Note: Although Physical employees are not eligible for regular clerical job postings, Physical employees, including Meter Readers, interested in applying for an open Clerical positions are still required to successfully pass SASS testing in order to be considered an eligible bidder if and when a Clerical position is run as an informational posting.