IBEW Local 15 and the Company have settled the grievance that had been filed pertaining to benefits for temporary employees (which was scheduled to be heard before an arbitrator early last month). The grievance was filed back in early 2019 following a favorable ruling in the time-step arbitration case, which challenged the Company’s refusal to provide temporary Meter Readers wage increases when they worked through a time-step. The temporary employee benefits grievance challenged the Company’s interpretation of contractual language which was inclusive (“employee”) vs restrictive (“regular employee”). The parties engaged in settlement discussions in the weeks leading up to the scheduled arbitration hearing, as each side also prepared for the hearing itself. A settlement was reached and signed off on about a week prior to the scheduled hearing dates of October 5th through October 7th, 2021.
The settlement provides for employees (who worked as a Temporary employee and had a break in service) to be credited for any and all prior service as a temporary employee and have their service date adjusted accordingly; requires the Company to complete
an audit of all current employees (who previously worked as a Temporary employee) for these service date adjustments within 90 days, and then notify each employee of their adjusted service date, in writing, within 30 days of that audit; requires any vacation
which would have been earned with the adjusted service date within the 30 days prior to 1/24/2019 (which is the date the grievance was filed) and going forward to be provided to employees; allows for employees to take or carry-over the additional vacation time provided for under this remedy for up to 3 subsequent years; requires employees be notified of this additional vacation within 30 days of the completion of the service date audit; confirms Temporary employees are eligible for the following benefits (the same as regular employees): hourly shift premiums, exchanging shifts; change in basic workday penalty, overtime, travel reimbursement, designated paid holidays, working conditions, lodging, meals and transportation, parental leave, upgrading, the 401(k) and cash balance pension plan.
The agreement provides clarifying language on eligibility for the AIP (annual incentive plan), which is that employees on the payroll for more than 3 continuous months and on the payroll as of December 31st of such year will be credited for all consecutive service – including both regular and temporary service - when calculating their AIP. Under the terms of the settlement the Company also agreed to a make-whole remedy for former temporary employees who were not given credit for their temporary time in calculating the AIP payout (but who otherwise qualified for the AIP) starting with the AIP payout for 2018 and moving forward. The agreement resolves at least 11 grievances and wraps up months of work by Local 15 and its attorneys and is the result of a collaborative effort between the Company and the Union to resolve these issues once and for all.