Monday, December 10, 2018
On July 19, 2018, an arbitration hearing was held for a grievance that was filed against Duquesne Light Company for implementing changes to the Leaves Of Absence policy and more specifically the FMLA portion of that policy without the Union agreeing to the changes.
What was at stake in this arbitration was more than just the changes made to the policy, the main focus of this arbitration was whether or not the Company had the right to change that or any other policy without negotiating with the Union and coming to an agreement. The Union was armed with two prior arbitration awards on article V, U of the contract (Past Practice) and prior Business Manager’s Tim Moran, & Jeff Davis to testify along with input from Vic Fiore. The grievant, in this case, Alison Udovich also testified and did a great job, especially for someone who has never been in that position before. Tim Moran was able to testify on the history of Art. V,U and the two arbitrations, for which the Company could not combat. Jeff Davis testified to the fact that the Union never agreed to the new policy that was put in effect, while Vic was always giving invaluable input on what we should do next. Our attorney Josh Bloom did an excellent job of deciding what information to use and what not to use ( everyone is always giving advice) he also did an excellent job of cross-examination of the Company witnesses.
On November 21st we received the decision on this arbitration, which upheld our belief, that the Company must negotiate to an agreement and they cannot just change it after meeting with us a few times and implement it. I am hopeful that the Company will be more willing to meet and come to agreements that are beneficial to both the Company and our members.
I hope the rest of the Union members are as thankful as I am for the help that these retired Union Officers have given us on this arbitration, it made a world of difference. I will continue to rely on their help going forward as long as they are willing to give it, which they have in our latest arbitration on Reasonable Overtime that was held on December 4th and I will let you know how that turns out once we get a decision in a few months.