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Volume 3, No. 17 - Spring 2000
Page 6

Dealing With Repeated Overtime Violations


Finally, Arbitrator Nicholas Duda, in a regional arbitration case (C- 13293), agreed with the union that management's continued violation of the overtime provisions of the contract warranted a monetary award to compensate carriers who had worked actually worked the overtime as well as the carriers on the ODL who did not receive overtime. In this case, there were six carriers who had worked overtime in violation of the contract, and Arbitrator Duda determined that a "fair and reasonable remedy" in this case was to award each of those six grievants a gross amount of $100.00

Note to stewards

Generally, the advice about remedies is that stewards or local officers should not press for specific remedies, but rather leave the question of an appropriate remedy for the arbitrator to decide. In cases such as the ones cited above, however, union representatives must be prepared to argue that remedies are appropriate for all carriers who have been involved in management's violation of the overtime provisions of the contract. To bolster such arguments, stewards should be prepared to cite instances in which management has repeatedly made the same mistake, so that the arbitrator will be convinced that management needs a more forceful reminder to abide by contract provisions.

Again, the question of what constitutes "repeated violations" is one that must be determined on a case by case basis, depending on the circumstances of each violation.

Finally, even though NALC representatives should make a strong case for remedies for all carriers, including those who actually worked the overtime, it may be wiser to leave the actual amount or nature of that remedy to the arbitrator's discretion. Certainly there are enough arbitral precedents, including the cases cited above, to provide plenty of scope for an arbitrator's determination.

Remember, the steward is the front line of defense in protecting the rights of letter carriers. As such, one of the steward's most important jobs may be to constantly monitor overtime assignments and carefully track the circumstances of each overtime assignment.

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