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Union staff hours cut

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  • Union staff hours cut

    Sorry, this is long and confusing....

    I work for a school district in Wisconsin. I have been here full-time since 1981 and belong to the support staff union which was formed 3 years ago.

    State funding cuts are really starting to hurt. We negotiated a raise for last year, this year, and next year. Two weeks after agreeing to the increase the Board surprised us and cut all support staff by 2 hours per week. Some people then dropped below the cutoff for insurance. Of course this means they also reduced our leave time, vacation days, etc. (We have filed a grievance - what ever happened to seniority?)

    Each person was told when they could take the 2 hours off. Some come in later each day, some leave an hour early on two days, etc.... The days are set and we cannot move them. We could not choose the days, our administrators each set our individual time off. Then we were told that if our short day falls on a holiday we can't move the leave time to another day. This doesn't sound right. If each day is now worth 7.6 hours pay and I want to take a vacation day on my short day, I end up working 1.4 hours extra that week without pay. They give us a load of garbage saying it all works out. Am I just too stupid to understand or are they trying to pull a fast one?

  • #2
    Union and Retaliation

    This could potentially be a violation of the National Labor Relations Act. You may want to talk to the National Labor Relations Board office nearest you. You can find them by looking in your local telephone directory in the US government section.

    Retliation against union activities is a violation of the law and is considered as an "unfair labor practice". If you and your coworkers are being treated the way you are because of your union activity (not just coincidental to it), it is illegal.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.
    Lillian Connell

    Forum Moderator


    • #3
      They say the cut has nothing to do with the union, we're just short of money.
      But then why did they just cut union support staff and not the exempt support staff?

      If our district is so short on money, how come the administrators all took a raise and gave the exempt support staff a raise too.

      One of the secretaries asked our HR Dir about taking the 2 hours off on another day if it fell on a holiday. He said you couldn't, you just lose it. She disagreed and he came unglued and said that was a longstanding labor practice. This guy has a major attitude/personality problem and everybody is afraid to talk to him. He's VERY intimidating.

      This really has me p-----d off. How can they charge me 7.6 hours of holiday, vacation, or personal day time when I was only going to work 6 hours that day?

      They created a big hairy mess with this 2 hour cut. If they had only backed off on the raise we could deal with it. You can cut the air with a knife around here lately.
      Last edited by PondLady; 08-25-2004, 08:05 AM.


      • #4
        Union Retliation

        You just raised an interesting point...if the differences are between exempt and non-exempt, it may not be considered as retaliation IF there are business reasons for the differences. For example, if the raises for the exempt staff were due to competitive market differences.

        However, if a complaint is filed with the NLRB (by your union), the employer will be in the position of having to defend its actions from a business standpoint.

        I'm sure that your union will take the issue further, if they feel that there is merit to the problem. If they don't and you disagree, you can appeal through the union OR you can go to the NLRB...your union has the obligation to represent you if the situation has merit. (Of course, the latter situation may cause tension between you and your union.)

        Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.
        Lillian Connell

        Forum Moderator


        • #5
          The exempt staff are paid several dollars an hour more than those of us working alongside them, and the difference just keeps getting bigger every year. They are not unpaid for this area.

          We're not even sure how they decided who would be exempt in our building. They say it's only people who deal with confidential records.

          Exempt: Superintendent's Secretary, HR Secretary, Financial Secretary, Payroll Secretary, PR Coordinator, and a Library Clerk that's mislabeled as an Administrative Secretary because she lost her old position due to a mental breakdown and they promised her a job* when she came back (*my old position, which was non-exempt until she took it).
          Non-exempt: Accounting Secretary and Curriculum & Instruction Secretary (me) I deal with student testing records, State reports, and professional development (organize and track 3,500+ hours of teacher training sessions each year).

          I see confidential student and staff records - according to them I should also be exempt, but I'm not.

          Thanks for letting me vent.
          Last edited by PondLady; 08-25-2004, 11:00 AM.