Some managers in Metro Water Services had instituted a “policy” which said that employees who did not have “accrued time on the books” would not be eligible for overtime work.
Aside from the fact that this violates Civil Service Rules, this policy didn’t actually exist in any rulebook. Once the Union was made aware of the issue, a class-action grievance was filed. In a joint conference attended by Metro Water representatives, Union representatives, and Union Stewards, the issue was resolved at Stage One, with the Department agreeing to cease the practice and be consistent with the CSR, which emphasize seniority and qualifications as the governing principles in assigning overtime work.
“Even though it was only one shop in the Water Department that was doing this, it could have had larger consequences,” says Gene Scruggs, one of the Union Stewards involved in the grievance. “If we let Management do this in one shop, next thing you know, all the departments are trying it as a way to intimidate employees or play favorites. That’s one of the reasons we have a Union — to keep an eye on Management and make sure they’re following the rules too and not just making things up as they go.”