Policemen's Benevolent Labor Committee
117 LA (BNA) 222
April 22, 2002
Samuel D. Wang, Arbitrator, selected by parties through procedures of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
The Grievant, a Sergeant of the Granite City Police Department, was "forced"to attend a training session for 9-1-1 certification on his day off. While he was paid the correct rate of pay for the overtime incurred in working on his day off, the Grievant protests the City's action in requiring him to take the training on his day off.
The evidence established that Grievant is a supervisor on the day squad. All supervisors are mandated to attend 9-1-1 training. And it was stipulated that the training Grievant attended is mandated by law.
The evidence further established that only 9-1-1-certified people can answer the 9-1-1 emergency calls.
When the Grievant is the Officer in Charge on his shift there is a 9-1-1 station on his console. So he must be able to handle 9-1-1 calls.
The training in question is done by certified instructors provided by the State of Illinois or Southwest Illinois Law Enforcement Commission in Region 14 which encompasses 7 counties. The training must be taken when certified instructors are available to conduct the classes.
The grievance requests a finding that the City not force members of the Bargaining Unit to attend training on their day off.
Collective Bargaining Agreement Language
Several Articles of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) were cited by the parties in advancing their respective positions. Article VII, Overtime, Section 5 Forced Overtime which provides:
When an overtime assignment cannot be filled, the officer from the shift preceding the overtime shift with the least department seniority and eligible to work the position will work the overtime. The officer will not be charged for the hours worked. A forced overtime shall not exceed 6 hours. If the overtime shift assignment exceeds 6 hours, then the officer from the shift succeeding the overtime assignment with the least department seniority and eligible to work the position will work the overtime. The officer will not be charged for the hours worked. A forced overtime shall not exceed 6 hours.
Officers may be forced to work overtime only on a scheduled work day, except in an emergency.
Article VII then recites the procedures to be followed if the notice to work the overtime is 12 hours or less, 12 to 72 hours, and more than 72 hours.
Article II, Section 2 Management Rights which provides:
Except as expressly limited by a specific provision of this Agreement, the Employer retains and shall continue to have the sole and exclusive right to manage the department and direct employees, including but not limited to the right to plan, direct and control operations, establish the overall budget, organizational structure, and examination techniques, the right to select new employees, to train, the right to suspend, discipline, discharge for cause, the right to maintain order and efficiency, or promote, designate work shifts, overtime, and the assignments thereto, the right to extend, limit or curtail operations when and in such manner as it deems advisable to do so. The Employer shall not, however, implement any policies directly affecting wages, hours, and working conditions without bargaining with the Union.
Article III, Section 7 provides:
The Employer will post a list for available schools on the squad room bulletin board and let those interested sign. Those chosen to attend the school will come from that list.
Also of note in this matter is Article III, Section 4 Compliance with the Law which provides:
The Employer shall comply with any and all Federal and State Laws. Should any court hold any part of this Agreement invalid, such decision shall not invalidate any other part of this Agreement.
Additionally, Article IX, Call Out Pay establishes the method for calling employees out to perform duties at other than their scheduled duty time.
In addition to the above, I am reminded by the Union of my limitations under Article XV, Grievances, Section 4, Jurisdiction of Arbitrator.
Finally, Article XX, Agreements is cited by the Union. It provides:
The City and the Union acknowledge that this supercedes (sic) all practices, side agreements, ordinances and other understandings inconsistent with this agreement. All practices, side agreements, ordinances and other understanding not inconsistent with this agreement will remain in effect. Recognizing the fact that it is not possible for Agreements of this kind to cover every contingency that may arise, both parties hereto, in conference, will make any mutually acceptable adjustments which appear desirable to meet changing conditions with the understanding that such agreement will be put in writing, shall reference this article, and shall be signed by the Mayor, and the City Clerk, with the approval of the City Council, and the President and Secretary of the Local Union.
The Positions of the Parties
The Union contends that the language of the CBA is facially unambiguous hence in view of the provisions of Article III, Section 7 training must be conducted according to the procedure set up in that Article and Section. The Union argues that the City must post lists of available schools on the bulletin board and then choose officers who are to attend the school. The Union points out the failure of the language to distinguish between voluntary and mandatory situations.
Further since Grievant was required to renew his certification and since there were other classes available, he could have attended one of the other classes rather than the one he was forced to attend on his day off.
The Union contends that since the City sponsored the class at issue here, it could have sponsored another class that would have been held on one of Grievant's regularly scheduled work days.
Finally, the Union relies on a past practice of not forcing employees to work overtime on a date on which the employee is not scheduled to work.
It requests this arbitrator to enter an order sustaining the grievance and ordering the past practice of forced overtime under Article VII, Section 5 to be applied equally to forced overtime training under Article III, Section 7.
The City relies on the testimony of the Union President to the effect that he was unaware of any past practice.
The City refers to the uncontradicted testimony of the Chief of Granite City Police that all officers of Grievant's rank and above are 9-1-1 certified.
Further, the City relies on the fact that it has no control over when classes can be scheduled and must take advantage of openings when they are available.
Relying on the broad terms of the management rights clause in the CBA, the City stresses its right to train and direct employees. It contends that the Grievant's request to limit management's right to force overtime for training to a less senior person is not workable.
It concludes its argument with a request for denial of this grievance.
There is no doubt that the training in question is required and that officers not qualified in 9-1-1 are actually disqualified from performing an essential portion of their duties. Thus it is established that the City was required by law to insist that all officers qualify by taking the training to be certified. In the light of that requirement it was essential to see to it that no officer was left out of the qualification process.
I agree with the Union's position that the language of the CBA is unambiguous. But the language of Article VII, Section 5 does not address the situation in this case. That language is intended to cover situations of so-called "on shift" overtime where current matters or on-going situations require the overtime of officers to perform the duties of their job. It in no way looks at off-premises or non-routine situations such as training.
Article III, Section 7 covers school or training sessions which can be scheduled and made available on a discretionary basis for officers to advance their qualifications or renew skills. Article III does not look at mandatory training in which there is no selection process for attendees.
Since Article III, Section 4 acknowledges the City's duty and obligation to comply with the laws, it simply follows that it must require officers to attend courses for which training is mandated in order for officers to qualify to do their work.
In that situation, there is no discretion as to who can attend. Article III, Section 7 is inappropriate for those situations.
As Article XX admits, some situations are not covered. This is one of them for which no specific provision is made in the CBA.
But it is unequivocal that there is no prohibition of the City's right, or obligation to require officers to attend 9-1-1 certification training. In that case, the broad authority vested in the City to run its business or conduct its affairs comes into full operation.
By the very terms of the Management Rights language of Article II, Section 2, the City can require employees to attend such training sessions at such times as those training sessions are available. And if that means requiring an employee to give up his day off in order to maintain his qualifications to do his job, there is no basis on which the City can be prevented from so requiring.
I cannot find any restriction anywhere in the CBA to prevent the exercise of that authority. The only requirement is that the employee(s) involved receive the appropriate overtime pay.
The City acted within its contractual authority in "forcing" the Grievant to attend the 9-1-1 certification training.
There is no valid restriction on its right to manage and conduct its business for the benefit of its citizens that would in any way prohibit it from insisting on such attendance.
I could find no evidence of any past practice or other restriction on the City's authority to so conduct its affairs and require the certification of police officers to perform their duties.
The Grievance is denied.