We are continuing to defend your rights under the interest arbitration award as it relates to the State’s decision to eliminate recruitment and retention pay for several job classifications at CRCC, WSP, and MCC.
On May 9, our legal department submitted a post-hearing brief in the case. The State has submitted its brief as well. Briefs were originally due on April 25, but the arbitrator granted an extension to both parties.
The case centers on the DOC’s elimination of assignment pay at the three facilities in July 2015. We believe the manner in which the State made that decision constitutes a violation of the arbitrator’s award.
In his award, the arbitrator gave the State the authority to eliminate assignment pay, but he held that the State could not do so in an “arbitrary and capricious” nature.
Given that standard, our case focuses on the “arbitrary and capricious” nature of the State’s decision.
We believe the State did not engage in a good-faith analysis of recruitment and retention or other operational issues at the three facilities. Instead, the State made the decision for purely budgetary reasons.
Our arguments were reinforced through testimony by Local 117 staff and members at a hearing on March 24.
The State is trying to pin the blame on the Union for its elimination of your pay, even though we argued for wage increases for all Local 117 members at the DOC that were well above what the arbitrator ultimately awarded.
The State also claims its decision was not “arbitrary or capricious” based on discussions on the topic at a short meeting at the Office of Financial Management on June 3, even though no DOC managers from any of the three affected facilities were present at that meeting.
The arbitrator has indicated that we can expect a decision within thirty days. We will provide an update as soon as the decision is final.
Thank you for your patience. We are doing everything we can to ensure that your rights under the arbitrator’s award are protected.