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Salary Adjustment: Promotions: Labour Unions: Collective Bargaining

2. Salary Adjustment

Facts:

In the contract governing the 1980-1981 school year, the parties had agreed that teachers who attended 93 or more calendar days in any school year would be advanced on the salary schedule for the following year. The number of days required for advancement was changed in the contract governing the 1981-1982 school year to 130 days. The school board did not advance teachers in the 1981-1982 school year who had more than 93 days but less than 130 days attendance in the 1980-1981 school year. The union grieved the school board's action.

The arbitrator was presented with the following positions. The union claimed that provisions of the 1980-1981 collective bargaining contract controlled and had to be honored because the employee who attended the required 93 days had already earned the step increase for the 1981-1982 school year. The school board claimed that as the 1981-1982 contract was in effect before the school year began, its provisions controlled any salary advancements for that school year, and therefore the 130-day rule had to be honored.

Decision:

The arbitrator decided in favor of the union. His opinion was based on the fact that the 1981-1982 collective bargaining agreement did not specifically provide for retroactivity in the computation of the earned step increase. And, although such retroactivity would have been valid if agreed to by the parties, it must be clearly stated in the contract and cannot be presumed if the contract is silent on the issue.

Questions

a. The arbitrator would have sided with the school board if the contract had stated that the change in the number of required days was retroactive. Do you think such a provision would be fair?

b. Do you think the pay of professionals, such as teachers, should be advanced on an objective test such as "attendance," as opposed to a performance requirement?

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Salary Adjustment: Promotions: Labour Unions: Collective Bargaining

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Facts:

In the contract governing the 1980-1981 school year, the parties had agreed that teachers who attended 93 or more calendar days in any school year would be advanced on the salary schedule for the following year. The number of days required for advancement was changed in the contract governing the 1981-1982 school year to 130 days. The school board did not advance teachers in the 1981-1982 school year who had more than 93 days but less than 130 days attendance in the 1980-1981 school year. The union grieved the school board's action.

The arbitrator was presented with the following positions. The union claimed that provisions of the 1980-1981 collective bargaining contract controlled and had to be honored because the employee who attended the required 93 days had already earned the step increase for the 1981-1982 school year. The school board claimed that, as the 1981-1982 contract was in effect before the school year began, its provisions controlled any salary advancements for that school year, and therefore the 130-day rule had to be honored.

Decision:

The arbitrator decided in favor of the union. His ...

Solution Summary

Do you think the pay of professionals, such as teachers, should be advanced on an objective test such as "attendance," as opposed to a performance requirement?

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