Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Today will be another busy day.
The Connecticut AFL-CIO convention is today through Friday and I'll represent the Backus nurses.
The governor is speaking today and prior to that, he'll have lunch with the 3 L+M union presidents to discuss all the ongoing problems at their hospital. The 3 presidents have graciously invited me along.

Problem is, I might miss the lunch because I have our first arbitration at 10:00 in Rocky Hill. 
Arbitration is the completion of the grievance process, and because this is our first, it is, in a way, historic.

An employee was disciplined and discharged, they disagreed with the discipline, and for the first time in the 120 year history of the hospital, management doesn't have the final word. An independent arbitrator will decide.

This is the difference between an "at will" employee and a "just cause" employee.

Non union employees are disciplined and discharged completely at the will of the employer.  The best that employee can hope for is unemployment insurance if the labor department agrees that they were not at fault.  In a limited number of cases, the employee may, with the help of a lawyer, be able to prove discrimination due to sex, age, color, etc.

A unionized worker who is covered by a contract with a "just cause" article is afforded protection, in that management must prove there is a "just cause" to discipline or discharge.
It will be unfortunate if I miss lunch with the governor, but as he has told us on other visits, he is a great supporter of the worker's right to organize and collectively bargain.
Protecting that right is the reason I will be at arbitration. 

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