|Attention DHHS Social Services Specialists|
In answer to the question, what does the Union do for you, UAW Local 6000 just won an important arbitration victory for Services workers who perform On-Call duty (which is mainly Children’s Protective Services workers and Adult Protective Services workers in all 83 counties across the state. This could mean a big change in how On-Call is done, and additional compensation for those assigned to On-Call when they do work while on On-Call. (This is called Call Back pay and per the contract entitles the worker to 3 Hours Pay at the Overtime Rate)
Last year, when Adult PS workers were added to the On-Call rotation, the Union received many calls regarding this. Based on what we were told we felt that the workers were not being properly paid for Call Back pay (when an On-Call worker is contacted to take action on a case while on On-Call). The position of DHS management at the time was that a Services worker was only entitled to Call Back pay if they did field work while on On-Call. The Union disagreed with that determination. Numerous grievances were filed from all across the state.
The arbitration hearing was held earlier this year, and the decision came down this past week. The arbitrator ruled that a Services Specialist is entitled to the Call Back pay if they did “substantial” work on a case while on On-Call whether or not they left their house. The arbitrator also ruled that DHS did not establish a past practice for denying Call Back, by not paying this in the past. The arbitrator did not, however, agree fully with the Union’s position that the Call Back pay begins the minute a worker gets a phone referral while on On-Call: They have to do substantial work (which he said has to be evaluated on a Case By Case basis) on the case.
The Union brought 6 specific case examples of work done by On-Call workers, and the arbitrator ruled that 5 of the 6 workers were entitled to the Call Back pay. This arbitration case sets a precedent and can be used by all On-Call workers.
What does this mean for you as an On-Call worker? Starting immediately, any referrals on cases in which you believe you do substantial work on while on On-Call, you need to document it and request the Call Back pay (3 Hours of Overtime pay).
Jim Walkowicz, UAW Local 6000 DHHS Labor/Management team Chairperson
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