Administrative Services

EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

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Arbitration Decision Summary

The following Arbitration Decisions regarding employee grievances have been summarized for informational use only. Please be advised that none of the decisions in any of these cases are precedent setting.

2012-13

Kimberly Borowiak v. Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NAPE) Kimberly Borowiak filed a grievance after being demoted, which was based on an incident where the Appellant struck a pedestrian while operating a state vehicle.  This was the third traffic offense committed by the Appellant.  The parties agreed to designate Robert Bartle as Arbitrator, and a hearing was held in accordance with the 2011-2013 State of Nebraska and NAPE/AFSCME Labor Contract.

The Arbitrator found that the evidence established that the Appellant’s prior position of a parole officer required her to drive state vehicles and that the Respondent sought to find a position with comparable pay, but one which would not require the employee to drive.  The Arbitrator found that the Respondent’s judgment was not unreasonable or beyond the discretion allowed under the labor contract and the grievance was dismissed.

Denise Johnston-Rauterkus v. Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NAPE) Denise Johnston-Rauterkus filed a grievance after being terminated, which was based upon an allegation the she used vulgar, loud, disruptive language during a dinner at a local restaurant, in the presence of other NCBVI staff and witnessed by several members of the general public.  The parties agreed to designate Terri Weeks as Arbitrator, and a hearing was held in accordance with the 2011-2013 State of Nebraska and NAPE/AFSCME Labor Contract.

The Arbitrator found that the Appellant’s language was vulgar and loud at the restaurant and that it was witnessed by other NCBVI staff and the public.  The Arbitrator found that the disciplinary action was taken in good faith and for cause and that progressive discipline was followed.  The grievance was dismissed.

Gary Gerken v. Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NAPE) Gary Gerken filed a grievance after being disciplined in the form of termination.  The grievance stated that his arrest for domestic violence was unrelated to his employment and it occurred during off-duty time, and while he did fail to inform DCS of his arrest, that a lesser discipline should be imposed.  The parties agreed to designate Melanie Whittamore-Mantzios as Arbitrator, and a hearing was held in accordance with the 2011-2013 State of Nebraska and NAPE/AFSCME Labor Contract.

The Arbitrator found that while an arrest and charge alone does not violate the labor contract, falsifying information regarding the incident and not reporting law enforcement contact does violate the labor contract, and therefore the Respondent had just cause for terminating the Appellant.  The grievance was dismissed.

Amy Smith v. Nebraska Department of Roads (NAPE) Amy Smith filed a grievance after she was disciplined in the form of a written warning for not maintaining appropriate relationships with coworkers.  The grievance stated that the disciplinary notice was not written in conformance to the labor contract as it failed to list specific details of the allegations involved.  The parties agreed to designate William Morris as Arbitrator, and the process was governed by the 2011-2013 State of Nebraska and NAPE/AFSCME Labor Contract.

The Arbitrator found that the discipline did not contain the criteria required by the labor contract.  The Arbitrator dismissed the disciplinary notice and granted leave to the Department to file an amended discipline in conformance with the Arbitrator’s decision and within the time limitations imposed by Section 10.9 of the labor contract.

Jacqueline Fiedler v. Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NAPE) Jacqueline Fiedler filed a grievance after she was disciplined in the form of a written warning based on two allegations.  The parties agreed to designate Melanie Whittamore-Mantzios as Arbitrator, and a hearing was held in accordance with the 2011-2013 State of Nebraska and NAPE/AFSCME Labor Contract.

The Arbitrator found that the Respondent did not prove by a preponderance of the evidence that Fiedler failed to obey a direct order by not completing a misconduct report.  However, the grievance was denied in part because there were sufficient grounds for disciplinary action based on Fiedler’s failure to comply with a direct order to perform a cell search.  The Arbitrator found that the discipline should stand as it is the lightest sanction available under the Labor Contract.

James Fitzsimmons v. Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NAPE) The Appellant filed a grievance after the Respondent disciplined him in the form of termination.  The discipline was based upon an allegation of failure or refusal to comply with a lawful order when the Appellant did not provide the appropriate documentation to AON Hewitt.  The parties agreed to designate Terri Weeks as Arbitrator, and a hearing was held in accordance with the 2011-2013 State of Nebraska and NAPE/AFSCME Labor Contract.

The Arbitrator found that the discipline was not progressive in nature and the matter was remanded to the Respondent to impose a form of discipline that is progressive in nature based on the violation that occurred.

Alan Wallace v. Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NAPE) Alan Wallace filed a grievance after being terminated by the Respondent for failure to comply with policies or procedures, incompetence in the performance of duties, and for conduct which adversely affected the agency function.  The parties agreed to designate Robert Bartle as Arbitrator, and a hearing was held in accordance with the 2011-2013 State of Nebraska and NAPE/AFSCME Labor Contract.

The Arbitrator found that the Respondent did not violate the labor contract and that the discipline imposed was appropriate based on the severity of the infractions.  The grievance was denied.

Connie Sievert v. Nebraska Department of Roads (NAPE) Connie Sievert filed a grievance after being terminated for creating a hostile and unsafe work environment.  The parties agreed to designate Jim Titus as Arbitrator, and a hearing was held in accordance with the 2011-2013 State of Nebraska and NAPE/AFSCME Labor Contract.

The Arbitrator found that the Respondent did not violate the labor contract and that the discipline imposed was appropriate based on the severity of the infractions.  The grievance was denied.