Today, CWA 1036 filed a group grievance on behalf of all affected employees who were entitled to a progression increase (step payment) on January 1, 2017 but did not receive it.
In the grievance, the Union asserts that all employees eligible to receive progression increases should receive the increases that were due under the applicable Contract, effective January 1st of each year. Further, the Union demands that progression increases of 4% be added to base salary to all employees eligible for progression increases as of January 1, 2017. Employees at “maximum 1” who are eligible for advancement to “maximum 2” should also receive that increase.
The basis for this grievance is a letter of agreement signed by the Union and Judiciary in May of 2015, in which the parties agreed that for purposes of progression increases upon expiration of the Contract, the language to be applied is Article 7 of the 2008-2012 Contract, the contract prior to this one. The side letter recognizes that the Judiciary and CWA bargained changes to progression during the 2012-2016 contract, but if there is a dispute over whether progression must be paid after the contract expires, the controlling language is the prior agreement which was in effect from 2008-2012. In other words, under this letter of agreement signed by both parties, CWA argues that progressions of 4% per year are due effective January 1st of each year under our expired contract and while we negotiate a new one.
By failing to pay progressions, the Judiciary has violated our Contract. Additionally, as we have raised previously, the Judiciary’s actions are contrary to over forty years of legal precedent and a unanimous Appellate Court ruling, holding that annual progression increases negotiated in a contract are paid to employees when a contract has expired and a new one is being negotiated. This Appellate Division decision is in effect at this time.
CWA 1036 is committed to fighting for the rights of our members at the bargaining table, in the courts, at the statehouse, and in the streets. We are not backing down from this fight, and we will continue to fight and negotiate for a fair contract for all our members.