Public Employee Press
Grievances cost city Finance
for years of out-of title work are (from left, seated) Milagros Perez-Hernandez,
Rosetta Williams and Joan Hansley. Standing are three who fought for them, DC
37 Rep Madonna Knight, Local 1113 President Debra Pitts and union attorney Alan
work cases filed by Local 1113, an impartial arbitrator ordered the Finance Dept.
to pay two members almost $17,000 in back wages, and the agency settled another
members grievance for about $3,000.
Since September 2005, the Dept.
of Finance had been assigning additional responsibilities in the Customer Services/Refunds
and Adjustments Unit to Milagros Perez-Hernandez, a Secretary Level 4, and Joan
Hansley and Rosetta Williams, both Clerical Associates Level 3. The three are
members of DOF Administrative Employees and City Investigators Local 1113.
The new out-of-title workload was overwhelming, said Williams,
a 36-year veteran. She said her new duties consisted of about 15 additional tasks
usually done by Principal Administrative Associates, who use the departments
Fairtax computer system to assure quality control.
I felt like
I was doing the work of two or three people, said Perez-Hernandez. All three
women said that although they had been doing out-of-title work for years, management
passed them over when they applied for promotions. It was very unfair,
Their workload and responsibilities increased but their
titles and paychecks remained the same, so the women contacted their local.
The difference in salary is about $5,000 and the department offered
them no compensation or upgrades for the work, said Council Rep Madonna
Knight of the White Collar Division, who filed grievances on the members
behalf. DC 37 attorney Alan M. Brown represented the local at the arbitrations.
In October 2006, DOF management reorganized the unit and added even more
responsibilities. The work now included processing refund applications, verifying
applications and entering into Fairtax confirmation that applications had been
reviewed and were ready for payment.
In the arbitration hearings, Brown
argued that the additional duties were consistent with the higher title of Principal
Administrative Associate, but management insisted the work was within the members
current job descriptions.
After careful review, the arbitrator ruled
that the tasks were consistent with the duties of a PAA and ordered the Finance
Dept. to pay the members for their out-of-title work. In February, Williams and
Perez-Hernandez were awarded the difference in pay, and Hansley signed a stipulation
of settlement. Since then, Knight said, the members assignments have
been changed to better reflect their job titles.
The three were
glad to have the unions support. Williams said, I am happy because
I knew I was right all along.
These grievants knew they were
working out of title and they properly documented that fact, said Brown.
They were prepared for their hearings, he said. Grievants
who prepare and work with the union significantly increase the likelihood of their