ASPA continues to have several open grievances, eighteen (18) to be exact. To date, of those eighteen (18); ten (10) were filed in 2020. This compares to the eight (8) and nineteen (19) filed in 2019 and 2018, respectively. We have however over the recent months been able to resolve a few the grievances related to the Employer’s failure to deduct Association dues. Many of these grievances have been resolved by having positions moved within the scope of ASPA that were not previously in any bargaining unit. The theme of the other bulk of our grievances relate to the assertion that the employer has wrongfully laid off a member.
You may or may not recall but ASPA was successful at Arbitration at the beginning of 2020 and was able to have three members reinstated when the employer wrongfully laid them off and created new work which consisted of the majority of their work. This was a good award for ASPA as it also helped define and interpret the language in Article 16.
ASPA also was successful at another arbitration this year when Arbitrator Hood’s award determined that the employer had wrongfully terminated a member and that they should be reinstated. Unfortunately, our member has not yet been reinstated as the Employer is contesting the award by taking it forward to Judicial Review. This hearing is not before the courts till mid-January. This has been a long and difficult process not only for the member who was terminated but for the member who filled that position and now sits in limbo.
ASPA has four arbitrations currently in the queue for 2021, three (3) related to wrongful layoffs and a termination. We also continue to await an award that relates to a denial of a request for a leave of absence (LOA). Grievances that go to arbitration take on average about two years to be resolved. This is not ideal but it is the reality. The grievance process is not a quick fix to an issue but is very necessary and important. The agreement is only as strong as we make it and push to have it enforced. We need to hold the employer accountable when they violate the rights and privileges contained in the agreement. Many individuals have worked hard and continue to work hard to ensure that these rights and privileges are maintained.
If you think that your rights have been violated or you have a concern, then please reach out to our ASPA Member Services Officer, Darcy Hryn-Bird at firstname.lastname@example.org.