Leave of Absence MOA

Posted: 
Friday, September 11, 2020
Recently we had a NY grievance that was on the table as well as an opportunity to obtain the Business Manager leave of absence for New York Supplementals. Our labor attorney was paid for the day to be briefed on the grievance, interview several union members and give her advice on how she suggests that we proceed. The grievance was in regards to the Regular's contract, Article XVII Section 11, that allowed servicemen in the Buffalo Metropolitan Area to chose their work and territory. Two Regulars and two supplementals were interviewed.  
 
Prior to that and unbeknownst to me, our Union President and Executive Board Chairman, Brett Laubisch and Bill Landahl, had discussed the possibility of the Business Manager leave of absence again with the Company.  Brett was able to secure the start of a possible agreement for us to consider and brought it to my attention prior to our meeting with our attorney.
 
Our attorney has been aware of the leave of absence language because she was involved in the NLRB case with Eric Hinterberger. She reviewed the situation and first came back with the contact language stating that it will continue its "present practices" and that it was dated 1989. The grievance issue came about in 2016 because the Company's new $5 million computer system was not giving MSW their preferences because the areas being so consolidated. The language is not in the Supplemental contract and she said the computer program being implemented would dissolve past practice. She estimated that Supplementals would have a 0% chance of winning the arbitration case. She estimated that Regulars would have a 75% chance of winning the arbitration case. It was determined that this language would affect one Regular at MSW.  She held up our orange NY Supplemental book and asked how many members are in that contract.  It is 400, give or take.  She said that the leave of absence is vital to the future our union and benefits 400 members as opposed to the one member, if we were to even win the arbitration case. If it was won, it would be given up in our negotiations in December 2020.
 
The leave of absence memorandum did not include me initially. We fine tuned the language and also made it to include me as the current Business Manager. It also includes the leave of absence for union members attending Conventions, which we didn't have. The majority of the executive board attended a special meeting via zoom and they supported the decision to accept the Leave of Absence Memorandum of Agreement in exchange for withdrawing the grievance.  
 
I sincerely thank Brett Laubisch and Bill Landahl for their efforts in being a huge part in making this happen. I am proud to inform everyone that I signed this agreement yesterday, 09/08/2020, and that New York Supplementals will not be fired for the privilege of becoming our Union's Business Manager any longer!