Petition to appeal the arbitration from grievance B18-ALL-006 citing “past practice”

Petition to appeal the arbitration from grievance B18-ALL-006 citing “past practice”

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Joseph Billups started this petition to CWA leadership and

At&t alleges that the language in section 4.05 of the Uverse Addendum:  “Employees may be required to work up to fourteen(14) hours of overtime subject to the needs of the business” is strong enough to insist that a technician must work his entire scheduled even if he has met the 14 hour overtime requirement. 

For almost 4 years, this requirement has been interpreted, by both management and bargained employees alike, as once a technician meets the 14 hour overtime requirement the technician will not be required to work anymore hours during that schedule as that would be violating the agreement. 

After arbitration, the new and current interpretation is that if a technician meets the required overtime throughout the week then at the point he can refuse additional overtime on a daily basis, but must continue to work his scheduled days. 

This interpretation seems fair, as it still only requires a technician to work 14 hours of overtime on paper. In the real world you can expect a technician to accrue 56+ hours of overtime due to unexpected delays on assigned tasks. In the past practice, technicians only had to concern themselves with reaching their requirement on one day of the week (whichever day the technician actually met his overtime requirement in worked hours.) It is now the responsibility of the technician to estimate the duration of his assigned tasks throughout the week to ensure that he is not working more daily overtime than is required of him. In this line of work, it is impossible to accurately estimate the time to complete any assigned task as every single dispatch is different. Thus, if any technician assumes he will be finished by 5:00pm but is delayed and doesn’t finish his task until 7:00pm then he has just worked 2 more hours of overtime than he is required and it can not be subtracted from his scheduled shift the next day to ensure that he does not work more than he is required to. 

You can argue that a technician is not required to complete any task without consent unless the work can be completed in a “reasonable” amount of time. However, “Reasonable” is a subjective term and can be defined differently by management and technicians. Not to mention the morality of a technician refusing to finish a task. 

Ultimately, this new interpretation which was implemented without bargaining into the contract, further reduces the work/life balance that is already virtually non-existent for Wire Technicians.

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