14 West Mifflin Street
A. Henry Hempe
P. O. Box 7870
Madison, WI 53707-7870
Paul A. Hahn
Telephone: (608) 266-1381
Fax: (608) 266-6930
State of Wisconsin
Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission
May 6, 1997
Mr. James Mattson
Wisconsin Council 40,
1701 East Seventh Street
Superior, WI 54880
Ms. Kathryn J. Prenn
Weld, Riley, Prenn & Ricci, S.C.
Attorneys at Law
4330 Golf Terrace, Suite 205
P. O. Box 1030
Eau Claire, WI 54702-1030
Re: Bayfield County (Zoning Department)
AFSCME, AFL-CIO Local 1731
Case 71 No. 54746 MA-9775
(Amy Sharp Grievance)
Dear Mr. Mattson and Ms. Prenn:
This letter is written to confirm a "bench arbitration decision and Award with some
supporting rationale" rendered by the undersigned in the above-entitled matter pursuant to an
agreement by the parties at hearing on April 3, 1997, at the Bayfield County
Pursuant to a joint request by Bayfield County Employees, Local Union #1731,
AFL-CIO, herein Union, and Bayfield County, herein County, I was appointed Arbitrator by
Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission on February 24, 1997, according to the
contained in the grievance-arbitration provisions of the parties' collective bargaining
to hear and decide a dispute as specified below.
As noted above, hearing in the matter was held on April 3, 1997. The hearing
transcribed, and the parties made oral argument at the close of hearing.
At issue was whether the County violated Article 14 of the parties' collective
agreement when it failed to promote the grievant, Amy Sharp, into the Zoning Department
secretary position. The Union argued that the County violated said agreement and past
when it did not allow the grievant to post into the aforesaid position and to prove that she
function in the job within the 45 day trial period allowed by the agreement. The County
Following the close of the record, I made the following principal relevant findings:
1. The County posted a Zoning Secretary (Grade 3) position.
established qualifications for the position which were "more than a simple secretary
position." Instead, the position was like an "Office Manager." The disputed position, in
the opinion of the Arbitrator, is more appropriately classified at a higher grade.
2. The County established ten (10) qualifications for the position
years of administrative secretary experience," and "accounting skills and office budget
management background crucial."
3. The grievant, Amy Sharp, did not possess the above two
was the senior employe applying for the position. These two qualifications were critical
to the County's efforts "to upgrade the position," and were an integral part of the job's
4. Article 14, Section 1, A, provides that the senior
meets the qualifications
shall be assigned to the position. Based on same, and finding no. 3, the Arbitrator
that the County did not violate said contract provision by its actions herein.
5. Such a conclusion is consistent with Union Exhibit No. 2
indicates that senior,
qualified employes have posted into vacant bargaining unit positions over the years.
6. Contrary to the Union's assertion, the grievant was not
entitled, pursuant to
Section 1, D, to serve a forty-five (45) day trial period to prove her qualifications for
disputed position. As pointed out by Arbitrator Douglas V. Knudson in City of
(Utility Commission), Case 51, No. 42311, MA-5653 (1990) at page 4:
There is a major difference between a
trial period and a training
purpose of a training period is to provide an employe with the ability to perform the job,
the purpose of a trial period is to give an employe an opportunity to demonstrate possession
ability to do the job. A trial period is not a training period. (Emphasis added)
7. The grievant's failure to qualify for the aforesaid posting does
adversely on her
excellent work record.
Based on the record evidence, the parties' arguments, and the above findings, I
"bench" decision and found that the answer to the issue as framed by the undersigned was
the County did not violate Article 14 when it failed to promote the grievant, Amy
Sharp into the
Zoning Department secretary position. I therefore denied the grievance and dismissed the
By terms of this letter I am confirming same and closing the file on the above case.
Very truly yours,
Dennis P. McGilligan /s/
Dennis P. McGilligan