BEFORE THE ARBITRATOR
In the Matter of the Arbitration of a Dispute Between
LOCAL 990, AFSCME, AFL-CIO
Case 167 No. 54684 MA-9759
AFSCME Council 40, AFL-CIO, 8033 Excelsior Drive, Suite B, Madison WI 53717
Michael Wilson, Staff Representative, appearing on behalf of Local 990.
Davis & Kuelthau, S.C., Attorneys at Law, 111 East Kilbourn, Suite 1400,
53202, by Mr. Mark Olson, appearing on behalf of Kenosha County.
The undersigned was jointly selected by Local 990, AFSCME, AFL-CIO (hereinafter
referred to as the Union) and Kenosha County (hereinafter referred to as the County) to hear
and decide a number of disputes concerning the October 14, 1996 discharge of Dolly Fitch
from her position as a Social Worker II with the County Department of Human Services.
The parties to this action, having devoted substantial time and resources to the
the action, and being desirous of a prompt and final resolution of the dispute between them,
have requested that the undersigned issue an expedited award based upon the evidence
submitted to him during the presentation of the County's evidence on January 13 and 14,
February 18, March 6, 11, 12, and 13, May 12, 13 and 30, and June 3, 4, and 20, 1997.
parties have further stipulated that the Award should consider and resolve all
employment-related claims between the parties and Dolly Fitch, whatever their basis and
claims are constituted, and have stipulated that the Award will bind them with respect to all
such claims. Having considered the evidence, and the relevant contract language, and
being fully advised in the premises, the undersigned makes the following Findings and
1. Certain of the grievant's actions in processing and monitoring her cases
the County's reasonable expectations for job performance for an experienced Social
2. Many of the charges leveled against the grievant do not support a
finding of just
cause for discharge. Certain of the County's charges are barred as untimely; others
are not supported by evidence that the grievant had reasonable notice that discipline
might result from her action or inaction; others are not proved.
Page 2 MA-9759
3. Neglect of duty and failure to perform assigned duties adequately are
just cause for
counseling and progressive discipline;
4. Given that the grievant has over twenty years of service with the
County and a clean
disciplinary record, and given that many of the charges are either not proved, are
time barred or suffer from a defect of notice, discharge is too severe a penalty for the
grievant's actions and inactions.
On the basis of the foregoing, and the record as a whole, I have made the following
1. The grievant shall be reinstated to her former classification and will be
a position as a Social Worker II in the Department of Human Services. In order to
allow the parties to make appropriate arrangements for her return, the reinstatement
will be effective as of September 8, 1997;
2. The grievant shall receive backpay to April 1, 1997; in addition to the
backpay, she shall be paid two months of wages as compensation for health
3. There shall be no precedent or prejudice to the rights of other workers
by virtue of
4. There shall be no loss of seniority or credit for service to the grievant
by virtue of
5. The employer may condition the assignment of normal duties and
on the grievant's participation in a training program or training sessions to be
determined at the employer's discretion. Participation in these programs or sessions
will be considered part of the grievant's normal work duties.
6. A copy of this Award will remain on the grievant's record until
December 31, 1998,
and will be treated as a first step in the disciplinary progression for neglect of duty.
Any further discipline must be supported by the traditional notions of just cause,
progressive discipline and proportionality.
7. Pursuant to the stipulation of the County, the Union and the grievant
arbitrator authority over all employment-related disputes involving the grievant, this
Award completely resolves any and all employment related claims between the
parties related to the grievant's discharge, and between the County and the grievant,
including but not limited to discipline, unemployment, discrimination, prohibited
practices, reimbursement claims however constituted, backpay claims however
constituted, and all of the grievant's pending grievances.
8. The Arbitrator will retain jurisdiction over this matter for the purpose
disputes over the interpretation and application of this Award.
Dated this 3rd day of September, 1997 at Racine, Wisconsin:
Daniel Nielsen /s/ _____________
Daniel Nielsen, Arbitrator