BEFORE THE ARBITRATOR
IN THE MATTER OF THE ARBITRATION OF A DISPUTE
LOCAL 110, SHEBOYGAN COUNTY SUPPORT
Ms. Helen Isferding, Staff Representative, for the Union.
Ms. Louella Conway, Personnel Director, for the County.
Pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement between the parties, I was assigned by
the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission as arbitrator over an employe status
Hearing was held May 20, 1997, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The proceedings were
stenographically or otherwise transcribed. The parties filed post-hearing briefs, the last of
which was received July 7, 1997.
The parties could not agree on a statement of the issue, but did agree I could frame
the issue after considering their respective positions.
I frame the issue as:
Did the County violate the contract by the manner
in which it employed Jan Wirth?
If so, what remedy is appropriate?
The parties' dispute focuses on the questions of whether the County has employed Jan
Wirth in such a manner that she became a member of the bargaining unit and/or in such a
manner that the County violated the contractual restrictions on use of temporary employes.
The contract at Article 22b. defines a temporary employe as someone:
. . . hired for a specified period of time and who will be
separated from payroll at the end
of such period.
The contract at Article 11, II A.9. further specifies that temporary employes:
. . . shall not be used to reduce, replace or displace
regular full-time employment.
Wirth has been hired and then terminated by the County on eight separate occasions
beginning October 1993 for periods of time ranging from four to almost six months. During
these periods of employment, Wirth performed various recordkeeping and data entry tasks
related to computerizing County Child Support Department records.
The Union essentially argues that the length and regularity of Wirth's employment
transformed her into a regular employe entitled to contractual benefits and also violated the
contractual prohibition against reducing, replacing or displacing "full-time employment"
through use of temporary employes.
Looking only at the regularity and duration of Wirth's employment, there is certainly
support for the Union's position. However, the record establishes to my satisfaction that the
regularity and duration of Wirth's employment were caused by delays beyond the County's
control in the State's implementation of the KIDS system. The record further establishes that
Wirth was and continues to be hired for "specific periods of time" to complete the KIDS
project; that Wirth is the only County employe working on the KIDS computerization
and that she therefore is not performing "regular . . .
employment" duties within the meaning of Article 11(9). Under such circumstances,
employment does not violate the contract. Therefore, the grievance is dismissed.
Dated at Madison, Wisconsin, this 3rd day of October 1997.
Peter G. Davis /s/_____________________________________________
Peter G. Davis, Arbitrator