I. PROPOSALS TO BE INCLUDED IN BOTH CITY AND PARKS AND REC
1. Amend. Vacation schedule to read as follows (new material
Section 1. Employees shall be eligible for annual paid vacation as
Five (5) days after 1 year of service;
Ten (10) days after 2 years of service;
Fifteen (15) days after 6 years of service;
Sixteen (16) days after 7 years of service;
Seventeen (17) days after 9 years of service;
Eighteen (18) days after 11 years of service;
Nineteen (19) days after 13 years of service;
Twenty (20) days after 14 years of service;
Twenty-one (21) days after 15 years of service;
Twenty-two (22) days after 17 years of service;
Twenty-three (23) days after 19 years of service;
Twenty-four (24) days after 22 years of service;
Twenty-five (25) days after 25 years of service.
Upon receipt of this response of the City, the parties entered into a tentative agreement
proposal of the Union. At no time during the negotiation of the parties' 1998-2000 collective
bargaining agreement did the parties have any discussion regarding the implementation of this
In February of 1998, the Union filed a grievance alleging that the City violated
Section 1, of the 1998-2000 collective bargaining agreement by not providing an additional
of vacation to employes who had completed twenty-two years of service, effective January 1,
1998. On February 27, 1998, the Union advised the City that the remedy requested by the
was to grant one day of vacation to:
Employees who have 22 years of service as of 1/1/98.
Employees who have 23 and 24 years of service as of 1/1/98.
Employees who have 25 years of service as of 1/1/98 who are not yet eligible for
twenty-five days of vacation.
On February 16, 1998, City Comptroller Joe Rohrman responded to the grievance
the following letter:
This is in response to the union grievance you filed regarding the method of
crediting the extra day of vacation after 22 years of service that was bargained in
the 1998-2000 union contract.
Any unused vacation that an employee had as of January 1, 1998 was for the years
of service that they worked prior to their last anniversary date and which was
credited to them on that anniversary date. Therefore any vacation balance at
January 1, 1998 was for vacation earned under the prior contract, and credit was
given for the number of days vacation called for in that contract.
The contract that went into effect on January 1, 1998 calls for an extra day of
vacation after 22 years of service, from 23 to 24, and credit for that extra day will
be given on the first anniversary date in which an employee is credited for vacation
that was earned while working under the current contract.
Using your anniversary date of October 13 as an example, the vacation
that you are
currently using was earned from the period October 13, 1996 through October 13,
1997. Vacation was credited in accordance with the 1995-97 contract. The
vacation that you will receive in 1998 is for the period that you worked from
October 13, 1997 through October 13, 1998 and will be credited according to the
1998-2000 contract. Assuming you were entitled to an additional day because of
a change in the contract you would receive it on your anniversary date in 1998
because that is the first time that you are being credited vacation for time that you
worked under the new contract.
POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES
By its terms, the contract is binding and in full force and effect as of
January 1, 1998. The
clear and unambiguous language of Article 28, Section 1, demonstrates that bargaining unit
employes are entitled to receive 24 days of vacation after 22 years of service. When the
negotiated this contract language, the City did not bargain, or even propose, language that
have delayed the extra day of vacation until the employe's anniversary date in 1998.
The Arbitrator should sustain the grievance. The City should be ordered to award
day of vacation to the ten employes listed on Union Exhibits 4 and 5 as of January 1,
During the negotiation of the 1998-2000 collective bargaining agreement, the parties
not discuss, or agree, to any change in the City's application of vacation benefits under the
contract. Under a longstanding practice, employes are credited with vacation on their
dates. There is no language in the contract to the contrary.
The interpretation proffered by the Union is not the interpretation that was mutually
understood by both parties at the time that the parties agreed upon the 1998-2000 collective
bargaining agreement. The grievance is without merit and should be denied.
As the Union argues, Article 28, Duration, provides that the 1998-2000
binding and in full force and effect from January 1, 1998. Standing alone, this language
supports the Union's argument that the additional day of vacation benefit
is payable on January 1,
1998. This language, however, does not stand alone, but rather, must be construed in a
that is consistent with the requirements of Article 6, Section 1.
It is undisputed that, during the term of the 1995-97 agreement, and for many years
to that agreement, the City has credited the vacation benefit provided in Article 6, Section 1,
the employe's anniversary date, and not at the beginning of the calendar year. Under this
of implementing the Article 6, Section 1, vacation benefit, any vacation improvement
from the addition of the phrase "Twenty-four days after 22 years of service" to the
collective bargaining agreement would not be available to the employe until the employe's
During the negotiations that lead to the parties' 1998-2000 collective bargaining
the parties agreed to modify the language of Article 6, Section 1, by inserting "Twenty-four
after 22 years of service." The Union proposed this modification, and the City agreed to this
modification, without any discussion concerning the implementation of this vacation benefit.
Given the absence of any negotiation discussions regarding the implementation of the
"Twenty-four (24) days after 22 years of service" vacation improvement, the most persuasive
evidence of the parties' "mutual agreement" concerning the implementation of the Article 6,
Section 1, vacation benefit is that established by the past practice. Contrary to the argument
the Union, the City has not refused to grant employes the vacation benefits that were
by the parties.
Based upon the above and foregoing, and the record as a whole, the undersigned
1. The Employer did not violate the collective bargaining
agreement by failing to give
employes with 22 or more years of service who were not granted 25 days of vacation on
anniversary date in 1997 one day of vacation on January 1, 1998.
2. The grievance is denied and dismissed.
Dated at Madison, Wisconsin, this 27th day of November, 1998.
Coleen A. Burns /s/
Coleen A. Burns, Arbitrator