BEFORE THE ARBITRATOR
In the Matter of the Arbitration of a Dispute Between
NICOLET AREA TECHNICAL COLLEGE
NICOLET AREA TECHNICAL COLLEGE FACULTY
My initial award in this matter was issued on April 19, 1999. In that award I found
Bass grievance alleged facts that constituted a continuing condition and therefore found the
to have been timely filed. I further found the College had violated Article XX, N.1.b. of the
Collective Bargaining Agreement.
For a remedy I directed the College to 1) grant the grievant retroactive bargaining
effective April 10, 1998 (10 days prior to the date the grievance was filed) and 2) make the
whole both as to seniority recognition and monetarily (including benefits) from said date to
I attributed the delay in filing the grievance to both the Association's mistake or
of fact as well as a mistake of law on the part of the College. Thus, the remedy had the
effect of each
party sharing in the responsibility for what hindsight proved to be a belated inquiry in the
POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES
The College now writes to request that I clarify a portion of my award. It asserts
Association joins it in making such request. The College describes the area of clarification
concerning the amount of compensation owed the grievant for the Spring semester, 1999.
College states that the grievant worked less than half time during that semester, and asks for
clarification as to the compensation owed the grievant for that period.
By way of background, the College notes that the hearing of this matter took place in
October, 1998. In December, 1998, College representatives met with the grievant and
Association representative and proposed that in the event my award started the
running in Spring, 1998, the grievant would agree that the Spring semester,
1999 would not be
counted towards fulfilling the three-semester rule.
The parties did not reach agreement to this proposal. Accordingly, in an effort to
potential monetary losses, the College reduced the grievant's workload to less than a 50%
status for the Spring, 1999 semester.
The College argues that at the time it determined the
workload for the Spring, 1999
semester the grievant was not a member of the bargaining unit. It contends that since the
was not a faculty bargaining unit employee in December, 1998 that the College had the
right to lay her off or reduce her workload. The College sees the grievant's failure to pay
dues in December, 1998 and January, 1999 as proof that the grievant was not a member of
The College asserts that it attempted in good faith to address both the grievant's
about continuing to work on a full-time basis and its own concerns as to being in immediate
of the bargaining agreement on the date the arbitration award was issued. The College
made a fair offer to the grievant to continue her full-time employment. It asserts that the
fully aware that if she refused the proposal made to her by the College ". . . her appointment
be reduced to less than 50% time in order to protect the Employer's interests concerning
immediate violation of the arbitration award if the three semester rule was begun in the
In summary, the gist of the College's concern as to when the grievant
became a member of the
faculty bargaining unit appears to focus on its apprehension that the compensation owed her
Spring semester, 1999 is contingent on her status at the time it reduced her workload for that
semester to less than 50%. Put another way, although the College asserts that it has properly
the grievant for that reduced workload, it appears to harbor anxieties that if it reduced her
while she was a member of the faculty bargaining unit the parties' Collective Bargaining
may require it to pay her additional compensation. This, according to the College, would
The Association does not share these anxieties. It responds to the College's
concerns by noting
that the arbitration award made the grievant a bargaining unit member as of April 10,
Accordingly, the Association believes that from that time forward the grievant should have
afforded all rights under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Although the College
was jointly seeking a clarification of my earlier award, in its written response,
the Association now
asserts that ". . . no further clarification is needed with respect to the arbitrator's award."
* * *
The question presented here thus turns on the remedial application of my award.
My initial award found Gloria Bass to be a member of the faculty bargaining unit
10, 1998. It directed the College to grant her retroactive bargaining unit status effective on
and further to make her whole both as to seniority recognition and monetarily (including
from said date.
It is true I had not yet determined the bargaining unit status of Ms. Bass in
December, 1998 or
January, 1999. Indeed, the briefing schedule to which the parties had agreed had not yet
completed during much of that two-month period. But when the award was issued some
months later it was unambiguous in directing the College to grant the grievant bargaining
retroactive to April 10, 1998. That status was unbroken by any hiatus or gap in
the grievant's faculty
bargaining unit membership between April 10, 1998 and the date the award was issued.
Understandably, the College wishes to avoid the risk of paying the grievant for
time she did not
work. At the same time, I note that the risk taken by the College when it reduced the
workload for the 1999 Spring semester was a calculated one, voluntarily assumed.
The good faith of the College in creating this risk need be neither questioned nor
Inasmuch as I have already found the grievant to be a member of the faculty bargaining unit
the period that the College unilaterally reduced her 1999 Spring semester workload, all that
seems germane is whether such action is permitted or prohibited by the parties' Collective
That issue, however, has been neither addressed by the parties nor is before me for
The grievant continues to be a member of the faculty bargaining unit. The
grievant has been a
member of the faculty bargaining unit for a continuous period without gap or interruption
I am retaining jurisdiction in this matter for an additional 30 days in the event
either party has any
Dated at Madison, Wisconsin this 27th day of July, 1999.
Henry Hempe, Arbitrator