Arbitrator Rules In Favor Of Past Practice

In June of 2012 Pepco's Call Center ended a 40+ year practice of reps choosing their shifts based on seniority in favor of a system based on performance. This was done without Local 1900 agreeing to the change.

A President's Grievance was filed. On September 18, 2013 the grievance was arbitrated before Arbitrator James Mastriani. Post-hearing briefs were filed on November 4, 2013 and he rendered his award on December 18, 2013.

The arbitrator agreed with Local 1900 over every major issue in the case.

The Pepco contract provides that the Company cannot change or violate an "established precedent in terms and/or conditions of employment" (also known as "past practice") without an agreement with Local 1900 to do so.

Pepco's "management rights" clauses in the contract are limited in many ways by contract language, including the "established precedent" provision.

Finally, in spite of any discussions that may have occurred with previous Local 1900 leadership over this issue, there was no evidence of an agreement to make the change as is required by the contract.

The following is Arbitrator Mastriani's decision at the end of his 30 page award:

"The Company violated the Agreement when it implemented a shift bid process in the Call Center based on performance. By way of remedy, the Company shall, within a reasonable period of time, issue a posting for shift selection among Service Representatives in the same manner in which shift selections had been conducted prior to the June 1, 2012 change from seniority to performance."