AFGE Local 2923 Union Grievance with the National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS) Ends with an Award for every eligible Employee.

NIHNORTH CAROLINA – The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 2923 announced that an arbitrator decided that every eligible employee would receive an award in relation to a grievance against the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). “The NIEHS violated our negotiated agreement and now will have to pay employees awards they should have received 3 years ago with interest and attorney fees,” stated Bill Jirles AFGE Local 2923 representative.  “Our employees worked hard to achieve these awards and they were unfairly denied by NIEHS management. Without the Union and the expertise of its counsel, Snider and Associates LLC, this would never have been possible,” said Jirles. Mr. Jirles added “the Agency was offered the opportunity to resolve this Grievance for pennies on the dollar but insisted it had no liability and offered nothing.”

The Union’s collective action grievance was filed on behalf of these employees in May 2013. The essence of the action was that employees should have received performance awards in compliance with a negotiated agreement with AFGE L 2923. NIEHS management withheld monetary awards and tried to use the excuse of sequestration; however, they had already allocated the funds for awards and based on the agreement should have distributed the awards to employees represented by the Union.

There are approximately 200 federal employees represented by AFGE L 2923. The arbitration decision will grant performance awards for employees who should have received them in early 2013 for their exemplary work. “This might be the only case in a series of sequestration related award cases which the FLRA ruled in the Union’s favor,” said Jason I. Weisbrot, Esq. of Snider & Associates, adding that “the employees have their exceptional Union representatives to thank for that. The language in the negotiated agreement was artfully crafted to ensure fairness of performance awards and the Union ensured that NIEHS management adhered to the language that they agreed to.”

“This decision has been more than three years in the making and even though we attempted resolution numerous times NIEHS management fought us every step of the way. NIEHS management had given performance awards to some of their most highly paid employees but when it came to those represented by the Union they tried everything they could to deny them what was their protected right,” noted Snider & Associates attorney and senior litigator Jacob Y. Statman, Esq.