Union Wins First Grievance — Overturns Outrageous Long-term Suspension

On April 27, the City of Virginia Beach Human Resource Personnel Board ruled in favor of Mike Robinson, in Public Works, Mosquito Control, that their indefinite suspension, lasting several months, was unfair. Mike’s suspension was reduced to 5 days and he was paid full back pay from March 8 and returned back to work.

Mike was represented by Virginia Beach City Workers Union, UE organizer Chris Hollis. Fellow union members “OB” Justin Oberlander and Steven Wilson were present and testified on his behalf at the hearing.  This shows that the unity and support built by having a union really make a difference in fighting for justice.  As part of building the union, we plan to train up workers to become union stewards in every department so you can have these skills too!

Mike had been unfairly suspended for an alleged criminal charge violating the City’s Criminal and Administrative Charge and Conviction Policy (6.02A) and told an investigatory panel ruled that he should be suspended from work for several months until the courts ruled on the case. The union’s main argument was that this was disparate treatment, that other workers had similar criminal charges but were allowed to work until after the court made its decision.  Ultimately, the union’s arguments prevailed.

Even without collective bargaining union rights, which we are in the process of winning, being a member of the union affords you representation in the City’s grievance process. We encourage all workers to sign union cards and join the union today so we can keep building union power! SIGN A CARD HERE

This is also part of a larger “Grievance for Justice” campaign where the union is collecting grievances from workers across the City about on-going concerns. One major issue we are collecting information about is the arbitrary and capricious performance evaluations that result in low merit pay. If you have copies of your recent evaluation, please share with your department union steward or bring to the next meeting.