Arbitrator Orders reinstatement, FULL back pay, benefits
In February 2011, Tomiwa Shonekan was discharged from his job as an academic manager in the department of HHSS. His supervisor was unhappy with his work, so she fired him. But when she did that, she also violated rights that Tomiwa has because he is a member of our bargaining unit.
If the college wants to fire any of USofCC, there’s a process that must be followed. This process ensures fairness, and it is defined by our contract. (Article V)
Although the college negotiated and agreed to this procedure, they ignored it in Tomiwa’s case in the following ways:
- The college failed to give adequate warning to the member
- The college failed to allow the member to adjust or improve his performance
- The college denied the member’s right to bring union support to his disciplinary meeting.
What the neutral arbitrator called “particularly troubling” was the college’s assertion that members can be fired for any reason and without written explanation.
The arbitrator ordered the college to reinstate Tomiwa to his job, and that he should receive full back pay and benefits.
What’s clear from this case is just how easy it is to misunderstand, misinterpret, or disregard our contract — our negotiated right to due process and fairness.
Great thanks to the IEA staff who worked long and hard on this case. We also thank the neutral arbitrator for his diligent examination, and for his clear-sighted decision.