Arbitration Ruling

Hello Brothers & Sisters,


             As many of you know, in August, 2018, the Union filed a grievance, protesting the Company requiring some apprentices to practice ophthalmic dispensing when their sponsor was not on premises.

   When we could not secure a reasonable resolution through the grievance process, we felt there was no choice but to file for arbitration.  The arbitration lasted two days in October and November, 2019.  Several opticians provided invaluable help to the Union’s attorneys, as well as agreeing to testify; we are very grateful to them.  Although ultimately we were unsuccessful, we could not have mounted the fight which we did without your help.

  This week we got the arbitrator’s ruling, which denied the grievance.  Briefly, he found the bargaining history favored the company and that the state law and regulations and industry practice were ambiguous and thus inadequate to override the bargaining history.

  While I disagree with the arbitrator’s decision, I have no choice but to accept and respect it.  And know that I am very proud of this Union and bargaining unit. We did everything possible to fight what we saw as the improper use of the apprenticeship program.  Moreover, the Executive Board and I will continue to stand up for your rights whenever we see a violation.

  So, where do we go from here? We tried the grievance procedure, believing it the best way to confront this sticky and long-term problem. It is my sincere hope the company will not deviate from the current practice which, overwhelmingly, has the apprentice and sponsor scheduled together.

  But if any member witnesses what you believe to be a state violation, you should report it to the state. This is your right under the law and the Union will not tolerate any retaliation for doing so.  Also, if you feel that the company is taking liberties, you always have the right to opt out of the apprentice program and simply decline to be a sponsor.

 Finally for those interested in reading the 33 page decision, I have posted it HERE 


In Unity