Arbitration win says CDCR retaliated against Local 1000 steward
Victory includes back pay for nearly two years of missed overtime
Stewards are at the core of Local 1000’s power, the crucial connection between the members in the workplace and the union. So when one of our representatives is treated unfairly for doing the work of the union, they’ve picked a fight we’ll take to the mat.
Local 1000 steward Elsa Monroe, a registered nurse at San Quentin State Prison, was retaliated against for her union activities. She was singled out for a common error and treated differently than others who have made similar mistakes. Local 1000 came to her defense and forced her employer to compensate her for the bad treatment.
Monroe’s error happened in February 2011, when a highly agitated patient who was on methadone for narcotic withdrawal was banging his head and feet against a door. Navigating a volatile situation, Monroe and several others on the shift misinterpreted the doctor’s orders to mean another dose of methadone was due and she administered one. The patient suffered no apparent harm.
As a result of the error, Monroe alone was reassigned away from patient care while the incident was investigated. She was not allowed to work any overtime at the reassignment and her new post was in an isolated area where it was difficult for her to perform her steward duties. Though the reassignment was supposed to last from 90-120 days, it ended up lasting two years and cost Monroe thousands of dollars in lost overtime.
The Local 1000-filed grievance went to an arbitrator who decided that Monroe was retaliated against due to her protected activity and was due compensation for the loss of overtime. Our legal team is working to negotiate the amount of back pay due to Monroe.
“Steward harassment is unacceptable,” said Tamekia N. Robinson, vice president for organizing/representation. “If you take on a steward for doing the work of our union, you’ve taken on the whole union.”