Fired Utility Department Employees Returning? Palo Alto Issues, posted by Donnie, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Dec 16, 2006 at 10:33 pm
Rumors abound among City Employees that at least some of the Utility Department employees let go in the scandal last year are soon to return to work (with back pay and benefits). Can this possibly be true? Anyone else heard this wild notion?
Posted by Sonny, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Dec 17, 2006 at 6:56 pm
Believe it. Two employees from the rank and file membership recently won their arbitration hearings. One employee returned to work several weeks ago. The other employee will return after the first of the year. Both will receive all back pay, vacation and sick leave accrual and retirement benefits.
If you carefully examine the investigator's report (covered in The Weekly), you'll find that the root cause was lax supervision by utility department managers.
By the way, The Daily's investigative reporting is nil. Kudos to The Weekly.
Posted by Tim, a resident of the University South neighborhood, on Dec 17, 2006 at 9:14 pm
A arbitrater is someone that is a "outsider" that both the city and the union agree to let hear the case. This person or persons is presented with both sides and then makes his or hers determination, which is final.
So, if these employees won their arbitration hearings and now have their jobs back- I have no problem with that.
Posted by sonny, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Dec 17, 2006 at 9:29 pm
Yes, an outside arbitrator ruled in their favor. However, it took almost a year and a half to reach that decision. I'm sure that it took an emotional, as well as, a financial toll on them and their families. Also, I'm sure that it will be hard for them to return to their workplace and not be bitter.