Dear Local 2748 Member,
Our Local filed a grievance on behalf of Agent Randy Gasser who was denied WSS 230.36 Hazardous Duty benefits under 13/15/1B of the collective bargaining agreement.
In brief, Agent Gasser had received information that an offender was violating probation and possibly suicidal. He immediately investigated and responded to the offender's residence. Upon arrival, he came upon the offender who had overdosed, was unconscious and near death. While attempting to render aid, Randy was injured, fracturing five vertebrae, causing permanent partial disability and long term medical issues.
The offender ended up on life support and survived a coma to make a full recovery, thanks to Randy's actions.
While the Department honored Randy symbolically with the SALUTE Award as a token of appreciation, he was denied pay and benefits as allowed under the contract. As a result of his own injuries, Randy ended up out of work and financially impacted when DOC forced him to exhaust his sick leave and go out on worker's compensation, which pays only 2/3 of one's base wage rate. Surprised by the Department's disregard for Randy's situation, we maintained he was entitled to 230.36 benefits, as he was injured in the course of duty while investigating a violation.
Unable to resolve this situation and make Randy whole for his loss, the grievance proceeded to arbitration. At the umpired arbitration hearing, the employer directly told Randy that even though he was a good employee, he didn't deserve anything, that it was just part of the job. Ultimately, the Arbitrator upheld the grievance and ruled in our favor. It was ordered that the employer must return his sick leave and loss of pay with full benefits from the date of injury.
Jim Mills, Council 24 Field Rep helped with the case from beginning to end. Thanks Jim!
Another good win for the Local.
Local 2748 President