An Arbitrator has found that KQED has violated several Articles of the NABET - KQED Collective Bargaining Agreement by assigning non-Union employees to operate the Digital Rapids system for recording purposes. In this final and binding decision, KQED's decision to have non-union interactive employees record program material in the control room has been reversed. In addition, the Arbitrator directed KQED to train NABET G-Unit Engineers to operate Digital Rapids and provide immediate access to both the software and the hardware. Since Digital Rapids had been installed in late 2013, NABET Engineers have been locked out of the room where it is located and management further failed to provide training on the new equipment.
In the "Arbitrator's Opinion and Award" which is posted on Union bulletin boards throughout KQED, the "position of the employer" stated, "G-Unit employees performed only two of four steps in the process." This is precisely why the Union filed grievances on the issue. These two steps of recording and then placing the file into a folder for transcoding, represents the work that was lost to non-represented staff. This award restores that work and sends a strong message that jurisdictional work can not be assigned to non-represented employees.
The Union argued in our post-hearing brief, "If wages are the heart of the labor agreement, job security may be considered its soul...The transfer of work customarily performed by employees in the bargaining unit to others outside the unit must therefore be regarded as an attack on the job security of the employees whom the agreement covers and therefore one of the contract's basic purposes."
Management's unilateral decision to move jurisdictional work out of the ranks of NABET represented Engineering employees will always be met with a steadfast fight from NABET. We will continue to stand up and fight for our jurisdiction. The Union has long proposed, unsuccessfully, a collaborative approach as to how work is performed at KQED. We remain hopeful that this arbitration decision will facilitate a discussion on how we might work collaboratively.