STATEMENT ON MILITARY LEAVE ISSUE

Modified: May 6, 2019 1:44pm

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Date: 
5/6/19

The following statement was issued today after Erie County was made aware of a grievance filed by AFSCME Local 1095 in the case of a former county worker who was terminated in July 2018:  

 

“Erie County today was made aware of a grievance filed by AFSCME Local 1095 in the case of Raphael Ramos, a former county worker who was terminated on July 12, 2018. This filing is well outside the contractually agreed upon timelines for filing such actions.

 

Article 22 (Grievances and Arbitration) of the contractual bargaining agreement (“CBA”) between Erie County and AFSCME Local 1095 clearly states “the employee aggrieved shall present his grievance in writing through his Union Steward or other authorized union representative on a form to be provided, setting forth the date, time and place of the alleged grievance, facts of the grievance, the particular section of the collective bargaining agreement or personnel rules involved, and the relief sought to the employee’s department head or designee within fifteen (15) working days from the occurrence of the grievance or when the employee knew or should have known of the fact situation giving rise to the grievance.”

 

Fifteen working days from the date of Mr. Ramos’ termination means that, under the contract agreement in place, Mr. Ramos’ union representation should have filed this grievance by at least July 27, 2018. As mentioned earlier, Erie County was made aware of this grievance today, May 6, 2019, or a full 282 days after the contractually-approved time limit for a grievance to be filed. However, despite AFSCME’s inexplicable ten-month delay in filing it, this grievance is already being addressed by Erie County DPW.

 

Mr. Ramos was on domestic military leave in the United States from his Erie County Department of Public Works Highway Division duties from February 2017 to March 31, 2018, a 13-month period during which he was officially on military leave from the county while he retained his position with the County. Like all active duty military personnel, he is required to submit paperwork to his employer substantiating the periods of his leave. However, Mr. Ramos did not submit any updated paperwork after his domestic leave expired on March 31, 2018 and made no contact to Erie County DPW about remaining out on extended military leave or when he planned to return to the Highway Division. To date, Erie County has not received the appropriate paperwork Mr. Ramos.

 

Despite this, Erie County has agreed to re-instate Mr. Ramos to his current position, and will continue supporting his military leaves as it has in the past, provided the County receives the appropriate documentation substantiating Mr. Ramos’s military leave since finishing his last leave, on March 31, 2018 to current. The county has not been informed of his plans, military or otherwise, since that date and has no updated information on those plans as of today.

Erie County government supports active and reserve military personnel without question on deployments such as these, such as Commissioner of Public Works William Geary Jr.’s current domestic military leave in the Air Force Reserves.  Service to our country and community is always to be supported, respected and honored.”

 

 

 

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