Union Works to Save Zookeepers’ Jobs in Exchange for Settling Absenteeism Policy

| November 22, 2017

In its history with Teamsters Local 727, Brookfield Zoo has never identified and slated active bargaining unit employees for layoff. Recently, however, the Zoo informed Local 727 that four non-probationary bargaining unit employees, who have a combined 50 years of service to the Zoo, would be laid off.

Local 727 has entered into an agreement with the Zoo whereby the Zoo will make a good faith effort to offer alternative bargaining unit positions to the four employees in lieu of lay off, so long as they are qualified for the alternative positions. The Zoo also will provide reasonable training and instruction to the affected employees, consistent with the collective bargaining agreement, and training provided to transferred or new employees.

The Zoo has agreed to work to save these employees’ jobs in exchange for settling the Absenteeism Grievance. Although the Absenteeism Grievance will be resolved, Local 727 and the Zoo are still going to work to provide a clearer example of how the policy is being implemented and will continue to discuss any discipline issued under the policy to ensure that only fair and just discipline results. This includes working to resolve the disciplines issued under the new Absenteeism Policy that are currently in the grievance process.

“Faced with potential layoffs, Local 727 stood on principle and would not leave behind these four long-time employees who could be left jobless right before the holiday season,” said John Coli Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727. “The Union has a duty to its members and their families to always put jobs first.”

The five-year contract between Local 727 and Brookfield Zoo expires December 31, 2020.

Nothing in this article should be read as the union’s waiver of any legal argument, position or additional grievance. The union does not forfeit its right to make any and all supplemental arguments.

Category: ZOO

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