Feb 07, 2017

IBPO Member deemed credible, first suspension erased, second reduced.

IBPO Local 537 member Nora Mitchell has seen a lot in her 22 years of service to the Boston Medical Center as a public safety officer. But her penchant for straight talk served her well when she met Arbitrator John Markuns as he reviewed her two suspensions with an eye for just cause.
He could not find much of it. After she warned a fellow officer of the rank and file’s perception that he was receiving special and favorable treatment from management, he cursed at her and stormed off his post. Despite her calm response to his tirade, she found herself suspended for a day, while the hothead was not disciplined. 

Before the case could be scheduled for arbitration, she was victimized a second time when a frivolous charge of assaulting another officer was lodged against her. While the assault charge was never investigated, she was suspended for publicly berating her accuser.
After the first grievance was summarily upheld, the arbitrator acknowledged her admission that the public nature of her outburst at her accuser was not appropriate and reduced the 5 day suspension to a single day. He also ordered management to remove the language from the suspension indicating that it was a ‘final warning’.

Officer Mitchell has served Local 537 in several local positions of leadership. It is heartening to know that her willingness to stand up for herself and others will be vindicated by neutrals in arbitration. Sometimes the nail that sticks out doesn’t get hammered. 

Where trade unions are most firmly organized, there are the rights of the people most respected. - Samuel Gompers
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