Higher level fill-in: Should he receive higher level pay?

Hey, I've been short-changed on last week's pay," Electrician Grade II Bob Curson complained. "How do you figure that?" Maintenance Supervisor Fritz Rudolph asked. "I filled in for Ozzie Dugfield for five days when he was out sick with the flu.


Hey, I've been short-changed on last week's pay," Electrician Grade II Bob Curson complained.

"How do you figure that?" Maintenance Supervisor Fritz Rudolph asked.

"I filled in for Ozzie Dugfield for five days when he was out sick with the flu. Ozzie's rated Grade I; I'm entitled to Grade I pay for those five days."

"Show me where it says that in the labor agreement," Rudolph replied.

"It doesn't have to say so specifically," Curson persisted. "You work a Grade I job, you're entitled to Grade I pay."

Rudolph disagreed. "It's gotta be spelled out in the contract."

Curson refused to settle for that.

"Look, I haven't got all day to stand here arguing with you."

"At least do me a favor: Check it out with the powers that be."

"Okay, if it'll make you happy." Rudolph promised to talk to the plant engineer and get back to him.

Question: Do you think Curson has a valid claim for the Grade I differential?

Wilson's decision: "Give him the extra pay," Plant Engineer Chet Wilson instructed Rudolph when informed of Curson's demand. "It's not written in stone, but in more than one case I've seen, the arbitrator ruled that when an employee temporarily performs a job in a higher classification he's entitled to the higher rate of pay."

Should a worker on strike receive insurance benefits?

The strike was a long and bitter one. After 56 days, management agreed to reinstate all of the strikers as they were needed.

When Maintenance Utility Man George Groz was recalled, his wife informed Maintenance Foreman Frank Belknap that her husband had died three weeks before of a massive heart attack.

Belknap expressed his condolences for which Mrs. Groz thanked him. But he was unable to give a positive answer when the widow asked when she would receive her husband's death benefits check from the insurance company.

"I don't think you're entitled to death benefits," the foreman said, "because George wasn't working at the time of his death. But let me check it out to make sure. I'll get back to you as soon as I can."

Question: In your opinion, is Mrs. Groz entitled to the death benefits included in her husband's life insurance policy?

Hartman's decision: "I don't know if all arbitrators would rule this way," Plant Engineer Justin Hartman told Belknap, "but in the one case I remember reading about, the death benefits were granted because the deceased was regarded as a regular, rather than a new, employee upon being recalled to work. He thus qualified as 'an employee covered by the agreement.' I would opt for paying the widow the benefit. But before building up her hopes, I'd like to check that out with the legal department."

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Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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