Can a supervisor bid for a bargaining unit job?

Assistant Maintenance Supervisor Harry Rowe was never crazy about overtime. He liked it even less when he wasn't paid for the extra hours worked.
By Raymond Dreyfack June 1, 1999

Assistant Maintenance Supervisor Harry Rowe was never crazy about overtime. He liked it even less when he wasn’t paid for the extra hours worked. Such was the case when, 6-mo after his promotion out of the bargaining unit to a supervisory job, he was working longer hours than ever and earning only slightly more.

That’s why he approached his boss’ desk one day and announced, “A senior mechanic’s job opened up. I’m qualified. I want to put in for it.”

Maintenance Supervisor Fred Foreman frowned. “You gotta be kidding. You’d be one of the peasants again.”

“So what?”

Foreman shook his head. “It would be a demotion. You’re nuts.”

“Think so?”

Rowe took a pencil and pad and, citing overtime and earnings figures before and after his promotion, he spelled out his rationale.

Foreman grimaced. “Okay, maybe you’re not nuts. But I don’t think once you’re a supervisor you can bid for a job back into the bargaining unit.”

“Why not? The contract says you can continue accumulating seniority for a year after transfer out of the bargaining unit.”

Foreman shook his head. “I don’t know, Harry, let me check on it.”

Question: Does Rowe have a right to transfer back into the bargaining unit?

Jordan’s decision: “Let him bid for the job,” Plant Engineer Bob Jordan instructed Foreman. “Since Rowe still has the seniority he’s got the same bidding rights as other employees.”