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SENIORITY - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  1. SENIORITY • The application of the criterion of length of service for the determination of • determination of benefits received (benefits seniority); and • relative status among employees with respect to their competing claims to jobs and employment-relatedprerogatives within the collectively determined scope of the application of the criterion (competitive status seniority) • Established by the collective bargaining agreement • No independent legal status • Purpose is to create an objective criterion to balance employer interest maintaining control for determination of • Receipt of benefits (benefits seniority) • Determining relative status of employees (competitive status seniority

  2. Issues in Seniority • How Acquired • Generally after a probationary period • “seniority employee” • Legal Status • Limited to Collective Agreement • No Independent Legal Status

  3. Functions of Seniority • Affirmative • allocate ee claims and establish priorities among conflicting claims • other possible criteria include skill, ability • Creates a set of rules for making decisions in allocating labor • Negative • Elimination of favoritism, capriciousness, and arbitrariness

  4. Uses of Seniority • Assignment to “Better” Jobs • Job Territory for the Union • Advantages to Incumbents • “Objective” Criterion • Determine Incidence of Job Loss • Who shall be laid off • What is bumping sequence, if any? • Acquisition of Benefits

  5. Two Uses for Seniority • Competitive Status • Benefit

  6. Seniority Unit • For Competitive Status Seniority • An employee grouping that corresponds to all or part of the employer organization that is the basis for applying length of service • Firm • Division • Plant • Department • Classification • Job Line or Progression • May be different units for different purposres • An employee may have multiple seniorities • Firm • Facility • In Department

  7. Interests of Parties • Employer • Traditional - Narrow Units • Permits ees to develop intensive job skills • Minimizes movement around in event of vacancies • Preferred for layoffs, minimizes bumping • Modern - Broader Units • Multi-Skilling • Increases workforce flexibility • Union • Generally broader units to give employees more options and more weight to seniority criterion • Exception may be skilled trades where union under pressure to maintain identity

  8. Seniority in Promotions • Sole Factor - Seldom • Primary Factor • “Head and Shoulders” principle • Goes to most senior ee if ee “qualified” • Equal Factor • Seniority considered equally with other factors • “Promotions shall be based on seniority and qualifications.” • Secondary Factor • Seniority used if other factors are “relatively equal” • “In making promotions, the Company will consider first the qualifications of the employees for the job taking into account ability, knowledge, training and skill. If these factors are equal among all applicants, seniority shall govern.” • “Vacancies in the maintenance division will be awarded to the most senior qualified employees at the time the vacancy occurs.” • Generally associated with posting and bidding provisions

  9. Seniority in Layoffs • More likely to be primary criterion than in promotions • especially where jobs initially filled by primary ability criterion • Bumping (exercise of seniority rights to displace junior ees) • ER: prefers narrow bumping rights • UN: Prefers broader bumping rights • Retention of Seniority During Layoffs • Recall Rights

  10. Sample Provisions • Contract 1 • “Length of service shall govern in layoff and recalling employees.  Layoff shall be with the most junior employee laid off first and recalled last; provided, however, ability to perform the available work shall be required.” • “Job openings shall be offered to qualified applicants in seniority order.  A reasonable probation period of up to ninety (90) days shall be in effect for the Company or the employee to determine if the employee returns to their original position.” • Contract 2 • “Whenever promotions are made to higher rated jobs, . . ., they shall be made on the basis of the most senior qualified employee in the line of progression in the occupational group in which the promotions are made.” • Whenever promotions are made to the highest labor grade in the occupational group and all working leader positions, they shall be made of the basis of the coequal standards of seniority, ability, and fitness of the employee.”“

  11. Fitness and Ability • When not defined in the agreement, generally determined by management • Reasonableness • Good Faith • Rational Basis

  12. Seniority Dates • Defined by the contract • For plant or firm wide, generally the date of hire once the employee acquires seniority • For smaller units, the date of transfer or promotion into a unit • Same Day Hiring • Alphabetical Order • Last digit of social security number

  13. Seniority Accumulation • May be days worked or hours worked • Generally interrupted for • Leaves of absence • Promotion out of unit • Usually addressed in the agreement • Trial period • Seniority Upon Return • Disciplinary Suspension • Generally not interrupted for military service

  14. Seniority Termination • Quit • May be an issue of whether employee quit • No call, no show • Medical leave of absence • Discharge