At IDCWLaw creativity in arguing our cases is a bedrock principle. We took that principle and applied it to what seemingly was a staffing change, which is often a managerial prerogative. The Ulster County Sheriff’s Department supervisors work a different schedule than correction officers. The Department took the position that the scheduling disparity created supervisory overstaffing for one hour and supervisory understaffing for another hour. That is why they decided to change the supervisors’ start and end time of their shifts, to equalize their supervisory staffing levels.
We challenged their decision to change the supervisor’s shift schedules, though it seemingly concerned staffing. We argued there was no evidence of a change in required staffing levels with the State Commission of Correction, but rather, this involved merely a change to the first line supervisors’ shift pattern. We also argued that no contractual provision reserved this kind of change to the Department, without negotiation. PERB agreed, and further held there was a sufficiently long practice of the then-current supervisor schedule such that members reasonably believed it would continue absent negotiations. PERB ordered the shifts revert back to what it was before the change, and that all affected members be compensated for any financial loss.