By MIKE LEE
In certain situations, all it takes is the power of members and their Local leader to resolve a problem with management before it escalates.
A member at the Metropolitan Museum of Art discovered he was not getting paid for his “supper money” overtime after being asked to come into work two hours early. He quickly informed Local 1503 President Rawle Campbell. When the Local served the Museum notice, management promptly settled the bill.
“There is a provision in the local’s contract that speaks to supper money,” said Daniel McCabe, Parks Cultural and Higher Education Division Rep and former president of Metropolitan Museum of Art Employees Local 1503. “That’s when a worker is paid an hour at the appropriate rate after working 90 minutes overtime.”
Patrick Kennedy, a Senior Special Officer at the Museum, discovered the unfair practice.
“I noticed an inconsistency and contacted management,” said Kennedy, who is also the Local 1503 Recording Secretary. “I told management this could be resolved without going to a grievance. I also asked for a list of any affected members.”
He brought the matter to the attention of President Campbell at the Local’s Executive Board meeting.
“Once I was informed, I thought, ‘let’s get the list,’ thinking this was not an isolated incident and to find out how many members are affected,” Campbell said.
Other members also were curious, including Katrina Basilio, a Museum Guard and newly elected Shop Steward.
“I work a ton of overtime, several 16-hour shifts. At the meeting, I asked about my shift,” Basilio said, thinking of when management forgot to notify people they were supposed to work at a location a half-mile away, and deduced they failed to pay people for travel time.
After the Local received the list, Campbell met with museum management. When analyzing the schedules, it was discovered that 74 museum workers accumulated 258 hours in unpaid supper money, including one who earned 60 hours.
After some conversation, Local 1503 and management agreed to settle the matter.
“Because management is new, we must show them what is in the contract. Specific items like supper money and travel pay must be applied,” Campbell said. “They knew they made a big mistake, and we resolved it.”