Must Work Full Shift To Receive Shift Differential

The collective bargaining agreement governing police officers working for the City of New Kensington, Pennsylvania calls for a shift differential for employees working “on the shift.” Both an afternoon (3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.) and night (11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.) qualify for the shift differential.

The “Wage Policy Committee” for the New Kensington Police filed a grievance under the contract, contending the City was obligated to pay the shift differential even when officers worked less than a full shift. An arbitrator rejected the grievance. The Arbitrator held that the past practice between the parties was that the phrase “on the shift” implied more than working some hours in the afternoon or night shift. As the Arbitrator explained, “the parties are required, as a condition precedent to eligibility to these premium payments, that the officer actually be scheduled to work on the shift.”

City of New Kensington, Pennsylvania and Wage Policy Committee of the City of New Kensington Police, LAIG 6461 (Newman, 2007).

This article appears in the August 2007 issue