FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Worker rights will be center stage at Fort Wayne’s city council meeting next week.
NewsChannel 15 has learned that an ordinance will be introduced that would change the grievance process if an employee is disciplined or fired.
Right now, if there’s a dispute, there will be a hearing by a three-member board: two people are appointed by the mayor’s office and one is chosen by city council.
This ordinance would add another level after that if the city or the employee wants to appeal the decision. Under the ordinance, the dispute would then be heard by a third party arbitrator.
“It will provide for what we think is a fair grievance procedure. It fills a void that workers feel was left when they lost collective bargaining last year,” Councilman John Shoaff (D- At-Large) said. “We should remember [the repeal of collective bargaining] was carried through by our Republican friends, primarily because it would help the finances of the city. What we’re talking about here is very little in the way of financial implications, so I would hope a number of my Republican collegues would agree with us that this is a fair redress for employees and an opportunity for them to get back some of what they lost last year.”
Under the ordinance, the city and employee would split the costs of the arbitrator.
“In any kind of dispute, you need a third party or possibility of a third party to decide it. If one party of the dispute is the one deciding it, you’re not going to get justice very often,” Shoaff said.
Shoaff will introduce the bill on Tuesday.