Havre Daily News
Havre city officials have again decided to have a mediator resolve a grievance filed by a city worker, after the worker and his union representative suggested foregoing the process.
The city had been asked by American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees representative Pete Parsons to return to the original decision handed down by the City Council's Grievance Committee in a grievance filed by union local president Oscar DeLaRosa.
City Council president Rick Pierson, who chairs the Grievance Committee, said today that the original decision is off the table because it was initially rejected by the union.
The dispute will likely go before a mediator in January, Pierson said.
Pierson and City Council member Terry Schend discussed the grievance with Parsons on Tuesday night following a City Council Labor Relations Committee meeting.
According to Pierson, Parsons told him the union was asking to go back to the original decision because a mediator had said the union would never get the apology it is seeking from the city.
Parsons and DeLaRosa could not be reached today for comment.
The grievance stems from a June incident, in which DeLaRosa was suspended for three days without pay for failing to seek out his supervisor for work orders the previous morning. After he didn't receive any orders, he worked a day on one of the city's trucks. The punishment was handed down by deputy public works director Gary Schaub on June 8.
Schaub also called Havre Police Chief Mike Barthel for advice about how to handle the incident, Mayor Bob Rice has said.
In July, DeLaRosa asked the Grievance Committee to grant him his pay, remove the incident from his record and order Schaub to write an apology.
The committee decided to give him his pay and clear his record, but stopped short of ordering Schaub to apologize. Committee members reasoned that both DeLaRosa and city management shared some of the blame for the incident.
After the committee made its decision, Parsons told members that the apology was the most important of the requests because DeLaRosa felt slighted by the call to the police.
Committee members said they were upset that the union had not mentioned the call during the committee's discussion and stuck by their decision.