Published: May 28, 2021

In January 2021, a Jackson County Airport member called their Union organizer because they believed management was not paying them the correct amount for their work on holidays. SEIU 503 members and organizers in Jackson County immediately stepped into action to solve the issue.

The issue was fairly straightforward; the members were not receiving Holiday Worked Pay when they worked on holidays that fell on weekends. The reason why that was happening was more difficult to understand, but ultimately came down to management’s misinterpretation of the contract language. The contract states that if employees work both the holiday itself and the observed holiday, they get Holiday Worked Pay on the actual holiday, but if they work one or the other, they get the pay for the one they worked. However, management told the workers that they could only get paid the Holiday Worked Pay if they worked on the observed holiday.

The Union leader’s investigation into this matter prompted the County to do a complete payroll audit, and from that audit they discovered that several members had in fact been underpaid. After months of continued legal discussions, the County finally took responsibility for their errors. Union leadership worked with the SEIU Member Resource Center and County HR Department to solve the issue which resulted in earning back pay for workers affected by the County’s language interpretation.

In the end, 28 people were identified as being underpaid by the County, and will now receive the compensation they had previously been denied. Our union makes a difference! Our leadership team continues their work to solve contract issues to ensure our members are protected and their rights respected.