On July 19, 2007, an arbitrator ruled that the PSC contract bars CUNY from regularly scheduling employees in the Higher Education Officer series titles (HEOs) for more than 35 hours a week. The arbitrator also ruled that the contract allows CUNY to grant compensatory time off to HEOs.
The arbitration case is part of a multi-pronged effort the union has pursued to address overtime issues for HEOs, particularly during registration and other busy times. In May 2007, the union won a legal settlement, based on the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), that established time-and-a-half overtime pay for eligible HEOs for time worked beyond 40 hours in a week.
All HEOs have a 35-hour work week, plain and simple. If HEOs are assigned to work for more than 35 hours, they must receive compensatory time. If during a week, CUNY nevertheless schedules employees covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) to work over 40 hours, they must be paid time-and-a-half for work over 40 hours per week.
The settlement agreement establishes mechanisms for reporting and keeping track of time worked, but CUNY colleges have been slow to implement them. HEOs have been organizing to demand appropriate record-keeping on campuses. The union had filed a union-wide grievance because employees have not been receiving quarterly reports of their accumulated compensatory time.