United States District Court, D. Colorado
BROOKE JACKSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on cross motions for summary
judgment filed by plaintiff The GEO Group, Inc.
(“GEO”) and defendant United Government Security
Officers of America International Union and its Local 840
(“the Union”). See ECF Nos. 28-29. For
the reasons below, the Court GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN
PART the Union's motion [ECF No. 28] and DENIES GEO's
motion [ECF No. 29].
GEO is a federal government contractor that provides
correctional and detention services for the United States
Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (“ICE”) and the United States Marshal
Service (“USMS”) at a detention facility in
Aurora, Colorado. Compl., ECF No. 1, at ¶¶3, 5. The
Union, which is the defendant in this action, represents
GEO's detention officers, transportation officers, field
training officers, and kitchen officers working at that
facility. Id. at ¶6. For the past few years,
GEO and the Union have been locked in a battle over how GEO
must assign overtime jobs to Union members. See,
e.g., id. at ¶¶21-22.
contends that for security purposes its contracts with ICE
and USMS require it to assign overtime jobs that come up
under one agreement to only those employees working on that
same contract. For the past few years it has therefore
maintained separate lists of its employees and assigned
overtime jobs accordingly. Id. at ¶10.
Union sees it differently. It argues that Article 4.9 of the
parties' collective bargaining agreement
(“CBA”), which went into effect on January 24,
2014, id.at ¶13, clearly and unequivocally
prohibits GEO from doing that. Instead, the Union contends,
the parties' CBA requires that GEO use a single,
comprehensive list of eligible Union members so that no
employee is overlooked simply because of the contract on
which they work.
To resolve this dispute, the Union filed a grievance with GEO
roughly a week after the parties' CBA went into
effect. Id. at ¶21. The Union's
grievance was relatively simple: because the parties' CBA
had only been in effect for a few days, all that the Union
requested was a decision regarding the parties'
respective rights under Article 4.9 of the CBA. See
Id. It did not initially seek any remedy. See
Id. After GEO denied the Union's grievance the
parties attended arbitration hearings before Arbitrator
Daniel Winograd on December 10, 2014 and February 18, 2015.
Id. at ¶¶21-23.
April 15, 2015 the Arbitrator issued an Opinion and Award
(the “Initial Award”) granting the Union's
grievance. ECF No. 1-4. The Arbitrator found, among other
things, that Article 4.9 required GEO to offer overtime to
employees regardless of the contract on which they worked.
Id. at 12-23. He therefore agreed with the
Union's position, holding that the parties' CBA
required that GEO maintain one overtime eligibility list and
offer overtime jobs under its contract with USMS to employees
working on its ICE contract and vice versa. Id. at
Arbitrator nevertheless addressed GEO's argument that its
contracts with ICE and USMS required the use of separate
lists and that the Preamble of the CBA, which seemingly
incorporated this requirement, trumped any contrary provision
within the Agreement. Id. at 18- 23. He found,
however, that the Preamble and GEO's client contracts did
not defeat the company's obligations under Article 4.9
because there were many ways GEO could comply with both
example, GEO could obtain the same clearances for all Union
members so that they were essentially interchangeable.
Id. at 22. The company could also simply compensate
employees on one contract bypassed for overtime work under
the other. Id. What's more, the Arbitrator
reasoned, some cross-assignment appeared to already occur at
the Aurora facility with some regularity, undercutting
GEO's argument that these provisions were irreconcilable.
See Id. at 14. With that holding the Arbitrator
urged the parties to subsequently “devise a plan”
about how GEO could most efficiently and cost effectively
comply with its client contracts and Article 4.9.
Id. at 23.
parties were unable to do so. Nevertheless, they agreed to
return to arbitration to have the Arbitrator decide how GEO
must implement his earlier decision. ECF No. 1-5 at 7. The
Arbitrator subsequently issued a Supplemental Award
Concerning Enforcement of the Arbitrator's Award (the
“Supplemental Award') on June 16, 2016. See
generally Id. That Supplemental Award ordered GEO to
give back pay to all Union members GEO bypassed for overtime
in violation of Article 4.9. Id. at 10-11.
History A few months after the Arbitrator handed down
his Supplemental Award GEO filed suit against the Union. ECF
No. 1. In its complaint GEO asserts only one claim to vacate
both the Arbitrator's Initial and Supplemental Awards.
Id. at ¶¶34-39. In response, the Union
asserts three counterclaims: (1) for breach of the
parties' CBA by failing to adhere to the Arbitrator's
Supplemental Award of back pay; (2) for confirmation of
Arbitrator Winograd's Supplemental Award in accordance
with the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), 9
U.S.C. § 9; and (3) for confirmation of the Supplemental
Award under C.R.S. § 13-22-222. Def.'s Answer, ECF
No. 18, at ¶¶18-27. Both parties subsequently filed
motions for summary judgment. ECF Nos. 28- 29. These motions
are fully briefed and ripe for review.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Rule 56 - ...