Thursday, April 14, 2011

Webb county commissioner tries to back pedal in employee transfer grievance

After creating a lot of unnecessary frustration for three Webb County community center employees, Webb county commissioner Rosaura Wawi Tijerina seems to be backpedalling somewhat. The problem now is the outside counsel is advising her to wait. This, in the continuing sage of three county employees where were transferred from Mirando City to Laredo and vice-versa. As the Laredo Morning Times reports:

Commissioner Rosaura “Wawi” Tijerina transferred Yvonne M. Gribble, a library services coordinator, and San Juana Lira, a clerk, from K.J. Salinas Community Center in Mirando City to Larga Vista Community Center in east Laredo. Tijerina also transferred Andrea Morales, a receptionist, from Larga Vista to Bruni Community Center in Bruni.

The three employees alleged the rotations were made as retaliation for not volunteering for Tijerina’s campaign and violated civil service rules by changing their terms of employment without the commission’s approval — adding significant time to their commutes.

Tijerina said the rotations were made to improve customer service by exposing employees to operations at different community centers.
Well, it now seems that Tijerina is claiming that she wants to return the employees to their former locations but implied that her hands are tied because the outside counsel advising against such a move. As Tijerina told the Laredo Morning Times"

“I said it was the advice of our attorney not to do changes until the grievances were resolved,” Tijerina said after the meeting (with precinct two employees). She said she made the statement in response to a question from another employee transferred between community centers but who was not taking part in the grievance process.

Gribble, the library services coordinator, said the rotations have added 60 miles to the round trip commute for her and Lira from Mirando City to their new positions in Laredo.She said Tijerina’s announcement put pressure on the employees to withdraw their grievance.

“It kind of put the monkey on our back that if we would withdraw the grievance, she would send us back to our centers,” Gribble said. She said she had no plans to drop her grievance.
In the article, Tijerina claims that a total of 12 employees have been rotated from one center to another. What the article fails to clarify is whether any other employees were actually transferred from one community to another as were the three grievants. One thing Webb county does not need more of is this type of questionable behavior on the part of our elected officials.

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