Arbitrator rules in favor of Los Alamos county

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LAFD > Union argues procedures violate contract terms

An arbitrator has determined that Los Alamos County acted within its rights in terminating a firefighter who lost his security clearance at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Edwin Render delivered his opinion recently following a February hearing.

The Los Alamos Firefighters Association Local 3279 initiated the arbitration under the terms of the association’s collective bargaining agreement with the county after the employee lost his security clearance for failing to comply with a request from LANL staff that he submit a urine sample as part of a random drug screening process. The firefighter was identified as Jacob Olivas.

The union alleged that the county had changed its drug testing procedures without agreement from the union.

Render ruled that the changes in the procedures did not constitute a modification of the union contract.

County Administrator Harry Burgess said he was pleased that the arbitrator’s ruling in the case supported the county’s position.

“Our fire department has a long history of providing contractual fire emergency services to LANL and our local community. We are proud of the fact that we have a strong, responsive department ready to enter and defend LANL property and lives,” Burgess said.

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