MANVILLE: Grievance denied DPW employee

Ed Zygiel is undecided about his next move in effort to recover used vacation and sick days after an injury

By Mary Ellen Day, Special Writer
   Ed Zygiel, who has worked for the Borough of Manville in the Public Works Department for 10 years, is awaiting information how to proceed before commenting on the denial of a grievance by Borough Council on May 28.
   Mr. Zygiel has been trying to recover more than 50 days of sick and vacation time he used when a shoulder injury kept him out of work for a more than a year. Mr. Zygiel was injured in May 2011 and was out of work until October 2012.
   Mr. Zygiel filed a grievance, which he requested be heard by the Mayor and Council during an open session on May 13.
   Mr. Zygiel gave each council member and the mayor a packet of a time of events and letters and had questions. He asked his supervisor, Philip Petrone, what the requirements were for getting back to work after being out on disability.
   Mayor Angelo Corradino said the information was in the contract, which he did not have in front of him. “Whatever the contract states we have to abide by,” he said. Mr. Zygiel stated that there was nothing about the issue in the contract.
   Mr. Zygiel also questioned the limitations, policies, etc. He pointed to a doctor’s note dated April 12, 2012, in which his doctor said he could “return to full day and demonstrated ability to handle up to 50 pounds.” A doctor’s note, dated April 13, said Mr. Zygiel was “able to return to work with no restrictions.”
   After a lengthy discussion Mr. Zygiel was advised the mayor and council would investigate the issue and render a decision at a meeting on May 28.
   Mr. Zygiel said the contract says the mayor and council have 10 days to respond, but waived the intervening days. He thanked the mayor and council members for giving him the chance to be heard.
   At the May 28 meeting, Mayor Corradino was not in attendance and Council President Ed Komoroski presided. The council voted, 3-1, with two abstentions, to deny Mr. Zygiel’s appeal.
   According to Borough Attorney Francis Linnus, the Policy, Planning and Personnel Committee met, discussed the grievance and reviewed documents and testimony presented May 13. Councilman Ron Skirkanish stated that the Borough Administrator Gary Garwacke and Mr. Petrone were asked questions and the committee unanimously denied the grievance.
   Mr. Linnus said the committee recommended denial to the full council, and a vote needed to be taken. Councilmen Mark Gregor, Skirkanish and Komoroski voted for it, and Steve Szabo against. Susan Asher and Lou Petzinger were absent.