National Staff Organization

United to Lead, to Promote, to Secure, and to Defend

United to Lead, to Promote, to Secure, and to Defend

The Georgia Staff Organization (GSO), an affiliate of the National Staff Organization (NSO), secured a negotiated reimbursement benefit for its members which underscored the importance of contract enforcement.

“This decision reaffirms the pivotal importance of enforcing the terms of our labor agreements, guaranteeing that our members receive the benefits they have fought for in contract negotiations,” said Mike Boyer, NSO Vice-President of Defense.

The case focused on whether Georgia Association of Educators had violated the contract in its denial of meal reimbursement for employees conducting official GAE business.

The union, represented by NSO Region 5 Director Quinn Chesir, asserted the collective bargaining agreement left no room for ambiguity. Chesir contended meal reimbursement was mandatory when the contract stipulations were met, as they were in the denied vouchers. The union also noted an established practice of approving meal expenses when employees were near their base offices.

“This arbitration win holds significance for GSO members and serves as a testament to the value of clear and enforced labor agreements,” said Chesir, “It also highlights the role of NSO as an advocate for affiliate members’ rights and benefits.”

Arbitrator Suzanne Ockleberry, presiding over the case, handed down a decision in favor of GSO. She found the CBA clearly outlined the conditions for meal reimbursement and that GAE’s interpretation deviated from the CBA’s explicit terms. Arbitrator Ockleberry rejected GAE’s argument that IRS guidelines were the controlling authority in the matter.

“I want to extend my sincere appreciation to NSO for their unwavering advocacy and utmost professionalism throughout this case,” said GSO President Karen Jones, “Their support has been invaluable, and we are grateful for their successful defense of the GSO contract.”

NSO President Brad Darjean emphasized the essential role of NSO as an advocacy group. “NSO stands firm as a powerful advocate for the rights and welfare of our members,” he said. “This victory exemplifies our commitment to ensuring their best interests are safeguarded.”

The National Staff Organization serves as a resource for the thousands of staff members who work for the National Education Association and its state affiliates. 

NSO is committed to supporting its affiliates with expertise in negotiations, grievances, and training in all aspects of their work. For those seeking more information about NSO and the services it provides, visit or follow NSO on social media platforms such as Facebook, X, and Instagram.