UNION UNFAIR PRACTICES; DUTY OF FAIR REPRESENTATION – Grievance Handling/Contract Administration

Single Topic for Decision 1453E

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800.02000 – Grievance Handling/Contract Administration

Determination of alleged violation of duty of fair representation requires deference to the wide latitude union representatives have in performing their duties, even if the decision may have an unfavorable affect on some members. Union denial of charging parties contractual waiver request without allowing charging parties to address the union board was not outside the wide range of reasonableness afforded an exclusive representative where charging parties were given an opportunity to discuss the waiver request with the union president and a board member. Union demonstrated rational basis for refusing to waive contractual provision requiring a four year restriction on administrative assignments, therefore did not violate the duty of fair representation. When addressing the requested waiver, union determined that reasoning behind negotiated contractual provision remained valid. Prima facie violation of illegal discrimination in retaliation for protected conduct rebutted where union established its activities would have been the same in the absence of protected activity.