UNION UNFAIR PRACTICES; DUTY OF FAIR REPRESENTATION – In General; Prima Facie Case
Single Topic for Decision 1914S
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800.01000 – In General; Prima Facie Case
A disagreement between the grievant and the union as to whether a grievance should proceed to arbitration does not establish a breach of the duty of fair representation. Although the employee expressed great frustration with the union's failure to notify him about his arbitration request, the facts do not demonstrate that such conduct was arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith. The employee’s allegations do not show that the union engaged in arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith conduct in processing the employee’s arbitration request. Under the Dills Act an exclusive representative has the exclusive right to represent employees before the employer in matters involving contract negotiations, administration of the contract and grievance handling. Since the union has the exclusive authority to deal with the employer over these matters, the Dills Act imposes upon the exclusive representative a duty to fairly represent all bargaining unit members in these areas. An exclusive representative does not owe a duty of fair representation to unit members in a forum over which the union does not exclusively control the means to a particular remedy. Since PERB is a forum outside the contract, the union does not owe members a duty of fair representation in proceedings involving PERB. Thus, the union’s refusal to file an unfair practice charge with PERB on an employee’s behalf does not violate the duty of fair representation.