UNION UNFAIR PRACTICES; DUTY OF FAIR REPRESENTATION – Grievance Handling/Contract Administration
Single Topic for Decision 2186M
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800.02000 – Grievance Handling/Contract Administration
Charge failed to state a prima facie violation of the duty of fair representation based upon union’s alleged failure to adequately assist charging party in resolving what she perceived as a hostile work environment in her employment. While the duty of fair representation extends to grievance handling by the exclusive representative a reasonable decision not to pursue a grievance, regardless of the merits of the grievance, is not a violation of the duty of fair representation. In order for PERB to find a breach of the duty of fair representation, the charge must include facts demonstrating that the union’s decision not to pursue a grievance was arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith. Charge fails to set forth facts demonstrating that union’s decision not to pursue a grievance was arbitrary or in bad faith, that it abused its discretion or that its actions were without a rational basis or devoid of honest judgment. Merely alleging that the union failed to return every phone call is insufficient to establish an overall pattern of conduct. As such, the charge fails to state a prima facie violation of the duty of fair representation.