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

Single Topic for Decision 2266E

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800.02000 – Grievance Handling/Contract Administration

The duty of fair representation imposed on the exclusive representative extends to grievance handling; in order to state a prima facie violation, charging party must show that the respondent’s conduct was arbitrary, discriminatory or lacking in good faith; mere negligence or poor judgment in handling a grievance does not constitute a breach of the union’s duty; a union may exercise its discretion to determine how far to pursue a grievance on the employee’s behalf as long as it does not arbitrarily ignore a meritorious grievance or process a grievance in a perfunctory fashion; a union is not required to process a grievance if the chances for success are minimal; in order to state a prima facie case of arbitrary conduct violating the duty of fair representation, a charging party must at a minimum include an assertion of sufficient facts from which it becomes apparent how or in what manner the exclusive representative’s action or inaction was without a rational basis or devoid of honest judgment; where charging party was provided with a detailed letter explaining the reasons relied on in declining to pursue the matter to arbitration, charge failed to state a prima facie violation of the duty of fair representation.