Decision 1456E – Hart District Teachers Association (Mercado and Bloch)

LA-CO-801-E; LA-CO-802-E

Decision Date: July 31, 2001

Decision Type: PERB Decision

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Perc Vol: 25
Perc Index: 32100

Decision Headnotes

800.00000 – UNION UNFAIR PRACTICES; DUTY OF FAIR REPRESENTATION
800.01000 – In General; Prima Facie Case

A breach of the duty of fair representation occurs when a union's conduct toward a member of the bargaining unit is arbitrary, discriminatory, or in bad faith; p. 13, proposed dec. An exclusive representative's duty of fair representation does not contemplate the complete satisfaction of all who are represented. A wide range of reasonableness must be allowed to a statutory bargaining representative in serving the unit it represents subject always to complete good faith and honesty of purpose in the exercise of its discretion; p. 6, proposed dec. Charging parties failed to present any evidence to support their claim that the exclusive representative's past practice was to consult with grievants prior to the final settlement of a grievance. Both charging parties had previously discussed the matter with the exclusive representative, and had informed it what they wanted out of the grievance prior to the final settlement. The exclusive representative's settlement of the grievance was based upon its understanding that both charging parties wanted to be high school counselors. The terms of the settlement agreement achieved these goals. The exclusive representative's settlement of the grievance had a rational basis, and was not arbitrary, discriminatory, nor in bad faith; p. 19, proposed dec.

800.00000 – UNION UNFAIR PRACTICES; DUTY OF FAIR REPRESENTATION
800.02000 – Grievance Handling/Contract Administration

An employee does not have an absolute right to have a grievance taken to arbitration regardless of the provisions of the applicable collective negotiations agreement. An exclusive representative's reasonable refusal to proceed with arbitration is essential to the operation of a grievance and arbitration system; p. 15, proposed dec. Failure of exclusive representative to identify person who had indicated one charging party would not accept a particular assignment was of no consequence, in that it did not effect the negotiations. Failure of exclusive representative to provide other information requested by employee was not arbitrary in that the union was trying to coordinate a single response to multiple requests from charging parties; p. 21, proposed dec. Charging parties failed to present any evidence to support their claim that the exclusive representative's past practice was to consult with grievants prior to the final settlement of a grievance. Both charging parties had previously discussed the matter with the exclusive representative, and had informed it what they wanted out of the grievance prior to the final settlement. The exclusive representative's settlement of the grievance was based upon its understanding that both charging parties wanted to be high school counselors. The terms of the settlement agreement achieved these goals. The exclusive representative's settlement of the grievance had a rational basis, and was not arbitrary, discriminatory, nor in bad faith; p. 19, proposed dec.