Decision 1474M – International Association of Machinists (Attard)
Decision Date: February 7, 2002
Decision Type: PERB Decision
Description: The Board dismissed the charge, which alleged that the union violated the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act by failing to properly represent an employee in violation of the union’s duty of fair representation.
Disposition: Dismissed. The Board adopted federal precedent, also used in cases arising under other statutes administered by the Board, for MMBA duty of fair representation cases. Under this standard, the duty of fair representation is not breached by a refusal to pursue a grievance if a union has made an honest, reasonable determination that the grievance lacks merit.
Perc Vol: 26
Perc Index: 33041
800.01000 – In General; Prima Facie Case
Under the MMBA unions owe a duty of fair representation to their members, and this requires them to refrain from representing their members arbitrarily, discriminatorily, or in bad faith. The duty of fair representation is not breached by mere negligence. In order to state a prima facie violation of the duty of fair representation under the MMBA the charging party must, at a minimum, include an assertion of facts from which it becomes apparent in what manner the exclusive representative's action or inaction was without a rational basis or devoid of honest judgment.
800.02000 – Grievance Handling/Contract Administration
The duty of fair representation under the MMBA is not breached by a refusal to pursue a grievance if a union has made an honest, reasonable determination that the grievance lacks merit. In evaluating an alleged violation of the duty of fair representation under the MMBA, the Board focuses on whether the union's judgment had a rational basis or was reached for reasons that were arbitrary or based upon invidious discrimination, not on whether the union's judgment was correct. Allegation that decision by union not to file written grievance and to instead present allegations to management verbally does not meet burden of showing union judgment was without rational basis or was reached for reasons that were arbitrary or based upon invidious discrimination. Union turning over to supervisor three paged typed document listing employee's harassment charges against supervisor without more regarding an improper motive is within the wide latitude afforded a union in representing its members in disputes with management.