Decision 1517H – Coalition of Unviersity Employees (Buxton)

LA-CO-91-H

Decision Date: April 7, 2003

Decision Type: PERB Decision

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Perc Vol: 27
Perc Index: 51

Decision Headnotes

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

A union’s failure to inform an employee of its progress in processing her grievance, its failure to respond to the employee’s request for clarification of the grievance, and its failure to notify the employee of the employer’s ultimate response approaches but does not meet the standard for arbitrariness under state and federal precedent. CUE reasonably understood that arbitration was not available under the expired Collective Bargaining Agreement and so its failure to inform Buxton of the progress of her grievance is not evidence of breach of the duty of fair representation.

806.00000 – UNION UNFAIR PRACTICES; DEFENSES
806.01000 – In General

A union’s failure to inform an employee of its progress in processing her grievance, its failure to respond to the employer’s request for clarification of the grievance, and its failure to notify the employee of the employer’s ultimate response approaches but does not meet the standard for arbitrariness under state and federal precedent. CUE reasonably understood that arbitration was not available under the expired Collective Bargaining Agreement and is not evidence of breach of the duty of fair representation.

1102.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; DEFERRAL TO ARBITRATION
1102.01000 – Pre-Arbitration

Arbitration is available where the contract has expired if disputes involve events that occurred before expiration or involve post-expiration conduct that infringes on rights accrued or vested under the agreement not that this case held.

1404.00000 – GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION
1404.03000 – General Principles of Contract Interpretation

Arbitration is available where the contract has expired if disputes involve events that occurred before expiration or involve post-expiration conduct that infringes on rights accrued or vested under the agreement not that this case held.

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

To state a prima facie violation of Sections 3578 and 3571.1(b) of HEERA, the charging party must show that the union’s conduct was arbitrary, discriminatory, or in bad faith. A union’s failure to inform an employee of its progress in processing her grievance, its failure to respond to the employee’s request for clarification of the grievance, and its failure to notify the employee of the employer’s ultimate response approaches but does not meet the standard for arbitrariness under state and federal precedent. CUE reasonably understood that arbitration was not available under the expired Collective Bargaining Agreement and so its failure to inform Buxton of the progress of her grievance is not evidence of breach of the duty of fair representation.

800.00000 – UNION UNFAIR PRACTICES; DUTY OF FAIR REPRESENTATION
800.05000 – Mode or Adequacy of Representation/Advocacy

Failure to pursue a grievance in the way requested by the employee does not necessarily constitute a breach of the duty. United Teachers of Los Angeles (Buller) (1984) PERB Decision No. 438.

1101.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; LIMITATION PERIOD FOR FILING CHARGE
1101.03000 – Computation of Six-Month Period

The six-month limitations period begins to run when the charging party knew or should have known of the conduct giving rise to the alleged unfair practice. The allegations in this case indicate that the University’s response to Buxton’s grievance and the information contained in the response were only known to Buxton during the statutory period and so her charge is timely.

1102.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; DEFERRAL TO ARBITRATION
1102.03000 – Other

Arbitration is available where the contract has expired if disputes involve events that occurred before expiration or involve post-expiration conduct that infringes on rights accrued or vested under the agreement not that this case held.