Decision 1572E – Fremont Unified District Teachers Association (Kaiser)

SF-CO-606-E

Decision Date: December 24, 2003

Decision Type: PERB Decision

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Perc Vol: 28
Perc Index: 39

Decision Headnotes

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

The duty of fair representation imposed on the exclusive representative extends to grievance handling. In this case, the allegation is that the union failed to secure charging party an expedited grievance meeting. The Board has held that a union’s case-handling error (e.g., missing the deadline for filing a grievance) only constitutes negligence and does not rise to the level of arbitrary conduct sufficient to establish a breach of the duty of fair representation. The courts have recognized an exception to this rule where the union’s negligence foreclosed any remedy for the grievant. Here, however, there is no allegation that grievance was foreclosed or adversely affected. While union’s alleged handling of grievance may constitute negligence, there is otherwise no allegation of bad faith, discriminatory, or arbitrary conduct. Accordingly, charge must be dismissed for failure to state a prima facie case.

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

The duty of fair representation imposed on the exclusive representative extends to grievance handling. In this case, the allegation is that the union failed to secure charging party an expedited grievance meeting. The Board has held that a union’s case-handling error (e.g., missing the deadline for filing a grievance) only constitutes negligence and does not rise to the level of arbitrary conduct sufficient to establish a breach of the duty of fair representation. The courts have recognized an exception to this rule where the union’s negligence foreclosed any remedy for the grievant. Here, however, there is no allegation that grievance was foreclosed or adversely affected. While union’s alleged handling of grievance may constitute negligence, there is otherwise no allegation of bad faith, discriminatory, or arbitrary conduct. Accordingly, charge must be dismissed for failure to state a prima facie case.

1101.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; LIMITATION PERIOD FOR FILING CHARGE
1101.01000 – In General

In a claim for breach of the duty of fair representation, the statute of limitations is triggered “on the date when the employee, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, knew or should have known that further assistance from the union was unlikely.” In this matter, charging party alleges that the union breached its duty of fair representation by failing to secure her an expedited grievance meeting. The Board finds that charging party knew, or should have known, that further assistance was unlikely on the date that charging party wrote the District requesting such a meeting.

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

In a claim for breach of the duty of fair representation, the statute of limitations is triggered “on the date when the employee, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, knew or should have known that further assistance from the union was unlikely.” In this matter, charging party alleges that the union breached its duty of fair representation by failing to secure her an expedited grievance meeting. The Board finds that charging party knew, or should have known, that further assistance was unlikely on the date that charging party wrote the District requesting such a meeting.