Decision 1982E – Service Employees International Union, Local 221 (Meredith)

LA-CO-1322-E

Decision Date: October 24, 2008

Decision Type: PERB Decision

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Perc Vol: 32
Perc Index: 157

Decision Headnotes

102.00000 – PERB: OPERATION, JURISDICTION, AUTHORITY; SCOPE OF PERB JURISDICTION
102.03000 – Enforcement of Settlement Agreements and Contracts 3541.5(b); 3514.5(b); 3563.2(b)

PERB does not have jurisdiction to remedy an isolated breach of the union access provisions of a collective bargaining agreement.

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

To establish a breach of the duty of fair representation, the charging party must show that the recognized employee organization engaged in conduct that was arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith. A prima facie case of arbitrary failure to represent an employee may be established based on an overall pattern of conduct even if any one of the employee organization’s actions by itself would not constitute a violation. Union failed to provide probationary employee with requested representation in a meeting where the employee received a poor performance evaluation. Later that morning, a union representative attended a meeting in which the employee was rejected on probation. However, during the meeting the principal told the employee that the representative was not there to represent him but to represent the employee’s subordinates, who had filed grievances against him. When the employee met with a different representative about challenging his rejection on probation, the chapter president argued with the representative and then told him to make the meeting “fast.” Union assigned another representative to employee’s case but after one meeting the representative did not return the employee’s phone calls. This conduct, taken as a whole, was sufficient to demonstrate that the union arbitrarily failed to represent the employee and therefore the charge stated a prima facie breach of the duty of fair representation.

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

To establish a breach of the duty of fair representation, the charging party must show that the recognized employee organization engaged in conduct that was arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith. A prima facie case of arbitrary failure to represent an employee may be established based on an overall pattern of conduct even if any one of the employee organization’s actions by itself would not constitute a violation. Union failed to provide probationary employee with requested representation in a meeting where the employee received a poor performance evaluation. Later that morning, a union representative attended a meeting in which the employee was rejected on probation. However, during the meeting the principal told the employee that the representative was not there to represent him but to represent the employee’s subordinates, who had filed grievances against him. When the employee met with a different representative about challenging his rejection on probation, the chapter president argued with the representative and then told him to make the meeting “fast.” Union assigned another representative to employee’s case but after one meeting the representative did not return the employee’s phone calls. This conduct, taken as a whole, was sufficient to demonstrate that the union arbitrarily failed to represent the employee and therefore the charge stated a prima facie breach of the duty of fair representation.

805.00000 – UNION UNFAIR PRACTICES; CAUSING EMPLOYER TO VIOLATE ACT
805.01000 – In General

To state a prima facie violation of EERA section 3543.6(a), the charge must show how and in what manner the employee organization acted affirmatively to cause or attempt to cause the employer to commit an unfair practice. The charge must also demonstrate a causal connection between the employee organization’s actions and the employer’s unlawful conduct. Charge did not establish that the employer retaliated against the employee for his engagement in protected activity. Charge also failed to establish that the union acted affirmatively to cause or attempt to cause the employer to retaliate against the employee. Even if the union’s filing of grievances against the employee on behalf of his subordinates was a factor in the employee’s rejection on probation, this does not show that the union induced, or attempted to induce, the employer to violate EERA. Nor does the establishment of a prima facie breach of the duty of fair representation also establish that the union caused or attempted to cause the employer to violate EERA.

1100.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; CHARGE
1100.03000 – Standing

Individual employee did not have standing to allege a unilateral change by his union.