Decision 2096E – California Teachers Association, Solano Community College Chapter, CTA/NEA (Tsai)

SF-CO-720-E

Decision Date: February 4, 2010

Decision Type: PERB Decision

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Perc Vol: 34
Perc Index: 42

Decision Headnotes

300.00000 – UNFAIR PRACTICE ISSUES; PROTECTED ACTIVITIES
300.04000 – Individual/Concerted/Activities/Self-Representation

EERA section 3543 grants public school employees a limited right to self representation with their employer. Employees have a right to present their grievances to the employer without the intervention or assistance of the union. The right to self representation does not include the protected right to be represented by private counsel.

504.00000 – EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS
504.02000 – Disparate Treatment

No disparate treatment where union denied arbitration of one grievance while granting arbitration of a similar, but not identical grievance.

504.00000 – EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; EVIDENCE OF UNLAWFUL MOTIVATION; NEXUS
504.04000 – Timing of Action

The proximity in time between protected activity and adverse action goes to the strength of the inference of unlawful motive, but is not determinative in itself. Charging party filed a grievance without union assistance, utilizing private counsel through the grievance procedure. The union's denial of the arbitration request was proximate to charging party's ongoing self representation.

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

The union investigated charging party's grievance, including interviewing other staff, and concluded the employer had not violated the contract. The union informed charging party it did not believe it would prevail on the grievance. The union declined to take charging party's grievance to arbitration, finding that the issue was already covered in another grievance it advanced to arbitration. The union was free to determine the best allocation of its resources.