Decision 2266E – Oxnard Federation of Teachers (Collins)

LA-CO-1417-E

Decision Date: May 25, 2012

Decision Type: PERB Decision

View Full Text (PDF)

Decision Headnotes

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 order to state a prima facie violation, charging party must show that the respondent’s conduct was arbitrary, discriminatory or lacking in good faith; mere negligence or poor judgment in handling a grievance does not constitute a breach of the union’s duty; a union may exercise its discretion to determine how far to pursue a grievance on the employee’s behalf as long as it does not arbitrarily ignore a meritorious grievance or process a grievance in a perfunctory fashion; a union is not required to process a grievance if the chances for success are minimal; in order to state a prima facie case of arbitrary conduct violating the duty of fair representation, a charging party must at a minimum include an assertion of sufficient facts from which it becomes apparent how or in what manner the exclusive representative’s action or inaction was without a rational basis or devoid of honest judgment; where charging party was provided with a detailed letter explaining the reasons relied on in declining to pursue the matter to arbitration, charge failed to state a prima facie violation of the duty of fair representation.

801.00000 – UNION UNFAIR PRACTICES;RESTRAINT, COERCION, INTERFERENCE OR DISCRIMINATION
801.05000 – Union Threats; Violence

PERB will analyze cases involving interference with protected rights by a union according to the principles applicable to the parallel statutory provision prohibiting employer interference and reprisals; the test for whether statements constitute interference or coercion depends on whether, under the existing circumstances, they reasonably tend to interfere with or coerce in the exercise of guaranteed rights, not whether the employee subjectively perceives the statements in that manner; where charging party interpreted a union representative’s statements about potential “repercussions” with the school district if charging party pursued her grievance with a private attorney as a threat that she believed was connected to a meeting with employer to discuss curriculum in response to alleged student complaints about charging party’s teaching techniques, no prima facie case of interference stated because union representative had no control over the employment relationship and is not responsible for actions of the employer and because there is no basis to conclude that such statements would reasonably tend to discourage her from pursuing her grievance against the school district.

1100.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; CHARGE
1100.03000 – Standing

Individual employees lack standing to allege that an exclusive representative violated its duty to meet and confer with an employer or to allege violations of statutory sections that protect the collective bargaining rights of employee organizations.

1100.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; CHARGE
1100.05000 – Dismissal of Charge; Appeal

Under PERB Regulation 32635, subdivision (a), the appeal must sufficiently place the Board and the respondent on notice of the issues raised on appeal; an appeal that merely reiterates facts alleged in the unfair practice charge, or does not reference the substance of the Board agent’s dismissal, fails to comply with PERB Regulation 32635, subdivision (a); where appeal consisted of a repaginated effective duplicate of the supplement to the amended charge and a letter asserting that the entire amended charge was the basis for the appeal, and failed to reference any portion of the Board agent’s determination or otherwise identify the specific issues of procedure, fact, law or rationale to which the appeal was taken, the page or part of the dismissal to which the appeal was taken, or the ground for each issue stated, the appeal was subject to dismissal.

1107.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES;PROCEDURES BEFORE THE BOARD
1107.01000 – Exceptions; Responses to Exceptions; Standing; Extensions of Time/Late Filing/Waiver

Individual employees lack standing to allege bargaining violations, including unilateral change violations, and violations of EERA sections that protect the collective bargaining rights of employee organizations.

1109.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; ISSUES ON APPEAL
1109.01000 – In General

Under PERB Regulation 32635, subdivision (a), the appeal must sufficiently place the Board and the respondent on notice of the issues raised on appeal; an appeal that merely reiterates facts alleged in the unfair practice charge, or does not reference the substance of the Board agent’s dismissal, fails to comply with PERB Regulation 32635, subdivision (a); where appeal consisted of a repaginated effective duplicate of the supplement to the amended charge and a letter asserting that the entire amended charge was the basis for the appeal, and failed to reference any portion of the Board agent’s determination or otherwise identify the specific issues of procedure, fact, law or rationale to which the appeal was taken, the page or part of the dismissal to which the appeal was taken, or the ground for each issue stated, the appeal was subject to dismissal.