Decision 2837E – Santa Ana Educators Association (Felicijan & Hetman)


Decision Date: October 17, 2022

Decision Type: PERB Decision (Non-Precedential)

Description:  Christine L. Felicijan and Wayne Hetman (Charging Parties) alleged that the Santa Ana Educators Association violated the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA) when it: (1) did not appear at two grievance meetings despite agreeing to represent Charging Parties in the grievance proceedings; (2) without explanation to Charging Parties, did not approve or deny their arbitration request within the 15-day time limit for demanding arbitration under the contractual grievance procedure; (3) failed to ensure that Charging Parties’ employer, Santa Ana Unified School District, removed derogatory materials from Charging Parties’ personnel files despite informing Charging Parties that it had negotiated for the materials to be removed, and (4) failed to assist Hetman in challenging the District’s use of certain personnel information against Hetman in his lawsuit against the District. The administrative law judge (ALJ) concluded that the Association breached its duty of fair representation by failing to respond to Felicijan’s request to arbitrate three grievances. The ALJ found two of these grievances lacked merit or were untimely, and thus declined to order make-whole relief as to those grievances. The ALJ found Felicijan would have prevailed on the third grievance and, as a remedy, ordered the Association to pay Felicijan 4.5 hours of pay plus interest. The ALJ dismissed the remaining allegations. Charging Parties excepted to (1) the proposed decision’s finding that their request to arbitrate a fourth grievance was untimely; and (2) the ALJ’s failure to grant make-whole relief for all of Charging Parties’ grievances. Charging Parties also claimed the ALJ was biased against Hetman and asked that his dismissed allegations be re-tried before a different ALJ.

Disposition:  The Board reversed the ALJ’s conclusion that Charging Parties’ request for arbitration of the fourth grievance was untimely, but found no remedy was warranted for the Association’s failure to respond to that request because the grievance lacked merit. The Board otherwise affirmed the proposed decision. The Board also denied Hetman’s request for a new hearing, finding Charging Parties failed to establish the ALJ was biased against Hetman.

Perc Vol: 47
Perc Index: 72

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