Decisions and Orders Digest for 1994

STATE OF ALASKA, DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION vs. ALASKA VOCATIONAL TECHNICAL CENTER, TEACHERS/NEA, Decision & Order No. 168 (03/14/1994). Based on factors in AS 23.40.090, we find that the education associate III, the analyst/programmer III, and the publications specialist II positions at the Alaska Vocational Technical Center in Seward share a community of interest with members of the general government unit rather than with members of the Alaska Vocational Technical Center teachers' unit.

UA CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION vs. UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA (REFUSAL TO BARGAIN), Decision & Order No. 169 (12/28/1993). Even before certification an employer must bargain with a newly elected bargaining representative any changes in terms and conditions of employment that have not been announced or implemented before the election or it risks committing an unfair labor practice.

ALASKA STATE EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION/AFSCME LOCAL 52 vs. STATE OF ALASKA, Decision & Order No. 170 (01/26/1994). The terms and conditions of employment for nonpermanent employees are not mandatory subjects of bargaining because those employees are not "public employees" with the right to bargain collectively under the Public Employment Relations Act, as defined in 8 AAC 97.990(a)(2) (previously, 2 AAC 10.220(b)(2)). Decision Appealed: Alaska State Employees Association/AFSCME Local 52 vs. State of Alaska, Decision & Order No. 170 (01/26/1994). Superior Court REVERSED Agency decision and order in case number 3AN-94-0879CI on June 17, 1994. (Superior Court Judge Souter's Decision issued from the bench.) Superior Court opinion was appealed to Supreme Court in case number S6540 where the Supreme Court REVERSED AND REMANDED to the Superior Court on January 24, 1996. See also Agency Case No. 97-689-ULP.

EVELYN M. BAREFOOT vs. NORTHWEST ARCTIC EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, Decision & Order No. 171 (02/08/1994). AS 23.40.225, which provides an exemption from the union security provisions of a collective bargaining agreement for bona fide religious convictions, is available only for convictions based on "tenets or teachings of a church or religious body of which employee is a member." Because of the narrow scope of the statute and the broader protection required by the United States Constitution, a labor organization must allow a reduction in the agency fee paid by nonunion members for expenses that cannot be charged to collective bargaining activities. Providing a procedure to allow this reduction would accommodate nonunion members' right not to support views they do not share, but still require nonunion members to pay their share of the expenses associated with collective bargaining services they receive.

LOWER KUSKOKWIM EDUCATION ASSOCIATION & NEA-AK vs. LOWER KUSKOKWIM SCHOOL DISTRICT, Decision & Order No. 172 (03/02/1994). (1) A unit clarification proceeding is not the appropriate procedure to change an established bargaining unit. It is appropriate to resolve disputes over the unit placement of a new position or disputes over a position where circumstances have changed enough to raise a question of the continued appropriateness of a unit placement. (2) Claims to enforce or interpret a collective bargaining agreement must first be brought under an applicable grievance arbitration procedure before this Agency will consider them under AAC 97.510(a)(4) and AS 23.40.210.

PUBLIC SAFETY EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION vs. STATE OF ALASKA(DOT/PF), Decision & Order No. 173 (04/25/1994). Transfer of work outside of a bargaining unit can be an unfair labor practice. In this case whether the State unilaterally assigned work outside of the unit in violation of AS 23.40.110 will require the interpretation of contract clauses, such as the management rights, integration, and lay-off clauses of the agreement. Questions of contract interpretation are particularly well-suited to the arbitration forum. Where possible, when the Agency's jurisdiction under AS 23.40.110 overlaps with that of an arbitrator under a collective bargaining agreement grievance arbitration clause, the Agency will defer to arbitration. Decision Appealed: Public Safety Employees Association vs. State of Alaska, Decision & Order No. 173 (09/26/1995). ALRA Board deferred to arbitration, and case was heard a second time under ALRA Case No. 93-180-ULP. Superior Court AFFIRMED Agency decision and order number 192 in case number 3AN-95-8809IVCI on July 22, 1996. Superior Court opinion was appealed to Supreme Court in case number S7790. Supreme Court AFFIRMED on October 15, 1997. See also ALRA Decision & Order No. 192.

ALASKA STATE EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION/AFSCME LOCAL 52 vs. STATE OF ALASKA, Decision & Order No. 174 (04/19/1994). The State's obligation to participate in grievance arbitration proceedings under AS 23.40.210 and Article 16 of the parties' collective bargaining agreement is not excused by the circumstance of its having encumbered all of the funds it allocated in its budget to arbitration. Even if the Agency were to recognize a defense of economic necessity to the duty to arbitrate, the evidence does not demonstrate economic necessity in this case. The State's unilateral action constitutes a refusal to bargain in good faith and is an unfair labor practice under AS 23.40.110(a)(5). Decision Appealed: Alaska State Employees Association/AFSCME Local 52 vs. State of Alaska, Decision & Order No. 174 (04/19/1994). Superior Court granted State's request and DISMISSED appeal of Agency decision and order on November 13, 1995, in case number 3AN-94-4342CI.

YUKON-KOYUKUK EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT PERSONNEL ASSOCIATION vs. YUKON-KOYUKUK SCHOOL DISTRICT, Decision & Order No. 175 (05/13/1994). In a unit of classified support personnel at a school district, the accounting clerk, assistant librarian, and probationary employees share a community of interest with the unit. Confidential employees, such as the administrative assistant to the superintendent, and supervisory level employees, such as the maintenance supervisor, do not share a community of interest with members of the unit and should be excluded from the unit.

ALASKA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION vs. CITY OF NOME, NOME JOINT UTILITY SYSTEM, Decision & Order No. 176 (05/24/1994). A city committed an unfair labor practice under AS 23.40.110(a)(5) by not submitting a tentative collective bargaining agreement to its council for ratification. The predictability of the outcome before the council did not excuse submitting it in accordance with the city resolution and the parties' past practice.

IBEW, LOCAL UNION 1547, AFL-CIO vs. CITY OF CORDOVA, Decision & Order No. 177 (10/13/1994). Examining such factors as community of interest, wages, hours, and other working conditions, including supervisory responsibilities, we conclude that the positions of librarian (library director), water and sewer superintendent, refuse and solid waste foreman (baler foreman), and public works superintendent should be excluded from the unit.

STATE OF ALASKA vs. ASEA/AFSCME LOCAL 52, Decision & Order No. 178 (06/15/1994). While the parties have engaged in prolonged bargaining, they have not exhausted all prospects of reaching agreement and are not at impasse.

MICHAEL J BARBER vs. ALASKA STATE EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION/AFSCME LOCAL 52, Decision & Order No. 179 (11/25/1994). ASEA's actions representing general government unit member Michael J. Barber resulted in a substantial settlement and were not arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith. ASEA did not violate its duty to represent him fairly. Decision Appealed: Michael J Barber vs. Alaska State Employees Association/AFSCME Local 52, Decision & Order No. 179 (11/25/1994). Superior Court AFFIRMED Agency decision and order in case number 3AN-94-11297CI on November 6, 1995. See also, Superior Court appeal number 3AN-94-1107CI Barber vs. ALRA. Superior Court AFFIRMED dismissal of Unfair Labor Practice claim on September 29, 1995. Superior Court case Nos. 3AN-94-11070CI & 3AN-94-11297CI were appealed to Supreme Court in case nos. S7361 and S7421. Supreme Court AFFIRMED both superior court opinions on April 9, 1997. 

ALASKA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION/AFT LOCAL 4900 vs. STATE OF ALASKA, Decision & Order No. 180 (11/25/1994). This decision reviews a second labor organization's challenge to the State's refusal to arbitrate grievances under the parties' collective bargaining agreement midway through fiscal year 1994.

PUBLIC EMPLOYEES LOCAL 71 vs. BRISTOL BAY BOROUGH, Decision & Order No. 181 (12/16/1994). A law enforcement unit of approximately 10 employees at the Bristol Bay Borough is an appropriate unit for collective bargaining under AS 23.40.090.

LOWER YUKON EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT PERSONNEL ASSOCIATION vs. LOWER YUKON SCHOOL DISTRICT, Decision & Order No. 182 (11/25/1994). An election should proceed among all classified employees regardless of receipt of retirement or vacation benefits.

Employees of the Kodiak Island Borough vs. Kodiak Island Borough (Mental Health Center), Decision & Order No. 183 (12/21/1994). The appropriate unit of Kodiak Island Borough employees represented by the Electrical Workers for purposes of participation in a decertification election is the unit originally defined as appropriate in the 1990 decision and order of the Department of Labor, Labor Relations Agency.

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