PERC Holds That The Expansion Of An Existing Security Camera System In A Hospital Was Not A Mandatory Subject of Bargaining

By Chris Casillas and Jordan L. Jones

security cameraIn Mason General Hospital (Mason Public Hospital District 1), Examiner Irvin held that the employer did not refuse to bargain by unilaterally installing a new security camera in the Diagnostic Imaging Department. Examiner Irvin found that the hospital’s decision to install the new security camera was not a mandatory subject of bargaining.

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Teachers Did Not Have Right To Privacy In Records That Did Not Contain Personal Information And Were Not Investigative

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Harrison Owens

privacyIn Predisik v. Spokane School District No. 81, the Washington State Supreme Court found that public employees did not have a right to privacy in public records that contained information relating to investigations of potential misconduct, but did not identify the specific allegations being investigated.  In their lawsuits, two public school employees sued the District to prevent the disclosure of a leave letter and spreadsheets to two media outlets who requested the materials.  The Supreme Court held that Washington law did not prevent the disclosure of the un-redacted materials, because they did not violate the employees’ privacy rights.

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Piece Rate Agricultural Workers Are Entitled To Pay During Rest Breaks

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Harrison Owens

cherry-bombIn Demetrio v. Sakuma Brothers Farms, Inc., the Washington State Supreme Court found that piece rate workers must be paid for rest breaks, and they must be paid the higher rate of pay, either the minimum wage or the regular rate of pay.  In their complaint, agricultural workers paid based on the number of “pieces” of output they produced asked the Court to determine whether they were entitled to paid rest breaks, and if so how much they must be paid.  The Court stated that piece rate workers were entitled to paid rest breaks under Washington law, and the rate had to be the greater of workers’ regular rate of pay or the applicable minimum wage.

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Commission Upends Thirty Years of Law in Recent Ruling Finding Inland Boatmen’s Union Did Not Refuse to Bargain

By Chris Casillas and Jordan L. Jones

Impasse-ChessIn Washington State Ferries, the Commission affirmed Examiner Slone-Gomez’s decision that the Inland Boatmen’s Union of the Pacific did not refuse to bargain in violation of RCW 47.64.130(2)(c). The Commission stated that the Washington State Ferries was unable to prove that the Union negotiated to impasse on a non-mandatory subject of bargaining.

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PERC Holds that the WSCCCE Was Inappropriately Allowed to Intervene in a Representation Case Initiated by the Snohomish County Juvenile Court Supervisors Association

By Chris Casillas and Jordan L. Jones

intrerveneIn Snohomish County, the Commission held that the Washington State Council of County and City Employees (WSCCCE) was inappropriately allowed to intervene in a representation case initiated by the Snohomish County Juvenile Court Supervisors Association (union). The Commission also held that the petitioned-for bargaining unit was appropriate and remanded to the Executive Director to conduct a unit determination election to establish the preferred bargaining unit arrangement of the employees.

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PERC Holds that Washington State University Did Not Refuse to Bargain When It Reduced the Wages of the Facilities Operations, Custodial Services Unit

By: Chris Casillas and Jordan L. Jones

coverageIn Washington State University, Examiner Whitney held that the University did not refuse to bargain when it reduced the wages of its employees in the Facilities Operations, Custodial Services unit. Examiner Whitney stated that the University’s changes to the bargaining unit’s wages were made in conformance with their current 2013-2015 CBA.

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PERC Holds That Installation of Cameras on Buses Not A Mandatory Subject of Bargaining

By Chris Casillas and Sarah Derry

feel like you're being watchedIn Community Transit, PERC Examiner Ramerman held that installation of video cameras on buses is not a mandatory subject of bargaining. Examiner Ramerman reasoned that: (1) video cameras had already been used in the buses, albeit in a more limited capacity; (2) bus drivers have no reasonable expectation of privacy while driving the buses; and (3) the cameras could further the employer’s significant interest in passenger and driver safety. Based on these three determinations, Examiner Ramerman concluded that the employer is not required to bargain with the bus drivers’ union over the camera installation.

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PERC finds Walla Walla Guild Waived its Rights by Inaction Over Change in City Firearms Policy Despite Repeated Meetings with City

By Chris Casillas and Sarah Derry

notice no concealed weaponsIn City of Walla Walla, Examiner Slone-Gomez held that the City of Walla Walla did not unilaterally change the off-duty weapon policy for police officers and sergeants.  The Examiner determined that the employer provided notice and opportunity to bargain the policy, but that the Guild waived its right to bargain through inaction.

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PERC Reverses Examiner, Holds Kitsap County Did Not Bargain In Bad Faith

By Chris Casillas and Sarah Derry

procurement rulesIn Kitsap County, PERC overturned Examiner Ramerman’s decision that Kitsap County engaged in bad faith bargaining.  The Commission considered two separate issues: (1) whether to consider Kitsap County’s brief even though it was submitted late; and (2) whether Kitsap County breached its duty to bargain in good faith with the Juvenile Detention Officers’ Guild. On the first issue, the Commission refused to consider the employer’s late brief, emphasizing that its procedural rules are to be followed in every case.  PERC characterized the late-filing as acting “in complete disregard of our procedural rules” and that it had “previously cautioned the employer that it disregards the Commission’s rules at its own peril.”

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PERC Holds that Warden School District Did Not Commit A ULP When It Did Not Bargain With the Union Over Whether to Change the School Calendar and that Principal’s Statement to Employee Was Not Interference With Union Rights

By Chris Casillas and Sarah Derry

crystal ballIn Warden School District, PERC Examiner Whitney considered two unrelated issues:  First, the employer did not commit a ULP by not bargaining with the union over whether to adopt a perpetual calendar for the school year. Examiner Whitney found that: (1) the employer had been using the same calendar adoption process for nine years, so there was no change, and (2) although the union wanted to adopt a “perpetual calendar,” the Union never directly proposed it, so the school district did not refuse to bargain. Second, Examiner Whitney determined that the school district did not interfere with a teacher’s union rights by threatening to fire him if he did not take on another class, in part because another teacher testified that she did not think the complaining teacher had been threatened.

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