State Supreme Court to Directly Review Kitsap County Retroactive Insurance Issues

By Jim Cline

health servicesThe Washington State Supreme Court has indicated that it will accept “Direct Review” of Kitsap County’s appeal of the Superior Court ruling from last summer that set aside Arbitrator Howell Lankford’s retroactive imposition of health insurance premium increases in his interest arbitration decision. Direct Review bypasses the Court of Appeals and is generally limited to those cases that the Court deems to be of significant statewide impact or importance.

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State Employment Security Department Can’t Unilaterally Prohibit Union Posters in Employee Cubicles

By Therese Norton

 

cubeDuring contract negotiations, the Washington State Employment Security Department ordered all employees to remove pro-union flyers from their cubicles. In State – Employment Security, Examiner Garcia found this directive interfered with employee collective bargaining rights in violation of the Personnel Reform Act of 2002. State – Employment Security, Decision 11962 (PSRA, 2013)

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BREAKING NEWS: Cline and Associates to Become Cline & Casillas!

Jim Cline and Chris Casillas opened the Firm’s Annual Client Training Seminar to announce that they are launching a new partnership. [Read more...]

Trial Court Ordered To Reconsider Whether County Facing Budget Shortfall Must Bargain Layoffs

By Chris Casillas

gavelA Washington Court of Appeals recently sent a case involving Kitsap County’s decision to layoff two corrections officers back to the Trial Court for further consideration.  In Kitsap County v. Kitsap County Correctional Officers’ Guild, Inc., the Appeals Court determined that the Trial Court erred when it failed to conduct the required Balancing Analysis to determine whether the County’s decision to layoff two corrections officers, based on an alleged jail budget shortfall, was a mandatory or permissive subject of bargaining. [Read more...]

Cline & Associates Welcomes Attorney, Erica Shelley Nelson

ESN FinalCline & Associates welcomes new attorney, Erica Shelley Nelson. Erica received her B.A. in Political Science from Western Washington University in June 2001. She graduated from Gonzaga Law School in 2005, and participated as a member of Gonzaga’s National Trial Team. [Read more...]

PERC Examiner Finds No Discrimination in Temporary Demotion Caused by Unrelated Funding and Workload Issues

By Therese Norton

DemotionIn Seattle School District, PERC Examiner Emily Whitney dismissed a discrimination complaint brought by the Seattle/King County Building and Construction Trades Council against the Seattle School District. The Trades Council had alleged that the School District discriminated against a foreperson in the sheet metal shop when it demoted him after laying off two other staff members.

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College Satisfied Required Effects Bargaining of Change in Technology

By Therese Norton

BargainIn Seattle Community College, the American Federation of Teachers, Local 1789 alleged that the College committed a refusal to bargain violation when it unilaterally changed which online Learning Management System (LMS) it used without an opportunity to bargain the decision or the effects of the decision. PERC Examiner Casey King concluded that the decision to change the technology was not a mandatory subject of bargaining and that the College had sufficiently bargained the effects of its decision.

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PERC Affirmed Ruling of No Discrimination and No Interference by Port of Seattle Against Shop Steward

By Therese Norton

Arb DecisionsIn Port of Seattle, the Public Employee Relations Commission affirmed Examiner Martin’s ruling that the Port of Seattle did not discriminate against a shop steward when a supervisor “coached” him in his duties.  Decision 11848-A (PECB, 2014). The Commission also affirmed Examiner Martin’s ruling that the Port of Seattle did not interfere with the shop steward’s collective bargaining rights through statements made by his supervisor.

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Court of Appeals Holds That When Yakima Police Officer’s Disability Manifests Itself as Insubordination, City of Yakima can Terminate

By Emily Nelson

FiredIn Brownfield v. City of Yakima, the Washington Court of Appeals, Division III, found that Yakima police officer Oscar Brownfield, fired for insubordination in 2007, failed to support his claim that he was actually fired because of a disability.  The Court held that his refusal to submit to a fitness for duty examination, not the disability that led to the examination requested was the proximate cause of the discharge.

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PERC Examiner Finds No Discrimination or Interference Against Monroe Corrections Sergeant

By Therese Norton

Case DismisseddIn State – Corrections, PERC Examiner Emily Whitney dismissed a discrimination and interference complaint brought by the Teamsters Local 117 against the Washington State Department of Corrections.  Decision 12002 (PSRA, 2014). The Teamsters alleged that the Department discriminated against a corrections sergeant who had previously testified in a separate PERC unfair labor practice hearing by investigating him regarding the distribution of a “sensitive” video and by denying him a promotional opportunity.  Separately, the Teamsters alleged that the Department made statements that interfered with the collective bargaining rights of a unit member and shop steward.

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