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CSBLR Summaries of Board Decisions - MERA (Municipal Employee Relations Act)

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MERA OUTLINE – SUMMARY OF BOARD DECISIONS - MAY 1, 1995 – DECEMBER 1, 2005


 

  1. REPRESENTATION ISSUES

    1. CERTIFICATION/DECERTIFICATION

      1. Timeliness of Petition

        Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies §7-471-8 (b):
         
        a petition will be considered timely if it is filed between 180 and 150 days prior to the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement covering the employees who are the subject of the petition.  The Board may consider petitions filed at other times if compelling reasons are shown for deviation from the foregoing regulation.

        Town of Madison, Decision No. 4103 (11/29/05): The Union filed a petition to represent a bargaining unit already represented by another Union.  The Town and the incumbent Union argued the petition was untimely because it was filed days after the neutral arbitrator was appointed by the SBMA.  The Labor Board applied the rules regarding timely petitions in Town of Hamden, Decision No. 4054 (2005) and City of Bridgeport, Decision No. 3338 (1995) and dismissed the petition as untimely.

        Town of Wallingford, Decision No. 4062 (7/1/05):  The Union filed a petition to represent a bargaining unit already represented by another Union.  The incumbent Union argued the petition was untimely because it was filed three months after the issuance of an interest arbitration award which resulted in a five year contract, three years of which had already passed.  The Labor Board found that the petition was timely whether examined in light of the three year rule or because “good cause exists here to allow these employees to vote regarding their bargaining representative.”

        Town of Hamden, Decision No. 4054 (5/18/05):  The Union filed a petition to represent a bargaining unit already represented by another Union.  The Labor Board, for the first time, articulated the following interest arbitration bar:  from “the time the neutral chair is appointed until the interest arbitration award is issued or until the parties reach a binding agreement during the process.  However, interest arbitration will not be considered “in progress” if a period of more than 60 days passed during which no action has been taken to advance the process in some way.  If, after that 60-day period and prior to some further action being taken by the parties to advance the process, a petition is filed seeking to represent the employees in that bargaining unit, the petition will be considered timely.”

        Bloomfield Center Fire District, Decision No. 3754 (4/6/00):
          Two bargaining unit members filed decertification petitions.  The Labor Board dismissed the first petition, finding that it had been filed within one year of the Union’s certification.  As for the second petition, the Union argued that the certification year should be extended as a result of the employer’s discriminatory actions in terminating the Union president.  Because the Labor Board concluded that the employer would have terminated the Union president even absent an illegal motive, it refused to extend the certification year.  The Union also argued that because the parties were engaged in interest arbitration, the petition was barred under the authority of Enfield Board of Education, Decision No. 3542 (1997), which held that mandatory binding interest arbitration proceedings bar a petition filed during the pendency of those proceedings.  The Labor Board declined to apply the reasoning in Enfield to an initial collective bargaining agreement.  Specifically, in an initial contract situation, mandatory binding interest arbitration can be imposed prior to the expiration of the certification year, therefore potentially barring a decertification petition until the window period opens during the term of the first contract.  The Labor Board concluded that the balance between stability of the collective bargaining process and the employees’ right to choose their representation was appropriately struck by permitting the petition in the instant case.

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        Town of Hamden, Decision No. 3437 (9/9/96):  Union filed a petition seeking to represent certain employees already represented by another Union.  Incumbent Union filed objection to petition on grounds that the petition was untimely because it was not in the window period specified in Section 7-471-8(b) of the Board’s regulations.  The incumbent Union argued that the word “between” as used in the regulation excluded the 150th and 180th days prior to the expiration of the contract and therefore, the petition was untimely because it was filed on the 150th day prior to expiration of the contract.  The Labor Board dismissed the objection construing the regulation to include the 150th and 180th days prior to expiration of the contract.  The Labor Board determined that this interpretation was consistent with the well-established policy of the Board to allow for a window period of 30 days in which to allow a party to file a petition for representation or decertification.  The Labor Board certified the new Union as the collective bargaining representative of the unit.  The incumbent Union appealed the Labor Board’s decision to Superior Court which dismissed on jurisdictional grounds.  [Appeal dismissed, AFSCME, Council 4 v. Town of Hamden et al, CV 96-0565297 (JD Hartford/New Britain at Hartford, 4/10/97, Maloney, J.):  Court dismissed Union’s direct appeal of representation decision (No. 3437) in which Labor Board certified CILU as bargaining representative. Labor Board’s decision interpreted Section 7-471-8(b) of the Regulations concerning the "window period" for filing petitions. Citing Windsor v. Windsor Police Department Employees Association, 154 Conn. 530 (1967), the Court dismissed the direct appeal, rejecting the Union’s contention that the appeal should be allowed pursuant to the reasoning in Leedom v. Kyne, 358 US 184 (1958).]

        City of Bridgeport, Decision No. 3338 (9/21/95):  Petition filed seeking to decertify incumbent Union and certify new union representative.  Incumbent Union claimed a contract bar existed.  Facts revealed that the last window period for employees occurred in early 1991 because of a series of events in which Union had moved to vacate an arbitration award and no successor contract to the 1989-1991 contract had ever been reached.  Labor Board found “good cause” to order the election pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-471(1) due to the time which had elapsed since the last clear window period for employees.  Board also adopted the three year rule of the NLRB, which states that a contract in excess of three years will not bar a petition filed after the third year of the contract.

        Town of Sherman (Pitcher/Heinz), Decision No. 3326 (7/27/95):
          Two individuals filed decertification petitions seeking to remove incumbent Union.  Union filed objections to the election order claiming that the Employer had engaged in dilatory tactics during bargaining justifying extension of the certification year and that the Employer had made comments to the press advocating decertification.  Board distinguished facts from those in Whitmore Memorial Library, Decision No. 1172 (1973) and found no dilatory tactics by Employer.  Board found statements not to show that Employer was advocating decertification.  Objections overruled; Union decertified.

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      2. Status as Employee Organization

        Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-467
        When used in sections 7-467 to 7-477, inclusive: 

        (6) “Employee organization” means any lawful association, labor organization, federation or council having as a primary purpose the improvement of wages, hours and other conditions of employment among employees of municipal employers.

        Town of Windsor, Decision No. 3609 (7/10/98):  A petition was filed by the Windsor Police Department Employees Association, seeking to represent the Town’s uniformed and investigatory police officers.  The Labor Board dismissed the petition without further hearing pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 7-471(1) and 7-471-12(b) of the regulations, based upon the Assistant Agent’s “Report Upon Investigation of Petition,” which concluded that the petitioner had not existed for six months prior to the filing of the petition, as required by Section 7-467a of MERA.

        Old Saybrook Board of Education, Decision No. 3298 (5/10/95):  Incumbent Unions objected to representation petitions on grounds that petitioners were not “labor organizations” within the meaning of Conn. Gen. Stat. 7-467a.  Labor Board dismissed objections finding that issue had been resolved in New Fairfield Board of Education, Decision No. 3175 (1994).

        New Fairfield Board of Education, Decision No. 3175 (1/13/94):  Incumbent Union objected to representation petition on the grounds that the petitioner was not a “labor organization” within the 467a in that petitioner had not been a labor organization for six months, did not file an annual report under Conn. Gen. Stat. §31-77, and resembled a consulting business rather than an employee organization.  The Labor Board dismissed the objections finding evidence that the petitioner was in existence for six months, there was no merit to the argument that an employee organization “loses such status as a result of not filing a report” and, in any case, the petitioner complied with the cited statute, and that petitioner’s structure resembled an employee organization, not a consulting business.


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      3. Status of Employees/Community of Interest

        Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-467
        When used in sections 7-467 to 7-477, inclusive: 

        (2) “Employee” means any employee of a municipal employer, whether or not in the classified service of the municipal employer, except elected officials, administrative officials, board and commission members, certified teachers, part-time employees who work less than twenty hours per week on a seasonal basis, department heads and persons in such other positions as may be excluded from coverage under sections 7-467 to 7-4777, inclusive, in accordance with subdivision (2) of section 7-471; 

        (3) “Seasonal basis” means working for a period of not more than one hundred twenty calendar days in any calendar year; 

        (4) “Department head” means an employee who heads any department in a municipal organization, has substantial supervisory control of a permanent nature over other municipal employees, and is directly accountable to the board of selectmen of a town, city or borough not having a charger or special act form of government, or to the chief executive officer of any other town, city or borough; 

        (5) “Department” means any major functional division in a municipal organization, notwithstanding the provisions of any charter or special act to the contrary; 

        Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-471 (3):  The board shall decide in each case whether, in order to insure to employees the fullest freedom in exercising the rights guaranteed by sections 7-467 to 7-477, inclusive, and in order to insure a clear and identifiable community of interest among employees concerned, the unit appropriate for purposes of collective bargaining shall be the municipal employer unit or any other unit thereof, provided no unit shall include both supervisory and nonsupervisory employees except there shall be a single unit for each fire department consisting of the uniformed and investigatory employees of each such fire department and a single unit for each police department consisting of the uniformed and investigatory employees of each such police department.  No existing units shall be altered or modified to conform to this provision.  No unit shall include both professional and nonprofessional employees unless a majority of such professional employees vote for inclusion in such unit, provided employees who are members of a profession may be included in a unit, in which event all of the employees in such profession shall be included in such unit.  The term “professional employee” means:  (A) Any employee engaged in work (i) predominantly intellectual and varied in character as opposed to routine mental, manual, mechanical or physical work; (ii) involving the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment in its performance; (iii) of such a character that the output produced or the result accomplished cannot be standardized in relation to be given time period; (iv) requiring knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction and study in an institution of higher learning or a hospital, as distinguished from a general academic education or from an apprenticeship or from training in the performance of routine mental, manual or physical processes; or (B) any employee who (i) has completed the courses of specialized intellectual instruction and study described in clause (iv) of subparagraph (A) and (ii) is performing related work under the supervision of a professional person to qualify himself to become a professional employee as defined in subparagraph (A) hereof.

        Town of Somers, Decision No. 3657 (1/28/99):
          The Town objected to the inclusion of the Assistant Town Clerk and Municipal Animal Control Officer in a petitioned-for unit.  The Town argued that the Assistant Town Clerk was a political appointment immune from collective bargaining.  The Labor Board concluded that pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-19, the appointment and removal of Assistant Town Clerks did not constitute mandatory subjects of bargaining, but the position of Assistant Town Clerk was not “so political in nature that it should be excluded from coverage of the Act.”  The Labor Board concluded that the position should be included in the unit for election purposes.

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        Town of Colchester, Decision No. 3560-B (12/3/98):  The Finance Director was found not to meet the second and third criteria of the test for Department Head as outlined in Town of Southington, Decision No. 2451 (1995).  The position did not exercise a degree of permanent supervisory control greater than that of a supervisor, nor did the department constitute a major functional division of the municipal organization.  The Labor Board also concluded that the position was not confidential, because the finance information dealt with was a matter of public record and the Director had never been called upon to deal directly with matters pertaining to collective bargaining.

        Town of Plymouth, Decision No. 3643 (11/25/98) The Union alleged that the Town had unilaterally changed the job description and testing requirements for the position of Assistant Town Cleark.  The Town argued that the position was a political appointment immune from collective bargaining, similar to a Deputy registrar of Voters.  Pursuant to statute, Town Clerks have the right to appoint and remove Assistant Town Clerks.  The Labor Board concluded that the appointment and removal of Assistant Town Clerks was governed by the statute and not by any collective bargaining agreement (such as just cause dismissal provisions), but that the position was not so inherently political in nature so as to justify exclusion from the Act.  As for the Union’s allegations, the Labor Board found insufficient evidence on the record to conclude that any conditions of employment had been changed.

        City of Milford, Decision No. 3562 (12/29/97):  The Union petitioned to include the position of Head Librarian in an existing bargaining unit of supervisory employees.  The Employer objected on the grounds that the position met the criteria for a Department Head.  The Labor Board agreed and dismissed the petition [Appeal dismissed, Milford Supervisors Assn. V. State Board of Labor Relations, CV98-577451 (J.D. Hartford, 3/25/98, McWeeny, J.):  The Labor Board filed a motion to dismiss this appeal of a determination that an employee of the City of Milford was a department head and thus excluded from collective bargaining, relying on the longstanding principle that representation cases are not the proper subject of direct appeals. Although the court found that the Labor Board's decision (No. 3562) was a final decision pursuant to Section 4-166(3) of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, this did not change the result and the Board's motion to dismiss was granted.]

        City of Bridgeport, Decision No. 3487 (3/27/97):  The Union filed petition for a unit of Labor Relations secretaries and officers.  The City objected on grounds that the entire unit is confidential.  The Labor Board dismissed the petition upholding the City’s objection.

        Jewett City Electric Light Plant, Decision No. 3447 (10/17/96):  Union filed petition seeking to represent all utility workers employed by the Light Plant.  The Employer objected to the direction of election on the grounds that the position of Line Leader should be excluded from the unit as either a Department Head or a Supervisor within the meaning of Sections 7-467(2) and 7-471(2) of MERA.  Based on Town of Southington v. Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations, 210 Conn. 549, the Board determined that the position did not meet any of the criteria for a department head.  The board also determined that the position was more of a working foreman than a supervisor and included the position in the unit.

        Wolcott Board of Education, Decision No. 3343 (10/24/95):  Union sought a separate unit consisting of central office secretaries and related clerical staff.  Employer objected claiming that the proposed unit was inappropriate because there already existed another clerical unit represented by a different union and because the position of Secretary to the Business Manager was a confidential employee.  Labor Board dismissed first objection, finding that the clericals had a community of interest.  Labor Board excluded the secretary as confidential.

        Town of Southington, Decision No. 2498 (6/4/86):
          The Labor Board found the employer to be in violation of the Act when it refused to bargain with the Union regarding the wages and conditions of employment of five employees whom the employer claimed were excluded department heads.  In making its decision that the employees in question were not department heads, the Labor Board considered:  1) does the person report directly to the Board of Selectmen or the Chief Executive Officer of the municipality, i.e. ‘with no intervening level of authority’; and 2) does the person exercise a degree of permanent supervisory control over other municipal employees which is greater than what is necessary to qualify the person merely as a supervisor under the Act; and 3) does the person head a division of municipal government which in terms of budget, staff size, and control of the use of municipal resources is a major functional division of that municipality’s government.  This decision and the criteria established therein was affirmed by the Connecticut Supreme Court, Southington v. State Board of Labor Relations, 210 Conn. 549 (1989).

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    2. MODIFICATION/CLARIFICATION
       

      1. Timeliness of Petition

        Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-471 (4):
          An employee organization or a municipal employer may file a petition with the board seeking a clarification or modification of an existing unit.  The power of the board to make such clarifications and modifications shall be limited to those times when a petition for clarification or modification is filed by either an employee organization or a municipal employer.  No petition seeking a clarification or modification of an existing unit shall be considered to be timely by the board during the term of a written collective bargaining agreement, except that a petition for clarification or modification filed by an employee organization concerning either (1) a newly created position or (2) any employee who is not represented by an employee organization, may be filed at any time.

        Town of Wilton, Decision No. 4098 (11/1/05):  The Union sought to modify an existing bargaining unit through the inclusion of the position of fire marshal.  The exclusion of said position was negotiated and memorialized in the recognition clause of the collective bargaining agreement.  The Town objected to the petition as untimely.  The Labor Board found §7-471 of the Act “allows unrepresented employees the opportunity to decide upon their collective bargaining status even during the term of a collective bargaining agreement.”  The Labor Board further found that where the collective bargaining agreement and statute conflict, “the contract must yield to the statutory requirements” and ordered certification.

        Enfield Board of Education, Decision No. 3542 (10/21/97):  The Board of education filed a petition to modify an existing clerical unit by removing the position of Personnel Specialist on the basis that the position is confidential.  The Labor Board found, for the first time, that the petition was untimely because it was filed while the parties were engaged in binding interest arbitration pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-473c.

        City of Bridgeport, Decision No. 3486 (3/27/97):  City filed petition seeking to exclude the position of Deputy Chief from the existing unit.  Union filed a motion to dismiss the petition on the grounds that it was not timely filed.  The Labor Board interpreted Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-471 (4) to allow employers to file petitions for modification during the 150-180 day window period.

        City of Stamford, Decision No. 3354 (1/5/96):
          City filed petition for modification of unit seeking to remove the position of Deputy Registrar of Voters.  Labor Board dismissed petition as untimely pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 7-471 (4), which states in relevant part:  “… No petition seeking clarification or modification of an existing unit shall be considered to be timely by the board during the term of a written collective bargaining agreement except [petitions filed by labor organizations under certain circumstances]”.  [Appeal dismissed, AFSCME Council 4, Local 2657 v. State Board of Labor Relations et al., CV96-557564 (JD Hartford/New Britain at Hartford, 8/28/97, Maloney, J.):  State law provides for the appointment of Deputy Registrars of Voters to serve at the pleasure of the Registrar. The Deputy Registrar position was covered by a collective bargaining agreement which required just cause for termination. The Union petitioned for a declaratory ruling by the Labor Board, which found that the statute prevailed over conflicting contract provisions (Decision No. 3354), and the Union appealed. The court upheld the Labor Board's decision.] 

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      2. Additions/Exclusions to existing bargaining unit 

        Groton Public Schools,
        Decision No. 4027 (3/4/05)Union sought to modify an existing unit of custodial and maintenance employees by including the position of Computer Technician.  The employer objected arguing that the proposed employees do not have a community of interest with the employees in the existing unit.  The Board found a community of interest sufficient to direct the election.

        NAGE, Local RI-137, Decision No. 3840 (9/14/01):  The Union represented a unit of dispatchers, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians.  The Town created paid fire fighter positions and “upgraded” the EMTs and paramedic positions to fire fighters.  The Town then filed a petition to modify the existing unit to exclude the EMT/paramedic positions.  The Labor Board dismissed the petition, concluding that although the Town was permitted to create and eliminate positions, the removal of these job titles from an existing bargaining unit was not the proper function of a modification petition.

        Town of West Hartford, Decision No. 3839 (9/13/01):  The Union filed a clarification petition to determine whether the new position of Assistant Fire Marshal was within the bargaining unit.  The recognition clause included “all uniformed and investigatory positions … except that of Chief, Assistant Chief, and Deputy Chief II” in the bargaining unit.  The Labor Board found the position in question to be both uniformed and investigatory and therefore clarified that the bargaining unit included the position.

        City of Meriden, Decision No. 3811 (3/7/01):  The Union representing a bargaining unit of registered nurses sought clarification about the placement of a newly created Health Educator position, which could but did not need to be filled by a registered nurse.  The position was ultimately filled by a non-nurse, and placed in the municipal employees union.  The Union took the position that the position belonged in the nurse unit regardless of whether the incumbent was a registered nurse.  The Labor Board found that the recognition clause clearly restricted the bargaining unit to registered nurses only and therefore the position did not properly belong in that unit.

        New Britain Board of Education, Decision No. 3765 (5/3/00):  The Union sought to modify an existing bargaining unit to include a group of employees known as “Parent Volunteer Organizers.”  The Labor Board found sufficient community of interest between the Organizers and the existing bargaining unit to include them.  The Labor Board therefore certified the results of the election and modified the unit to include the position.

        Town of Waterford, Decision No. 3758 (4/11/00):
          The employer sought to modify an existing bargaining unit by removing two positions it claimed were Department Heads.  The Labor Board found that both positions readily satisfied the second and third prongs of the test set forth in Town of Southington, Decision No. 2451, affirmed, Town of Southington v. Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations, 210 Conn. 549 (1989).  Specifically, the Labor Board concluded that the positions exercised significant supervisory control and headed major functional divisions of the municipality’s government.  As for whether the positions reported directly to the Chief Executive Officer with no intervening level of authority, the Labor Board concluded that although both divisions had appointed Commissions, those Commissions were advisory and policy making only and therefore did not serve as an intervening level of authority.  Accordingly, the Labor Board modified the bargaining unit to remove the positions. [Appeal withdrawn, 10/2/00, CV00-502314].

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        In the matter of Sinai J. Bordeleau, Decision No. 3638 (11/20/98):  An individual citizen filed a petition seeking to modify an existing bargaining unit in the Town of Griswold to exclude the positions of Assessor, Social Worker, Building Official, Sanitarian, and Fire Marshal.  The incumbent Union filed a motion to dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction.  The Labor Board concluded that the petitioner lacked standing to file a petition, since the statutory provisions governing representation petitions do not provide for the filing of such petitions by individuals acting alone.  The Labor Board was not persuaded by the petitioner’s argument that he was a member of the Town’s legislative body by virtue of the town meeting and therefore fell within MERA’s purview.

        Town of Newtown, Decision No. 3607 (6/15/98):  The Town filed a modification petition, seeking to exclude from the clerical unit the Administrative Assistant to the Police Chief as a confidential employee.  The Town argued that the position was exposed to confidential material related to collective bargaining as a result of the Police Chief’s significant collective bargaining responsibility.  The Labor Board concluded that most of the collective bargaining duties related to collective bargaining for the clerical unit were not of sufficient nature or volume to establish that the Administrative Assistant would face a conflict of interest with her own bargaining unit.  At most, the inclusion of the position presented an inconvenience to the Town.

        Town of Darien, Decision No. 3517 (6/27/97):  The Union petitioned to modify the existing police unit, which excluded the Chief of Police and two Captains, by adding the position of Line Captain.  The Employer objected to the inclusion of the Line Captain on the grounds that the position served as Acting Chief, had day-to-day supervisory responsibilities and was the first step in the grievance procedure.  The Labor Board found that the Line Captain possessed a community of interest with the bargaining unit and had voted in favor of inclusion, and therefore modified the unit accordingly.

        Town of Canton, Decision No. 3556 (12/11/97):  The Union filed a petition to clarify whether an existing bargaining unit contained the position of Accountant.  The Labor Board concluded that the position met the statutory definition of a professional employee, who must vote for inclusion in a nonprofessional unit.  Since a vote was not appropriate under a clarification petition, the petition was dismissed.

        City of Meriden, Decision No. 3484 (3/24/97):  The Union filed a petition seeking to modify the existing unit to include Deputy City Attorney, Staff Attorney and Risk Manager.  The Labor Board confirmed a direction of election, finding that the position of deputy City Attorney and Risk Manager were not confidential employees and should be included in the unit.

        Town of North Haven, Decision No. 3459 (12/19/96):  The Town filed a modification petition seeking to exclude from an existing bargaining unit the positions of Secretary to Director of Finance and Bookkeeper II.  The Labor Board modified the unit to exclude the position of Secretary to Director of finance but rejected the contention that the Bookkeeper position was confidential.

        Town of Stratford, Decision No. 3348 (11/21/95):  The Union filed a petition seeking to include in a supervisory unit a position already included in a public works unit.  Town and Public works Union objected on the grounds that the position was not supervisory pursuant to the statute.  Labor Board dismissed the petition finding that the position did not meet the statutory criteria for supervisor.

        Town of Plainville, Decision No. 3310 (6/5/95):
          The Union filed a petition seeking to clarify that a certain position was included in the existing bargaining unit.  Labor Board dismissed petition finding that the unit did not include the position that was located in the firehouse, a location not covered by the recognition agreement. 

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      3. Carve-out of existing bargaining unit

        Town of New Fairfield, Decision No. 3857 (2/7/02):  The Town reorganized and merged the Buildings & Grounds Department into the Department of Public Works.  The Building & Grounds employees had been members of a wall-to-wall unit of “all full-time Town Hall employees.”  After the merger, these employees no longer worked in the Town Hall.  The employer filed a clarification petition, seeking a ruling that the employees should be covered under the same contract as the Public Works employees, which applied to “all full-time employees of the Public Works Department…”.  Because the recognition clauses clearly tied representation to work location, the Labor Board clarified that the Buildings & Grounds employees were now covered by the Public works contract, rather than the Town Hall contract.

        City of Middletown, Decision No. 3759 (4/13/00):  The petitioning Union sought to “carve out” a group of white collar employees, including the school cafeteria workers, from a wall-to-wall unit of City employees.  The Agent of the Labor Board ordered an election, in which the employees were given the option of staying in the wall-to-wall unit or forming a separate unit.  If the employees chose a separate unit, they were also given the option of being represented by the petitioning Union or by the incumbent.  The Agent further ordered that the cafeteria workers could self-determine the unit to which they wanted to belong, under the authority of Town of Greenwich, Decision No. 800 (1968).  The election was held, and all the votes of the cafeteria workers were challenged.  The challenged ballots were determinative of the election and were therefore impounded.  The City raised a number of objections to the election.  At the hearing, the Labor Board overruled its prior decision in Town of Greenwich, finding that such self-determination elections were not authorized by the Act, which permits only one type of employee group (professional employees) to choose its own bargaining unit.  The Labor Board then considered whether there was a sufficient separate community of interest among the white collar employees to justify the carve out.  The Board concluded that the record did not support such a showing, and it overturned the election and dismissed the petitions.  [Appeal dismissed, Connecticut Independent Labor Union v. Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations, CV00-502315 (J.D. New Britain, 1/4/01, Cohn, J.):  The Labor Board overturned an election where the Plaintiff sought to "carve out" white collar employees from a wall-to-wall bargaining unit, concluding that there was an insufficient separate community of interest to justify the election (Decision No. 3759). The Plaintiff appealed this determination directly to court, and the Labor Board filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction under the authority of Town of Windsor v. Windsor Police Department Employees Association Inc., 154 Conn. 530 (1967), which holds that no direct appeal lies from a bargaining unit determination of the Labor Board. The Plaintiff argued that it could not request bargaining with the City, in order to obtain a prohibited practice ruling to secure the court’s jurisdiction over the bargaining unit determination, because the bargaining unit was represented by another union. The court found no justification for the Plaintiff’s failure to comply with the procedural prerequisite of appealing from a prohibited practice ruling, and dismissed the appeal on jurisdictional grounds.]

        Town of Southington, Decision No. 3590 (4/17/98); Town of Trumbull, Decision No. 3578 (3/6/98):  The petitioning unions in these cases sought to “carve out” a small group of employees (Water Pollution Control and Police Department civilians, respectively) from existing wall-to-wall units comprised of a variety of job classifications.  The Labor Board found that the proposed units did not possess sufficiently unique characteristics regarding the type, condition, nature or location of the work to establish a community of interest separate from the existing unit and dismissed the petition.
         

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    3. OTHER OBJECTIONS

      Town of Fairfield,
      Decision No. 4072; Town of Branford, Decision No. 4073; Town of Stonington, Decision No. 4074; Town of North Branford, Decision No. 4075; Town of Clinton, Decision No. 4076 (8/22/05):  The incumbent Union filed a request for reconsideration from the Labor Board’s Decision No. 4065 (2005) ordering the opening of ballots in certain elections with Consent Election Agreements to which the incumbent Union was a party.  The incumbent Union argued that the petitioning Union had been subsumed by another organization and no longer existed.  The petitioning Union filed an objection to the motion asserting that it continued to exist.  The Labor Board denied the request for reconsideration.

      Town of Fairfield; Town of Woodbridge; Town of Branford; Town of Stonington; Town of North Branford; Town of Clinton, Decision No. 4065 (7/27/05)The parties signed Consent Election Agreements for elections among certain employees in each of the above listed municipalities.  The incumbent Union attempted to withdraw its consent to the elections more than six months after its initial consent.  The Labor Board rejected the incumbent Union’s objection to open the ballots and ordered the ballots opened.  Another Union who was not a party to the elections attempted to intervene.  The Labor Board denied the motion to intervene finding the other Union had no legitimate interest in the proceedings.

      Chester, Deep River, Essex, Regional School District #4, Decision No. 3987 (6/15/04):  Parties signed a Consent Election Agreement for an election among certain employees of Regional School District # 4.  At the ballot counting, the Superintendent objected to counting all the ballots of the various schools together.  The Board determined that the Consent Election Agreement clearly provided for a single unit of employees of the various schools in the regional school district and ordered the ballots counted.

      Town of Somers,
      Decision No. 3826 (6/1/01):  A decertification election resulted in an even tie.  An objection to the election was filed, requesting a hearing before the Labor Board.  The Labor Board declined to hold a hearing, holding that it was clear that in any representation election, a union must receive a majority of the valid ballots cast to either become or remain the exclusive bargaining representative.  Accordingly, since the Union did not receive a majority of votes seeking to retain it as the bargaining representative, the Labor Board decertified the Union.

      Hamden Board of Education, Decision No. 3624 (10/1/98):
        An election was conducted for a currently represented unit described as “all secretarial, clerical, teachers aides that regularly perform twenty (20) or more hours per week.”  After the election, the incumbent Union filed timely objections to the conduct of the election, alleging that the petitioning Union had engaged in unfair and prejudicial conduct, and that the School Board had improperly allowed the petitioning Union to hold a campaign meeting on school property two days before the election.  The Labor Board dismissed the objections and certified the election results (in favor of the petitioner).  The Board found no evidence that the parties had an agreement restricting the use of school property for campaigning purposes, or that the petitioner had purposefully placed campaign literature in the building where the election was conducted. 

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    4. AFFILIATIONS

      Manchester Association of Educational Secretaries,
      Decision No. 2543 (2/27/87):  The Labor Board found that the above-referenced organization validly disaffiliated with one employee organization and validly affiliated with another employee organization based on the criteria set forth in Town of Trumbull, Decision No. 2103 (1981).  The Labor Board also found that the organization maintained the requisite continuity between the predecessor and successor organizations by maintaining its own by-laws, officers, and the option of forming its own negotiating committee.  However, the Labor Board warned:  “we do not wish to have so called “affiliation votes” mask true questions concerning representation which should be resolved through regular representation proceedings nor to see unions find improper ways to avoid the contract bar rules.”

      Town of Trumbull, Decision No. 2103 (11/19/81):
        The Labor Board found a proper affiliation required the following:  1) proper notice to all bargaining unit members; 2) adequate time for reflection and discussion before the election; 3) an “orderly” vote; 4) reasonable precautions to protect the secrecy of the ballots; and 5) the vote may be restricted to union members, but that non-members must be given a sufficient opportunity to become eligible voters. 

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  1. DECLARATORY RULINGS 

Town of Ridgefield, Decision No. 3921 (7/23/03):  The Ridgefield Board of Education secretaries had a collective bargaining agreement that provided in relevant part that the secretaries “will be covered under the terms of the Town of Ridgefield Pension Plan…”.  During negotiations for a successor agreement with the Board of Education, the Union asked to negotiate the pension plan.  The Board of Education informed the Union that the pension plan must be negotiated with the Town of Ridgefield.  The Union subsequently asked the Town of Ridgefield to negotiate the pension plan.  The Town refused to negotiate and petitioned the Labor Board for a declaratory ruling.  The Labor Board ordered the Town to bargain immediately with the Union regarding the subject of pension benefits.

Town of East Lyme, Decision No. 3836 (8/28/01):  The Town, Police Union, and chair of the interest arbitration panel jointly requested a ruling from the Labor Board concerning the nature of certain minimum staffing proposals made by the Union.  The Labor Board stated that, in the context of contract negotiations and the arbitration process, minimum staffing requirements are mandatory subjects of bargaining when they are demanded in connection with legitimate safety or health concerns.  The determination of whether a proposal is connected to a legitimate safety and health concern is to be determined by the parties in negotiations or by the arbitrator if the parties are unable to resolve the question.  If a legitimate safety and health concern is found to exist, the staffing proposal is deemed to be mandatory and will be arbitrable. 

Town of Groton, Decision No. 3795 (9/29/00):  The Union and the Town entered interest arbitration for a successor contract, and the Union refused to waive the 20 day time limit to conclude hearings contained in Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec.7-473c(d)(1). The Chair of the arbitration panel ruled that the time limits were directory, not mandatory. The Union then sought a declaratory ruling from the Labor Board that the time limits were mandatory unless waived by agreement. The Labor Board declined to issue the requested ruling, deferring instead to the ruling of the arbitration panel. [Appeal dismissed,  Connecticut Independent Labor Union v. Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations, et al, Dkt No. CV 01 0506365S (11/26/01, Cohn, J.):  The Union filed a Petition for Declaratory Ruling seeking a ruling that the time frames for concluding binding arbitration hearings pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. §7-473c(d)(1) are mandatory and not merely directory. The Court dismissed the Petition as moot because the Union had subsequently settled the contract with the Town and because the issue would not evade review in future cases should it arise again.]

City of Stamford, Decision No. 3354 (1/5/96):   Employer sought declaratory ruling that a section of the parties' collective bargaining agreement requiring just cause to terminate the Deputy Registrar of Voters was illegal and unenforceable by virtue of Conn. Gen. Stat. 9-192. Labor Board declared that Section 9-192 concerning Registrars of Voters preempted the collective bargaining agreement. [Appeal dismissed, AFSCME Council 4, Local 2657 v. State Board of Labor Relations et al., CV96-557564 (J.D. Hartford/New Britain at Hartford, 8/28/97, Maloney, J.)].

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  1. PROHIBITED PRACTICE COMPLAINTS - EMPLOYERS
     

    1. DISCRIMINATION, RETALIATION, DIRECT DEALING 

§7-470 (a) Municipal employers or their representatives or agents are prohibited from:  (1) Interfering, restraining or coercing employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in section 7-468; (2) dominating or interfering with the formation, existence or administration of any employee organization; (3) discharging or otherwise discriminating against an employee because he has signed or filed any affidavit, petition or complaint or given any information or testimony under sections 7-467 to 7-477, inclusive;

Town of Old Saybrook, Decision No. 4089 (9/30/05):  The Union alleged the Town discriminated and retaliated against three bargaining unit members when it laid them off in response to their union activities.  The Labor Board found that the employees had engaged in protected, concerted activities; that the Town knew of the employees’ activities; and that the Town harbored anti-union animus.  The Labor Board further found that the Town failed to establish a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the adverse action and ordered reinstatement of the employees.  [Appeal pending]

Waterbury Housing Authority (D’Agostino), Decision No. 4079 (8/29/05):  The Complainant alleged the employer laid him off in retaliation for his protected, concerted activities.  The Labor Board found that the Complainant had failed to establish that the employer harbored anti-union animus and dismissed the complaint.

City of Bridgeport and Bridgeport City Supervisors Association, Decision No. 4008 (11/2/04):  Individual Complainant alleged that the City failed to follow the contract in laying him off from his position and that the layoff was in retaliation for his past grievance filings.  The Board acknowledged that the Complainant had a frustrating experience but found that the evidence did not support a finding that any of the City’s actions constituted a violation of MERA.

Town of Wallingford, Decision No. 3999 (9/1/04):  Union alleged that the Town unlawfully eliminated the position of, and laid off, an employee in retaliation for his protected concerted activities.  The Board found sufficient evidence of the employer’s illegal motive and ordered the employee reinstated with back pay.

Town of Trumbull, Decision No. 3928 (9/19/03):  The Union alleged that the Town dealt directly with employees in the Building department concerning hours of work.  The Town claimed it did not unlawfully negotiate with employees, rather it merely communicated with employees as to their availability and interest in working a forty hour week, instead of the thirty-five hour week provided for in the contract.  The Labor Board found it was not unlawful for an employer to communicate directly with employees and may do so in non-coercive terms even regarding the employer’s bargaining proposals.  However, in this case the Labor Board found that the evidence was clear that the employer engaged in unlawful direct dealing.

City of Meriden, Decision No. 3908 (3/13/03):  Union alleged that the City violated the Act when it disciplined a bargaining unit member for allegedly committing perjury at an arbitration hearing.  The Labor Board found that committing perjury at an arbitration hearing would not be protected conduct.  In this case, the Labor Board does not know if the employee committed perjury but, in the absence of any evidence to indicate bad faith in the investigation, the City was not precluded from disciplining the employee after it concluded that she committed perjury.  The Union can dispute the employer’s conclusion in arbitration. [Appeal sustained, Meriden Police Union, Local 1016, Council 15, AFSCME, AFL-CIO v. CSBLR et al., Docket No. CV03 0520481S (3/25/04, McWeeny, R.):  The Trial Court sustained the appeal finding that the City had the burden of proof to establish the testimony in question was perjurious and remanded to the Labor Board.]

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City of Middletown, Decision No. 3895 (1/29/03):  Several individuals filed a prohibited practice complaint against the Union and the City alleging that they had been restrained and coerced when the Union and the City negotiated a collective bargaining agreement on behalf of the “blue collar” portion of the bargaining unit at a time when a representation petition was pending concerning the “white collar” portion of the bargaining unit.  Once the Labor Board dismissed the pending petition, the Union and the City resumed negotiations on behalf of the “white collar” employees resulting in a contract which was ratified by those employees.  The Labor Board found that the manner in which the parties choose to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement is normally a matter left to the discretion of the parties within the parameters of their statutory collective bargaining obligations.  The Labor Board further found that it is not per se a violation of the MERA to negotiate about the terms and conditions of employment for one portion of a bargaining unit even if a petition is pending regarding another portion of the unit.  In this case, the evidence did not establish that either party negotiated in bad faith or restrained or coerced employees.

City of Waterbury, Decision No. 3884 (10/16/02):  A female detective (the Complainant) was engaged in an ongoing dispute with the Police Chief regarding assignment to the Acting Chief Inspector position with pay differential.  The Union had filed numerous prior grievances on the issue, including one on behalf of the Complainant.   The Complainant also made a complaint of gender discrimination to the Personnel Department.  Hours after she made her initial complaint, the Chief removed supervisory duties from the Complainant and reassigned her to administrative tasks.  The Union filed a grievance which was ultimately sustained.  After the City indicated it would comply with the decision, the Complainant was reassigned again to a less desirable position.  The Labor Board found that the totality of the evidence supported a finding that these actions were taken to retaliate against the Complainant for her exercise of protected rights.

Town of East Lyme, Decision No. 3881 (9/26/02):  The Union alleged that the Town had restrained and coerced the bargaining unit by its agent’s improper remarks and also retaliated against the Union President by a series of disciplines issued against him.  The Labor Board found that the remarks made to a group of bargaining unit members was improper and violated the Act.  The Labor Board also found that some (but not all) of the discipline issued against the Union President was prompted by anti-union animus.

Bloomfield Center Fire District, Decision No. 3754 (4/6/00):  The Union alleged that the Union President was unlawfully terminated due to her activities on behalf of the Union. Although the Labor Board found that the Union had established a prima facie case of discrimination, it further found that the employer would have terminated the President even absent an illegal motive. Specifically, the President had been unable to work as a result of injuries she sustained in an accident, with no indication of when she might be able to fully resume her duties. Her absence caused significant scheduling problems. As a result, the Labor Board dismissed the Union’s allegations of discrimination.

City of Hartford, Decision No. 3785 (8/22/00):  The Union alleged that the City had singled out a bargaining unit member for discipline and other adverse treatment in retaliation for a class action grievance filed against a supervisor. The Labor Board found that the timing of the adverse actions and their severity compared to the treatment of other employees gave rise to a reasonable inference of anti-union animus. The Labor Board rejected the City’s defense that it would have taken the same actions even absent an improper motive, and issued an appropriate order.

Town of Watertown, Decision No. 3719 (8/11/99):  The Labor Board found that the Town had retaliated against two union members for their involvement in processing a grievance. The timing of the events and the lack of objective justification for the employer’s actions were sufficient circumstantial evidence of the employer’s anti-union animus. The Labor Board found insufficient evidence on the record to conclude that the employer had attempted to dominate or interfere with the existence and administration of the Union, and dismissed that aspect of the Union’s complaint.

City of Torrington, Decision No. 3663 (3/4/99):  The Mayor met with a group of employees to discuss various complaints and problems that had been brought to her attention. At the beginning of the meeting, one of the employees who also was a Union steward indicated to the Mayor that no negotiations would be conducted during the meeting and the Mayor agreed. During the meeting the Mayor discussed the possibility of subcontracting some trash collection work. The Labor Board found that the Mayor’s communications were proper and limited to addressing work performance problems and that no negotiations with the employees occurred. In addition, the Union Steward’s presence at the meeting tended to undermine the theory that the Mayor was attempting to bypass the Union.

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Town of Wallingford, Decision No. 3662 (3/4/99):  The Town unilaterally removed a coffee pot and kitchen area which were widely used by members of the bargaining unit. The Union claimed that the Town offered to restore the items if the Union agreed to drop another, unrelated prohibited practice charge. The Labor Board analyzed the claim as one of discrimination or retaliation against the bargaining unit for engaging in protected activity. The Labor Board concluded that the Town did not engage in these actions because of anti-union animus, based in part on the lapse of time between the filing of the unrelated charges and the removal of the kitchen.

Town of Groton, Decision No. 3623 (9/18/98):  Two bargaining unit employees filed wage claims with the state Labor Department, seeking unpaid overtime, although their positions were in the bargaining unit as salaried exempts. The Labor Department concluded that the positions were not exempt from the overtime pay requirement. As a result, the Town changed the two positions from salaried to hourly and calculated an hourly rate for each of them, which the Labor Board found to be an illegal unilateral change. However, the Labor Board dismissed the Union’s allegations that the change in pay status was taken for discriminatory reasons, because the Town’s actions, although improper, were in response to the Labor Department’s order. The decision to eliminate one of the positions involved in the wage dispute was found to have been made prior to the Town’s awareness that the incumbent employee had filed a wage claim with the Labor Department. Thus, the Labor Board concluded that the position elimination was not retaliatory. [Appeal dismissed, Town of Groton v. State Board of Labor Relations and Groton Municipal Employees Union, CV98-492626 (J.D. New Britain, 7/6/99, McWeeny, J.)]

Town of East Haddam, Decision No. 3619 (8/28/98):   The Union claimed that the Town illegally eliminated the position of a bargaining unit member because of her activity on behalf of the Union. The Labor Board found that the Union failed to show that the Town’s actions were motivated by anti-union hostility. In this regard, the Labor Board did not consider the Town’s objection to the inclusion of the position in the bargaining unit as per se evidence of animus, since the Town had a valid reason to claim that the position was confidential. Also, the decision to eliminate jobs and lay off employees is a management prerogative as long as it is not improperly motivated. 

Torrington Board of Education, Decision No. 3570 (1/29/98):   The Union alleged that the Employer illegally interfered with union activities when a union officer was prohibited from taking union business leave to attend to the business of bargaining units employed by a different employer. The Labor Board concluded that union business leave is a mandatory subject of bargaining only when related to the employee's employment relationship with his employer.

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3530 (9/18/97):  The Union alleged that the Employer had illegally restrained, coerced and harassed a bargaining unit member for filing grievances. The Labor Board found that the Union had failed to establish a prima facie case.  However, the Board rejected the Employer's request for fees and costs. [Appeal withdrawn, CV97-574917 (J.D. New Britain, 11/19/98)].

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3465 (1/31/97):  Union alleged that School Board bypassed it and dealt directly with bargaining unit member concerning the terms of the employee's layoff. Labor Board dismissed finding that the communication by the School Board did not constitute direct dealing.

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3442 (9/30/96):  Union alleged that School Board discriminated against Union President by allowing "hate mail" to be posted on school bulletin boards and by threatening to have Mosby arrested. The Labor Board dismissed the allegations finding that the individual who called police was genuinely threatened by the actions of President Mosby and further finding that the School Board had not condoned the posting of inappropriate literature and had tried to remove it.[Appeal withdrawn, CV95-565939 (J.D. Hartford, 12/22/97)].

Town of Bloomfield, Decision No. 3440 (9/23/96):  Union alleged that Town discriminated against an employee by failing to comply with an agreement to upgrade her position and by failing to abide by previous settlement agreements in prohibited practice cases. The Board found that the Union failed to present a prima facie case of discrimination because there was no record evidence that the employer harbored anti-union animus.

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City of Hartford, Decision No. 3436 (9/5/96):   Union alleged that City denied employee Union representation at an investigatory meeting. Board found that the meeting in question was not an investigatory meeting but rather a meeting held for the sole purpose of informing the employee of, and acting upon, a previously made disciplinary decision. As a result the meeting did not trigger the right to Union representation. 

Orange Board of Education, Decision No. 3417 (6/28/96): Union alleged that employee was terminated after she successfully pursued a grievance against the employer. Labor Board found that Union failed to present any evidence of anti-union animus and, therefore, failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination. 

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3408 (6/21/96):  Union alleged, inter alia, that School Board had harassed Union President because of his activities on behalf of the Union. Labor Board found that the Union failed to present any evidence to support its claim and dismissed the complaint. 

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3379 (4/2/96):  Union alleged that School Board circumvented the Union and dealt directly with bargaining unit members when it arranged for a change in schedule of an employee. The Labor Board dismissed finding that the School Board had not illegally by-passed the Union because the matter had only been discussed with the employee but was ultimately approved by the Union. [Appeal withdrawn, CV96-560568, 12/22/97].

City of Bridgeport, Decision No. 3371 (3/19/96):   Union alleged that City Labor Relations Officer discriminated against employee by attempting to impose severe punishment because the employee filed numerous grievances. The Labor Board found that Union failed to establish anti-union animus. 

Franklin Board of Education, Decision No. 3368 (3/18/96):  Union alleged that School Board discriminated against employees because of their union activities by threatening to contract out cafeteria services, harassing and discharging an employee and discharging another. Labor Board dismissed the complaint finding that Union had failed to establish anti-union animus. Further, Labor Board found that School Board did not stall negotiations. 

City of New Britain, Decision No. 3365 (2/27/96):  Union alleged that City discharged an employee because of his support for newly elected Union. Labor Board found that Union had failed to establish anti-union animus and dismissed the complaint.

New Britain Board of Education, Decision No. 3363 (2/9/96):  Union alleged that School Board denied a promotion to an employee because of her union activities. Labor Board found that the Union had failed to establish anti-union animus and dismissed the case. 

Hartford Board of Education, Decision No. 3350 (11/28/95):  Union alleged that School Board negotiated an agreement with a separate bargaining unit, which agreement impacted complaining Union. Labor Board found that the negotiated agreement did not interfere with or restrain or coerce complaining Union. Also, Labor Board refused to consider claims of repudiation and unilateral change that were raised in brief but not addressed by the complaint nor raised at the hearing.

City of Bridgeport, Decision No. 3341 (10/18/95):  Union alleged that City laid off two employees because of anti-union animus. Labor Board found that Union had failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination for union activities and dismissed the complaint.

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New Fairfield Board of Education, Decision No. 3327 (7/28/95):   Union alleged that School Board was pursuing the option of contracting out custodial services in retaliation for the union activities of the bargaining unit. Labor Board found that certain statements of a supervisor restrained and coerced employees but that anti-union animus was not a substantial and motivating factor in the Employer's decision to subcontract work.

Berlin Board of Education, Decision No. 3328 (7/28/95):   Union alleged that School Board harassed, disciplined and terminated Union president because of his activities on behalf of the Union. Labor Board found that the actions for which the President was disciplined and discharged were insubordinate and did not constitute protected activities based on facts showing that individual repeatedly and indiscriminately engaged in disruptive and unacceptable behavior. Thus, Board found that Union had failed to establish a prima facie case. 

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  1. REFUSING TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH 

§7-470 (a) Municipal employers or their representatives or agents are prohibited from:  (4) refusing to bargain in good faith with an employee organization which has been designated in accordance with the provisions of said sections as the exclusive representative of employees in an appropriate unit; 

§7-470 (c) For the purposes of said sections, to bargain collectively is the performance of the mutual obligation of the municipal employer or his designated representatives and the representative of the employees to meet at reasonable times, including meetings appropriately related to the budget-making process, and confer in good faith with respect to wages, hours and other conditions of employment, or the negotiation of an agreement, or any question arising thereunder, and the execution of a written contract incorporating any agreement reached if requested by either party, but such obligation shall not compel either party to agree to a proposal or require the making of a concession.

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  1. Failure to comply with a prohibited practice settlement agreement

City of Hartford, Decision No. 4099 (11/4/05):  The Union alleged the City failed to comply with a prohibited practice settlement agreement.  The Labor Board found the City admitted it had not complied and offered no valid defense for its inaction.  The Labor Board ordered the City to comply with the settlement agreement and additionally awarded interest to the Union.

Town of East Hartford, Decision No. 3927 (9/16/03):  The Union filed a complaint alleging the Town failed to comply with a settlement agreement involving a grievance and two prohibited practice complaints.  The agreement provided that the Town would promote the Complainant to the position of Sergeant as of May 28, 2000 and that his seniority would be effective as of May 5, 1998.  Additionally, the Complaint would receive a payment to compensate for straight time and overtime.  The Town then placed the Complainant on step 1 of the sergeant salary schedule.  The Union alleged that the Town’s refusal to place the Complainant at step 3 of the salary schedule was a violation of the agreement.  The Town argued it had complied with the agreement and that the complaint was untimely.  The Labor Board found the Town violated the agreement and that the Union’s fourteen month delay in filing the complaint was excusable and non-prejudicial.

City of Bridgeport, Decision No. 3861 (3/27/02):   The Union alleged that the City failed to fully comply with the Board’s order in City of Bridgeport, Decision No. 2940 (1991), which ordered the City to "make whole any employee who was denied the chance to take the operator’s exam or denied the promotion because he did not meet the new requirements." There was no evidence that the bargaining unit member in question had been denied the opportunity to take the exam. Furthermore, the employee was laid off due to a legitimate bump by a more senior employee, and not for any reason related to the earlier Board decision. For these reasons, the Labor Board dismissed the complaint, finding that the City fully complied with the Board order. 

Town of Hamden, Decision No. 3796 (10/5/00):  By agreement, the Town and AFSCME Council 4, the then-exclusive bargaining representative of two local unions, agreed to temporarily assign duties performed by one bargaining unit to an employee in the second bargaining unit. Subsequently, one of the units voted to be represented by the Connecticut Independent Labor Union. Council 4 then filed a prohibited practice complaint seeking to take back the work that had been temporarily assigned out of the bargaining unit and was still being performed by the bargaining unit now represented by CILU. The Town and Council 4 executed an agreement to settle the complaint, wherein the Town agreed to restore the work to the Council 4 bargaining unit. However, the Town failed to implement the agreement, claiming that CILU should have been a party to it. The Town asserted that it could not unilaterally change the conditions of employment for the CILU employee in order to comply with the Council 4 settlement agreement. The Labor Board disagreed, finding that whatever its bargaining obligations may have been with CILU, the Town was required to comply with the settlement agreement with Council 4.

New Haven Board of Education, Decision No. 3775 (6/14/00):   The Union and the Board of Education settled a prohibited practice complaint by agreeing to waive the time limits of all pending grievances filed before a certain date. The Board of Education was given additional time to respond to the grievances at Step 3. The Union then filed many of those grievances to arbitration in excess of the 20 days set forth in the contractual grievance procedure, and the employer challenged them as non-arbitrable. The Labor Board found that the settlement agreement was intended to waive all time limits for all steps in the process, in order to permit the parties to clear the back log. Therefore, the Board of Education's arbitrability challenges on the basis of a failure to comply with the Step 4 timelines violated the settlement agreement and was a failure to bargain in good faith. The Labor Board ordered the employer to withdraw its arbitrability challenges.

City of Bridgeport, Decision No. 3696-1 (5/27/99):  A grievance arbitration award ordered an employee's reinstatement to his former position. However, the employee had various physical restrictions which prevented him from performing the essential functions of the job. The Union filed a prohibited practice complaint alleging that the City had failed to comply with the award. The parties then settled the complaint by agreeing that the City would place the employee in a different job as of a certain date and would negotiate the amount of back pay due. The settlement agreement stated that if the parties were unable to agree on the amount of back pay, the original complaint could be refiled on that issue only. The employee was reinstated, but was eventually removed from the position when his physical restrictions prevented him from performing his job duties successfully. The position was later lawfully subcontracted to a third party. The Labor Board found that the City had complied with the express terms of the settlement agreement by reinstating the employee and by trying to resolve the back pay issue. [Appeal dismissed, Locals 1522 and 1303-321, AFSCME v. State Board of Labor Relations, CV99-496850 (J.D. New Britain, 5/4/01, McWeeny, J.): The Labor Board found no evidence of bad faith on the part of the employer in trying to negotiate the back pay issue, and further found that the employee’s termination did not violated the settlement agreement. On appeal, the Union argued that the Labor Board should have resolved the back pay issue, and that the employer avoided its obligations under the settlement agreement by placing the employee in a position it knew he couldn’t perform. The trial court found that the Labor Board’s conclusions were based on substantial record evidence and dismissed the appeal. ]

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Town of Wallingford, Decision No. 3658 (1/29/99):  The Town unilaterally changed the existing glass barrier in the entry area and two Unions filed complaints. During the informal conference, the parties discussed possible ways to resolve the situation. Both Unions left the conference believing that the Town had agreed to restore the original glass, and filed new complaints for failure to comply with a prohibited practice settlement agreement. The Labor Board found that no binding agreement had been reached between the parties and dismissed the Union's complaints.

City of New Haven, Decision No. 3524 (8/25/97):  The Union claimed that a settlement of a prohibited practice case required the Employer to contribute an employee's portion of pension plan contribution. The Labor Board concluded that the parties did not agree to this specific provision and therefore the Employer did not violate the agreement by failing to pay the employee's portion. [Appeal dismissed, Allesandrine v. City of New Haven and State Board of Labor Relations, CV98-492620 (J.D. New Britain, 7/7/99, McWeeny, J.):  The Union appealed the Labor Board’s decision (3524) dismissing the Complainant’s complaint that the City of New Haven had failed to fully comply with a  settlement. The court determined that the Labor Board’s decision was supported by substantial record evidence and dismissed the appeal.]

Town of North Haven, Decision No. 3360 (2/6/96):  Union alleged that the Town violated Labor Board order in Decision No. 3143 and unilaterally reduced the safety of firefighters by issuing a directive concerning firefighter response to automatic alarms. Labor Board dismissed finding that the order in Decision No. 3143 was not violated by the directive and that the evidence did not establish a change in safety risks for firefighters. 

City of Waterbury, Decision No. 3312 (6/7/95):  Union claimed that City failed to comply with settlement of a prohibited practice complaint concerning the City's use of temporary employees. Labor Board found that the City had violated the settlement in several instances by prolonging the use of temporary employees without agreement of the Union. 

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  1. Impact Bargaining

City of Bristol, Decision No. 3734 (10/7/99):  The Union alleged that the City had a duty to bargain regarding the impacts on remaining bargaining unit members after a position was eliminated and the work was redistributed. The Labor Board found no evidence of bargainable impacts and dismissed the complaint.

City of Milford, Decision No. 3732 (9/30/99):  The Union alleged that the City had failed to bargain over the safety impacts of its decision to send on-duty firefighters outside City limits for training. The Labor Board did not find from the evidence presented that the safety levels of the other on-duty firefighters were compromised while one group was in training. [Appeal dismissed, Milford Fire Fighters, Local 944, IAFF v. State Board of Labor Relations, CV99-498392 (J.D. New Britain, 12/18/00, Satter, JTR):  The court affirmed the Labor Board’s decision (No. 3732) that the City did not repudiate the minimum manning provision of the contract or unlawfully refuse to negotiate safety impacts when it unilaterally sent fire fighters to New Haven for training without hiring back additional officers. The court found that substantial evidence supported the Labor Board’s conclusion that no substantial reduction in safety occurred as a result of the City’s actions.]

Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES), Decision No. 3519 (7/10/97):  The Employer unilaterally implemented a change to the policy that van drivers did not have to pick up clients at their homes during inclement weather if the school system in that area had closed due to the weather. The Labor Board concluded that the decision was within the realm of managerial prerogative and did not require bargaining. However, if significant health or safety concerns could be demonstrated, such impacts would require negotiations. In this case, the Labor Board found no such impact.

City of Torrington, Decision No. 3441 (9/26/96):  Union alleged that City failed to negotiate the impacts of the City’s decision to cease performing repair work on certain vehicles owned by Northwest Transit Company. The Labor Board dismissed the complaint, finding that the Union had not established any impacts of the City’s decision.

City of Torrington, Decision No. 3345 (11/7/95):  Union complained that the City had refused to bargain concerning the implementation of and the impacts of a drug policy. The Labor Board dismissed finding that the Union had waived its right to bargain concerning the decision to implement the policy because it waited almost seven months to say anything regarding the policy and then only requested impacts bargaining. Further, the Union failed to bring up the subject in contract negotiations that were ongoing at the time. Finally, the Union failed to prove the existence of substantial impacts of the decision to implement the drug policy. 

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  1. Information Requests

City of New Haven, Decision No. 4090 (10/13/05):  The Union alleged the City violated the Act when it refused to provide the Union with certain information pertaining to the test scores of civil service examinations, the results of which were never certified.  The Labor Board found the City had no duty to provide such information per §7-474(g) of the Act.  [Appeal pending]

Town of Wallingford, Decision No. 3728 (9/10/99):  The Union alleged the Town violated the Act when it refused to allow an individual bargaining unit member to review his/her promotional exam after it had been scored where the Town had historically allowed such review.  The Labor Board found that the Town’s decision not to allow review of the civil service exam “was fully consistent with its statutory authority under §7-474(g) of the Act.” and dismissed the complaint. 

Town of Fairfield, Decision No. 3672 (3/22/99):  The Union claimed that the Town had failed to provide information requested in connection with a pending grievance. The Labor Board found no evidence of a Union request for information which was ignored by the Town. Instead, the only request was the individual employee’s request for her "personnel folder", which was provided to her. There was no evidence at the time of the individual request that the Town was aware of any pending grievances or other issues involving the Union. The Union also claimed that the Town was precluded from relying on any previously undisclosed information in the arbitration hearing. The Labor Board disagreed, noting that it was aware of no such requirement in arbitration or before the Board. If the Union was surprised by the new information, it could have requested an adjournment from the arbitrator. 

Town of West Hartford, Decision No. 3525 (8/25/97):  The Employer refused to provide the Union with requested performance evaluations on the grounds that the information contained therein was confidential. The Labor Board concluded that the requested information was relevant to the Union's decision to process a grievance. The Employer contended that it was required to follow the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with respect to the release of personnel information. The Labor Board concluded that the Employer did not establish that the information was confidential or that its duty to provide relevant information was superseded by the FOIA. [Appeal dismissed, Town of West Hartford v. West Hartford Police Union, Local 1283, Council 15, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, CV97-574188 (J.D. Hartford, 4/27/98, McWeeny, J.):  The Town appealed a Labor Board decision (No. 3525) ordering the disclosure of certain requested documents to the Union. On appeal the Town argued that only the Freedom of Information Commission could order the release of performance evaluations of the 19 officers who had objected to the release of their evaluations. The Town also claimed that the performance evaluations were exempt from disclosure as matter of law and/or that the release of the evaluations would constitute an invasion of privacy. The court upheld the Labor Board’s conclusion that the evidence did not establish the existence of highly offensive personal data on the evaluation forms. Although the court specifically did not rule on the exact interplay between the FOIA and MERA, the Labor Board’s decision was affirmed and the appeal dismissed.]

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  1. Repudiation

 Plainfield Board of Education, Decision No. 4014 (12/16/04):  The Union alleged that the Board of Education repudiated the contract by laying off employees in inverse seniority by class.  The Board found that the employer’s interpretation of the contract regarding layoffs was not frivolous or made in bad faith and therefore, if there was a violation of the contract in this regard, it did not rise to the level of repudiation. 

Town of Winchester, Decision No. 4007 (11/1/04):  Union alleged that Town repudiated the collective bargaining agreement between the parties concerning the manner in which it promoted an individual to the rank of Sergeant.  The Board found that the establishment of a civil service system in the Town rendered plausible the Town’s interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement and therefore, the Town did not violate the Act in this manner.

Hartford Board of Education, Decision No. 3989 (6/23/04):  Although the Board found unlawful unilateral change in the School Board’s actions concerning step increases for several bargaining units, it determined that the Board of Education’s actions did not constitute repudiation of the collective bargaining agreements because the employer’s interpretation of the contracts was not implausible. 

City of Waterbury, Decision No. 3945 (2/26/04):  After an unsuccessful challenge in the superior court to a finding by the Labor Board of the validity of a collective bargaining agreement, the City and the Waterbury Financial Planning and Assistance Board (WFPAB) continued to refuse to implement the Agreement on the basis that implementation was impossible due to the dire financial situation of the City of Waterbury.  The City and the WFPAB requested the Labor Board to excuse them from compliance with an otherwise valid contract.  At the same time, the Union filed a complaint alleging the City was repudiating the collective bargaining agreement by failing to implement.  The Labor Board determined that the employer had repudiated the collective bargaining agreement.  In doing so, the Labor Board considered the following:  1) the financial condition of the City at the time the contract was entered into as well as during the life of the contract, including any substantiated projections; 2) the cost of the contract to the City which must include a decision concerning the methodology of determining cost as well as a determination of the likelihood of the disputed provisions remaining alive after expiration of the agreement; 3) the City’s agreements with other collective bargaining units; 4) the City’s ability to comply with its other statutorily mandated obligations if the contract is enforced; and 5) any public policy arguments relevant to this situation, including the actions of the Legislature.  Based on the above, the Labor Board concluded that while the City was having financial difficulties it did not show that it could not comply with these contract provisions.

Town of Trumbull, Decision No. 3928 (9/19/03):  The Union alleged that the Town repudiated the contract when it changed the working hours of two assistant building officials from thirty-five hours to forty hours per week.  The collective bargaining agreement held in relevant part:  “[t]here shall be a thirty-five hour workweek…”.  The Town claimed that the Overtime and Callback Pay provisions of the agreement contemplated that employees would work extended hours.  The Labor Board found that the Town repudiated the collective bargaining agreement because its interpretation of the contract was unsupported and disingenuous.

Town of Westport, Decision No. 3832 (7/2/01): The Union alleged that the employer repudiated the parties’ pension agreement by refusing to include mandatory overtime in the calculation of pension benefits. The Labor Board concluded that the employer’s alternative interpretation of the agreement to exclude overtime was not frivolous or asserted in subjective bad faith. 

New Haven Board of Education, Decision No. 3777 (6/28/00):  The Union alleged that the School Board repudiated the collective bargaining agreement by failing to pay contractual step increases. The School Board argued that it was not obligated to pay the increases because the parties had agreed that no "new money" would be spent in the first two years of the contract. The Labor Board found that the School Board had not acted in subjective bad faith, since it had a sincere belief that all wages and benefits would be frozen for the first two years of the contract. However, the Labor Board concluded that the contract clearly required the payment of increments, and therefore the School Board's interpretation was implausible and repudiated the contract. As a result of its ruling, the Labor Board dismissed the School Board's cross-complaint that the Union had filed its complaint in bad faith.

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City of Bristol, Decision No. 3734 (10/7/99):  The Union alleged that the City's elimination of a position and resulting layoff of the incumbent repudiated the management rights clause of the contract which provided that "if the City exercises any of the above rights in any manner which results in a change in the conditions of employment (as that term is defined by the State Board of Labor Relations) of any member of the bargaining unit, such change shall not be implemented without a reasonable opportunity for prior negotiations ..." The Labor Board found the City's interpretation of the provision plausible, namely that the language contemplated negotiations regarding mandatory subjects of bargaining. Since the elimination of any position is well within the managerial prerogative of the City, the Labor Board dismissed the complaint.

City of Milford, Decision No. 3732 (9/30/99):  The Union alleged that the City repudiated the minimum manning provisions of the contract when it sent on-duty firefighters to New Haven for training without hiring back replacement firefighters on overtime. The City interpreted the phrase "on duty" to mean "available to respond," and claimed that the firefighters in training continued to be available to respond to a fire if necessary. The Labor Board found the City's interpretation plausible, particularly in light of the past practice of the parties in other similar situations. [Appeal dismissed, Milford Fire Fighters Local 944 v. State Board of Labor Relations, CV99-498392 (J.D. New Britain, 12/18/00, Satter, J.):  The Court affirmed the Labor Board’s decision (No. 3732)that the City did not repudiate the minimum manning provision of the contract or unlawfully refuse to negotiate safety impacts when it unilaterally sent fire fighters to New Haven for training without hiring back additional officers.  The Court found that substantial evidence supported the Labor Board’s conclusion that no substantial reduction in safety occurred as a result of the City’s actions.] 

City of Bridgeport, Decision No. 3723 (8/26/99):  The Labor Board dismissed the Union’s repudiation complaint on res judicata grounds pursuant to the Board’s decision in City of New London, Decision No. 2443 (1985). The Labor Board found that the Union had previously filed grievances on the same issue and had failed to pursue the grievances to arbitration. The Chairman dissented, concluding that in light of evidence that the parties continued negotiating to resolve the issue in dispute, the Union did not accept the City’s contract interpretation. [Appeal dismissed, Bridgeport Fire Fighters, Local 834 v. State Board of Labor Relations, CV99-497600 (J.D. New Britain, 11/16/00, Cohn, J.):  The Labor Board dismissed the Union’s complaint (No. 3723) pursuant to the res judicata doctrine enunciated in City of New London, Decision No. 2443 (1985). On appeal, the Union argued that the record did not support a finding that the Union had abandoned its overtime grievances prior to arbitration after an adverse determination on the merits, because the parties had ultimately negotiated a resolution to the matter. The court concluded that the Labor Board did not abuse its discretion in refusing to presume that negotiations had continued and dismissed the Union’s appeal.]

New London Housing Authority, Decision No. 3717 (8/6/99):  The Union alleged, on behalf of two different bargaining units, that the employer repudiated newly negotiated contract provisions regarding pensions. The evidence revealed that in the documents presented for ratification, those provisions were inadvertently omitted. The Housing Authority therefore argued that the provisions weren't valid. However, in the case of one of the agreements, the employer's chief negotiator had signed off on a memorandum of agreement correcting the omission. Applying the legal principle of apparent authority, the Labor Board concluded that the negotiator's signature created a valid contract provision binding on the Housing Authority. However, because the Union was unable to produce a similar memorandum for the other bargaining unit, the Labor Board dismissed that portion of the Union's complaint; New London Housing Authority, Decision No. 3717-A (8/30/00):  In Decision No. 3717, issued on August 6, 1999, the Labor Board concluded that the Housing Authority had repudiated a provision of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) duly negotiated with Local 1301-171 of the Union. The Labor Board dismissed an identical complaint filed by Local 1303-287 because the Union was unable to produce the MOA signed with that local. The Union moved to have the Labor Board reconsider its original decision when it located a copy of the MOA. The Housing Authority objected, arguing that the Union failed to meet the standards for the introduction of "new" evidence and that the Housing Authority should be permitted to inspect the original document. The Labor Board concluded that since it had accepted a copy of the MOA with Local 1301-171, the lack of an original was not fatal. The Labor Board further concluded that the Union adequately explained why the document was not produced sooner. The Labor Board accepted the document and reconsidered its decision, concluding that the employer was required to honor the MOA. [Appeal dismissed, New London Housing Authority v. State Board of Labor Relations, 76 Conn. App. 194 (2003):  In Decision No. 3717-A, the Labor Board found that the Housing Authority had entered into two valid agreements with two separate bargaining units concerning retirement benefits. The Housing Authority had argued that its negotiator did not have authority to enter into the agreements and that the agreements were not properly approved by the Housing Authority. The Appellate Court disagreed and affirmed the Labor Board’s decision.]

Town of Plainfield, Decision No. 3709 (6/25/99):  The Union sought to negotiate the terms of the pension plan. The employer refused, interpreting the relevant contract provision to preclude pension negotiations until the year 2000. The Union alleged that the employer was repudiating the contract. The Labor Board concluded that the Town's interpretation was not frivolous, implausible or asserted in subjective bad faith, and dismissed the complaint.

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City of Bridgeport, Decision No. 3667 (3/10/99):  During negotiations for a successor contract, the City paid longevity payments to bargaining unit employees in accordance with the terms of the expired agreement. One of the issues in dispute ultimately presented to an interest arbitration panel was longevity; the City's last best offer proposed reducing the amount of the payment. The City prevailed in arbitration, and sought to recoup the overpayment from the employees. The Union claimed that this action repudiated the retroactivity provisions of the arbitration award, which did not expressly address the retroactivity of the longevity payments. The Labor Board concluded that it was reasonable to interpret the longevity provision to contain built-in retroactivity. In addition, the Union claimed that the City's duty pursuant to Section 7-475 of the Act to carry forward the terms of an expired agreement precluded the City from retroactively applying the new provision. The Labor Board disagreed with this interpretation of Section 7-475 because it would prohibit all retroactivity of successor agreements.

Waterford Board of Education, Decision No. 3666 (3/10/99):  The School Board failed to pay step increments on September 1, after the collective bargaining agreement had expired and while the parties were still engaged in negotiations for a successor agreement. The Union alleged that this action repudiated clear contract language which set forth step increments payable each September 1. The Labor Board found that the School Board's interpretation of the contract, that increments were tied to specific contract years and therefore not payable after contract expiration, was plausible and therefore rejected the repudiation allegation. 

Town of Hamden, Decision No. 3654 (1/19/99):  The Town and the Union executed an agreement to place a position into the bargaining unit and a particular employee into the position. The Town's Civil Service Commission approved the position, waived a competitive exam, and appointed the employee to the position. Another Town bargaining unit challenged the appointment, claiming that the position should have been posted. Upon request of the Personnel Director, who was a signatory to the initial agreement, the Civil Service Commission reversed its earlier decision and voted to post and test the position. The Labor Board found that the Town had entered into a valid agreement which was repudiated when the Town posted and tested for the position.

Town of Wolcott, Decision No. 3640 (11/23/98):  The Union filed a complaint when a bargaining unit member was ordered in to perform extra duty work. The parties disagreed over the interpretation and application of the relevant contract language. The Labor Board found that the Town's interpretation was plausible, defeating the Union's claim of contract repudiation. Likewise, insofar as the Union charged a general failure to bargain in good faith, the Town's reasonable interpretation of the contract provided a defense. 

Ansonia Board of Education, Decision No. 3613 (7/28/98):  The School Board created a new position, Media Center Aide, and the Union claimed that the position was covered by the collective bargaining agreement under an existing job classification. The School Board interpreted the contract as inapplicable to the new position. The Labor Board found the School Board's interpretation of the contract was reasonable and dismissed the Union's claim that the position belonged in the bargaining unit. 

Town of Windsor Locks, Decision No. 3577 (2/27/98):   The Board of Selectmen approved a salary increase and forwarded the agreement to the Board of Finance. The Charter required the Board of Finance to approve all funds expenditures. The Board of Finance did not address the issue, and the Union filed a complaint alleging that the Board of Selectman vote was binding and not subject to ratification by the Board of Finance. The Labor Board agreed, and corrected a possible misperception that Boards of Finance have "veto power" over agreements reached in collective bargaining. The failure of the Board of Finance to fund the agreement constituted a prohibited practice. The Labor Board ordered retroactive payment plus 10% interest. [Appeal withdrawn, CV98-579146, 8/20/99]

Watertown Board of Education, Decision No. 3557 (12/11/97):  The Union alleged that the Employer repudiated the contract by employing non-union substitute employees who were not subject to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. The Labor Board dismissed the complaint finding no repudiation under the standard analysis.

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City of Hartford, Decision No. 3595 (4/29/98):  The collective bargaining agreement contained a provision preventing the parties from endorsing any ordinance or resolution that would alter or amend any term of the agreement. The Employer submitted and endorsed recommendations to the legislature regarding municipal residency requirements and separate bargaining units for police and fire. The Union's claim of repudiation was dismissed because the Labor Board found that the Employer's interpretation of the contract term was not wholly frivolous or implausible. Further, the Board agreed with the Employer that the endorsed legislation, even if passed, would not necessarily effect any changes in the collective bargaining agreement.

City of Bristol, Decision No. 3504 (5/9/97):   The Labor Board found that the Employer's interpretation of the contract regarding the retroactivity of position upgrades was not implausible or made in subjective bad faith. However, the Union's position that upgrades are part of wages and therefore retroactive was not so frivolous or absurd as to justify the award of fees and costs to the Employer.

Town of Berlin, Decision No. 3582 (3/16/98):  The Union alleged that the Employer repudiated the collective bargaining agreement by keeping an employee in an acting position for a year rather than refilling the vacancy. The Labor Board found that the decision to fill or hold open a vacancy was within the Employer's prerogative. 

Town of Westport, Decision No. 3569 (1/29/98):   The Employer refused to allow a bargaining unit Lieutenant to utilize the contractual grievance procedure while acting in the capacity of Assistant Chief, a position outside the unit. The Labor Board found no evidence of contract repudiation or a past practice of allowing individuals in long-term acting management positions the benefits of the contract. The fact that the employee continued to pay union dues was within his own control and therefore was not dispositive. Finally, the Labor Board noted that the Union could have pursued its claim as one of arbitrability through the grievance and arbitration process. 

City of Middletown, Decision No. 3509 (5/29/97):   The Labor Board found that the City repudiated a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that had been appended to the contract. The Labor Board rejected the City's argument that the MOA expired by its own terms in 1992, because the evidence and testimony clearly showed that the City and the Union had agreed to calculate pensions from that date forward based on a four year average rather than a five year average. Thus, the City was unable to assert a plausible interpretation of the MOA and, further, engaged in bad faith bargaining by attempting to do so.

Town of Winchester, Decision No. 3430 (8/16/96):  Union complained that Town repudiated the collective bargaining agreement and refused to abide by grievance arbitration award when it promoted a particular police officer to the rank of Sergeant. The Labor Board first found that the issue of appointment off the promotional list was not excluded from collective bargaining pursuant to Section 7-747(g) because there was no evidence to establish that there exists in the Town either a civil service commission, personnel board or personnel agency. Thus, the issue of appointments remained a mandatory subject of bargaining.   The Labor Board also found that, although the Town complied with a grievance arbitration award, it subsequently repudiated a provision of the collective bargaining agreement when it created a Sergeant's position and appointed a particular individual to the position even though another police officer was more senior. The Labor Board was not persuaded by the Town's argument that it took the action to avoid a lawsuit. The Labor Board also found that the manner in which the Town appointed the police officer to the position constituted direct dealing. However, the Board dismissed the allegation concerning the duration of the promotional list because the Union failed to present evidence of a past practice regarding the duration of promotional lists and the Union waived its right to challenge the duration of the list in question.

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3415 (6/28/96):  Union alleged, inter alia, that School Board had repudiated the past practice provision of the collective bargaining agreement and failed to abide by a settlement agreement in a prior prohibited practice case by refusing to meet face to face with the Union to discuss all grievances. The Labor Board dismissed the allegations finding that the collective bargaining agreement provided a very specific grievance/arbitration procedure and that the School Board was under no obligation to meet face to face with the Union concerning every grievance. 

Town of Plymouth, Decision No. 3361 (2/7/96):  Union alleged that Town repudiated provision of collective bargaining agreement concerning the use of subcontractors. Labor Board dismissed finding that the Employer's interpretation of the contract was plausible and, therefore, the Union had not shown repudiation under any of the theories of repudiation as set forth in City of Norwich, Decision No. 2508 (1986). 

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  1. Sub-contracting

Plainfield Board of Education, Decision No. 4014 (12/16/04):  Although the Union established that bargaining unit work was performed by non-bargaining unit employees after a layoff, the transfer of the work did not differ in kind or degree from that which had been customary between these parties.  Therefore, the complaint was dismissed.

Town of Wallingford, Decision No. 3999 (9/1/04):  Although the Labor Board found that the employee’s layoff was retaliatory, the Union failed to show that the employee’s work was unlawfully transferred to non-bargaining unit employees after the layoff.

Town of East Haven, Decision No. 3968 (4/12/04):  The Union alleged that the employer unilaterally transferred work out of the bargaining unit when it subcontracted the collection of bulky waste.  The Labor Board found no evidence of a demonstrable adverse impact on the bargaining unit, and therefore dismissed the complaint.

Stamford Housing Authority, Decision No. 3897 (2/5/03):  Union alleged that the Housing Authority transferred the work of the Inventory Control Clerk after eliminating that position.  The Labor Board found that the Union failed to establish a prima facie case of unlawful transfer of work under New Britain, Decision No. 3290 (1995).  Specifically, the Labor Board found that the evidence did not support a finding that the manner in which the inventory work was done after the elimination was a departure from the practice that existed before the elimination. 

Town of Wallingford, Decision No. 3865 (4/10/02):  A bargaining unit of dispatchers had a contract provision providing for a shift differential for the midnight shift. For years, due to a shortage of dispatchers, police officers regularly and exclusively staffed the midnight dispatching shift. The Town upgraded its dispatching system, and hired and trained additional dispatchers to staff all shifts. The police union filed a complaint, alleging unilateral transfer of bargaining unit work. Despite the longstanding practice of the police unit covering the midnight shift, the Labor Board concluded that the relevant past practice was that the police unit covered dispatching shifts only when there was a shortage of dispatchers. The fact that there was such a shortage for an extended period of time did not alter the practice. The Union thus failed to establish a prima facie case of subcontracting, and the complaint was dismissed. 

Town of Stratford, Decision No. 3846 (10/24/01):  The employer conceded that the Union had established a prima facie case of unlawful subcontracting, but defended by relying on contract language. The contract reserved the Town’s right to transfer work if "in the sole judgment of the Town it can be done more economically or expeditiously otherwise." There was no evidence to indicate that the transfer was anything other than economically motivated. Accordingly, the Labor Board dismissed the complaint.

Town of West Hartford, Decision No. 3839 (9/13/01):  The Union alleged that the employer unilaterally transferred work out of the bargaining unit when it placed the new position of Assistant Fire Marshal in another bargaining unit. The Labor Board found no evidence to show that the work of the new position had ever been performed by the bargaining unit, and therefore dismissed the complaint.

City of Hartford, Decision No. 3704-A (1/18/01):   The City voted to eliminate the municipal Economic Development Department and Redevelopment Agency and then created the Hartford Economic Development Commission as a "successor" to those divisions. The Union alleged that the new Commission was an alter ego and/or single employer, thereby obligating the Commission to recognize and employ the bargaining unit. The Union also claimed that the City unilaterally transferred bargaining unit work to the Commission. First, the Labor Board declined to apply the alter ego/single employer doctrine. Nevertheless, the Labor Board concluded that the City did not discontinue its economic development/redevelopment functions, but rather unilaterally transferred those functions to the Commission. As a remedy, the Labor Board did not order a return to the status quo, finding that the harm the Union sustained could be remedied through collective bargaining without returning the economic development work in-house.

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City of Norwalk, Decision No. 3798 (11/6/00):   The City adopted an ordinance which created an "Authority" to manage the municipal golf course, and unilaterally subcontracted bargaining unit work to the Authority. The City argued that it had "gone out of the business of" running a municipal golf course, and that the Authority was a separate employer. The Labor Board disagreed with the Union’s position that the Authority was merely a division of the City, but also concluded that the City was not relieved of its duty to bargain prior to subcontracting all golf course work. As a result of the City’s significant control over the Authority’s operations, the Labor Board determined that the situation was not like one in which the City completely divested itself of a portion of its operations. Here, the arrangement was more akin to one in which the City continued to provide a service but hired another entity to accomplish that goal.

New Haven Board of Education, Decision No. 3791 (9/15/00):  The Union representing a group of paraprofessional employees assigned to Head Start classrooms alleged that the School Board unilaterally transferred bargaining unit work to part-time employees during the summer months. The Labor Board concluded that the use of part-time employees in the summer did not vary significantly from the practice of using part-timers to cover the classroom schedules in the afternoons during the regular school year, and dismissed the complaint.

Town of Southington, Decision No. 3790 (9/12/00):   The Union alleged that because the Town failed to fill a vacant bargaining unit position, the work was being performed by non-bargaining unit employees. However, the record before the Labor Board was completely devoid of evidence to show that any work had been unilaterally transferred. As a result, the Labor Board dismissed the complaint for failure to establish a prima facie case of unlawful subcontracting.

Town of Bloomfield/Bloomfield Board of Education, Decision No. 3784 (8/17/00):   In two complaints, the Union alleged that the School Board unlawfully subcontracted maintenance work while bargaining unit members were on layoff status. The collective bargaining agreement contained a provision permitting the School Board to subcontract work as long as it did not result in layoffs of bargaining unit members. The Labor Board found that the subcontracting was consistent with past established practice. Even assuming that the Union could demonstrate unilateral subcontracting under the New Britain test, the layoffs were not caused by the subcontracting of the work in question, and therefore the contract provided the School Board with a defense.

Town of Greenwich, Decision No. 3781 (7/21/00):   The Union alleged that the Town unlawfully transferred bargaining unit work to non-bargaining unit supervisors. The Labor Board concluded that the Town had unlawfully transferred bargaining unit work, under either the City of New Britain analysis or the shared work analysis that had preceded it. However, the Labor Board dismissed the complaint because it found that the Union had waived its right to bargain over the transfer. Specifically, the record revealed that the Union first became aware that the Town was using the supervisors to perform bargaining unit in 1992. Despite ongoing negotiations for a successor contract during that time period, the Union never made an actual demand to bargain about the transfer. The Labor Board concluded that the Union had notice and an opportunity to bargain, and the lapse of three years before the filing of the instant complaint was unreasonable and operated as a waiver of the Union’s right to bargain over the issue. 

Town of Hamden, Decision No. 3772 (5/30/00):  The Union alleged that the Town eliminated two Foremen positions from the supervisory bargaining unit and recreated the positions in a unit represented by another union, thus unlawfully transferring bargaining unit work. The Town and the other union first argued that because the newly created positions did not meet the test for statutory supervisors, the Union could not prove that there was any unlawful transfer of work. The Labor Board found this argument misplaced; the question is whether the work in question is work that is or may logically be done by the bargaining unit, not whether the new positions were supervisory. Nonetheless, the Labor Board dismissed the complaint because the new positions were utilized in a manner consistent with established past practice.

New Haven Housing Authority, Decision No. 3766 (5/4/00):  The Union alleged that the employer eliminated a position and transferred the duties to a non-bargaining unit position. The Labor Board found that the record failed to establish evidence sufficient to adequately analyze any of the three prongs of the New Britain subcontracting test, and dismissed the complaint.

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City of Meriden, Decision No. 3761 (4/28/00):  The Union alleged that the City violated the Act by unilaterally transferring bargaining unit work in the Police Department to civilian employees. The Labor Board found a past practice existed of transferring certain non-certified police duties to civilian employees in order to free up the bargaining unit employees to engage in police duties. Further, the Labor Board concluded that there was no demonstrable adverse effect on the bargaining unit as a result of the transfer of duties, since the transfer occurred at a time when the City was trying to hire additional police officers and was trying to free up the administrative tasks so that the bargaining unit employees could focus on performing those police duties which required police certification and expertise.

City of Bridgeport, Decision No. 3720 (8/12/99):  The Union challenged the City’s use of a non-bargaining unit employee to perform investigative work for the City Law Department. One or more members of the police bargaining unit had long performed this investigative work. The Labor Board found that the Union had established all three elements of its prima facie case. However, with regard to investigations into allegations of police misconduct, the Labor Board concluded that public policy reasons supported the City’s use of non-bargaining unit investigators so that the City Attorneys would not be compromised in their ability to successfully defend the City against such claims.

City of Waterbury, Decision No. 3711 (6/30/99):  The City and the Connecticut State Police entered into a joint law enforcement effort known as "Operation SWEEP" in order to establish a show of force to deter crime and serve warrants. The Union challenged the decision on the grounds that the State Police were performing bargaining unit work. The Labor Board determined that the Union had failed to establish a prima facie case of unlawful subcontracting because there was no demonstrable adverse impact on the bargaining unit. [Appeal dismissed, Waterbury Police Union v. CSBLR and City of Waterbury, CV99-496671 (J.D. New Britain, 11/14/00):  The Union alleged that the City unlawfully subcontracted bargaining unit work when it participated in a joint law enforcement effort with the Connecticut State Police (CSP) known as "Operation SWEEP." The Labor Board concluded that the Union failed to show that there was a demonstrable adverse impact on the bargaining unit, because the City funded its portion of the operation on overtime and could not have afforded such an operation on its own without the CSP’s participation (No. 3711). The Union appealed, arguing that the Labor Board failed to consider to properly consider the impact element. The court concluded that the Labor Board’s ruling on the impact issue was supported by substantial evidence and consistent with relevant case law and therefore dismissed the appeal.] 

East Haven Board of Education, Decision No. 3698 (6/9/99): The School Board opened a new high school and staffed it with maintenance and custodial staff employed by a subcontractor. The Director of Buildings and Grounds, who was responsible for supervising the custodial and maintenance staff in all other school buildings, was assigned no supervisory responsibilities at the new high school. The Union filed a complaint, alleging that the supervision of the custodial and maintenance staff at the new high school was bargaining unit work that had been unlawfully subcontracted. The School Board argued, inter alia, that there was no demonstrable adverse impact because the Director continued to supervise the same number of employees and schools. The Labor Board disagreed, finding that the Director’s job opportunities were limited and there were reasonable fears of future encroachment on bargaining unit work. The Labor Board further found that these fears were particularly reasonable in light of the small size of the supervisory bargaining unit.

Town of Plymouth, Decision No. 3691 (5/11/99):   The Town subcontracted the work of the Town Sanitarian to a regional health district upon the incumbent’s retirement. State law mandates that a municipality provide this service, but does not require that a municipality provide the service through a health district. The Town claimed it had no duty to bargain because at the time the decision to subcontract was made, the newly elected union had not yet been certified and therefore there was no exclusive bargaining representative. The Labor Board disagreed, stating that at a minimum the Town had a duty not to institute any unilateral changes once the election was conducted and the Town knew that the Union represented the majority of employees. The Town also claimed that its action was consistent with past practice, since it had utilized the health district in the past to cover for the Sanitarian’s absences. The Labor Board found that the subcontracting at issue varied greatly from past occasional, short term utilization of the health district, and ordered the Town to reinstate the position to the bargaining unit.

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Town of Windsor, Decision No. 3671 (3/18/99):  The Town subcontracted with an outside company to paint the crosswalk and stop sign lines on Town roads, work that had been performed by the bargaining unit. The same subcontractor had been continually used to paint the dividing lines down the middle of the streets. The work in question took eight hours for the subcontractor to perform. The Labor Board found that while the Union established the first two elements of a prima facie case under the New Britain analysis, the Union failed to demonstrate that the subcontracting had any substantial impact on the bargaining unit. In addition, the Labor Board cautioned that demonstrated cost savings from subcontracting was not a per se defense. [Appeal dismissed, Local 1303-42, AFSCME, Council 4 v. State Board of Labor Relations and Town of Windsor, CV99-496505 (J.D. New Britain):  In Decision No. 3671, the Labor Board dismissed a complaint alleging that the Town had unlawfully subcontracted certain road line painting work. The Labor Board found that the subcontracting had a minimal impact on the bargaining unit. The trial court affirmed.]

City of Torrington, Decision No. 3663 (3/4/99):  The City contracted out certain trash collection work, conceding that the work belonged to the bargaining unit. The Labor Board found this subcontracting varied significantly from past practice. However, the Board found no evidence that the subcontracting had a substantial impact on the bargaining unit. The work hours of the employees remained consistent before and after the subcontracting, and the employees were assured by the Mayor that there would be no layoffs. In addition, the Labor Board found that there were no reasonable fears of future encroachment based on the limited nature of the subcontracting which did not "lend itself to being enlarged at a later date."

City of Hartford, Decision No. 3648 (12/17/98):  The City eliminated a bargaining unit position and transferred the incumbent employee to another position. The employee was then terminated for poor performance in the new position. The Labor Board found that the duties of the former position had been reassigned to non-bargaining unit personnel without negotiations. Because the employee would not have been terminated but for the City’s illegal transfer of work, the Labor Board ordered the reinstatement of the employee to the same or substantially equivalent position that he had originally held, with full back pay and benefits. [Appeal dismissed, City of Hartford v. Hartford Municipal Employees Association and State Board of Labor Relations, AC 21765 (2002): The Labor Board concluded in Decision No. 3648 that the City had unlawfully subcontracted bargaining unit work. As part of the remedy, the Labor Board ordered the reinstatement of bargaining unit employee Remes, who had been transferred to a different position as a result of the subcontracting and who was subsequently terminated for poor performance. The termination was upheld at Step 3 of the grievance procedure and was not filed to arbitration. The City appealed the Labor Board’s decision on the issue of reinstatement only, arguing that the Board was collaterally estopped from reaching a different conclusion regarding Remes’ termination. The Labor Board argued that whether Remes was discharged for cause from the second position was irrelevant to its determination that but for the unlawful subcontracting, Remes would not have been put in the unfortunate situation of not being able to perform a different job. The court upheld the Labor Board’s remedy, finding no evidence on the record of poor performance in the original position. The court also rejected the City’s estoppel argument, finding that the "step 3 hearing officer had no jurisdiction to consider whether the reinstatement of Remes would effectuate the policies of the Act; only the Labor Board is empowered by the Act to make such a determination."]

Town of Wallingford, Decision No. 3642 (11/24/98):  The Oakdale Theater, located in Wallingford, utilized constables instead of bargaining unit police officers during events for traffic control dutieson and around its property. The Union claimed that this was work that belonged to the bargaining unit, and that the Town improperly subcontracted the work to the constables. Although it conceded that the establishment of "extra duty" work was a permissive subject of bargaining, the Union claimed that the contract reserved all traffic regulation work to the bargaining unit. The Labor Board disagreed, finding instead that historically the bargaining unit had not been solely responsible for such work. In addition, the Board found that because the Oakdale had not requested police coverage, no extra duty work as defined in the contract was at issue. The Labor Board concluded that the Union had failed to establish that the extra duty work in question was bargaining unit work and dismissed this portion of the complaint. [Appeal dismissed, Wallingford Police Union, Local 1570, Council 15, AFSCME, AFL-CIO v. Town of Wallingford et al., CV99-494272 (J.D. New Britain, 9/21/99, McWeeny, J.): The Union appealed the Labor Board’s dismissal of its claim (Decision No 3642) regarding the Oakdale Theater’s use of constables instead of police officers to direct traffic on event nights. The court ruled that the Labor Board’s conclusions regarding the Union’s claims were supported by substantial record evidence. The court also upheld the Labor Board’s refusal to allow the Union to present certain evidence it had deemed irrelevant. ]

City of Bridgeport (Paul LaMonica), Decision No. 3628 (10/9/98):  The City eliminated the Foreman III position during a major city-wide layoff, and distributed the work to some of the remaining positions both within and without the bargaining unit. Applying the pre-New Britain analysis, the Labor Board found that the work in question had historically been shared and therefore the City did not unlawfully transfer the work to non-bargaining unit positions.

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Ansonia Board of Education, Decision No. 3613 (7/28/98):  The School Board created a new position, Media Center Aide, and the Union claimed that the position was performing work formerly performed by the Media Center Secretary, a bargaining unit position which had been eliminated. The Labor Board found that the bulk of Secretary’s work was now performed by other bargaining unit personnel, and that the work of the Aides differed significantly in content and emphasis from the work formerly performed by the Secretary.

Town of Seymour, Decision No. 3583 (3/16/98):   The Employer amended an ordinance to delete the requirement for police officers to oversee certain construction sites. The Union asserted that this action constituted an illegal transfer of "extra duty" bargaining unit work. The Labor Board stated that the nature of extra duty police work was a matter of managerial prerogative. The Labor Board also concluded that the Employer's action was akin to "going out of the business of" providing extra duty police officers at certain locations. Finally, the asserted impacts of the Employer's decision did not require bargaining.

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3568 (1/28/98):  The Labor Board found that the Employer did not illegally subcontract bargaining unit work when it used an outside bus service to transport special education students because the work had not been performed exclusively by the bargaining unit. [Appeal dismissed, Local 1042, Council 4, AFSCME, AFL-CIO v. Norwalk Board of Education, et al., CV98-578335 (J.D. Hartford/New Britain at Hartford (11/23/98, McWeeny, J.):  The Labor Board dismissed the Union’s complaint finding that the Employer did not illegally subcontract bargaining unit work when it used an outside bus service to transport special education students since the work had not been performed exclusively by the bargaining unit (Decision No. 3568).  On appeal, the court found that the facts supported the Labor Board’s decision.  In its appeal, the Union also raised a claim related to the Labor Board’s refusal to grant the Union a continuance.  On that issue, the court deferred to the discretion of the agency.]

City of Danbury, Decision No. 3574 (2/18/98):  Applying the pre-City of New Britain analysis (Decision No. 3290), the Labor Board found an extensive and long-standing practice of having bargaining unit work performed by non-bargaining unit personnel. In addition, there was no demand for bargaining made by the Union, and the Labor Board dismissed the complaint.

City of Waterbury, Decision No. 3481 (3/7/97):  Union alleged that City subcontracted bargaining unit work at Danaher Water Filtration Plant. Labor Board dismissed finding that the work in question was substantially different than the work performed by the bargaining unit at the former water plant.

Groton Board of Education, Decision No. 3466 (1/31/97):  Union alleged that School Board unlawfully subcontracted bargaining unit work. Labor Board applied standard enunciated in City of New Britain, Decision No. 3290 (4/6/95) in finding a violation. Specifically, the Board found that the work in question was clearly bargaining unit work and that the actions of the School Board had a demonstrable adverse impact on the unit because the School Board had replaced a bargaining unit position with part-time non-bargaining unit positions. The Board then found that the subcontracting in question varied significantly from past instances when part timers performed some bargaining unit work because in this case an entire bargaining unit position was replaced by non-bargaining unit part timers. The Labor Board also rejected the employer’s public policy argument that its actions are excusable because they were based on sound educational policy. The Board said that the fact that the School Board was diligent in its pursuit of excellence could not excuse its statutory obligation to bargain with its employees.

City of Norwalk, Decision No. 3458 (12/16/96):  Union alleged that City had unlawfully subcontracted security work at the Department of Social Services. The Labor Board dismissed finding that the nature of police extra duty is a managerial prerogative.

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3455 (11/25/96):  Union alleged that School Board unlawfully subcontracted carpentry and electrical bargaining unit work. Labor Board found that Union failed to show that work in question was performed by outside contractors.

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Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3454 (11/25/96):  Union alleged that School Board unlawfully subcontracted maintenance work. The Labor Board dismissed finding that the School Board had not changed its practice concerning work on emergency exit lights in the schools.

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3406 (6/7/96):  Union alleged that a change in a supervisor’s job description assigned bargaining unit work to the supervisor. The School Board claimed that it had not revised the supervisor’s job description; the Union was unable to produce a revised job description for the Supervisor and did not attempt to subpoena the document. The Board dismissed the complaint finding that the litigation by the Union was an abuse of the Board’s processes.

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3377 (4/1/96):  Union alleged that School Board repudiated the contract, failed to abide by the Labor Board's order in Decision No. 2260 and refused to bargain by assigning bargaining unit work to non-unit personnel. The Union abandoned the first two allegations and only pursued the refusal to bargain complaint. The Labor Board dismissed using a pre-New Britain standard, finding that the truck driving work in question had not been previously performed exclusively by the bargaining unit.

Lebanon Board of Education, Decision No. 3376 (3/27/96):  Union alleged that School Board unlawfully subcontracted the work of instructional assistants. Using a pre-New Britain standard, the Labor Board found that the Union had failed to establish that the work had been performed exclusively by the instructional assistants prior to hiring the graduate student interns.

Town of East Hartford, Decision No. 3375 (3/21/96):  Union alleged that Town had unlawfully subcontracted certain custodial work. Using a pre-New Britain standard, the Labor Board determined that the stipulated record did not establish that work had previously been performed exclusively by the bargaining unit and dismissed the complaint. [Appeal dismissed, CSEA Inc. et al v. Town of East Hartford, CV96-560315 (J.D. Hartford/New Britain at Hartford, 4/13/98, McWeeny, J.):  The Union appealed a Labor Board decision (No. 3375) dismissing its claim that the Employer had illegally subcontracted custodial work at the Town Hall, on the basis that the work had been previously shared. On appeal, the Union challenged the Labor Board's failure to apply the City of New Britain analysis (Decision No. 3290) retroactively. Because there is no Connecticut case law addressing an administrative agency's determination of retroactivity, the court turned to the federal law, which generally holds that such a determination is discretionary with the agency. Thus, the Board's application of the "shared work" doctrine was appropriate since the subcontracting at issue occurred prior to the Board's decision in City of New Britain. The court also found that the Labor Board's decision was supported by substantial evidence.]

Town of Plymouth, Decision No. 3361 (2/7/96):  Union alleged that Town had unlawfully subcontracted certain work of the public works department after a layoff of some bargaining unit members. Labor Board dismissed finding that the evidence failed to show that the assignment of work to Workfare recipients was any different than it had been in the past. 

City of Torrington, Decision No. 3344 (10/30/95):  Union alleged that the City unlawfully subcontracted certain road work. Using a pre-New Britain standard, the Labor Board found that the work in question was shared work, dismissing the complaint.

Naugatuck Board of Education, Decision No. 3340 (10/5/95):  Union complained that the Employer assigned bargaining unit work to non-bargaining unit person. Using a pre-New Britain analysis, Labor Board found that the Employer had committed a prohibited practice because prior to the retirement of the bargaining unit member in question, the work had not been shared with non-bargaining unit personnel. In this regard, the Labor Board found that sporadic assistance of a supervisor during absences and emergencies is not enough to defeat exclusivity.

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Town of Wethersfield, Decision No. 3337 (9/21/95):  Union alleged that Town had unlawfully subcontracted certain recycling and leaf collection work. Labor Board found that, absent exceptional circumstances, the rule established in City of New Britain, Decision No. 3290 (4/6/95) would not be applied retroactively to cases in which the facts occurred prior to April 6, 1995. Using the pre-New Britain standard, the Labor Board found that the Town had not violated the Act because the work complained of had not been performed exclusively by the bargaining unit prior to subcontracting.

Town of East Hampton, Decision No. 3309 (5/26/95):  Union alleged that Town unlawfully subcontracted the cafeteria operation during contract negotiation. Labor Board found that the issue of subcontracting the cafeteria operation was on the bargaining table when the Town subcontracted the work. Therefore, the Town violated the Act by its actions. However, Labor Board found that the Union had contributed to the situation in certain ways and, therefore, a make whole remedy was not ordered.

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  1. Unilateral Change

Town of Stonington, Decision No. 4077 (8/24/05):  The Union alleged the Town violated the Act when it unilaterally eliminated paid sick leave of a bargaining unit member.  The Labor Board found that the employer unilaterally changed an established past practice in a condition of employment that is a mandatory subject of bargaining in violation of the Act.  As the employer failed to provide an adequate defense, the Labor Board ordered a make whole remedy for the affected bargaining unit member. [Appeal pending]

Town of Greenwich, Decision No. 4017 (2/2/05):  The Labor Board dismissed case on the basis of City of New London, Decision No. 24111 (1985) because a grievance regarding this matter had previously been filed and not pursued by the Union.  The Board found that the issue of contract interpretation determinative of the grievance was the same issue of contract interpretation that would be determinative of the prohibited practice case and that the other criteria of New London had been met.  The Board also dismissed an allegation concerning breach of an agreement.  [Appeal pending]

Town of Winchester, Decision No. 4007 (11/1/04):  The Town established a civil service system during the life of a collective bargaining agreement between the parties.  As a result, the selection criteria for promotion became an exempt subject for collective bargaining purposes and the contract provision regarding that subject became unenforceable.  The complaint was dismissed. 

City of Danbury, Decision No. 4000 (9/13/04):  The Union alleged an unlawful unilateral change when the City added the Civil Service Commission as a step in the approval process for reclassifications.  The Board found that reclassification procedure is a mandatory subject of bargaining but that the City did not violate the Act because the collective bargaining agreement between the parties allowed the action. 

Groton Public Schools, Decision No. 3998 (8/30/04):  The employer unlawfully unilaterally changed the hours of maintenance employees during the winter months.  The Board found that the contract did not allow the change in hours but also found that the action was not taken in an effort to undermine the Union.

Hartford Board of Education, Decision No. 3989 (6/23/04):  Several unions filed similar complaints alleging that the Hartford Board of Education failed to pay annual step increases.  The Board reviewed previous cases involving step increase payments and determined that, under the circumstances and contract language in each of the current situations, the Board of Education violated the Act by failing to pay step increases on the due dates.  [Appeal Pending] 

Town of Trumbull, Decision No. 3928 (7/19/03):  The Union alleged that the Town unilaterally changed the working hours of two assistant building officials from thirty-five to forty hours per week.  The collective bargaining agreement held in relevant part “[t]here shall be a thirty-five hour workweek…”.  The Town asserted the Union agreed to a temporary change in the work schedules and that the Union did not establish the change was permanent.  The Labor Board held the Town violated the Act. 

Southington Board of Education, Decision No. 3905 (3/11/03):  Union alleged the employer violated the Act when it unilaterally changed a bargaining unit position from LPN to RN and transferred the affected employee.  The Labor Board found that the Town had lawfully created the RN position and did not fail to bargain about the impacts of that decision.

Town of Wallingford, Decision No. 3902 (3/6/03):  Union alleged unlawful unilateral change when the Town prohibited police officers from using cell phones on duty.  The Labor Board found that the management rights clause of the contract and the negotiated General Order allowed the action.

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Town of Suffield, Decision No. 3858 (2/14/02):  The Union alleged that the Town unilaterally eliminated dental benefits for future retirees. The Labor Board found no evidence of a fixed past practice of always providing dental benefits to future retirees, and dismissed the complaint.

Town of Guilford, Decision No. 3843 (10/19/01):  The Union alleged that the Town made an unlawful unilateral change when it started requiring independent medical examinations for disability pension applicants. The Labor Board concluded that because disability pensions were always awarded only when the applicant was physically or mentally unable to perform either a current position or any other position in the Town, there had been no change to any term or condition of employment by requiring independent evidence of such disability.

City of Meriden and Meriden Board of Education, Decision No. 3822 (5/15/01):  Various unions alleged that the City and the Board of Education failed to bargain and made an unlawful unilateral change when it offered an early retirement incentive to some City employees and not others. The Labor Board concluded that the City was under no obligation to negotiate identical benefits with every union. Furthermore, the evidence revealed that the City stood willing to negotiate with certain unions in accordance with reopener language in their contracts. Finally, the Labor Board found that the Board of Education had no duty to bargain because pensions were under the sole and exclusive control of the City.

Town of Orange, Decision No. 3821 (5/1/01):  An awards committee, comprised of bargaining unit members, recommended changes to the eligibility criteria to the Police Chief, who incorporated the changes by issuing a General Order. The Union Vice President, who would have been eligible for an award under the previous criteria but not under the new criteria, made a demand to bargain over the change, which was denied. Although the Labor Board disagreed with the Town that General Orders were never negotiable, in this case it dismissed the complaint because the awards had no effect whatsoever on terms and conditions of employment.

Town of East Lyme, Decision No. 3804 (1/18/01): The constables in the bargaining unit were directly supervised by a Resident State Trooper, who claimed that certain procedures contained in the State Department of Public Safety manual applied to the constables. The Union alleged that the imposition of provisions of the State Police Manual constituted a unilateral change that the Town was required to negotiate. The Labor Board agreed that to the extent that the State Police Manual policies and procedures affected mandatory subjects of bargaining, the Town was required to negotiate before the constables could be bound by such procedures. 

Town of Windsor, Decision No. 3803 (1/12/01):  The Union alleged that there was a clear past practice of paying newly hired police officers with prior police experience an increased starting salary so that they wouldn’t have to take a cut in pay to work for the Town. The Union claimed that the Town violated this practice when it paid a new officer without any prior experience an increased starting salary. The Town claimed that the existing practice was that the Town could increase starting salaries in order to prevent a newly hired officer from taking a pay cut from previous employment. The Labor Board agreed with the Union’s description of the practice. As an appropriate remedy, the Labor Board ordered the parties to bargain about a clear set of criteria to be used to determine the placement of newly hired officers on the pay scale. 

City of Hartford, Decision No. 3792 (9/18/00):   For many years, the City had an "incentive program" for sanitation employees, whereby the employees were permitted to leave early if they completed their routes yet still get paid for a full day’s work. On occasion, employees who finished early were permitted to volunteer for overtime work prior to the end of their shift, and receive both regular pay and overtime pay for the same hours of work. The City ceased the practice unilaterally, and the Union filed a complaint with the Labor Board. The Labor Board found that the City’s change was consistent with existing contract language. Therefore, since the City was entitled to rely on the contract provisions establishing pay rates and hours of work, there was no prohibited practice and the Labor Board dismissed the complaint.

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City of New Haven, Decision No. 3788 (8/25/00):  The Union alleged that the City had made a unilateral change when it required bargaining unit members to contribute towards the cost of settling civil lawsuits in which the employees were named co-defendants with the City. The Labor Board had never before considered whether the request for settlement contributions was a mandatory subject of bargaining, and therefore applied the DeCourcy balancing test. The Labor Board concluded that the request for settlement contributions, which were deducted from the employees’ paychecks, had only the most remote impact on terms and conditions of employment. In addition, the Labor Board determined that the decisions to be made during the pendency of civil litigation in which the City is a party are not the type that lend themselves to helpful resolution through the collective bargaining process. Accordingly, the Labor Board held that the issue of settlement contributions was a permissive subject of bargaining, and dismissed the complaint. [Appeal sustained in part, New Haven Police Union Local 530 v. Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations, CV01-507762 (J.D. New Britain):  In Decision No. 3788, the Labor Board dismissed the Union’s claims regarding civil lawsuit settlement agreements with individual police officers. On appeal, the trial court found that the Labor Board had denied the Union a full and fair hearing by refusing to allow certain evidence concerning past practices and the asserted impacts of the City’s unilateral decision to settle such lawsuits. The Labor Board accepted the remand and the matter is pending further hearing.]

New Haven Board of Education, Decision No. 3777 (6/28/00):  The Union alleged that there was a past practice of requiring the presence of bargaining unit members when outside vendors were used for snow plowing. The Union asserted that the School Board unilaterally changed this practice when it allowed the vendors to work on their own. The Labor Board found compelling evidence that the Union agreed that outside vendors could work on their own, and dismissed the complaint.

City of West Haven Decision No. 3742 (11/24/99):   The Union challenged the City’s removal of an arbitration provision from the self-insured portion of its automobile liability coverage. The Labor Board applied the DeCourcy balancing test to determine whether the arbitration provision in this case was a mandatory subject of bargaining. The Board found that the arbitration provision was a procedural mechanism which did not substantially interfere with the employees’ ability to access the benefit in question. The Labor Board also found that at the time the City made the change in question, the benefit was unavailable to the employees. In reviewing these and other factors, the Labor Board concluded that the arbitration provision in question did not involve a mandatory subject of bargaining. 

East Hartford Housing Authority, Decision No. 3733 (9/30/99): The employer unilaterally implemented a policy, in accordance with recommendations from its internal auditor, which restricted the employees’ longstanding ability to use sick and other leave time in increments of less than one hour. The Labor Board did not find that the general management rights clause in the contract excused the employer’s unilateral action. The Labor Board also did not find that the Union had waived its right to bargain over the change by failing to request negotiations, since the policy change was presented as a fait accompli. The Housing Authority was ordered to rescind the policy. 

Town of Wallingford, Decision No. 3728 (9/10/99):   The Union alleged that the Town unilaterally eliminated a past practice where employees were allowed to review the written portion of civil service promotional examinations. The Union argued that such review should be considered "the use and determination of monitors" and thus subject to collective bargaining pursuant to Section 7-474(g). The Labor Board concluded that employee review of the written exam was not an exception to the prohibition on collective bargaining expressed in Section 7-474(g). 

City of Hartford, Decision No. 3716 (8/5/99):   The Union alleged that the City had unilaterally imposed residency requirements for job applicants. The Labor Board dismissed the complaint, finding that because job applicants are not considered "employees" under the Act, the imposition of such requirements did not involve a mandatory subject of bargaining. 

Norwalk Third Taxing District, Decision No. 3695 (5/18/99):  The Union alleged that the employer had unilaterally discontinued the unrestricted use by an employee of an employer-owned vehicle. Although the Union had established a prima facie case of unlawful unilateral change, the Labor Board found that the contract provided a valid defense for the employer.

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Town of Southington, Decision No. 3685 (4/15/99):  The Union alleged that the Town changed the established work week by unilaterally requiring employees to work weekends during leaf season. The Town argued that its action was consistent with the established past practice of requiring employees to work overtime. The Labor Board concluded that the change altered the hours of work established by contract and ordered the Town to rescind the schedule and to make whole any employees who were disciplined as a result of failing to abide by the new schedule. 

Town Of Wolcott, Decision No. 3682 (4/13/99):   When the employer began to assign patrol officers to act as "Officer in Charge" of their particular shift, the Union claimed that the Employer had unilaterally changed an established past practice of first offering vacant "Officer in Charge" assignments to ranking supervisory officers on an overtime basis. The Labor Board found that the assignment of personnel to act as "Officer in Charge" did not involve a mandatory subject of bargaining, particularly since the employer reserved this right in the contract. The Labor Board also found that there was no duty to bargain over any asserted change to minimum manning levels or the supervisors’ loss of overtime opportunities.

Norwalk Third Taxing District, Decision No. 3676 (3/30/99):   The Employer unilaterally discontinued a longstanding practice of paying year-end bonuses and providing turkeys at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Employer defended on various procedural grounds. The Labor Board found that the benefits were mandatory subjects of bargaining, and that the Employer’s procedural defenses were frivolous and nondebateable in the face of such a longstanding practice. While procedural defenses are not inherently frivolous, the Employer in this case offered no substantive defense whatsoever, and the record revealed that counsel had advised that the benefits could not be withdrawn unilaterally. The Labor Board ordered the reinstatement of the benefit, make whole relief, and fees and costs paid to the Union.

Waterford Board of Education, Decision No. 3666 (3/10/99):  The School Board failed to pay step increments on September 1, after the collective bargaining agreement had expired and while the parties were still engaged in negotiations for a successor agreement. The Union claimed that this was an illegal unilateral change, because members of the bargaining unit always received step increments each September 1. The Labor Board found that the increments were tied to specific years of the contract. In the absence of evidence of an independent past practice of always paying the increment after the agreement had expired, the Labor Board concluded that the Union had failed to prove a change.

Town of Wallingford, Decision No. 3662 (3/4/99):  The Town unilaterally removed a coffee pot and kitchen area which were widely used by members of the bargaining unit. The Town claimed it had the right to do so because they were in an area for shift commanders that was supposed to be restricted from unauthorized personnel. The Labor Board found that while the Town was within its rights to restrict access to the area, the proper manner to carry it out was to enforce the rule, not to remove items that involved well-established conditions of employment for the employees who were authorized to use that area.

Town of Wallingford, Decision No. 3658 (1/29/99):  The Town replaced a glass barrier in the police department entry desk area with a smaller one in an effort to improve communications. The Unions representing both the officers and the clerical staff alleged that the removal of the glass left the employees exposed to potential safety hazards from members of the public entering the area. The Labor Board concluded that the Town’s actions fell within the scope of its inherent managerial right to manage its operation, introduce new facilities and to determine the proper equipment to be used. In addition, the Union’s safety concerns proved too speculative to have a substantial impact on conditions of employment.

City of New Haven, Decision No. 3651 (12/28/98):  The Union alleged that the City was required to pay annual increments due under an expired collective bargaining agreement while the parties were engaged in negotiations for a successor contract. The Labor Board found that the Union had failed to establish the existence of a relevant past practice where the City paid annual increments each July 1, regardless of whether the contract had expired and regardless of what the contract language required. Under the circumstances of this case, the Labor Board also declined to find that the City had violated Section 7-475 of the MERA. The Labor Board did not address the City’s argument that extreme administrative inconvenience would establish a valid defense to a unilateral change claim.

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Jewett City Department of Utilities, Decision No. 3636 (11/16/98):  During negotiations for an initial collective bargaining agreement, the Employer did not grant annual increments to bargaining unit employees. The Town defended by claiming that because there was no established pay plan providing for annual increments, it was merely maintaining the status quo existing at the time the representation petition was filed. The Labor Board found that there was an existing policy and practice of granting employees annual increments on or about July 1 of each year. The Employer’s failure to maintain this practice during negotiations constituted a prohibited practice. [Appeal withdrawn, CV99-117093 (J.D. Norwich, 5/7/99)].

Town of Groton, Decision No. 3623 (9/18/98):  Two bargaining unit employees filed wage claims with the state Labor Department, seeking unpaid overtime, although their positions were in the bargaining unit as salaried exempts. The Labor Department concluded that the positions were not exempt from the overtime pay requirement. The Town proposed in successor contract negotiations to change their status from exempt to non-exempt, but the parties did not reach agreement on the issue. In order to reconcile the Labor Department’s order with the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, the Town unilaterally changed the two positions from salaried to hourly and calculated an hourly rate for each of them. The Town defended against the ensuing unilateral change claim by arguing that it was under a legal compulsion to comply with the Labor Department’s order and therefore was not required to bargain with the Union regarding the necessary change. The Labor Board concluded that since it was not necessary for the Town to convert the positions from salaried to hourly in order to comply with the Labor Department’s order, the defense was inapplicable. The Labor Board ordered the Town to pay to the employees the difference between the amount they would have received had they remained salaried employees and the amount they actually received after the change to hourly status. [Appeal dismissed, Town of Groton v. State Board of Labor Relations and Groton Municipal Employees Union, CV98-492626 (J.D. New Britain, 7/6/99, McWeeny, J.) ]

Groton Board of Education, Decision No. 3614 (7/31/98): The Labor Board found that the employer violated established past practice by unilaterally imposing a new requirement that medical certificates for sick leave include the nature of the illness or injury. However, the Labor Board found that the School Board’s use of part-time non-bargaining unit custodians was consistent with past practice and therefore dismissed that portion of the Union’s complaint. 

Town of Wallingford, Decision No. 3601 (5/13/98): The Town unilaterally imposed new requirements on an existing "call back" policy for employees of the Electric Division, changing the manner in which employees were notified of the need to "call back" for emergency work and subjecting them to removal from the call list for failing to provide a sufficient excuse for being unavailable to work. The parties agreed that the call back policy involved a mandatory subject of bargaining. The Town first defended by claiming that the contract permitted the action. The Labor Board found that the contract had historically been interpreted in a manner contradictory to the Town’s actions. The Town also claimed that it had the managerial right to implement reasonable procedural measures designed to enforce an existing policy. The Labor Board disagreed, finding that the changes materially and significantly changed the existing policy. The Town further asserted that its unilateral action was justified by emergency or necessity in order to provide safe and reliable electrical power. The Labor Board found no evidence of such an emergency relieving the Town of its duty to bargain. Finally, the Town asserted that the changes were de minimis. The Labor Board found that the potential to be removed from the call list was a sufficient impact on the employees’ working conditions. 

Town of Rocky Hill, Decision No. 3565 (1/9/98):  The Employer unilaterally implemented a pinpoint electronic surveillance device in the area where it was suspected certain information was being removed and "leaked" to the public. The Union claimed that the Employer had an obligation to bargain about the decision to install the camera, which ultimately resulted in discipline against a bargaining unit member. The Labor Board balanced the Union's interest in freedom from excessive workplace intrusion against the Employer's interest in protecting information from theft or misappropriation and concluded that the Employer's carefully limited surveillance did not require prior bargaining. [Appeal dismissed, International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 316 v. State of CT, Dept. of Labor, Board of Labor Relations and Town of Rocky Hill, CV98-577452 (J.D. Hartford, 5/5/98, McWeeny, J.):  The Union appealed a Labor Board decision (No. 3565) dismissing its claim that the Employer had an obligation to bargain regarding its decision to install a pinpoint electronic surveillance camera. The Labor Board in its decision balanced the interests of both parties and concluded that the limited use of a surveillance camera in an investigation of unauthorized dissemination of police department documents was not a mandatory subject of bargaining. The court affirmed the Labor Board’s decision that the Employer’s carefully limited surveillance did not require prior bargaining.]

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Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3531 (9/23/97):  The Employer assigned the same management representative to serve as both Step I and Step II of the grievance procedure. The Union asserted that this constituted a unilateral change to the contractual grievance procedure. The Labor Board disagreed, finding no evidence that the change was made with an "ulterior motive" or that grievance filing and processing had been inhibited. In the absence of such a showing, the Labor Board refused to dictate the Employer's choice of bargaining representative. [Appeal dismissed, Local 1042, AFSCME, Council 4 v. Norwalk Board of Education and Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations, CV98-575035 (J.D. Hartford at Hartford, 11/23/98, McWeeny, J.):  The Union appealed the Labor Board’s dismissal of its allegation that the School Board had effectively eliminated one step of the grievance process by assigning the same individual to hear grievances at step one and step two (Decision No. 3531). The Labor Board found no evidence that the Employer had taken this action in bad faith or with an intent to avoid the requirements of the grievance procedure and, therefore, refused to dictate the Employer’s choice of bargaining representative. On appeal the Union argued that the Labor Board had abused its discretion in finding that the grievance procedure had not been unilaterally changed. The court found that the Labor Board’s decision was supported by substantial evidence and dismissed the appeal.]
 

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3579 (3/11/98):   A majority of the Labor Board concluded that the Employer's policy regarding prior written notice to attend administrative hearings constituted a reasonable work rule. The Chairman dissented, noting that the policy changed the existing practice where notice was not required. [Appeal dismissed, Local 1042, AFSCME, Council 4 v. Norwalk Board of Education and State Board of Labor Relations, CV98-492623 (J.D. New Britain, 3/11/99, McWeeny, J.):  The Union appealed a dismissal of its claim that the employer had unilaterally changed the manner in which employees were released from work with pay to attend arbitrations and hearings. The Labor Board had determined that the School Board’s requirement that employees provide at least one week notice in writing of an expected absence was a reasonable procedural rule designed to enforce the existing policy that employees provide as much advance notice as possible. The court found that the Labor Board’s decision (No. 3579) was supported by substantial record evidence and dismissed the appeal.]

City of Waterbury, Decision No. 3566 (1/9/98):   The Labor Board found that the Employer had unilaterally changed an existing practice of providing Internal Affairs reports to the Union along with notices of predisciplinary hearings, despite the fact that the contract language did not require disclosure in this case. The Labor Board issued only a cease and desist order because the Union ultimately received the information prior to the hearing.

Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES), Decision No. 3519 (7/10/97): The Employer unilaterally implemented a change to the policy that van drivers did not have to pick up clients at their homes during inclement weather if the school system in that area had closed due to the weather. The Labor Board concluded that the decision was within the realm of managerial prerogative and did not require bargaining. However, if significant health or safety concerns could be demonstrated, such impacts would require negotiations. In this case, the Labor Board found no such impact.

City of Waterbury (Waterbury Firefighters Association), Decision No. 3588 (4/7/98); City of Waterbury (Waterbury Police Union), Decision No. 3589 (4/7/98):  The respective Unions alleged that the Employer unilaterally prohibited certain bargaining unit members from continuing to use City-owned vehicles to drive to and from work. The Labor Board found in both cases that the benefit of the vehicles was directly related to the employees’ jobs, enabling them to respond quickly to off-hour emergencies. As such, the Board concluded that the benefit of using a City-owned vehicle to commute back and forth to work is a mandatory subject of bargaining as it is a form of compensation or benefit. The fact that the Employer was motivated to make the change for economic reasons did not remove the subject from the arena of mandatory subjects of bargaining.

City of New Britain, Decision No. 3558 (12/15/97): The Union alleged that the Employer unilaterally decided to eliminate the Youth Bureau Supervisor and create a universal sergeant position without bargaining. The Labor Board found that the Employer was free to do this because MERA does not require an employer to continue to make non-unit promotional opportunities available to employees absent binding contract language. The collective bargaining agreement in this case did not contain a manning clause or any other clause mandating the existence of certain positions. Additionally, the Board found that the Union had waived any rights it had to bargain over this decision.

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Ashford Board of Education, Decision No. 3518 (6/27/97):  The Labor Board concluded that the ability to park an employer-owned vehicle at home and use the vehicle to commute back and forth to work constituted a mandatory subject of bargaining. Thus, the Employer made an illegal unilateral change when it discontinued the ability of school bus drivers to park their vehicles at home.

New Haven Parking Authority, Decision No. 3523 (8/19/97):  The Employer "rebid" all bargaining unit positions. The Union claimed that this action unilaterally changed wages and hours of work, violated the contract, and at minimum required impact negotiations. The Labor Board found that the "rebid" stemmed from the Employer’s managerial prerogative to eliminate positions and restructure operations. Any rights the Union may have had to negotiate the secondary impacts of such a managerial decision were waived when the Union agreed to the Employer’s actions.

Town of Stratford, Decision No. 3499 (4/28/97): Union alleged that Town unlawfully changed the sick leave allowances to employees. The Labor Board issued an order finding that the Town had unilaterally changed the sick leave policy and rejecting the Town’s contract defenses.

City of Bristol, Decision No. 3464 (1/13/97):   Union alleged that City unilaterally initiated a dress code policy and by that action failed to comply with a Labor Board decision. The Labor Board dismissed the complaint finding that the evidence did not establish that the City’s actions were not consistent with past practice. Further, the Labor Board distinguished the prior decision and found that the City had not failed to abide by that order.

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3442 (9/30/96):  The Labor Board found that the School Board did not violate the Act by requiring the Union President to sign in and out of school buildings nor did the School Board fail to provide overtime information to the Union. The Labor Board did find, however, that the School Board violated the Act by imposing restrictions on President Mosby’s access to certain work areas for Union business.

Town of Windsor, Decision No. 3435 (8/30/96):  Union complained that Town unlawfully unilaterally stopped the practice of allowing certain employees to wash their personal vehicles on Town property and stopped the practice of allowing Town mechanics to repair their personal vehicles on Town property. The Board dismissed the complaint finding that the personal use of this Town equipment was not a mandatory subject of bargaining and distinguishing the case from City of Milford, Decision No. 1168 (1973).

Watertown Board of Education, Decision No. 3434 (8/30/96):  Union alleged that School Board violated the Act when it failed to pay a death benefit to the estate of a former employee. The Labor Board found that the Union and the School Board had previously entered into a full and final agreement concerning the particular individual which precluded the Union from filing future claims for benefits arising out of the individual’s employment. The Labor Board also found that the Union had waived any right it had to challenge a change in the life insurance policy.

Town of Southington, Decision No. 3428 (8/8/96):  Union alleged that Town had unlawfully changed the sick leave policy when Police Chief required four police officers to provide medical certificates from a particular hospital to substantiate their use of sick leave. The Board found that the contract allowed the Chief’s actions and alternatively, that no past practice existed concerning a situation like the one presented.

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Town of Stratford, Decision No. 3402 (5/21/96):   Three Unions alleged bad faith bargaining when Town unilaterally instituted requirements for future and present disability retirees to complete a periodic medical questionnaire and/or submit to a periodic medical examination in order to continue to receive disability retirement benefits. The parties entered into a full stipulation of facts and exhibits. The Labor Board found that requiring future disability retirees to submit a medical questionnaire or to submit to a medical examination in order to continue receiving benefits is a reasonable means by which to enforce the existing rule that one must be disabled in order to receive a disability pension. However, with regard to the Police and Fire Unions, the Board found that there were substantial secondary impacts of the requirement which required bargaining. With regard to the Public Works Union, the Board found that there were no substantial secondary impacts which required bargaining because the issue of medical review for disability eligibility had already been negotiated with that Union.

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3379 (4/2/96):  Union alleged an unlawful unilateral change in the manner in which the employer made a change in the hours of one employee. The Labor Board dismissed finding that the Union had failed to prove a change in an existing practice of informing the Union of a proposed change in hours. [Appeal withdrawn, CV96-560568, 12/22/97].

 

Town of East Hartford, Decision No. 3347 (11/14/95):  Union complained that Town unlawfully took four men out of service and assigned them to "training" in another City. Labor Board dismissed, pursuant to its decision in City of New London, Decision No. 2443 (1985) in which it said that, under appropriate circumstances, the Board does not have jurisdiction over a complaint in which a grievance was filed concerning the same "employer action", which grievance was denied on its merits and the Union failed to pursue the grievance to arbitration.

City of Torrington, Decision No. 3345 (11/7/95):  Union complained that the City had refused to bargain concerning the implementation of and the impacts of a drug policy. The Labor Board dismissed finding that the Union had waived its right to bargain concerning the decision to implement the policy because it waited almost seven months to say anything regarding the policy and then only requested impacts bargaining. Further, the Union failed to bring up the subject in contract negotiations that were ongoing at the time. Finally, the Union failed to prove the existence of substantial impacts of the decision to implement the drug policy.

Milford Board of Education, Decision No. 3333 (8/23/95):   Union alleged that School Board unilaterally changed the practice of granting sick leave bank days when it denied one employee the right to use sick leave bank days. The Labor Board found that the Union had failed to prove the existence of a fixed practice because granting or denying sick bank leave use had always been done on a case-by-case basis.

 

City of Hartford, Decision No. 3330 (8/3/95):  Union alleged that the City had unilaterally changed benefits for retirees. Labor Board found that the City did not violate the Act when it unilaterally implemented certain policies affecting retirees because the Labor Board has no jurisdiction over retirees. Since the policies implemented only directly affected retirees, the policies were not a mandatory subject of bargaining. Further, the Labor Board found that there was no impact on the bargaining unit.

Labor Board found that the City violated the Act by unilaterally ceasing to provide pension estimates to potential retirees, finding that the provision of pension estimates is a mandatory subject of bargaining.

 

Town of Sherman, Decision No. 3326 (7/27/95):  Union, in response to decertification petition, filed complaint alleging that Employer unlawfully changed conditions of employment during contract negotiations. In each allegation, Labor Board found that Union had failed to establish a fixed practice and a change in the practice. Thus, Union failed to establish a prima facie case.

 

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3322 (6/30/95):  Union claimed that School Board unilaterally changed a condition of employment by assigning to the Facilities Director some of the supervision of the "storekeeper". Labor Board found that Union had failed to prove a unilateral change in a mandatory subject of bargaining. 

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City of Torrington, Decision No. 4029 (3/11/05):  The City signed a settlement agreement with an employee regarding discipline that required appointment of a non-bargaining unit employee to a bargaining unit position with full seniority rights.  At the time of the settlement, there existed a valid list of candidates for the available Lieutenant position.  The Union alleged that the settlement agreement impacted terms and conditions of employment of bargaining unit members.  Because Torrington does not have a civil service commission, the process for promotion is a mandatory subject of bargaining.  Therefore the Board determined that the City had impacted on conditions of employment of the bargaining unit regarding the appointment of the employee to an available promotional position.  Further, the Board found that the agreement also impacted seniority related rights of the bargaining unit members.

Borough of Jewitt City, Decision No. 4019 (2/17/05):  The parties disagreed about whether a provision of the collective bargaining agreement had been properly removed after contract negotiations.  In this case, the Board determined that each draft of the proposed agreement had deleted the disputed provision, each draft had been thoroughly reviewed by the Union negotiators and bargaining experience was on the side of the Union.  As such, the Union could not establish that the employer had bargained in bad faith by insisting on enforcement of the contract as written. 

City of Bridgeport and Local 834, IAFF, Decision No. 4013 (12/2/04):  Individual Complainant alleged that the City violated the Act by agreeing with the Union to consolidate certain positions within the fire department.  Even if the agreement conflicted with certain Charter provisions, the subject is mandatory and an agreement concerning the consolidation supercedes the Charter. 

New London Housing Authority, Decision No. 3942 (2/20/04):  The Union alleged that the Housing Authority bargained in bad faith when it requested an arbitration panel to reconvene for the purpose of taking additional information in an interest arbitration proceeding.  The Housing Authority challenged the Labor Board’s jurisdiction in this matter.  The Labor Board concluded that it had jurisdiction to hear the case.  It further concluded that based on the information in its record, both parties positions concerning the status of the proceedings were arguably correct and that the decision is best made by the arbitrators.

Town of Enfield, Decision No. 3886 (10/29/02):  The Union alleged that the Town verbally agreed to reopen the pension plan for negotiation, which the Town denied.  The Labor Board concluded that although the Union believed in good faith in its claim, the evidence showed no clear agreement to negotiate pensions.  Therefore the complaint was dismissed. 

City of Waterbury, Decision No. 3805 (1/24/01):   The Union and the City negotiated a successor collective bargaining agreement. The agreement was approved by the legislative body, but the Mayor vetoed it. The legislative body then voted not to override the Mayor’s veto, and the City refused to implement the contract. The Labor Board held that the Mayor had no authority to veto the agreement once the legislative body had approved it. At that point, the Mayor was required by the Act to sign off on the agreement as a ministerial act. Because the contract was valid and enforceable, the City was required to implement it. [Appeal dismissed, City of Waterbury v. State Board of Labor Relations, et al, Dkt. No. CV 01 0507154S (10/25/01, Cohn, J.):  The trial court affirmed the Labor Board in Decision No. 3805, finding that the City of Waterbury had violated the MERA when the Mayor vetoed and refused to implement a collective bargaining agreement that had been approved by the Board of Aldermen. The case is currently before the Labor Board regarding compliance with the Board’s order. The Oversight Board created by S.A. 01-1 has intervened in the proceedings.] 

Town of Wallingford, Decision No. 3794 (9/29/00):  In these cross-complaints, each party accused the other of bad faith bargaining with regard to certain pension benefits. The parties had negotiated a separate pension document the previous year. The following year, during contract negotiations, the Town raised the same issue it had raised and lost in the previous pension negotiations. The Union claimed that the Town was precluded from renegotiating any pension issue. The Town alleged that the Union violated the Act by refusing to negotiate a mandatory subject of bargaining. The Labor Board concluded that neither party had bargained in bad faith, and dismissed both complaints.

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Town of Orange, Decision No. 3787 (8/25/00):  The parties were engaged in bargaining for a successor contract, and the ground rules established a cut-off date for new proposals. Prior to the cut-off date, there was evidence to indicate that the Town was considering the possibility of subcontracting certain bargaining unit work, but did not make a proposal on the topic until a few months after the cut-off date. The Union refused to bargain about the subcontracting. The Labor Board found that the Town did not have a firm commitment or proposal to subcontract until around the time it offered to bargain about the subject with the Union. Because there was no evidence to indicate that the Town purposely delayed its proposal or otherwise acted in bad faith, the Labor Board concluded that the Town did not commit a prohibited practice.

Town of Groton, Decision No. 3778 (7/6/00):  In these cross-complaints, both parties argued that the other had violated the duty to bargain in good faith during negotiations for a successor contract. In particular, the Union alleged that the Town had failed to bargain over a decision to subcontract, had unlawfully implemented its subcontracting proposal prior to reaching impasse, had failed to timely provide information, and had presented its proposals on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. The Town alleged that the totality of the Union’s conduct violated the Act and that the Union’s complaint was frivolous and vexatious. The Labor Board found that the Town’s actions with regard to the subcontracting proposal violated the Act, and ordered the restoration of the work to the bargaining unit. The Labor Board also concluded that the Town failed to timely comply with one portion of the Union’s information request. The Labor Board dismissed the Town’s complaint against the Union in its entirety.

Hartford Police Union, Decision No. 3731 (9/24/99):   The City alleged that the Union had engaged in bad faith bargaining through a variety of actions during negotiations for a successor contract, including refusing to ratify a tentative agreement and threatening a vote of "no confidence" against the Police Chief. The Labor Board found that the evidence did not support the City’s allegations. In addition, the Labor Board concluded that the "no confidence" vote was not threatened and carried out in an effort to make the City concede to the Union’s demands at the bargaining table. 

Town of Colchester, Decision No. 3729 (9/14/99):  The Town refused to bargain over the wages, hours and conditions of employment for the position of Finance Director in a newly certified supervisors’ unit.  The Town disagreed with the Labor Board’s prior bargaining unit determination that the Finance Director was not a Department Head or a confidential employee (see Decision and Amendment to Certification, Decision No. 3560-B, 12/3/98).  The Labor Board issued an order to bargain, noting that its bargaining unit determinations have long been entitled to a very high degree of discretion.   

City of Hartford, Decision No. 3725 (9/2/99):  The Union alleged that the City’s delay in providing cost data during interest arbitration proceedings was a per se violation of Section 7-473c(d)(1), which provides in relevant part: "Not less than two days prior to the commencement of the hearing, each party shall file with the chairman of the panel, and deliver to the other party, a proposed collective bargaining agreement, in numbered paragraphs, which such party is willing to execute and cost data for all provisions of such proposed agreement." The Labor Board concluded that it was more appropriate to review the City’s conduct in its totality to determine whether the delay was indicative of bad faith bargaining, rather than to deem it a per se violation of the Act. A majority of the Labor Board did not find that the City’s conduct constituted bad faith bargaining in this case. The dissenting member disagreed, concluding that the City intended to frustrate the bargaining process by its delay.

City of Hartford, Decision No. 3713 (7/7/99):  The Union alleged that the City had engaged in regressive bargaining when it submitted wage proposals during interest arbitration proceedings that were less favorable than the proposals that had previously been submitted during negotiations. Considering the totality of the circumstances, the Labor Board determined that the City’s proposals did not constitute bad faith bargaining.

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City of Waterbury, Decision No. 3496 (4/18/97):  Individuals filed complaints against City and Union alleging that they had engaged in bargaining in violation of Section 7-474(g) of the statute. Relying on the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision in Murchison v. Civil Service Commission of Waterbury, 234 Conn. 35 (1995), the Board found that the Union and the City had engaged in bargaining prohibited by Section 7-474(g). [Appeal dismissed in part, Waterbury Firefighters Association Local 1339 v. Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations et al., CV97-570953 (J.D. Hartford/New Britain at Hartford, 5/6/98, McWeeny, J.)].

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3443 (9/30/96):  In response to complaints filed by School Board, Union filed complaint alleging that School Board bargained in bad faith by filing prohibited practice complaints against Union. Labor Board dismissed the counter claim.

Town of Darien, Decision No. 3425 (7/30/96):  Union alleged that Town had engaged in bad faith bargaining by misrepresenting key information during bargaining concerning a premium differential for health insurance. The Labor Board found that, based on the totality of the conduct of the parties, the employer did not intentionally convey misleading information to the Union and did not engage in bad faith bargaining. 

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3415 (6/28/96):  The Union alleged that the School Board bargained in bad faith by refusing to participate in a mediation session after it agreed to do so. The Labor Board found that the parties had agreed to participate in an informal mediation session in an effort to resolve some of the outstanding issues between the parties. After meeting with the mediator for a period of time, the Board of Education determined that further mediation would be fruitless. Because the parties had agreed only to try informal mediation and because that agreement was fulfilled, the Board determined that the School Board’s decision not to engage in further mediation did not constitute bad faith bargaining. 

Watertown Board of Education, Decision No. 3399 (5/13/96):  Union alleged that School Board bargained in bad faith when, after bargaining about a pension plan for employees, it claimed in arbitration that it had no authority to bargain about the subject. The Labor Board dismissed the complaint, finding that the School Board had not intentionally misled the Union in negotiations but rather, discovered in arbitration that there was a problem with the School Board negotiating a change in the Town’s pension plan. The Labor Board found that all parties had made mistakes during the negotiation process and that none of the actions of the School Board constituted bad faith bargaining.

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  1. REFUSING TO DISCUSS GRIEVANCES

§7-470(a) Municipal employers or their representatives or agents are prohibited from:  (5) refusing to discuss grievances with the representatives of an employee organization designated as the exclusive representative in an appropriate unit in accordance with the provisions of said sections; 

City of New Haven (Francine Smith), Decision No. 3852 (12/13/01):  The Complainant was provided admittedly erroneous information about her eligibility to remain on a transfer list. The City attempted to settle the dispute, but the Complainant rejected the settlement offer. The Labor Board found that it was not illegal for the City to refuse to provide the Complainant with the exact remedy she was seeking. Nor did the Labor Board find any evidence to support the Complainant’s claim that the City refused to process any individual grievances. 

City of Middletown, Dec. No. 3462 (1/13/97):  Union alleged that City bargained in bad faith by refusing to process a grievance because it was not signed by individual employee. Labor Board found that City violated the Act because there was no contractual or other requirement for individual to sign grievance form in order for grievance to be considered valid.

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3408 (6/21/96):  Union alleged, inter alia, that the Board of Education refused to discuss grievances with the Union. The Union failed to present any evidence to support the allegation that the Board of Education refused to discuss grievances and the Board dismissed the complaint.

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  1. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH A SETTLEMENT 

 §7-470(a) Municipal employers or their representatives or agents are prohibited from:  (6) refusing to comply with a grievance settlement, or arbitration settlement, or a valid award or decision of an arbitration panel or arbitrator rendered in accordance with the provisions of section 7-472. 

Town of Southbury, Decision No. 4100 (11/15/05):  The Union alleged the Town failed to comply with a grievance arbitration award when it refused to make whole a grievant for all suspension time served in excess of thirty calendar days.  The Town argued it had complied with the award by making whole the grievant for all suspension time served in excess of thirty working days.  The Labor Board examined the language of the remedy awarded and found the Town violated the Act. 

Town of East Hartford, Decision No. 3927 (9/16/03):  The Union filed a complaint alleging the Town failed to comply with a settlement agreement involving a grievance and two prohibited practice complaints.  The agreement provided that the Town would promote the Complainant to the position of Sergeant as of May 28, 2000 and that his seniority would be effective as of May 5, 1998.  Additionally, the Complaint would receive a payment to compensate for straight time and overtime.  The Town then placed the Complainant on step 1 of the sergeant salary schedule.  The Union alleged that the Town’s refusal to place the Complainant at step 3 of the salary schedule was a violation of the agreement.  The Town argued it had complied with the agreement and that the complaint was untimely.  The Labor Board found the Town violated the agreement and that the Union’s fourteen month delay in filing the complaint was excusable and non-prejudicial. 

Town of Berlin, Decision No. 3894 (1/17/03):  Following the filing of a grievance concerning the rate of pay for a bargaining unit member, the parties agreed to handle the question of his reclassification as a “contract issue”.  During negotiations, the parties initially referred to this issue in proposals but neither side mentioned the issue in later negotiations and the final tentative agreement did not contain any reference to the employee.  The Labor Board concluded that the parties never arrived at a final and valid settlement agreement concerning the employee. 

Town of Fairfield, Decision No. 3891 (12/18/02):  The Fire Commission sustained a union grievance involving life insurance coverage, but the Town failed to implement the settlement because it disagreed with the Fire Commission’s interpretation.  The Labor Board concluded that the Town was bound by the decision of its designated Step 2 decision-maker, and issued an order. 

City of Waterbury, Decision No. 3884 (10/16/02):  A female detective (the Complainant) was engaged in an ongoing dispute with the Police Chief regarding assignment to the Acting Chief Inspector position with pay differential.  The Union had filed numerous prior grievances on the issue, including one on behalf of the Complainant.  The Complainant also made a complaint of gender discrimination to the Personnel Department.  Hours after she made her initial complaint, the Chief removed supervisory duties from the Complainant and reassigned her to administrative tasks.  The Union filed a grievance, which was ultimately sustained.  After the City indicated it would comply with the decision, the Complainant was reassigned again to a less desirable position.  The Labor Board concluded that the transfer was contrary to the grievance settlement. 

City of Bristol, Decision No. 3876 (7/9/02):  A grievance regarding the expiration date of a civil service examination list was denied at the first two steps, but sustained by the Police Commission at Step 3.  The Personnel Director did not change the expiration date of the list to conform to the Police Commission’s decision.  The City argued that the Police Commission’s action unlawfully altered the Charter, and that the grievance it answered was untimely and outside the scope of the grievance procedure.  The Labor Board concluded that absent clear evidence that a grievance was outside the scope of the contractual grievance procedure, it would not find a grievance invalid on its face.  Similarly, the Board found that while the parties disputed the proper interpretation of the Charter, it was not facially violated by the Police Commission’s actions.  The Labor Board ordered the City to comply with the third step decision of the Police Commission.

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City of Bridgeport, Decision No. 3870 (6/12/02):  The grievant’s supervisor upheld a grievance at the first level, in accordance with the contract.  Thereafter, the grievant claimed that the City had failed to comply with the settlement by filling a position with someone with less seniority.  The City claimed that the supervisor did not have the authority to resolve the grievance or, alternatively, that the supervisor thought he was merely approving the grievance to proceed to the next level.  The Labor Board disagreed, found that the settlement was binding, and issued an appropriate order. 

Town of Middlebury, Decision No. 3844 (10/19/01):  The Union alleged that the Town violated a settlement agreement when it unilaterally allowed a police officer to use a police vehicle to transport his police dog to and from home. The settlement agreement prohibited the use of police vehicles for personal business or commuting. The Labor Board concluded that transporting a police dog constituted business use and therefore dismissed the complaint. 

Metropolitan District Commission, Decision No. 3835 (8/22/01): The Union alleged that the MDC failed to comply with two grievance settlement agreements. One of the agreements provided that the MDC would not directly deal with its employees in contravention of contract provisions without the knowledge of the Union. In that case, the Labor Board concluded that because the Union was aware of, and in fact consented to, the transfer of a bargaining unit member, there was no violation of the settlement agreement.  The other grievance settlement agreement required ratification by both parties before it became effective. By practice, the MDC would wait until the Union ratified, and would not start its ratification process until receiving notice from the Union. Here, although the Union claimed to have notified the MDC, the Labor Board credited the testimony of the MDC witness, who asserted that he did not learn of the Union’s ratification until after a prohibited practice complaint had been filed. Because the settlement agreement never became effective in accordance with its express terms, the Labor Board concluded that the MDC had no duty to comply with it. [Appeal dismissed, AFSCME, Local 3713, Council 4, AFL-CIO v. CSBLR et al., Docket No. CV01 0511015S, (6/25/02, Cohn, H.):  found the Labor Board’s decision was based on substantial evidence and that the Board “must evaluate the evidence and may choose to adopt or reject any particular witness’ testimony in whole or in part.” ] 

Town of Wallingford, Decision No. 3807 (1/31/01):  The Grievant was a rotating shift worker who was required by contract to remain on-site during his paid lunch period. The Town then eliminated his rotating shift, and the Grievant began to work the contractual schedule for day workers, which provided a one-half hour, non-working unpaid lunch period. The Union filed a grievance, which went to arbitration. The arbitration award stated that the Town had the right to implement the schedule change, but was required to negotiate the impact of the change on the Grievant. Pursuant to the award, the Grievant was entitled to "all monies lost to him due to the change in the status of his lunch." The Town maintained that because the Grievant was not required to work during his new lunch period, he was not entitled to any money under the award. The Union took the position that the Grievant was entitled to ½ hour overtime pay for every day since the schedule change. The Labor Board disagreed with both parties, concluding instead that the award required compensation for any unpaid lunch period during which occurred the Grievant actually worked, as well as for any other demonstrable financial loss that may have as a result of the schedule change, such as increased commuting or child care expenses.

 

Town of Hamden, Decision No. 3743 (12/13/99):   A Union member filed a grievance on his own behalf, alleging violations of the promotion and vacancy articles of the contract. As a remedy, he requested a promotion to Inspector with back pay. The grievance procedure of the contract provided that a grievance was deemed sustained if the employer failed to respond at any step within the stated time period. After the time period had elapsed without response, the grievant sought the implementation of the remedy. The Labor Board dismissed the complaint on grounds not argued by the parties. Specifically, the Labor Board concluded that because the grievance concerned a promotional appointment, it involved an illegal subject of bargaining pursuant to Section 7-474(g) of the Act and therefore the Town was not obligated to comply with it.

 

City of Hartford, Decision No. 3730 (9/21/99):  The Union filed a grievance regarding, inter alia, the ability of the bargaining unit to occasionally "flex" the start and end times of their workdays without prior permission. The grievance was sustained in part at Step 2. Subsequently, the Union learned that the City was interpreting the Step 2 decision to require employees to obtain prior permission before occasionally flexing their workdays. The Labor Board agreed with the Union's interpretation of the grievance answer, and ordered the City to comply. [Appeal dismissed, City of Hartford v. HMEA and SBLR, 259 Conn. 251 (2002):  In Decision No. 3730 (1999), the parties had each accepted a decision of a Step 2 hearing officer and opted not to pursue a grievance any further. Later, the parties realized that they had differing interpretations of the decision and the City refused to apply the decision to another employee identically situated. The Labor Board determined that the City had failed to abide by a valid grievance settlement agreement, and issued an appropriate order. On appeal, the Superior Court reversed the Labor Board, finding that (1) a grievance settlement does not include an unappealed Step 2 grievance decision; (2) §7-470(a)(6) of the MERA only requires compliance with respect to the specific circumstances giving rise to the grievance and not to future related disputes; and (3) the Labor Board cannot exercise its jurisdiction over claims arising under §7-470(a)(6) until a grievance has proceeding through arbitration or been abandoned. [City of Hartford v. Hartford Municipal Employees Association, Dkt. No. CV 99 0498806 (12/14/00, Satter, JTR). The Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court on each of the issues, unanimously affirming the Labor Board’s original decision.]

 

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City of Waterbury, Decision No. 3710 (6/28/99):   The collective bargaining agreement in effect between the parties allowed grievances to be filed challenging the application of the City's Civil Service Rules. A grievance challenging the appointment of an employee to an acting supervisory position was sustained at Step 2. The City failed to comply with the grievance decision, claiming it was invalid pursuant to Section 7-474(g) of the Act. The Labor Board did not find any support for the proposition that Section 7-474(g) applies to acting appointments, and therefore concluded that the grievance answer was valid and the City was required to comply with it.

 

Town of South Windsor, Decision No. 3690 (4/30/99):  The Union and the Town entered into a settlement agreement which reduced an employee's disciplinary suspension from six weeks to three weeks and further provided that any unemployment paid to the employee would be a set off. The parties disputed whether the amount of unemployment set off contemplated was three weeks or six weeks. Noting that any ambiguity in the agreement should be construed against the drafter, the Town in this case, the Labor Board found that the proper amount of set off was three weeks of unemployment compensation.

 

City of Middletown, Decision No. 3661 (2/25/99):   Grievances were filed regarding position upgrades on behalf of an employee who was performing duties outside of her regular job classification. It was the responsibility of the City's Common Council to approve new positions and upgrades. A representative of the City responded to the grievancesat Step 1, and concurred with the requested upgrades. The City refused to upgrade the employee pursuant to the Step 1 response, since only the Common Council could approve such upgrades. Although employer representatives at each step of the grievance procedure normally have authority to bind the employer, the Labor Board concluded in this case that the collective bargaining agreement specifically removed the subject of the grievances from the scope of the contractual grievance and arbitration provisions. Therefore, the grievance responses were invalid and not binding on the City.

 

City of Waterbury/Waterbury Board of Education, Decision No. 3653 (1/14/99):  Two probationary employees were dismissed. The Union filed grievances challenging the dismissals. At Step 3 of the grievance procedure, the Personnel Director ordered reinstatement in contravention of express contract language. When the City refused to reinstate the employees, the Union filed a prohibited practice complaint. The Labor Board found that the Personnel Director exceeded his authority, and therefore the grievance settlement was not valid.

 

City of Middletown, Decision No. 3649 (12/21/98):  An arbitration award ordered an employee reinstated to his former position. However, the City had upgraded the position, and at the time the arbitration award was issued, there were no vacant, funded positions for which the employee qualified. The Union filed a prohibited practice complaint, alleging that the City was failing to comply with the award to put the employee back to work. The Labor Board concluded that where a job has been eliminated for a proper reason and not to avoid compliance with an arbitration award or settlement agreement, the employer's failure to reinstate the employee does not violate Section 7-470(a)(6) of the Act.

 

Town of Wallingford, Decision No. 3642 (11/24/98):  The Oakdale Theater, located in Wallingford, utilized constables instead of bargaining unit police officers during events for traffic control dutieson and around its property. The Union claimed that this was work that belonged to the bargaining unit, in part relying on a 1994 grievance settlement agreement which prohibited the use of temporary and nonclassified employees for extra duty assignments. The Labor Board found that because the Oakdale had not requested police coverage, no extra duty work was at issue. The Labor Board noted that there was no evidence that traffic regulation around the Oakdale was within the direction and control of the Town, and therefore the settlement agreement was inapplicable. [Appeal dismissed, Wallingford Police Union, Local 1570, Council 15, AFSCME, AFL-CIO v. Town of Wallingford et al., CV99-494272 (J.D. New Britain, 9/21/99, McWeeny, J.):  The Union appealed the Labor Board’s dismissal of its claim (Decision No. 3642) regarding the Oakdale Theater’s use of constables instead of police officers to direct traffic on event nights.  The court ruled that the Labor Board’s conclusions regarding the Union’s claims were supported by substantial record evidence.  The court also upheld the Labor Board’s refusal to allow the Union to present certain evidence it had deemed irrelevant.]

 

Town of Stratford, Decision No. 3634 (11/5/98):  The Union alleged that the Town's use of temporary workers to fill in for absences of bargaining unit members violated numerous settlement agreements of prohibited practice cases, as well as a prior Labor Board decision and an arbitration award. The Labor Board reviewed the obligations created by the agreements alleged to be violated, then compared the Town's conduct to determine if it complied. The Labor Board concluded that the Town's actions were expressly permitted by a letter of understanding attached to the contract, therefore there was no violation of Section 7-470 (a)(6).

 

City of Bridgeport (Paul LaMonica), Decision No. 3628 (10/9/98):  An employee was appointed to a Foreman III position pursuant to an arbitration award. The employee worked in this capacity until he injured his back. While the employee was out on leave, the Foreman III position was eliminated during a major city-wide layoff. The Union and the employee claimed that the City did not comply with the award by refusing to reinstate the employee to a Foreman III position upon his return to work. The Labor Board disagreed, stating that "[a]n order of reinstatement or appointment from an arbitrator, or a similar obligation created by a settlement agreement does not create lifetime job security." As long as the layoff itself was lawful, the City was within its rights to remove the employee from the position.

 

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Groton Board of Education, Decision No. 3614 (7/31/98):  The Labor Board found that the employer violated a valid grievance settlement agreement by imposing a requirement that medical certificates for sick leave include the nature of the illness or injury. The prior grievances were settled with the understanding that a medical certificate would be satisfactory if it stated only that the injury or illness prevented the employee from going to work.

 

Town of Stratford, Decision No. 3610 (7/14/98):  The Union alleged that the Town violated a 1979 settlement agreement by subcontracting painting of a particular building to an outside source. The settlement agreement had resolved grievances regarding the proper division of labor, including painting, between two different bargaining units in the Town. The Labor Board rejected the Union's claim that a settlement agreement resolving one issue (intra-union allocation of work) was also intended to address a completely different issue (subcontracting to a third party).

 

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3605 (6/8/98):  The Union alleged that the School Board had refused to comply with three memos regarding employee coverage in the maintenance shop. The Labor Board found that there was no evidence to indicate that one of the memos arose as a result of any kind of grievance settlement. The Labor Board found that the other two memos clearly were in settlement of grievances, but concluded that the School Board did not violate them. The complaint was dismissed.

 

Town of Stratford, Decision No. 3600 (5/13/98):  Under the expiring contract, medical certificates ("first certificate") were required for employees who were on sick leave in excess of four consecutive days. The Town had the right to request a "second certificate" if it was dissatisfied with the first. By practice, if a co-pay was required in the course of obtaining a medical certificate, the employee would pay the co-pay for the first certificate and the Town would pay it for the second certificate. A subsequent interest arbitration award which became the successor contract contained significantly increased co-pays, and reduced the number of days of consecutive absence triggering the employee's duty to provide a medical certificate from four to two. Neither party raised the issue of who would pay for medical certificates, although a Town representative appeared to indicate in off-the-record discussions that the Town would pay for both certificates. The Union filed a complaint alleging that the Town failed to comply with the award when it refused to reimburse the co-pay for a first certificate. The Labor Board concluded that absent evidence that the representative's comment was made to deliberately mislead the Union, there was no violation of the Act in continuing the prior practice unchanged. The Board also found that the arbitration panel should not have considered an off-the-record remark in its decision and, therefore, the Town did not fail to comply with a valid provision of an interest arbitration award.

 

Town of Stratford, Decision No. 3587 (3/31/98):  The Labor Board concluded that the settlement agreement in this case was not one over which the Board had jurisdiction. Specifically, the agreement that the Union claimed was violated in this case arose as a result of internal employee complaints rather than from a grievance or arbitration as required by Section 7-470(a)(6) of the Act. Since the settlement agreement did not fall within the statute's purview, the Labor Board concluded that the allegations, even if proven, would constitute a mere breach and not an independent violation of the Act.

 

Town of East Hartford, Decision No. 3571 (1/30/98):  A discharged employee was ordered reinstated and made whole by an arbitration panel. The parties could not agree on whether the back pay was to be calculated from the date of discharge or from the date of the Employer's conditional offer of reinstatement. After the prohibited practice complaint was filed, a settlement was negotiated on the amount of back pay which was later rejected by the Town Council. Because the Town failed to provide explanation or defense to the rejection of the settlement, the Labor Board found a violation and ordered fees and costs.

 

Town of Stratford, Decision No. 3532 (9/23/97):  Four individuals alleged that the Employer had violated the Act by failing and refusing to abide by a grievance arbitration award. The Labor Board found that the Employer had complied with the plain language of the award and dismissed the complaint. Additionally, the Board relied on Trumbull v. Trumbull Police Local, 1 Conn. App. 207 (1983) which states that if an arbitrator's award conforms to the submission, the award will be considered final and binding.

 

City of Waterbury, Decision No. 3593 (4/21/98):   The Union alleged that the Employer failed to abide by a grievance settlement awarding back wages when it refused to pay retroactive overtime. The Labor Board dismissed the complaint, concluding from the language of the settlement agreement that it did not require the Employer to pay retroactive overtime.

 

Town of Stratford, Decision No. 3527 (8/28/97): The Union alleged that the Employer failed to implement certain provisions of a valid arbitration award. The complaint was later amended to allege only that the Employer failed to implement the arbitration award in a timely fashion. In dismissing the complaint, the Labor Board found that the Employer acted expeditiously in implementing the award within six days after receipt.

 

City of Hartford, Decision No. 3503 (5/9/97):  A majority of the Labor Board found that the Employer violated a valid grievance settlement when it failed to timely notify an officer who was the subject of a formal written complaint. The Chairman dissented on the grounds that the formal written complaint was sufficiently vague as to the identity of the alleged wrongdoer so as not to trigger the City's duty to notify within 30 days of the complaint.

 

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Town of Wallingford, Decision No. 3501 (5/5/97):  The Union alleged that Employer took too long to implement the terms of a binding interest arbitration award regarding a retirement plan. The award required the Town to implement a "457 Plan" within 60 days or "as soon as possible" after receipt of the award. The Labor Board found no evidence to suggest that the Town did not implement "as soon as possible."

 

City of Hartford, Decision No. 3471 (2/25/97):  Union alleged that the City had refused to implement an agreement reached between the parties. The Labor Board dismissed, finding that an agreement had not been reached. [Appeal dismissed, Hartford Municipal Employees Association v. City of Hartford and State Board of Labor Relations, CV97-569648 (J.D. Hartford/New Britain at Hartford, 11/30/98, Hartmere, J.):  The Union appealed a decision (No. 3471) by the Labor Board dismissing its complaint that The City had failed to implement a collective bargaining agreement reached between the parties. The Union asserted that agreement was reached in August, and the City’s failure to reject the agreement within thirty days resulted in a binding contract. Two issues were before the court on appeal: (1) whether the Labor Board was correct in its determination that an agreement, as the term is used in Section 7-474(b), was reached on a certain date and not earlier as the Union claimed; and (2) whether the Labor Board was correct in its determination that the City Council had the authority to reject the proposed agreement reached between the parties. The court found that the Labor Board’s decision as to the date an agreement was reached was supported by substantial evidence. In this regard, the court refused to consider the Union’s argument on appeal that an alternative date in September was the date on which agreement was reached, because the Union failed to argue and brief this claim before the Board. With respect to the second issue, the court disagreed that the City Council’s vote was invalid because there was not a quorum as required by Robert’s Rules of Order. The court found that the provisions of MERA established the exclusive method by which a municipal employer rejects a proposed agreement, and the City complied with those procedures. The appeal was dismissed in its entirety.]

 

Town of Stratford, Decision No. 3470 (2/24/97): Union alleged that Town failed to comply with a settlement agreement and an arbitration award. The Labor Board deferred to an arbitration award concerning the same issue.

 

Borough of Jewett City, Decision No. 3468 (2/7/97):  Union alleged that Borough of Jewett City, through its receiver Frances Driscoll, failed to comply with a stipulated arbitration award. Relying on IBPO v. Jewett City, et al, 234 Conn. 123 (1995), the Board found that the awards in question were not arbitration awards pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 7-473c, but were agreements between the parties. The Board further found that there was no valid agreement between the parties because Special Act 93-4 which created the receiver in Jewett City had suspended the provisions of MERA before the expiration of time necessary under MERA for the agreement to become valid. Therefore, the Borough did not violate the Act by failing to implement the stipulated arbitration award.

 

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3465 (1/31/97):  Union alleged that School Board failed to abide by terms of an agreement concerning a "cleaning committee." Labor Board dismissed finding that it did not have jurisdiction over a mere breach of this type of agreement.

 

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3442 (9/30/96):  Union alleged that the School Board violated an arbitration award when it required the Union President to sign in and out of school buildings when he was on Union business. The Labor Board found that the arbitration award did not prohibit the signing requirement and dismissed the allegation.

 

Town of Winchester, Decision No. 3430 (8/16/96):  Union alleged, inter alia, that Town refused to abide by a grievance settlement agreement when it created a Sergeant's position and appointed a less senior employee to the position. Although finding a violation on other issues (see above) the Labor Board dismissed this allegation finding that the requirements of the award had been fulfilled.

 

City of Hartford, Decision No. 3421 (7/11/96):  Union alleged that City had failed to comply with a grievance settlement agreement requiring notice to police officers of formal, written complaints filed against them. Labor Board found that the settlement agreement at issue only applied to formal, written complaints against police officers and that the Union had failed to establish that the investigation of the police officer in question was initiated by a formal written complaint. The complaint was, therefore, dismissed.

 

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3415 (6/28/96):  Labor Board dismissed allegation because the agreement in question was not a grievance settlement agreement and, in any event, School Board had complied with strict requirements of agreement. However, Labor Board cautioned parties that flagrant disregard for agreed upon bargaining procedures could constitute a failure to bargain in good faith.

 

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Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3408 (6/21/96):  Labor Board dismissed allegation that School Board refused to comply with grievance arbitration award because Union made same allegation in other Labor Board case then pending before the Board. The Board also dismissed any allegations concerning previous prohibited practice settlement agreements because those allegations were raised by the Union in other complaints pending before the Board.

 

City of Bridgeport, Decision No. 3400 (5/14/96):   Union alleged that City had refused to comply with grievance settlement agreement that required City to dispatch two truck companies on the initial response to all emergencies by reducing the number of trucks responding to structure fires. The Labor Board dismissed the complaint, finding that no agreement had been reached between the parties on the issue of response to structure fires and therefore, the Union had not proven a refusal to comply with either a grievance settlement agreement or an agreement reached in lieu of a grievance.

 

City of Bridgeport, Decision No. 3395 (5/7/96):  Labor Board found that City refused to comply with a grievance arbitration award ordering City to either recoup overpayments to certain members of the bargaining unit or to pay other bargaining unit members the same amount of pay for the same period. The Board also found the City's defenses to be frivolous and ordered the City to pay the Union's costs of pursuing the matter to the Labor Board.

 

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3389 (4/22/96):  Union alleged that the School Board had failed to comply with two settlement agreements regarding the assignment of maintenance workers. The Labor Board concluded that one "settlement agreement" was merely an internal memorandum over which the Labor Board had no jurisdiction. As for the second settlement agreement, the Labor Board found that the School Board did not violate the agreement and dismissed the complaint.

 

Town of Waterford, Decision No. 3374 (3/21/96):   Union alleged that Town had failed to comply with grievance settlement agreement concerning the demotion and reinstatement of an employee. Labor Board dismissed finding that the clear language of the settlement agreement supported the Employer's position.

 

Town of Plymouth, Decision No. 3361 (2/7/96):  Union alleged that Town had violated a settlement agreement concerning the assignment of Workfare recipients. Labor Board dismissed allegation finding that the evidence did not show that employees had been laid off as a result of the assignment of Workfare recipients and, thus, the settlement agreement was not violated.

 

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3352 (12/26/95):  Union claimed School Board violated the terms of a 1985 agreement when it hired summer help. Labor Board found that the 1985 agreement was a settlement in lieu of a grievance but found that the School Board had complied with the agreement, dismissing the case.

 

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3322 (6/30/95):  Union claimed that School Board violated a grievance settlement agreement by failing to offer to the Union certain painting work within the schools. Labor Board dismissed, finding that Union failed to prove that the alleged agreement resulted from a grievance.

 

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  1. PROHIBITED PRACTICES COMPLAINTS - UNIONS
     

    1. INTERFERENCE, RESTRAINT, COERCION

§7-470 (b) Employee organizations or their agents are prohibited from:  (1) Restraining or coercing (A) employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in subsection (a) of section 7-468, and (B) a municipal employer in the selection of his representative for purposes of collective bargaining or the adjustment of grievances;

 

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3443 (9/30/96) :  Employer alleged that Union restrained and coerced it in its selection of a bargaining representative by threatening to file numerous grievances if the School Board did not suspend Assistant Superintendent, by filing numerous grievances when the School Board did not suspend the individual and by publicly attacking the Assistant Superintendent. Labor Board dismissed these allegations finding that the Union had not threatened to file frivolous grievances and had not violated the Act by merely filing numerous grievances. Additionally Labor Board found that comments by the Union did not violate the Act. [Appeal withdrawn, CV96-565947 (J.D. Hartford/New Britain at Hartford, 12/22/97).]

 

Local 1042, Council 4, AFSCME (Mosby/Bruce), Decision No. 3362 (2/8/96):  Union members alleged that Local Union leader had harassed and threatened them due to their exercise of statutory rights. Labor Board found that Union leader had violated the Act by threatening the members and suspending their membership in the Union. [Appeal dismissed, AFSCME Local 1042, AFL-CIO and John Mosby v. State of Connecticut, Board of Labor Relations and William Bruce, CV96-558873 (J.D. Hartford/New Britain at Hartford, 4/2/97, Maloney, J.): Court affirmed Labor Board Decision No. 3362 (1996) in which it found that Local 1042 had restrained and coerced two union members in their criticism of the Local leadership.]  

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  1. REFUSING TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH

§7-470 (b) Employee organizations or their agents are prohibited from:  (2) refusing to bargain collectively in good faith with a municipal employer, if it has been designated in accordance with the provisions of sections 7-467 to 7-477, inclusive, as the exclusive representative of employees in an appropriate unit;

§7-470 (c) For the purposes of said sections, to bargain collectively is the performance of the mutual obligation of the municipal employer or his designated representatives and the representative of the employees to meet at reasonable times, including meetings appropriately related to the budget-making process, and confer in good faith with respect to wages, hours and other conditions of employment, or the negotiation of an agreement, or any question arising thereunder, and the execution of a written contract incorporating any agreement reached if requested by either party, but such obligation shall not compel either party to agree to a proposal or require the making of a concession.

  1. Information Requests

Town of Stratford, Decision No. 3596 (5/6/98):   The Town alleged that the Union failed to bargain in good faith by failing to provide requested pension information and by breaching a prohibited practice settlement agreement. The Labor Board found that the Union was not in possession of the requested information. The settlement agreement only required the Union to forward questions to the pension plan trustees and to request answers, and the Union complied. The Union was not responsible for the trustees' refusal to provide the requested information.

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3443 (9/30/96):  School Board alleged that the Union bargained in bad faith by: (1) filing inarticulate or clearly non-meritorious grievances; (2) failing to provide relevant information; (3) failing to prepare for arbitration; (4) publishing defamatory statements about management witnesses. Labor Board dismissed allegations concerning grievance filings and allegedly defamatory statements. However, Labor Board found that Union failed to provide School Board with requested relevant information regarding grievances filed for arbitration and that this failure coupled with its lack of preparation for arbitration proceeding constituted bad faith bargaining.

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  1. Repudiation

Town of Groton, Decision No. 4102 (11/29/05):  The Town alleged the Union failed to bargain in good faith, including the repudiation of the collective bargaining agreement, when it asserted a certain position in regard to contract interpretation.  The Labor Board examined its prior decisions in light of two Connecticut Supreme Court decisions, Town of Stratford v. IAFF, 248 Conn. 108 (1999) and Hartford Municipal Employees’ Association v. City of Hartford, 259 Conn. 251 (2002).    The Labor Board found that no violation had occurred.

 

City of Waterbury/Waterbury Board of Education, Decision No. 3653 (1/14/99):  The contract in effect between the parties precluded probationary employees from filing grievances for dismissals occurring during the probationary period. Two probationary employees were dismissed and the Union filed grievances on their behalf. The City and the Board of Education filed a complaint, alleging that by filing the grievances, the Union repudiated clear contract language. The Labor Board agreed, and ordered the Union to reimburse the costs incurred by the City for bringing the prohibited practice complaint. [Appeal withdrawn, CV99-494160 (J.D. New Britain, 7/23/99).]

 

City of Norwalk, Decision No. 3537 (10/9/97):  The Employer claimed that the Union had failed to abide by an agreement and had failed to bargain in good faith by pursuing a grievance directly to arbitration on behalf of a probationary employee (Costabile). The Labor Board found that there was nothing in the contract that required the Union to invoke the grievance procedure for any reason, and as such the Union’s failure to invoke steps one or two, alone, did not violate the Act. Additionally, the Board dismissed the Employer’s claim that the Union breached or repudiated the agreement entered into in October 1995, which extended the probationary period for Firefighter Costabile for an additional six months. The record gave no indication that the agreement was either a grievance or arbitration settlement and the parties did not make that argument, therefore the Board had no jurisdiction to hear a claim regarding mere breach of the agreement. The Labor Board did find that the Union repudiated Article 14 of the contract by pursuing Costabile's grievance to arbitration, because the contract language was clear that probationary employees do not have the right to take their dismissal grievances to arbitration. Although the Board found the Union’s theory to border on frivolous, the Union’s defenses did not entirely lack a legal basis, and the City’s request for fees and costs was denied. Chairman Sauter dissented on the issue of fees and costs.

 

Town of Killingly, Decision No. 3526 (8/28/97):   The Employer claimed that each of the more than 80 grievances filed by the Union were frivolous in that they were filed in contravention of various arbitration awards, settlement agreements, contract language and past practices. The Labor Board concluded that only four grievances were filed in violation of the Act. The Labor Board also dismissed the Union’s cross complaints alleging that the Employer’s litigation was motivated by anti-union animus and that the Employer had threatened to retaliate against employees for filing grievances.

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  1. Other

Local 1186, Council 4, AFSCME, Decision No. 3997 (8/27/04):  The Board of Education alleged the Union violated its duty to bargain in good faith by refusing, during contract negotiations, to delete a provision interpreted by the Board of Education to be non-mandatory.  The Board of Education argued that the provision required the illegal destruction of public documents.  The Union argued that the provision only required removal of documents from a personnel file, not the actual destruction of documents.  The Board reviewed the law concerning destruction of documents and determined that the provision could be interpreted to allow the legal removal of the documents from a file without violating the record retention requirements.  As such, the Union was free to insist on bargaining regarding the subject and the complaint was dismissed.

CIPU, Local #11 (Motion to Dismiss), Case No. MEPP-21,843):  The employer alleged the Union bargained in bad faith and refused to comply with an arbitration award.  The Union filed a motion to dismiss in light of the holding of the Connecticut Supreme Court in Town of Stratford v. IAFF, 248 Conn. 108 (1999).  The Board denied the Union’s motion to dismiss.

 

Bloomfield Board of Education, Decision No. 3336 (9/19/95):  Employer claimed that Union failed to bargain in good faith by failing to affirmatively support ratification of a tentative collective bargaining agreement. Labor Board dismissed finding that in the absence of a mutually agreed upon ground rule to the contrary, it is not a prohibited practice for an individual member of a negotiating team to oppose ratification of a proposed contract agreed to by a majority of the negotiating team. 

 

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  1. DUTY OF FAIR REPRESENTATION

§7-470 (b) Employee organizations or their agents are prohibited from:  (3) breaching their duty of fair representation pursuant to section 7-468;

 

Council 4, AFSCME, AFL-CIO (Bligh), Decision No. 4066 (7/28/05):  The Complainant alleged the Union breached its duty of fair representation when it filed a grievance seeking a remedy which would have lowered her hourly wage and did not seek to lower similarly situated bargaining unit members’ hourly wages and refused to provide her with representation.  The Labor Board found the Union acted discriminatorily and in bad faith and therefore breached its duty of fair representation.  The Labor Board ordered the Union to pay the Complainant reasonable attorneys’ fees. [Appeal pending]

 

Council 4, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Decision No. 4033 (3/29/05):  Complainant alleged the Union failed to represent her regarding her termination from employment.  The evidence showed that the Union represented the Complainant during her employment on several grievances until the Complainant waived her right to representation upon hiring her own attorney.  Thereafter the Union resumed representation of the Complainant at her request.  After failing to contact the Union upon repeated requests, the Union withdrew the Complainant’s grievances.  The Board found that the evidence did not support a finding that the Union violated its duty of fair representation.

 

City of Bridgeport and Local 834, IAFF, Decision No. 4013 (12/2/04):  Complainant alleged that Union violated its duty of fair representation by entering into an agreement with the City concerning consolidation of certain positions.  The Labor Board dismissed finding no evidence that the Union acted arbitrarily or in bad faith.

 

City of Bridgeport and Bridgeport City Supervisors Association, Decision No. 4008 (11/2/04):  Employee alleged that the Union failed to represent him concerning his layoff.  The evidence showed that the Union filed a grievance on the employee’s behalf and the employee waived Union representation when he hired his own private attorney.  Although the Union informed the Complainant that he did not have bumping rights pursuant to the contract, this action does not violate the Union’s duty inasmuch as the statement may be a correct interpretation of the contract and the fact that no evidence existed to conclude that the Union was acting arbitrarily or in bad faith.

Town of Hamden and CILU, Local 48, Decision No. 3968 (4/12/04):  The Complainant was a town hall employee who sought to be included in the bargaining unit.  The Town and the Union sighed a recognition agreement that included the title of Office Manager and a job description.  The position was being negotiated mid-term.  The Complainant alleged that the Union failed in its duty of fair representation because, upon completion of negotiations with the Town, the position was reclassified as Clerk/Typist (Range 2).  The Complainant additionally claimed that the Union failed to keep her apprised of the dates the parties were negotiating her position within the union, that it failed to discuss the job functions with her or her supervisors during the negotiations, and that it was unable to get her position automatically classified as a civil service position.  The Complainant failed to produce any evidence that the Union’s conduct was arbitrary, discriminatory, or in bad faith.  As such, the Labor Board found the Union had not breached its duty of fair representation.

 

Connecticut Independent Labor Union, Decision No. 3925 (9/8/03):  The Complainant alleged that the Union violated its duty of fair representation when it withdrew an appeal to the Hartford Superior Court seeking to vacate an arbitration award without consent of the Board of the local Union.  The Complainant alleged that the Union’s withdrawal of the appeal without approval was a breach of the Union’s constitution.  In support of its decision to withdraw the appeal, the Union presented evidence that it sought advice from its legal counsel who informed the Union that the likelihood of success of the motion to vacate was very small.  The Labor Board held that the Union’s decision was not arbitrary because it was made after the Union sought and received informed opinions on the likelihood of success.  As for the claim that the Union breached its constitution, the Labor Board found that the evidence did not support such a conclusion. 

 

Local 1522 and 1303-321 and City of Bridgeport, Decision No. 3898 (2/13/03): The Complainant alleged that the City and the Union had violated the Act when the Complainant was not returned to a position with the City pursuant to a settlement agreement.  In a prior prohibited practice decision, the Labor Board had dismissed a complaint alleging that the City had failed to abide by a settlement agreement concerning the Complainant.  Another prohibited practice complaint filed by the Union alleging a failure to provide backpay was withdrawn.  In this case, the Labor Board found that no evidence was presented to support a finding that the City or the Union had violated the Act.

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City of New Haven (Francine Smith),  Decision No. 3852 (12/13/01):  The Complainant was a 10 month employee who applied for and accepted a 12 month position in a different job title. She was informed by the personnel department that she could remain on a transfer list for her old job title in the hope that a 12 month position in that title would become available. A number of months later, the Complainant learned that she had been given erroneous information, and that she was not eligible to remain on the transfer list. The Union placed the matter before the Civil Service Commission and reached a potential settlement with the City that the Complainant refused to accept. Under these circumstances, the Labor Board did not find that the Union breached its duty of fair representation.

 

CFEPE/AFT/AFL-CIO (McGhee), Decision No. 3829 (6/6/01):   The Complainant alleged that the Union coerced him into signing an agreement settling his termination grievance. The Labor Board credited the testimony of the Union witnesses, and concluded that the Complainant voluntarily signed the agreement. [Appeal dismissed, check this

 

Locals 538 & 704, Council 4, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, Decision No. 3825 (5/24/01):
The Complainant filed a federal court action alleging employment discrimination, and sought a 30 day leave of absence to work on his case. The employer requested to meet with the Complainant first, who refused. He was then placed on administrative leave. Thereafter, the Complainant did not respond to his employer or his Union regarding investigatory interviews and pre-disciplinary conferences, and was ultimately terminated. The Union voted not to take the Complainant’s grievance to arbitration, based on its poor probability of success on the merits. Because this assessment was not arbitrary or discriminatory, the Labor Board concluded that the Union did not breach its duty of fair representation.

Council 4, AFSCME, AFL-CIO (Talwar), Decision No. 3782 (8/1/00):   The Complainant alleged that the Union breached its duty of fair representation because of the length of time that it took to process his grievances. The Labor Board did not find that the delays were motivated by hostility or discrimination and therefore dismissed the complaint.

Local 3713, Council 4, AFSCME, AFL-CIO (Fulco), Decision No. 3760 (4/17/00):
The Complainant in this case alleged that the Union breached its duty of fair representation by failing to pursue a grievance regarding certain pension credit, thereby forcing the Complainant to pursue a private action at his own expense. The Labor Board concluded that the Union’s decision not to pursue the grievance was not made for arbitrary, discriminatory or bad faith reasons. The fact that the employer ultimately settled the Complainant’s private cause of action in his favor and extended the benefit to other employees was not determinative of the Union’s actions with regard to the grievance.

City of Milford (Dowd), Decision No. 3701 (6/10/99):  The Complainant alleged that the Union breached its duty of fair representation by failing to submit certain documents at a grievance arbitration. The Labor Board dismissed the allegation on the grounds that the conduct of a Union representative at a hearing will not establish a breach of the duty of fair representation unless it is shown to have been motivated by hostility, discrimination or bad faith.

Local 1522, Council 4, AFSCME (Jackson), Decision No. 3646 (12/15/98): The Labor Board granted the Union’s motion to dismiss because the Complainant offered no evidence whatsoever to support his allegations that the Union had failed to represent him. The only evidence the Complainant offered demonstrated that although he was terminated and suspended from employment numerous times, he was reinstated twice and his recent termination grievance was currently pending in arbitration.

Rudolph D’Ambrosio and Local 497, NAGE/IBPO, Decision No. 3611 (7/24/98):   The Complainant urged the Labor Board to adopt a two pronged test to evaluate whether a union has breached its duty of fair representation by refusing to process a grievance to arbitration. The first prong would involve an "objective assessment" of whether the grievance was valid, and the second prong would shift the burden to the Union to demonstrate that it had "reasonable justification" for not filing to arbitration. The Labor Board rejected this test, relying instead on the well established principle that a union does not breach its duty by failing or refusing to file a grievance to arbitration unless the Complainant can show that the union’s processing of the grievance was undertaken in bad faith or was arbitrary or discriminatory.

City of Norwalk, Decision No. 3576 (2/19/98):  An individual complainant alleged that the Union failed to properly notify him of a time limit on bumping rights and improperly entered into an agreement which affected his employment status. The Complainant also alleged that the Employer should be held liable for the union's breach of its duty of fair representation. The Labor Board found that the Complainant was on notice of his rights but chose to ignore what was happening. Further, the Board found that the Union had a legitimate interest in entering into an agreement setting a final date for the exercise of bumping rights. The complaint was dismissed against both Respondents.

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Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3586 (3/26/98):  Two bargaining unit employees, Siok and Folsom, filed complaints against the Union and its President for engaging in a pattern of harassment and coercion in retaliation for their exercise of protected rights and for failing to fulfill the duty of fair representation. The Labor Board found that the Union and its President illegally suspended the Complainants from the Union, fined them, threatened them with litigation, filed prohibited practice complaints against them and sought employer discipline against them. The Labor Board found no evidence that the Employer had engaged in collusion with the Union. [Case remanded for determination of attorney fees, Local 1042, AFSCME, Council 4 v. State Board of Labor Relations, CV99-493379 (J.D. New Britain, 6/2/99, McWeeny, J.), see Decision on Remand No. 3586-A:  The Union appealed a decision of the Labor Board (3586) wherein the Union was ordered to reimburse the individual complainants their attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in defending the unlawful actions of the Union. The Union made two claims on appeal. First, the Union argued that the Labor Board did not have the statutory authority to order such relief. Second, assuming the Labor Board did have such authority, the Union claimed that it was error for the Labor Board to fail to provide for a procedural mechanism by which the Union could challenge the reasonableness of the fees requested. The court ruled that an order of fees and costs was well within the Labor Board’s remedial authority. However, the court remanded the case to the Labor Board for the limited purpose of determining the specific amount of attorneys’ fees and other costs due pursuant to the Board’s order  Local 1042, Council 4, AFSCME, AFL-CIO v. State of Connecticut Labor Department, Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations, Dkt. No. CV 01 0508535 (1/10/02, Schuman, J.):   In Local 1042, Council 4, AFSCME, AFL-CIO v. Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations, Dkt. No. 0493379 (6/1/99, McWeeny, J.), the trial court affirmed an order of attorney’s fees to the prevailing Complainant by the Labor Board in Decision No. 3596, but remanded the case for a hearing limited to a determination of the specific amount of such fees. In Decision No. 3586-A, the Labor Board ordered that the Plaintiff pay $9,279.34 in fees to the Complainant. The Plaintiff appealed, challenging the award of any fees after June 15, 1993, when allegedly the Complainant was no longer being represented by counsel. The trial court affirmed the Labor Board’s order of fees for this period of time, concluding that counsel was advising the Complainant even though counsel did not appear at any more Labor Board hearings.]

East Haven Supervisors, Local 818 (Mauro), Decision No. 3541 (10/21/97): Complainant alleged that the Union had violated its duty of fair representation by filing internal union charges against him and by expelling him from membership because of his alleged activity on behalf of a rival labor organization. The Labor Board found that no adverse action had been taken against the Complainant by the Union nor had he suffered any adverse discriminatory action in his employment. Therefore, pursuant to substantial federal precedent, the Board concluded that the Union had not violated MERA.

City of Waterbury (Local 3804, Council 4, AFSCME, AFL-CIO), Decision No. 3496 (4/28/97):  Individuals alleged that Union violated the duty of fair representation by challenging their promotions in a grievance without a vote taken by the Executive Board of the Union in accordance with the Union’s bylaws. The Labor Board found that the Union violated the duty of fair representation because of the arbitrary nature of the Union’s actions which were compounded by a series of actions that compelled the conclusion that the Union acted in bad faith. [Appeal sustained, Waterbury Firefighters Association Local 1339 v. Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations et al., CV97-570953 (J.D. Hartford/New Britain at Hartford, 5/6/98, McWeeny, J.):  The court sustained the Union’s appeal insofar as it found that the Labor Board erred in finding a breach of the Union’s duty of fair representation based upon the Union’s failure to abide by its own bylaws and constitution in processing grievances. The Labor Board concluded that such a failure constituted bad faith or arbitrary conduct sufficient to breach the duty of fair representation. The court found that the Labor Board’s decision (No. 3496) in this regard was inconsistent with the decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court in Labbe v. Hartford Pension Commission, 239 Conn. 168 (1996), which stated in pertinent part that "a union's actions are arbitrary only if, in light of the factual and legal landscape at the time of the union's actions, the union's behavior is so far outside a wide range of reasonableness . . . as to be irrational."]. 

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  1. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH A SETTLEMENT

§7-470(b) Employee organizations or their agents are prohibited from:  (4) refusing to comply with a grievance settlement, or arbitration settlement, or a valid award or decision of an arbitration panel or arbitrator rendered in accordance with the provisions of section 7-472.

 

CIPU, Local #11 (Motion to Dismiss), Case No. MEPP-21,843):  The employer alleged the Union bargained in bad faith and refused to comply with an arbitration award.  The Union filed a motion to dismiss in light of the holding of the Connecticut Supreme Court in Town of Stratford v. IAFF, 248 Conn. 108 (1999).  The Board denied the Union’s motion to dismiss.

 

Town of Killingly, Decision No. 3526 (8/28/97):  The Employer claimed that each of the more than 80 grievances filed by the Union were frivolous in that they were filed in contravention of various arbitration awards, settlement agreements, contract language and past practices. The Labor Board concluded that only four grievances were filed in violation of the Act. The Labor Board also dismissed the Union’s cross complaints alleging that the Employer’s litigation was motivated by anti-union animus and that the Employer had threatened to retaliate against employees for filing grievances.

 

New Haven Board of Education, Decision No. 3356 (1/17/96):  School Board alleged that Union was repudiating arbitration award by pursuing to arbitration issues that had been fully resolved by previous arbitration award. Labor Board found that Union repudiated prior award and ordered Union to pay fees and costs of bringing the matter before the Labor Board. [Appeal dismissed, AFSCME Council 4, Local 287 v. State Board of Labor Relations et al., 49 Conn. App. 513 (1998):  The Union failed or refused to withdraw numerous grievances regarding overtime elimination despite four arbitrators’ rulings that the employer had the right to eliminate overtime pursuant to the contract. The Labor Board’s decision (No. 3356) found that the Union repudiated the contract and it ordered the Union to reimburse fees and costs to the employer associated with arbitrating grievances that should have been withdrawn. The trial court sustained the Board’s decision, including the remedy of fees and costs. AFSCME, Council 4 v. Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations, et. al., CV96 0558128 (J.D. Hartford/New Britain at Hartford, 11/26/96, McWeeny, J.) The Appellate Court affirmed, finding substantial evidence on the record to support the Board’s conclusions. In addition, the Appellate Court concluded that the award of fees and costs was "well within the discretion of the Board.]

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  1. MISCELLANEOUS
     

    1. PROCEDURAL
       

      1. Burdens of Proof

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3513 (6/10/97):  The Labor Board dismissed this case because the Union failed to present sufficient evidence to support any of its allegations. The decision contains a lengthy concurring opinion by member Grebey regarding abuse of the Board's processes.
 

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3563 (1/5/98):   The Labor Board dismissed these cases from the bench after concluding that the Unions failed to sustain their burdens of proof on the complaints. The Labor Board also did not permit the Unions to amend their complaints at the hearing to add or change allegations. Although the Labor Board has traditionally been liberal with regard to complaint amendments, the Board noted that Respondents should at least be aware of the matters they are expected to defend. 

  1. Ex Parte Communications

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3489 (4/2/97):  Labor Board administratively reopened a closed case after an ex parte communication from the Union. The School Board objected and after hearing, the Labor Board dismissed the complaint finding that the Union had failed to rebut the presumption of prejudice to the School Board of the ex parte communication.

 

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3397 (5/8/96):  Labor Board administratively reopened a closed case after an ex parte communication from the Union. The School Board objected and after hearing, the Board dismissed the case finding that the Union had failed to rebut the presumption of prejudice to the School Board of the ex parte communication.

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  1. Failure to Prosecute

Local 704, Council 4, AFSCME, AFL-CIO (Bostick), Decision No. 3770 (5/18/00):
The Complainant had filed a complaint against her Union alleging a breach of the duty of fair representation. After the requisite preliminary steps had been taken, the case was scheduled for a hearing before the Labor Board. Despite proof that the Complainant had received notice of the hearing date, she failed to appear to prosecute her complaint. The Labor Board therefore dismissed the complaint.

Council 4, AFSCME, AFL-CIO (Sharon Harper), Decision No. 3752 (3/27/00):
The Complainant filed a complaint against her union in May of 1992. At the Complainant’s request, a hearing before the Labor Board was held in abeyance pending the issuance of an arbitration award. Almost five years later, the Labor Board contacted the Complainant, who expressed an interest in proceeding with her case. A hearing was scheduled, which was postponed by the Complainant. At the next scheduled hearing, the Complainant requested additional time in order to obtain new legal representation, which the Labor Board granted. Thereafter, the Complainant indicated that she wished to proceed pro se, and another hearing date was scheduled. At that time, the Complainant indicated that she was unable to proceed because she did not have her files. The Labor Board dismissed her complaint from the bench for failing to diligently prosecute her complaint.

Local 749, Council 4, AFSCME (Carlson), Decision No. 3544 (10/29/97):  Complainant alleged that the Union breached its duty of fair representation by failing to comply with the grievance procedure under the collective bargaining agreement, in which Complainant was the subject of a grievance filed against her as a supervisor. A hearing was scheduled, which Complainant requested postponed. The request for postponement was denied by the Labor Board and Complainant was informed that if she did not appear at the hearing, her complaint would be dismissed. Complainant failed to appear at the scheduled hearing and the complaint was dismissed for Complainant’s failure to proceed.

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  1. Other

Town of Wilton (Motion for Deferral), Case No. MPP-23,463 (7/1/03):  The Town filed a motion for deferral due to the pendency of a related lawsuit in federal district court.  The Labor Board found the two actions were grounded in two separate bodies of law and denied the motion.

Borough of Naugatuck (Motion to Dismiss), Case No. MPP-22,693 (1/3/03): The Complainant alleged the employer violated the Act by interfering, restraining and coercing the Complainant in the exercise of his statutory rights.  The employer filed a motion to dismiss alleging the Complainant failed to comply with the instructions of the assistant agent and amend his complaint.  The Board denied the motion but ordered the Complainant to file an amended complaint.

City of Waterbury (Evidentiary Ruling), Decision No. MPP-22,454 (10/17/02):  At the formal hearing, the Union attempted to introduce a surreptitious tape recording and transcript of a conversation between a supervisor, employee, and union representative.  In the limited circumstances of this case, the Board entertained the possibility of admitting the tape subject to proper authentication.

Town of New Milford, Decision No. 3837 (9/7/01):  The Union filed a complaint alleging that the Town had unlawfully terminated a bargaining unit member in retaliation for his actions during contract negotiations. The Town filed a counter-complaint and a Motion to Strike and Motion In Limine, claiming that the Union was precluded by the parties’ ground rules from presenting evidence and testimony regarding what happened during off-the-record contract negotiations. The Labor Board found that the purpose of the ground rule was to facilitate bargaining and to prevent off-the-record negotiations from being used in subsequent interest arbitration proceedings. The Labor Board concluded that the ground rules could not be used to bar the Union from attempting to prove its allegations of a serious statutory violation. The Labor Board dismissed the Town’s complaint and Motions, leaving the merits of the Union’s complaint for another hearing.

Town of Orange (Procedural Order), Case No. MPP-20,273 (9/22/99):  The Union alleged the Town violated the Act when it sub-contracted bargaining unit work.  The parties entered a full stipulation of facts and exhibits and waived their right to an evidentiary hearing.  The Labor Board ordered the parties to appear and present evidence.

Town of Wallingford (Procedural Order), Case No. MPP-18,777(3/2/98):  The Union alleged the Town unilaterally changed working conditions in violation of the Act.  At the formal hearing, the Union made a motion to amend its complaint to include another allegation.  The Labor Board granted the motion to amend, but noted:  “Although amendments to complaints have been liberally allowed in the past, it does not endorse untimely filings and will scrutinize amendments and any other filings presented on the eve of hearing or in any other manner which indicates a lack of due diligence on the part of the presenter.”

Borough of Naugatuck (Motion to Preclude), Case No. MPP-17,699 (3/17/97):  The Union alleged the employer failed to implement a memorandum of agreement in violation of the Act.  The Board of Burgesses made a motion to preclude the mayor from the proceedings for lack of standing.  The Mayor made a motion to preclude the Burgesses from the hearing.  The Labor Board dismissed both motions.

Municipal Employees Union Independent (MEUI) (Motion to Quash), Case No. MUPP-18,304 (3/12/97):  The Complainant alleged the Union violated its duty of fair representation.  The Complainant then requested the Agent issue subpoenas to the Superintendent of Schools and his secretary.  The School Board filed a motion to quash the subpoenas.  The Labor Board found the request for subpoenas to be overly broad and unrelated to the complaint and granted the motion. 

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  1. INTERIM RELIEF

City of New London, Decision No. 4080 (8/30/05):  The Union filed a complaint alleging the City unilaterally changed the table of organization resulting in a reduction in staffing levels and refused to bargain over the safety impacts of the change in staffing.  The Union requested interim relief pursuant to §7-471-36 of the Regulations of State Agencies.  The Labor Board analyzed the request by considering the following four factors:  harm to the complainant if an interim order is not issued; including whether irreparable injury, loss or damage will result; the harm to the respondent if an interim order is issued; the probability of success on the merits by the complainant; and the interest of the public.  The Labor Board dismissed the request.

Local 2267, Council 4, AFSCME, Decision No. 4060 (6/29/05):  The School Board filed a complaint alleging the Union violated the Act by coercing the School Board in its selection of a representative for purposes of collective bargaining and refusing to negotiate over a mandatory subject of bargaining and requested interim relief.  The Labor Board considered the four factors relevant to analysis of a request for interim relief and denied such request.

Town of East Hartford, Decision No. 3853 (1/7/02):  The Union filed a complaint alleging that the employer had unilaterally implemented the use of bargaining unit members in a "Regional Traffic Unit" and by using non-bargaining unit members to perform bargaining unit work. The Union alleged that interim relief was necessary because the bargaining unit members would suffer irreparable harm as a result of the unilateral action. The Labor Board concluded that there was no evidence to establish that the members of the bargaining unit would be exposed to physical danger or be subject to foreign disciplinary standards while participating in a mutual aid situation. Furthermore, the evidence appeared to show that the bargaining unit had participated for many years in similar situations and therefore there was no probability of success on the merits of the complaint.

City of Meriden, Decision No. 3819 (4/12/01): The Union alleged that the City was failing to comply with a settlement agreement concerning Community Police Officers, and petitioned for interim relief seeking to prevent the City from assigning Community Police Officers to replace absent patrol post officers. The Union argued that its credibility in the eyes of its membership would suffer if interim relief was not granted. The Labor Board found that such a general assertion of irreparable harm was insufficient to justify interim relief and dismissed the petition.

City of Bridgeport, Decision No. 3797 (10/19/00):  The Union filed a Petition for Interim Relief, seeking to enjoin the City from implementing a new attendance policy. The Labor Board found no evidence to suggest that the Union would be irreparably harmed if interim relief was not granted.

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3724 (8/31/99):  The School Board filed a complaint against the Union, alleging that the Union had failed to bargain in good faith during successor contract negotiations by insisting on changes to a tentative agreement that had been ratified by the Union. The School Board filed a petition for interim relief, seeking the imposition of the tentative agreement and the cessation of binding interest arbitration procedures. The Labor Board concluded that the School Board had failed to establish that such extraordinary relief was warranted on the record presented.

City of Hartford, Decision No. 3704 (6/23/99):  The Union filed a petition for interim relief, seeking to stop the City’s creation of a new economic development commission which the Union claimed was either an unlawful transfer of bargaining unit work or was an alter ego of the previously existing redevelopment department which would require staffing at the new agency by bargaining unit members. The Labor Board examined each of the factors set forth in the regulations justifying interim relief, and determined that the Union had failed to demonstrate that it was warranted in this case.

City of Hartford, Decision No. 3591 (4/17/98):  The Employer filed a petition for interim relief, alleging that by refusing to submit a tentative agreement and threatening to take a vote of "no confidence" against the Police Chief, the Union had failed to bargain in good faith and had interfered with, restrained and coerced employees in the exercise of their collective bargaining rights. The Labor Board concluded that the Employer had failed to meet the standard to justify granting the petition, namely a probability of success on the merits and irreparable harm. 

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  1. JURISDICTION

City of North Haven, Decision No. 3855 (2/1/02):  The Union changed legal representation after its complaint had been investigated by an Assistant Agent of the Labor Board. A recommendation for dismissal of the complaint was filed, but was inadvertently sent to the former legal counsel. Current counsel did not receive the notice until the day before the expiration of the 14 day period set forth in the Board’s regulations to object to recommendations for dismissal. The Labor Board concluded that the Union’s objections were timely filed, because they were filed within 14 days of the date the Union’s current attorney received proper notice of the recommendation for dismissal.

City of Milford, Decision No. 3736 (10/20/99):  The Union timely postmarked its appeal of the Agent’s recommendation for dismissal of its complaint. However, the Labor Board did not receive the Union’s appeal until after the expiration of the fourteen day appeal period established by Board regulation. The Labor Board refused to find that the appeal was timely based on the date it was placed in the mail, but rather followed the reasoning in City of Stamford, Decision No. 3456 (1996), and held that the appeal must be delivered to the Labor Board within the time period in order to be considered timely.

Town of Plainfield, Decision No. 3709 (6/25/99):   The Union alleged that the employer had violated Section 7-470(a)(6) of the Act by failing to comply with an interest arbitration award. The Labor Board noted that Section 7-470(a)(6) makes it a prohibited practice to fail to comply with a grievance arbitration award rendered pursuant to Section 7-472 of the Act. The interest arbitration award in question was rendered in accordance with Section 7-473c of the Act, and therefore was not covered by Section 7-470(a)(6).

City of Milford (Richard Dowd), Decision No. 3701 (6/10/99):  The Complainant alleged that the City unilaterally changed the manner in which disability pensions were granted. The Labor Board concluded that it lacked jurisdiction over the Pension Board, a wholly separate entity from the City, who had control over the administration of the pension plan.

Town of Groton, Decision No. 3623 (9/18/98): The Town’s complaint against the Union was dismissed because the objection to the Agent’s recommendation for dismissal was filed after the fourteen day time period had elapsed. Although the Town argued that poor mail service was responsible for the delay, the Labor Board stated that the regulations did not permit the Board any discretion to waive the time lines, citing City of Stamford, Decision No. 3456 (1996). [Appeal dismissed, Town of Groton v. State Board of Labor Relations and Groton Municipal Employees Union, CV98-492626 (J.D. New Britain, 7/6/99, McWeeny, J.)].

City of Stamford, Decision No. 3456 (12/4/96):   Individual Union filed complaints alleging various violations of Act. The Agent of the Labor Board recommended dismissal of the complaints and complainants did not appeal in timely fashion pursuant to Section 7-471-24 of the Regulations. Labor Board found that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the cases because the parties had failed to file timely appeals and the Regulations do not provide for the parties to waive the time limits imposed by that section.

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  1. REMEDY

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3586-A (4/5/01):  The Labor Board issued a make whole remedy against the Union for illegally discriminating and retaliating against two bargaining unit members. The remedy included the reimbursement of attorney fees to the complainants. The Union appealed, and the court affirmed the Labor Board’s order but remanded the case back to the Board for a determination of the amount of fees due. On remand, the Labor Board reviewed the fee request for reasonableness, and ultimately awarded the complainant $9,279.34. [Appeal pending, Local 1042, Council 4, AFSCME v. State Board of Labor Relations, CV01-508535, J.D. New Britain].

Town of Southington, Decision No. 3685-A (8/10/00):   In Decision No. 3685, the Labor Board found that the Town had unlawfully imposed a new work schedule. The Labor Board ordered the Town, inter ail, to rescind any discipline that had been assessed against any employee for failing to comply with the unilateral schedule change. In compliance proceedings, the Town argued that it was not required to rescind the termination of a particular employee to comply with the Board’s order, because the employee had been terminated pursuant to a "last chance" agreement rather than for failing to comply with the schedule change. The Labor Board concluded that if not for the unilateral schedule change, the Town would not have had any reason to apply the terms of the "last chance" agreement to the employee. The Town also argued that the Labor Board should defer to the arbitration award upholding the termination, but the Labor Board concluded that the issue of whether the schedule change constituted unlawful unilateral action was not considered by the arbitrators. The Labor Board therefore ordered the Town to reinstate the employee without back pay.

Town of Groton, Procedural Ruling (5/12/00):  In Decision No. 3623, the Labor Board ordered the Town to remedy its unilateral change in the method of compensating two employees by paying the employees the difference between the original and the modified pay rates. During compliance proceedings regarding the Labor Board’s order, the Town claimed that the successor collective bargaining agreement terminated its back pay liability because it set forth the negotiated pay rate for the employees in question. The Union moved to preclude this defense, claiming that the Town was trying to reopen the original hearing for additional evidence and should be estopped from raising a defense that was available to it during the original hearing on the merits before the Labor Board. While the Board was puzzled that the parties would have neglected to raise this relevant evidence earlier, the Labor Board denied the Motion to Preclude because it was an appropriate consideration during the compliance phase of the proceedings.

Town of Trumbull, Decision No. 3750 (3/7/00): Pursuant to Section 7-471-61 of the Board’s regulations, the parties waived the holding of a hearing and stipulated to a consent order regarding the Town’s deduction of certain monies from employees’ pay.

Town of East Hartford, Decision No. 3680 (4/6/99):  Pursuant to Section 7-471-61 of the Board’s regulations, the parties waived the holding of a hearing and stipulated to a consent order regarding the disciplinary records of a bargaining unit member.

Town of Hamden, Decision No. 3469 (2/21/97):  Board issued a consent order obligating Town to pay certain amounts to individual Union members.

Norwalk Board of Education, Decision No. 3506 (5/19/97): The Labor Board dismissed the Union’s claims, finding no evidence presented to support the allegations. In response to the Employer’s request for fees and costs, the Labor Board concluded that its enabling statute did not provide it with the authority to award fees and costs against a Complainant who engages in frivolous and/or vexatious litigation in the absence of a prohibited practice complaint filed against the Complainant on such grounds.

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