L.R.B rules against Boston

On February 9, 2010 The Labor Relations Board decided whether the Boston School Committee violated Section 10(a)(5) of M.G.L. c.150E when it delayed providing to the Boston Teachers Union, Local 66 information the Union requested in preparation for an upcoming bargaining unit employee disciplinary hearing.

On December 2, 2005, the Union sent an information request to the School Committee seeking information pertaining to bargaining unit member to prepare for a disciplinary hearing that was scheduled for December of 2005. By letter dated December 9, 2005, the School Committee refused to provide the information.

In deciding the case, the Division of Labor Relations stated “The duty of the employer to bargain in good faith with its employees’ exclusive bargaining representative includes the duty to provide information upon request, so long as that information is relevant and reasonably necessary to the union to fulfill its bargaining representative function. Board of Trustees, University of Massachusetts (Amherst), 8 MLC 1139 (1981).

Here, there is no dispute that the requested information was relevant and reasonably necessary to the Union to fulfill its bargaining representative function.

I find that the School Committees delay in providing the information was inexcusable. As the Employer apparently concedes, the information related to bargaining unit discipline is clearly relevant and reasonably necessary to the Union in its role as exclusive bargaining representative. Thus, there is simply no excuse for forcing the Union to file charges and to proceed to a disciplinary hearing and begin arbitration before the School Committee provided the information to the Union for use in the Maher proceedings. Accordingly, I find that the School Committee unreasonably delayed providing the Union with relevant and reasonably necessary information and I find that the School Committee has refused to bargain in good faith, in violation of Section 10(a) (5), and, derivatively, Section 10(a)(1) of the Law.
CONCLUSION

Based on the record, and for the reasons stated above, I conclude that the School Committee violated Section 10(a)(5) and, derivatively, Section 10(a)(1) of the Law in the manner alleged in the complaint.”

Commentary

As stated in the case, if the request for information from the union is reasonably related to the matter at hand, a denial or unreasonable delay in providing the information will result in an Unfair Labor Practice charge being filed.

Attorney Ronald A. Sellon

About Attorney Ronald A. Sellon

Ronald A. Sellon is a licensed Attorney in the state of Massachusetts and U.S. District Court, Massachusetts as well as a Sergeant with a Municipal Police Department and U.S. military Veteran. Additionally, he has taught Criminal Procedure at the Massachusetts State Police Academy in New Braintree and has written a text on Criminal Procedure for police field training officer programs. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, was a 2008 recipient of the Massachusetts Coalition of Police (Mass C.O.P.) Presidents award and holds a Bachelors Degree in Law Enforcement, a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice Administration, and a Juris Doctor Law Degree. Questions related to content material may be directed to RSellon@PoliceLegalPromotions.com
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