Posted by: POLC Staff Posted date: November 24, 2016
Union’s bargaining demand doesn’t equal ULP, where contractual waiver is invalid
Case name: Van Buren, Township of and Police Officers Labor Council, 30 MPER 27 (Mich. ERC 2016).
Ruling: MERC adopted an ALJ’s recommended dismissal of an unfair practice charge. The ALJ rejected a municipal employer’s contention that a union improperly insisted on negotiating to impasse and filing for Act 312 arbitration over changes related to certain retirement benefits. The ALJ decided that the waiver set forth in the parties’ bargaining agreement was invalid. Accordingly, the union’s attempts to bargain over the pension-related issues comported with PERA provisions, the ALJ concluded.
What it means: Under MERC case law, the ALJ explained, a waiver contained within a bargaining agreement is presumed to expire at the same time as the bargaining agreement within which it is contained. Here, the ALJ found that the parties intended the contractual waiver to extend past the expiration of the parties’ bargaining agreement.