MERC Decisions Pending Before the Michigan Court of Appeals

Name Subject Matter MERC Case # COA #

City of Detroit and Detroit Water and Sewerage Department -and- Great Lakes Water Authority -and- American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council 25 and its Affiliated Locals 207 and 2920 (AFSCME) -and- International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 324

Petition for Unit Clarification Granted: Commission Granted AFSCME’s Petition to Clarify Its Unit by Adding the Plant Technician and Office Support Specialist Positions; When a Position Is Genuinely New and Claimed by More Than One Existing Bargaining Unit, the Commission Defers to Employer’s Good Faith Decision, as Long as it is Reasonable and Disputed Position Shares Community of Interest with the Unit in which it is Placed; These Positions Are Not New Positions As the Reclassification Did Not Result in a Substantial Change in the Job Duties Performed by Either Position.  However, Employer was Directed by United States District Court Order to Review and Reduce the Number of its Existing Classifications to Increase Workforce Flexibility.  Consequently, the Employer Abolished All of Its Existing Positions and Created New Ones, Therefore, the Positions Must Be Analyzed as New Positions.  Since Plant Technician and Office Support Specialist Positions Were Treated as New, There was No Bargaining History to Consider, and the Commission Was Guided by the Primary Objective of Constituting the Largest Unit Containing Positions Having a Community of Interest.  Thus, It Was Not Reasonable to Create a Unit Including Only Those Two Positions.  The Commission Found that the Appropriate Unit was the Existing Larger Unit of Employees with Which the Two Positions Shared a Community of Interest.  That Was the Unit Represented by AFSCME.

UC15 L-024,

issued March 3, 2016


Macomb County -and- AFSCME Council 25 and its Affiliated Local 893 -and- John P. Greiner

Unfair Labor Practice Not Found:  Charging Party Failed to Allege Facts to Establish that His Protected Concerted Activities Were a Motivating Cause of His Termination; Last Chance Agreement Prohibited Union From Arbitrating Charging Party’s Grievance and Charging Party Did Not Dispute Violation of Last Chance Agreement; Fact That Individual Member Dissatisfied with Union’s Decision Insufficient to Indicate Breach of Duty of Fair Representation. 

C13 D-074


CU13 D-017,

issued July 25, 2016   


Ionia County Intermediate Education Association, MEA/NEA -and- Ionia County Intermediate School District

Unfair Labor Practice Found: Respondent Violated § 10(2)(d) by Demanding to Arbitrate a Grievance Over Teacher Discipline, a Prohibited Subject of Bargaining; Grievance Arbitration Regarding a Prohibited Subject Constitutes an Effort to Enforce Provisions Made Unenforceable by § 15(3); § 15(3)(m) Does Not Affect the Constitutional Right to Due Process or Enforcement of that Right in Forums Other Than Grievance Arbitration; the Order Granting Respondent’s Request for an Extension of Time was Appropriately Issued Because Commission Rule 176a(3) Does Not Require a Party to Give a Reason for a First Extension of Time. 

CU15 H-024,

issued August               15,2016                                   

Michigan Education Association, MEA/NEA and- Vassar Public Schools

Unfair Labor Practice Found: Union Violated § 10(2)(d) by Demanding that the Employer Arbitrate a Grievance Over the Recall of a Teacher; Decisions Regarding Teacher Layoff and Recall are Prohibited Subjects of Bargaining Under § 15(3)(k); Due Process Rights Not Enforceable in Grievance Arbitration When the Grievance Addresses Decisions About a Public School Employers' Policies Regarding Personnel Decisions Involving Staffing Reductions or Recalls From Staff Reductions; Language in a Collective Bargaining Agreement Cannot Act as a Waiver of the Employer's Rights and Responsibilities Under § 15(3) or (4), as Such Language Would Not Be Enforceable as it Relates to a Prohibited Subject of Bargaining.

CU16 A-002,

issued March 24, 2017

Interurban Transit Partnership -and- Amalgamated Transit Union Local 836

Unfair Labor Practice Found: Respondent Violated § 10(1)(a) by Issuing a Thirty-Day Unpaid Suspension to a Bargaining Unit Member for His Conduct at a Meeting of Respondent’s Board of Directors; Bargaining Unit Member was Engaged in Protected Concerted Activity Under PERA; Respondent Violated § 10(1)(a) and (c) by Applying a Section of the Parties’ Collective Bargaining Agreement in a Discriminatory Manner; Respondent Failed to Provide a Legitimate Explanation for its Sudden Decision to Change its Interpretation and Application of the Contract Provision Granting Leave Time to Non-Union Officer Members; Respondent’s Denial of Charging Party’s Request for Union Leave Motivated by Anti-Union Animus. 

C16 A-004,

issued July 12, 2017

Wayne County -and- AFSCME Local 3317

Commission Denied Respondent’s Motion for Reconsideration: Suspension of a Public Employer's Duty to Bargain Does Not Affect the Commission's Jurisdiction Over Unfair Labor Practice Charges Against that Public Employer; Nothing in the Language of Act 436 Discusses Unfair Labor Practices or the Commission's Subject Matter Jurisdiction; Whether an ALJ has the Authority to Hold a Hearing on an Unfair Labor Practice Charge Depends on Whether the Charge States a Claim Upon Which Relief Can Be Granted Under PERA; The Commission is Precluded From Acting in a Manner Contrary to the Requirements of § 16 of PERA and Commission Rule 161(7); Commission Rule 161(7) Provides that Any Review of the ALJ's Order by the Commission Must Await the Filing of Exceptions to the ALJ's Decision and Recommended Order.

D16 K-0900,

issued 7/12/17


Grand Traverse Co & Grand Traverse Co Sheriff -and- Police Officers Association of Michigan (Deputies Unit) -and- Police Officers Association of Michigan (Corrections Unit) -and- Command Officers Association of Michigan (Sergeants Unit) -and- Technical, Professional and Officeworkers Association of Michigan (Clerical Unit)

Unfair Labor Practice Found: Employers Breached Duty to Bargain by Increasing the Employees' Share of Health Insurance Premium Costs from 6% Specified in the Collective Bargaining Agreements to 20% during the Term of the Agreements; A Public Employer's Choice of Medical Benefit Plan Cost-Sharing Options under Act 152 a Permissive Subject of Bargaining; Employers Have an Obligation to Choose a Medical Benefit Plan Cost Sharing Option under Act 152 That is Consistent with Their Obligation to Pay Medical Benefit Plan Costs under the Terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement; Both Parties to a Collective Bargaining Agreement Bound by the Terms of That Agreement for its Duration Unless They Mutually Agree to Modify its Terms.

C16 E-050, C16 E-051, C16 E-052, C16 E-053,

issued August 16, 2017

339930, 339931, 339932, 339933

Clarkston Community Schools and Clarkston Education Association and Michigan Education Association -and- Ron Conwell

Unfair Labor Practice Found: Respondents Violated Charging Party's Right to Refrain From Financially Supporting s Labor Organization Under § 9 of PERA; Respondents' Actions in Extending Union Security Agreement in their 2012 Collective Bargaining Agreement to Successor Agreements Entered in 2014 and 2015, Violated the Prohibition Against Requiring an Individual to Pay Fees to a Labor Organization as a Condition of Continuing Public Employment Under § 10(3); Since the Union Security Provision was Extended After the Effective Date of Act 349, the Provisions in the 2014 and 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreements Were Unenforceable Under § 10(5); By Violating § 10(3) Respondents Liable for Civil Fine of $500 Each; By Maintaining the Union Security Agreement in Collective Bargaining Agreements Entered Long After the Effective Date of Act 349, the Employer Violated § 10(1)(a), and the Unions Violated § 10(2)(a); Respondent Unions Further Violated § 10(2)(a) When They Sent a Letter to Charging Party Telling Him That He Was Required to Pay an Agency Fee for the 2015-2016 School Year and Impliedly Threatening to Initiate Proceedings to Terminate His Employment if He Refused to Pay the Agency Fee. 

C15 K-148 & CU15 K-039,

issued September 18, 2017

Updated 10/17/2017