Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission

Commission Case Update


Presented by Peter G. Davis
WERC General Counsel

to WERC Staff Meeting,

December 7, 1998,

WERC Madison Office


A. PENDING COMMISSION CASES

1. Dodgeland Schools- Declaratory Ruling

Is preparation time still a permissive subject of bargaining?

Is preparation time a "fringe benefit" under QEO law?

Is preparation time an "economic issue" under QEO law?

 

2. Winnebago County/Marathon County-Declaratory Ruling

Is the statutory forum for review of discipline imposed on county law enforcement employes exclusive or can alternative review mechanisms be bargained?

 

3. Oneida County/Ozaukee County-Unit Clarification

Is the "chief deputy" for a county treasurer, county clerk, clerk of court or register of deeds excluded from any existing bargaining unit as a matter of law?

 

B. RECENT COMMISSION DECISIONS

 1. UW Hospitals-Dec. No. 29093-B (WERC, 11/98)

Attorneys fees and costs are not available to anyone in non-complaint cases.

Attorneys fees are never available to responding parties in complaint cases.

Attorneys fees and costs are not routinely available to victorious complainants in complaint proceedings.

Attorneys fees and costs are only available as part of a remedy in complaint cases where (1) an extraordinary remedy is warranted due to the exceptional nature of the case and the "frivolous" nature of the defense; or (2) to reimbuse an employe for fees and costs incurred litigating a violation of contract claim before the WERC where the union has been found to have breached its the duty of fair representation by failing to arbitrate the same claim at the union's expense before an arbitrator.

 

2. State of Wisconsin-Dec. No. 28222-C (WERC, 7/98)

Statute of limitations is an affirmative defense which was waived by the failure to raise it until after the hearing.

 

3. City of Milwaukee-Dec. No. 29402 (WERC, 6/98)

Pre-employment contract is not a mandatory subject of bargaining but employer must bargain over the impact of such a contract on employe wages, hours and conditions of employment.

 

4. Madison Schools-Dec. No. 28832-A (WERC, 9/98)

Application of the "relevant and reasonably necessary" standard and the employer's asserted confidentiality interest to a union request for teacher performance information.

 

5. Racine Schools-Dec. No. 29203-B (WERC, 10/98)

WERC will not assert jurisdiction over any violation of the status quo/duty to bargain complaint case filed after 10/22/98 where complainant has failed to exhaust any applicable grievance procedure in the expired contract.

The allocation of the burden of proof in violation of contract complaint cases involving the discipline of employes allegedly for just cause(i.e. the Complainant establishes a prima facie case and the burden then shifts to the Respondent to establish just cause) does not necessarily transfer to status quo/duty to bargain complaint cases involving discipline of an employe for just cause.

 

6. Rock County-Dec. No. 29219-B (WERC, 10/98)

Despite pendency of an election proceeding, County violated its duty to bargain by failing to place new professional positions in the existing professional unit and by unilaterally establishing the employes' wages hours and conditions of employment.

County ordered to bargain the wages, hours and conditions of employment but the Commission rejects the Union request that the unilaterally created wages hours and conditions of employment be rescinded before bargaining begins.

 

7. Racine Schools-Dec. No. 29195-B (WERC, 7/98)

District did not violate its status quo obligation to provide "comparable" LTD benefits when it changed carriers. Comparability allows for the balancing of benefits improvements against benefit reductions.

 

8. UW Hospitals-Dec. No. 29478 (WERC, 10/98)

Peace Act requires that all "patient care" employes be included in the same bargaining unit without regard to whether the employes are regular or temporary/casual. Thus, 135 "per diem" nurses are added to the existing nurses unit by unit clarification.

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This page is a public domain communication of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission. The URL of this page is {http://werc.wi.gov/outline_recent_developments_december_1998.htm}. Last modified on 8 DEC 1998. Comments, questions and suggestions.