Firefighter Must Follow Union’s Bylaws Before Filing Fair Representation Claim

Augustine Eddy was a firefighter with the Pascoag Fire District in Rhode Island and was a member of Local 4908 of the International Association of Firefighters. In 2016, Eddy’s job performance was such that the District presented him with a plan for remedial training to address complaints from his partner regarding his job performance. Eddy was given three months to show improvement before the district would consider suspension. Things…

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Unions Have ‘Great Discretion’ In Deciding Whether To Seek Arbitration

Jose F. Valencia sued the Santa Fe Police Officers Association for breach of duty of fair representation. Valencia requested that the Association challenge his termination for dishonesty in arbitration. The Association’s Board scheduled a meeting on February 16, 2010, to consider the request. Two Board members, the President and the former President, recused themselves from the February 16 proceedings as they were the subjects of allegations made by Valencia…

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Violation of Union’s Bylaws Does Not Amount to Unfair Labor Practice

From time to time, an employee will file an unfair labor practice complaint against his or her labor organization, claiming the organization breached its duty of fair representation by not following its own bylaws. As illustrated by a recent Florida case, this type of unfair labor practice complaint is almost always unsuccessful, with labor boards routinely holding that the duty of fair representation is not implicated even if a…

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Union’s Bylaws Constitute Binding Contract with Members

The Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association represents over 8000 corrections officers employed by the City of New York. One provision in the Association’s by-laws provides that “special meetings of the Association may be called by the president at his/her discretion.” Another section of the by-laws allows union members to bring charges against union officers for “misconduct, misfeasance, nonfeasance or malfeasance.” Such charges are required to be submitted to the recording…

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