The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that a union representing state employees in Michigan broke federal law in dealings with its own employees.
The Michigan State Employees Association (MSEA) and its President, Kenneth Moore, were faulted with improperly handling its dealings with its own central office employees. Those employees are actually represented by a union within a union, called the Central Office Staff Association (COSA).
The NLRB determined MSEA violated the collective bargaining rights of COSA employees when it suspended and then fired an administrative assistant. The NLRB found Moore wrongfully fired the administrative assistant because he relied on a unilateral directive as grounds for her termination. It also found that Moore “unlawfully reprimanded” an employee for what amounted to union activity.
MSEA represents 4,500 employees in Michigan, with state, county and university employees making up its membership. The Board’s ruling effectively ordered MSEA and Moore to stop violating the Labor Relations Act. The Board also ordered Moore to reinstate the wrongfully terminated employees, and restore back wages, benefits and seniority status.
MSEA and Moore had already appealed a previous decision by an administrative law judge to the NLRB, which came down even harder against MSEA. An administrative law judge ruled that the MSEA broke the law when it fired two of its administrative employees, terminated the recall rights of a third employee, and delayed a fourth union employee’s return to work.
The NLRB agreed Aug. 4, 2016, and implemented the requirements that the employees be re-hired.
According to attorney Brandon Zuk, MSEA will file a second appeal, this time to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. “There was a big mistake made by the board and by the administrative law judge,” Zuk told the Detroit Free Press Monday.
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