Amalgamated Transit Union, Division 757 v. Tri-Met

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Administrative Law
  • Date Filed: 06-27-2012
  • Case #: A142045
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Brewer, J; and Sercombe, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A public employer commits a per se unfair labor practice if it institutes a unilateral change to the status quo involving a CSI policy, but the challenger bears the burden to prove the status quo. Substantial evidence exists when a reasonable person could come to that conclusion based on the whole record. A board is authorized to take such affirmative action as necessary to remedy unfair labor practice violations. A board's decision to rescind a disciplinary action that was the result of binding arbitration based on unfair labor practice is not tantamount to rescinding the arbitration award.

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) filed a complaint against Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) alleging multiple unfair labor practices. The board dismissed ATU's claim that TriMet committed unfair labor practices when it unilaterally imposed changes to the Customer Service Policy and Procedures (CSI policy) because ATU failed to establish the status quo prior to the changes. Also, the board concluded that TriMet committed an unfair labor practice when it impermissibly used an investigatory report in Doe's disciplinary process, and accordingly ordered TriMet to rescind Doe's discipline. ATU filed a petition and TriMet filed a cross-petition for judicial review. The Court of Appeals reviewed the board's order for substantial evidence. Substantial evidence exists when a reasonable person could reach the same conclusion based on the whole record. The board was unpersuaded by the evidence ATU provided to establish the status quo. The Court affirmed the board's decision because it determined that a reasonable person could make that same finding based on the facts. TriMet acknowledged that the board has broad remedial authority, but it argued that the board exceeded its authority when it ordered TriMet to rescind Doe's discipline because it was the result of binding arbitration. The Court held that the board did not exceed its authority because its relief clearly was aimed to remedy TriMet's unfair labor practice and did not attack the arbitrator's reasoning or award. Affirmed.

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