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Portland Fire Fighters’ Assoc. v. City of Portland

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-31-2011
Case #: A142845
Sercombe, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; & Landau, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A142845.pdf

Employment Law: The Employment Relations Board must examine the Collective Bargaining Agreement before determining that the city is in violation of ORS 243.698 for declining to bargain over the impact employment changes might have.

City of Portland seeks reversal of rulings by the Employment Relations Board (ERB), finding the city’s labor practices unfair under ORS 243.672(1)(c) and in violation for not following notification and bargaining procedure under ORS 243.698. After the creation of a return-to-work program for disabled fire fighters, the association sought to bargain with the city regarding these changes. The city claimed that the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) governed the terms of the employment. The association filed an unfair labor practice. The ERB determined that the city was not in violation of the statute by refusing to bargain about the creation of the program, but was in violation for failing to give the association notice and not bargaining over the impacts of the program. The Court focused on the city’s fourth assignment of error, arguing that already existing authority answered questions about impact. The Court determined that the ERB must examine the CBA to determine if the city’s actions were allowed. Reversed and remanded.