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Oregon AFSCME Council 75, Local #2503 v. Hood River County

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 02-23-2012
Case #: A 143531
Oretega, P.J. for the Court; Sercombe, J.; and Landau, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://courts.oregon.gov/sites/Publications/A143531.pdf

Labor Law: "Amount of money indicated" as used in ORS 292.055 encompasses pay to be made in accordance with a simple formula; a public employer's failure to deduct the dues on a percentage base as requested constitutes an unfair labor practice.

Oregon AFSCME Council 75, Local #2503 (the union) submitted a written request to the county asking that union dues be deducted from paychecks under the union's new percentage-based structure. The county refused, reasoning that the computations would not be feasible. The Employment Relations Board (ERB) ruled that Hood River County (the county) committed an unfair labor practice by refusing to withhold and remit union dues from union member's paychecks. The county appealed, arguing that the percentage-based dues did not constitute an "amount" within ORS 292.055. The Court first noted that a public employer's violation of ORS 292.055 is an unfair labor practice. The Court then went through an exercise in statutory construction, concluding that "amount of money indicated," as used in the statute, encompassed pay to be made in accordance with a simple formula. Thus, the county was required to deduct the dues as requested. Also, its failure to do so constituted an interference with the existence an administration of the union in violation of ORS 243.672(1)(b). Affirmed.