June 7, 2011

State, union reach settlement on remaining furlough challenges

The Federation and the state on Friday (June 3) reached a settlement on the union’s unfair labor practice complaint and grievance over the initial furloughs imposed by the Legislature that started in July 2010.

The agreement came as the parties headed into a hearing on the ULP complaint at the Public Employment Relations Commission.

The settlement’s impact is on the future.

If this ever happens again, the state and union agree to work to advise the Legislature of the need for adequate time to bargain. The state commits to getting all information requested as soon as possible to the union, with accuracy a priority. The state will also notify the union of any changes to mandatory subjects of bargaining caused by similar legislation in the future. And the state commits to work with the union on bargaining over furlough issues as quickly as possible.

The union and state agreed in the settlement that the 2010 furlough law “was passed in extraordinary circumstances, which compressed the time for the bargaining process and led to a dispute over whether there was an unreasonable delay in bargaining and responding to WFSE’s information request.”

The settlement agreement came in the wake of a judge’s May 6 ruling upholding the furloughs.

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