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NLRB rules PSEA complaint against college has no merit

07.30.13

JULY 2013, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

NLRB rules PSEA complaint against college has no merit

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, June 30th- The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia did not find merit in the labor complaint filed by the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) labor organization alleging a local higher education institution violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

The PSEA, 1188 Highway Route 315 in Wilkes-Barre, filed a lengthly labor complaint with the NLRB alleging Lackawanna College, 501 Vine Street in Scranton, violated the NLRAct by implementing their last contract offer for a successor agreement between the parties.

The Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) was filed by the PSEA against Lackawanna College on May 1st, 2013. The labor organization represents educators of Lackawanna College.

According to the complaint, which was discovered by the newspaper while reviewing ULP’s and petition‘s filed at the NLRB office, management Attorney Robert Ufberg represents the secondary education facility, which was once the site of Scranton Central High School.

The ULP was filed on behalf of the PSEA by Staff Attorney Jeffrey Husisian.

The two parties have been in labor contract negotiations for several years after the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expired on June 30th, 2010. The previous CBA provided that the terms and conditions would continue in effect until either party gave sixty days written notice of intent to terminate the agreement.

In February, 2012 management gave written notice that the CBA would expire on June 30th, 2012. After June 30th, 2012 the two parties engaged in negotiations for a successor contract and regularly met for that purpose.

However, according to the ULP the College engaged in bad faith bargaining for a successor CBA including conducting surface and regressive bargaining.

On February 25th, 2013 Lackawanna College declared a impasse and unilaterally implemented new terms and conditions, which significantly changed the previous CBA working conditions language.

The PSEA alleged the implementation of the new terms and conditions were a violation of the NLRAct because the two parties never reached a lawful impasse, therefore had no right to unilaterally implement the new contract language.

However, the NLRB disagreed with the PSEA and dismissed their ULP.