As a union member, in the state of New York, you have the right to proper and adequate representation by your union (UFT) and to be free of retaliation by your employer (DOE) while exercising your union rights.
If you feel these rights and representations have been violated, you may be able to file an Improper Practice charge against either party.
Example: You have had satisfactory ratings for years. You now
– become chapter leader
– grieve a program
– become union active (join consultation committee)
– sign a petition
and are all of a sudden harassed and rated unsatisfactory over and over…you can file an Improper Practice form with detailed accounts and be compensated and have adverse actions remedied.
Example: You have been contacting your union about harassment at work. They have been ignoring you. They don’t file a special harassment grievance and you feel their decision is arbitrary and capricious. You feel that you are not being properly represented. You can file an Improper Practice complaint.
When filling out the form against your employer, you should check off a and c for section 4.
If you need assistance or representation with your PERB complaint, contact
Bryan Glass Esq.
Frequently Asked Questions About Improper Practices
Q: What is an improper practice?
A: Section 209-a.1 (a) through (f) of the Taylor Law identifies improper employer practices. Section 209-a.2 (a), (b) and (c) of the Act sets forth improper employee organization practices.
Q: How is a complaint made that an improper practice has occurred?
A: An original and four copies of an improper practice charge, on PERB’s form, must be filed with the Director of Public Employment Practices and Representation. See Part 204 of the Rules of Procedure for the filing requirements.
Q: When must such charge be filed?
A: An improper practice charge must be filed within four months of the alleged misconduct.
Q: What constitutes filing?
A: Section 200.10 of the Rules defines filing as delivery to the Board or the act of mailing or the deposit of the papers in the custody of an overnight delivery service. Parties are not authorized to file pleadings with PERB by facsimile.
Q: How are improper practice charges initially processed?
A: The Director reviews the charge to determine whether the facts alleged may constitute a violation of the Act and whether the charge is timely. If the charge is deficient, the charging party is given an opportunity to either amend the charge, if it can be amended, or withdraw it if it cannot.
Q: How is the case processed after the initial review by the Director?
A: The charge is assigned to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to conduct a conference for the purpose of clarifying, limiting and resolving the issues. If the charge is not resolved at the conference, the matter is reassigned to a different ALJ for the issuance of the decision. That ALJ may either conduct a hearing or decide the matter on a stipulated record.
Q: What kind of hearing is conducted?
A: Although a lawyer is not required, each party may be represented and is afforded the right to examine and cross-examine witnesses. The technical rules of evidence do not apply.
Q: What if a party does not appear at the conference or hearing?
A: Failure of a party to appear at either the conference or hearing may result in dismissal of that party’s pleading.
Q: Can a witness be compelled to attend a hearing or to bring documents to a hearing?
A: It is a party’s burden to call witnesses and produce evidence in support of its case. Part 211 of the Rules of Procedure governs requests for subpoenas in the event that witnesses have advised that they would not appear voluntarily or voluntarily produce documents.
Q: What happens after the hearing?
A: The ALJ may ask the parties or the parties may ask to file legal briefs. Thereafter, the ALJ issues a decision. The parties may then appeal that decision to the Board.
Q: My union violated its internal election procedures. Can PERB help me?
A: This agency generally lacks jurisdiction concerning internal union affairs.
Q: The employer is not following a particular provision of the collective bargaining agreement. Is that an improper practice?
A: No. Alleged breaches of agreement are not improper practices. PERB lacks jurisdiction over claimed breaches of agreements.
Q: My union is not processing my grievance. Is that improper?
A: A union is not required to process every grievance presented by an employee. There is no violation so long as the union’s decision-making is not arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith.
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