Minutes - July 15, 2010
Jack Holstrom, Presiding Officer
Marieke Beck, Board Attorney
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
The minutes from April and May’s meetings were not included in today’s meeting. Board Secretary Windy Knutson will have them for the next meeting.
NEXT MEETING DATE:
The next meeting is set for August 19, 2010 in the second floor west conference room B of the Employment Relations Building, 1805 Prospect Avenue, Helena, Montana. There is an Oral Argument scheduled for an Unfair Labor Practice, Colleen Hansen v. Helena Education Association, MEA-MFT. There is also an oral argument scheduled for September 24th, at the Labor Relations Conference in Bozeman. It will be an Unfair Labor Practice, Brad Wilson v. Park County and Teamsters.
PUBLIC COMMENT (HOUSE BILL 94):
No comments were made.
ATTORNEY COMMENTS – BOARD ATTORNEY MARIEKE BECK:
Board Attorney Marieke Beck gave an update on the Rules Project. Members can look forward to a July 19th filing date and a rules hearing for public comment within a month.
ORAL ARGUMENT – TRANSPORTATION GRIEVANCE
Jon S. Watson v. State of Montana, Department of Transportation
The above matter came before the Board. Jack Holstrom was the Presiding Officer in this matter.
Oral argument was presented. Dave McClain appeared before the Board to represent the grievant, Jon Watson; Susie Rebeck appeared before the Board to represent the Montana Department of Transportation.
The matter before the Board was to determine if the Hearings Officer’s remand decision was in error. The grievant filed an appeal asserting that the Hearings Bureau erred when it did not include that he was harmed when he filed his grievance went to District Court and the Court had found that he had been harmed. Does the Board have the ability to award damages? Board Member Reardon motioned to amend the Hearings Officer’s Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Recommended Order #40, that with a complete review of record and substantial evidence from 2005 that Watson did suffer harm from MDOT’s practices and remand back to the Hearings Bureau for damages for lost wages in the DESS position. Board
Chairman Holstrom seconded the motion. There was discussion with Member Reardon’s motion. The moving party had the obligation to address the nominal damages through the hearings process and it was not done. According to Board Attorney Lea Coles, it is in the Board’s discretion to be appropriate and remand back to hearings for damages. Member Reardon withdrew his motion and Board Chair Holstrom withdrew his second to the motion. Member Reardon then modified his motion to #3, #6 and #7 to show there is substantial evidence that the grievant was harmed and to follow Board Attorney Lea Coles proposal:
Modify Findings of Fact No. 40: Watson suffered harm and that he aggrieved from the violations of policy and practice involved in the selection process.
Modify Conclusions of Law No. 3, No. 6, and No. 7: to reference that the record and substantial evidence support that MDT's violations of its selection policies prejudiced Watson, resulting in harm.
Affirms Recommended Order No. 1 and Modifies No. 2: The failures of Montana Department of
Transportation to follow Department of Administration pay policies and "Hybrid Seniority Rule" in the selection processes for both permanent positions (Missoula DESS and Missoula DPE) in Fall 2005 resulted in harm to the grievant, Jon Watson. And, Remand the Hearings Bureau to
conduct proceedings as necessary to address the question of damages.
This matter needs to be remanded to the Hearings Bureau to conduct a hearing for damages to the grievant. Member Johnson seconded the motion. Motion passed 5-0