PERC makes ruling on Lincoln County vs. Teamsters
Decision orders cease and desist against both parties
Last updated 9/30/2021 at 5:32pm
DAVENPORT—In a ruling given to both parties this month, The Public Employee Relations Commission ruled that both Lincoln County and Teamsters 690, which represents the Sheriff’s Office’s commissioned and non-commissioned officers, “conditioned negotiations of mandatory subjects of bargaining on a non-mandatory subject of bargaining” when the two sides refused to bargain beginning in 2016.
The decision was issued by PERC originally on Sept. 16.
Essentially, the ruling ordered both parties to cease and desist and continue bargaining in good faith. The ruling said the county can’t force Teamsters to negotiate in public, while Teamsters can’t force the county to negotiate in private.
The order to Lincoln County says the county must cease and desist from “conditioning the bargaining of mandatory subjects upon agreement to bargain in public.”
Meanwhile, the order to Teamsters says the union must cease and desist from “conditioning the bargaining of mandatory subjects upon agreement to bargain in private.”
The county has long held the position that negotiations on a new contract should take place in public, which has occurred this year for the first time since 2016. Teamsters 690 has wanted negotiations to take place in private.
PERC took over the case from the Washington State Court of Appeals in 2020 when the latter ruled that “status quo is not an appropriate remedy when parties are unable to agree on a permissive subject of bargaining” and told PERC to rule on the appropriate remedy.
The ruling requires the county to read the notice into the record at a county commissioner’s meeting and ordered both parties to post copies of the PERC’s official notice where all bargaining unit members and employees can see them for 60 days.
Negotiations are expected to continue Oct. 13 between the county and Teamsters. The round of negotiations scheduled for Monday, Sept. 27 was cancelled due to an illness amongst a Teamsters representative.