|Case Forum:||Michigan Supreme Court|
|Keywords:||Act 312, Public Employment Relations Act (PERA), arbitration, contracts, firefighters|
John A. Entenman | Melvin J. Muskovitz | F. Arthur Jones II | Dykema Gossett PLLC | 400 Renaissance Dr W # 37 | Detroit, MI 48243
Michigan Association of Counties (MAC)
A public employer is only prohibited from implementing a personnel decision during the pendency of Act 312 arbitration where an applicable collective bargaining agreement clearly and expressly prohibits the planned action. Further, to the extent a public employer has a duty to bargain over the impact of a decision it has the authority to make, that duty does not require the employer to bargain to impasse or agreement. Should this Court decide that public employers must bargain to agreement over the impact of layoff decisions that the public employer has the contractual and/or inherent authority to make, then the employer can be stopped by a union from making critically-needed changes, whether due to economics or otherwise, for years. Even if a public employer is required to
We hold that the circuit court erred when it issued the preliminary injunction preventing the implementation of the restructuring plan. The circuit court issued what amounted to a permanent injunction where the underlying merits of the alleged status quo violation would never be resolved, contrary to the requirements of MCR 3.310(A)(5). We further hold that, when a safety claim is alleged, an employer’s challenged action alters the status quo during the pendency of an Act 312 arbitration only if the action is so “inextricably intertwined with safety” that the action would alter a “condition of employment.”
|MSC requested LDF amicus brief?||Yes|
The Detroit Fire Fighters Association (“DFFA”) and the City are parties to a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) that, by its terms, became effective on July 1, 1998 and expired on June 30, 2001. Approximately 17 months after the expiration of that CBA, the DFFA initiated Act 312 arbitration proceedings. Act 312 prescribes time limits by which the arbitration proceedings must be concluded, but the parties waived these limits. The CBA will remain effective until the conclusion of the Act 312 arbitration. While the arbitration has proceeded, the City has faced a fiscal crisis, requiring significant budget reductions.