November 23, 2018

Collective bargaining agreement gave appointing authority discretion to grant or deny leave requests


Collective bargaining agreement gave appointing authority discretion to grant or deny leave requests
Rockland Co. Correction Officers BA and Rockland Co., 30 PERB 3019

The Correction Officers' Benevolent Association of Rockland County filed an unfair labor practice charge with PERB complaining that the Rockland County Sheriff had issued a directive that unilaterally ended a procedure under which all written leave requests were routinely approved regardless of the number of officers on leave from the same shift.

The Association also charged that for the first time "a quota" on the number of officers permitted to take certain types of leave simultaneously was unilaterally imposed.

PERB sustained the administrative law judge's dismissal of the charge. It noted that the relevant collective bargaining agreement provided that "personal leave may be drawn only upon written request ... at a time convenient to and approved by the Sheriff; provided, however, that personal leave allowed for religious observance shall be granted on the days and hours required, insofar as the same may be granted without interference with the proper conduct of government functions."

PERB said that the contract gave the Sheriff broad discretion to grant or deny leaves based on his convenience and the proper conduct of government functions and that the Association had waived its right to complain about the Sheriff's exercising his discretion.

PERB concluded that the directive issued represented the exercise of a negotiated right, it was bilateral in nature and did not violate the employer's duty to bargain, which had been previously satisfied by agreement.


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