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   Board Issues SERB Opinion 2005-007
   

                                             In re City of Circleville, SERB 2005-007 (10-18-2005)

On August 25, 2005, SERB voted to issue a Board Opinion in the unfair labor practice case involving the State Employment Relations Board and the City of Circleville in Case No. 2002-ULP-05-0341.  The Board Opinion was issued on October 18, 2005, and can be found on SERB’s website under Board Opinions – 2005.

On May 21, 2002, the International Association of Firefighters, Local 1232 (“Charging Party”) filed an unfair labor practice charge with the State Employment Relations Board (“Board” or “Complainant”) alleging that the City of Circleville (“Respondent”) had violated Ohio Revised Code Sections 4117.11(A)(1) and (A)(5).  On August 1, 2002, the Board found probable cause to believe an unfair labor practice had been committed and directed the unfair labor practice case to hearing. 

The parties agreed to submit the case on stipulations and briefs in lieu of a hearing.  Subsequently, the parties filed briefs setting forth their positions.  On January 16, 2003, the case was transferred from the Hearings Section to the Board for a decision on the merits.

After reviewing the Joint Stipulations, the parties’ briefs, and all other filings in this case, the Board adopts the Joint Stipulations as Findings of Fact and concludes for the reasons stated in the attached Opinion, incorporated by reference, as a matter of law that the City of Circleville is a “public employer” within the meaning of Ohio Revised Code Section 4117.01(B), that the International Association of Firefighters, Local 1232 is an “employee organization” within the meaning of Ohio Revised Code Section 4117.01(D), and that the City of Circleville’s withholding payment on the selling back of sick leave while the parties awaited the Conciliator’s award violated Ohio Revised Code Sections 4117.11(A)(1) and (A)(5).  The Board also issues this Order, with a Notice to Employees, to the City of Circleville to cease and desist from interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of their rights guaranteed in Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4117; from refusing to bargain collectively with the exclusive representative of a bargaining unit by withholding payment on the selling back of sick leave while the parties awaited the Conciliator’s award; and from otherwise violating Ohio Revised Code Sections 4117.11(A)(1) and (A)(5).

The City of Circleville is hereby ordered to take the following action: to the extent that sick leave sellback has not been paid in accordance with the Conciliator’s award retroactive to September 22, 2001, tender payment to those employees affected, together with interest at a rate of 6% per annum; to the extent that sick leave sellback has been paid in accordance with the Conciliator’s award retroactive to September 22, 2001, pay interest to affected employees for the period during which payment was deferred, at a rate of 6% per annum; post for sixty days in all of the usual and normal locations where employees assigned to the City of Circleville Fire Department worked at all relevant times herein, the Notice to Employees furnished by the State Employment Relations Board; and notify the State Employment Relations Board in writing twenty calendar days from the date that this Order becomes final of the steps that have been taken to comply with it.