The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Politics

February 19, 2014

UAW taking lawsuit to Indiana Supreme Court

Madison County sued over union contract



County employees covered by the UAW have been working without a contract for more than a year.

Shrock said if there isn’t a single agreement, the union will have to negotiate separate contracts with each elected official.

UAW Local 1963 filed the lawsuit against Madison County, Assessor Larry Davis and former Recorder Angela Shelton. The suit was filed after Davis and Shelton, both elected in 2010, who prior to taking office notified employees they were being terminated.

The UAW filed grievances against Davis and Shelton charging that they violated the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. The commissioners requested that Davis reinstate two of the employees, a request that he refused.

Haas determined, and the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed, that the commissioners do not have general employment authority over all of the elected officials’ deputies and employees.

The Court of Appeals determined the commissioners only have hiring authority over positions spelled out in state statute.

The UAW asserted the commissioners and county council had the authority to enter into the collective bargaining agreement to regulate the personnel policies affecting the official’s deputies.

The Court of Appeals determined the officials have complete discretion to hire and discharge their employees, subject to limitations imposed by state law. The Court of Appeals agreed with Haas that the collective bargaining agreement obstructs the independence of the officials to staff their offices as they deem best.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.

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