- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Employment Law
- Date Filed: 09-15-2021
- Case #: A173198
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Kamins, J. for the Court; Lagesen, P.J.; & James, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Petitioner sought review of an order of the Employment Relations Board (ERB) that certified Respondent as the exclusive representative of a proposed bargaining unit of department chairs. On appeal, Petitioner contended that ERB erred in reaching its conclusion because “department chairs do not have the right to organize under the Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act (PECBA)” under ORS 243.650(23)(b)(A). Respondent argued that ERB’s interpretation of the term at issue was entitled deference because it involves “delegative terms.” The Court rejected Respondent’s argument and found that department chairs, while “significantly involved in the day-to-day operations of their departments,” are not in charge of those departments and their primary focus is academic rather than administrative.” Under PECBA, “[p]ublic employees have the right to form, join and participate in the activities of labor organizations of their own choosing for the purpose of representation and collective bargaining with their public employer on matters concerning employment relations.” ORS 243.662. Therefore, the Court concluded that department chairs are not “employed as a head or equivalent position” such that they constitute “supervisory employees." The Court affirmed ERB’s order certifying Respondent as the exclusive representative of the proposed bargaining unit. Affirmed.