The New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) recently issued a decision citing the Village of Valatie as being in violation of The Public Employees Fair Employment Act because of their refusal to bargain in good faith.
UPSEU Labor Relations Representative Michael P. Kutski filed a charge because the Village refused to provide unit negotiation information and they failed to respond to numerous requests to set dates to commence contract negotiations. "It was obvious they didn't want to deal with us," said Kutski.
Shortly following Kutski's filing of the charge, PERB held a pre-hearing conference at their office wherein the Village failed to appear for the conference and failed to file an answer to the charge as required by law. The Village also went so far as to blatantly ignore the voicemail messages from the PERB Administrative Law Judge.
In light of the Village's intentional disregard for their obligations under the law, PERB found them guilty of all charges cited in the improper practice charge. "The Village must now comply with the order. If they don't, they will be subject to further penalties by PERB and possible action in State Supreme Court," concluded Kutski.