PLRB files proposed decision and order in unfair labor practice filing from former police officer

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) has filed a “proposed decision and order” in the unfair labor practice filing against Reynoldsville Borough.

In June of 2020, the union representing the police department, Teamsters Local #110, filed an unfair labor practice against the borough on behalf of then Officer Tammy Murray, who’s position was cut from full time to part time and then eliminated with the 2021 budget when no money was allocated for part time officers. The filing alleged that the borough “violated Section 6(1)(a),(c) and (e) of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Act (PLRA)”

The 15-page document dated August 13, 2021, and posted on the PLRB web site and authored by Hearing Examiner Stephen A. Helmerich goes through the entire process of the testimony pertaining to the filing, including interviews with the parties involved and documents from borough council meetings.

After presenting evidence from both sides, Helmrich stated, “In this matter I find that the record shows that the Employer’s proffered budgetary reasons for moving Murray to part-time and cutting her hours to a maximum of ten per week are pretextual and not credible.”

In the conclusion, the following paragraphs were included:

“The Borough has committed an unfair labor practice in violation of Section 6(1)(a) and (c) of the PLRA and Act 111.

The Borough has not committed an unfair labor practice in violation of Section 6(1)(e) of the PLRA and Act 111.”

The preliminary order states that the borough:

  1. Cease and desist from interfering with, restraining or coercing employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in the PLRA and Act 111. 14
  2. Cease and desist from discriminating in regard to hire or tenure of employment or any term or condition of employment to encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization. 3. Take the following affirmative action which the Hearing Examiner finds necessary to effectuate the policies of the PLRA and Act 111:

    (a) Immediately reinstate Tammy Murray to a full-time police officer position;

    (b) Immediately pay Tammy Murray and make Tammy Murray whole for all lost wages and benefits she would have earned as a full-time police officer from February 13, 2020, until the date of her reinstatement, including but not limited to wage increases received by the bargaining unit during the backpay period and any other lost benefits, medical and dental payments and co-payments or accouterments and terms and conditions of employment enjoyed by full-time police officers, including any differentials in holiday pay, overtime and the accrual of sick and vacation time, as well as pension contributions during the backpay period;

    (c) Immediately pay Tammy Murray interest at the rate of six percent per annum on the outstanding backpay owed to her…

    IT IS HEREBY FURTHER ORDERED AND DIRECTED that in the absence of any exceptions filed with the Board pursuant to 34 Pa. Code § 95.98(a) within twenty days of the date hereof, this decision and order shall be final.

Reynlow Community News has reached out to borough officials and awaiting comments

In a related story, the council voted on Tuesday to pursue hiring a new police chief to replace former Chief Troy Bell. That story can be found here.

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