A union representing employees of the University of Washington Police Department has filed a complaint with the state labor commission, charging the UW with six violations of state labor law.
A union representing officers of the University of Washington Police Department has filed a complaint with the state labor commission, charging the UW with six violations of state labor law.
In a preliminary ruling, the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) found that the department could have violated unfair labor-practice rules if all the facts alleged in the case were “true and provable.”
The 30 campus police officers represented by the Teamsters Local Union 117 say the UW Police Department interfered with employee rights, discriminated against officers for engaging in protected union activities and refused to bargain in good faith.
UW spokesman Norm Arkans said the university believes the charges are “without merit,” and said the preliminary finding is “standard PERC procedure.”
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Michelle Woodrow, the Teamsters’ west side coordinator for its department of corrections and law enforcement, described some of the allegations as “crystal clear labor-practice violations.”
For example, she said, the department installed surveillance cameras in employee-only work areas. In addition, Woodrow said the department’s administrators gave officers three different schedule options, then did not comply with the agreed-upon schedule. Officers were also limited in the vacation time they could take and were not allowed to trade shifts, she said.
The police department is headed by Chief John Vinson. The officers voted to join the Teamsters last October. The UW has until Jan. 10 to respond to the allegations. The case is then expected to go before a labor-relations adjudicator, said Mike Sellars, executive director of PERC.
Katherine Long: 206-464-2219 or email@example.com. On Twitter @katherinelong.