On October 25, 2006 William Faber of Tuscarawas Township was fired from his job. Faber and fa ellow employee (Knerr - who also got fired) had gotten into a verbal altercation while on the job.
In November, 2006, Faber and Knerr were denied arbitration under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement between Tuscarawas Township and the workers' union. They were denied based on the Trustees' asserting that the contract was not binding because contract had been rendered void by virtue of a merger between the local union that Faber and Knerr were members of and another.
In January, 2007, the fired workers' union filed an unfair labor practice claims with the State Employment Relations Board (SERB).
In April, 2007, SERB found probable cause that an unfair labor practice had occurred.
In July, 2008, SERB Administrative Law Judge Beth Jewell rules that there was no break in the contract because of the merger and that Tucarawas Township trustees are obligated to provide arbitration.
December 11, 2008, SERB adopts the ruling of Judge Jewell.
March, 2009. Faber asks her state representative (Todd Snitchler) to check with SERB as to why SERB has notified Tuscarawas trustees of it action.
Answer: "Due to budget cuts they [SERB is] behind"
May/June, 2009. The SCPR got these responses from J. Russell Keith, General Counsel & Assistant Executive Director (SERB), to wit:
So who knows when the December 11, 2008 SERB decision will make it to the Tuscarawas Township trustees.If the Board directs the matter to hearing, such as finding that probable cause exists in a ULP case or that a question concerning representation exists in a REP case, they are handled as expeditiously as possible given the schedules of the attorneys representing the parties, but there is no "hard" timeline currently in place.
Like most state boards and commissions, SERB has absorbed several budget reductions during this fiscal year. To achieve further economic savings, the staff, equipment, and operations of the State Personnel Board of Review have moved into existing space at SERB. In addition, House Bill 1 includes a provision that would consolidate the staffs of SERB and the State Personnel Board of Review, making all of the employees of SERB. These developments temporarily drained some staff resources away from other matters.
And, of course, that will not be the end of the matter.
The trustees have already voted to appeal the decision to the Stark Court of Common Pleas. Not surprising given these quotes in The Independent (Massillon) Small victory for fired workers, August 3, 2008 and Tusc. trustees will appeal SERB ruling, January 15, 2009:
Trustee Green: “We told (Clemans, Nelson & Associates) to file the paperwork ... We are not going to arbitration.”
Trustee Speicher: One, if we accept arbitration, people will think, ‘See, they admitted they were wrong.’ If we (vote not) to go to arbitration it’s, ‘Oh, the attorney is milking you for more money.’
Trustee DeHoff: “I think they should’ve been fired,” ... Of course I believe we have a strong case ... ."
Dug in, indeed, these trustees are. All the fired workers can do is beseech the Lord.
"How long O LORD, how long?"