State of Michigan employment relations commission (MERC) labor relations division ruling

This MERC ruling was a landmark case in Michigan in a variety of ways. The Employer had voted to change employee premium sharing during the effective term of a collective bargaining agreement.

The members will have monies reimbursed to them due to the outcome of the matter.

Summary of Events

Our groups consisted of the Grand Traverse County Deputies (POAM), and Sergeants unit (COAM), and also the Clerical Unit (TPOAM).

All three units at some point in time executed collective bargaining agreements in 2015 that are set to expire in December of 2017.

In all three CBA’s it was effectively negotiated and bargained for by the union that the employer will pay 94% and the employee to pay 6% of the premium share costs of their health care plan.

The County in April of 2016 passed a resolution that the employer would pay 80% of the premium share and the employees would pay 20% of the premium costs.

The County intended for this to take effect in January 2017 – which was prior to the expiration of the existing CBA’s. We clearly objected to this blatant repudiation of our contract language, and filed Unfair Labor practice charges, and grievances accordingly.

This particular action brought into play PA 152 and collective bargaining agreements under PERA. As the MERC decision points out, an employer must comply with its obligations not only under PA 152, but also under the CBA’s.

Download the full report below.

Grand Traverse County MERC Decision