PERC favors Pasco union
Reversing a hearing officer's recommended ruling, the Public Employees Relations Commission has ruled that Pasco school superintendent Heather Fiorentino violated collective bargaining rules by issuing a memo requiring all district employees to be on call 24/7 to staff emergency shelters, even during the summer months when they're not officially working.
The administration may not unilaterally take such a step, the commission stated in a ruling released today. The commission ordered the district to rescind the May memo and to post a memo in "conspicuous locations" stating that it will not discontinue its past practice of using volunteers to run the shelters or change procedures without negotiating first.
"I feel vindicated," said Lynne Webb, president of the United School Employees of Pasco, which filed the unfair labor practices complaint. "We do have a collective bargaining law in Florida. I am pleased that the commission upheld that."
School Board chairwoman Kathryn Starkey expressed surprise that the commission overturned the hearing officer, and expected that the district will comply.
"I am just thankful that we didn't have any hurricanes and it was a non-issue during the summer," Starkey said.