The official transcripts from the June 4th trial in Thurston County Superior Court are now available. Copies of the 90 page document are being routed. The most significant items will be highlighted in each of the next few TEA Times. First, Judge Taborís ruling:
Page 77 "I am prepared to rule. I have spent a considerable amount of time reviewing the record in this case, reading all the briefs and Iíve listened carefully to the arguments here today"
Page 78 "I am going to, in part, grant the petition. What I am doing is granting the petition and remanding the case to the Public Employment Regulations Commission (PERC) for further determination of some issues that should have been dealt with either at the level of the Executive Director or certainly at the Commission level."
Page 79 "The Administrative Procedure Act, RCW 34.05, specifically at Section 570, speaks of judicial review, and at subparagraph (3) indicates that a court shall grant relief from an agency order in an adjudicative proceeding only if it determines that the order is not supported by evidence that is substantial when viewed in light of the whole record before the court, which includes the agency record for judicial review, supplemented by any additional evidence received by the court under this chapter"
Page 80 "I will also note that a court must find in granting relief under the Administrative Procedures Act that there has been some substantial prejudice to a person or a party seeking judicial relief under subparagraph (1)(d), and I am making that specific finding in this case."
Page 81 "What I am deciding is at the time the Executive Director made a decision he made specific findings of fact and conclusions of law, and finding of fact number 2 says that employees are currently represented by IFPTE Local 17. (However,) there is no factual basis for making that decision in the record."
Page 82 "So I hope that itís clear the basis of this courtís ruling is that there are issues to be decided, specifically the appropriateness of the bargaining unit that is alleged to be representing some employees (ie. IFPTE Local 17) and then there must be some support for whatever decision is made in that regard in the record that an appellate court would look at somewhere down the line if this matter comes back up."
Page 83 "The flaw to what was done in this case is, in my opinion, stated in common language is: PERC was saying that we know the history of this case and based on what we know there is an appropriate bargaining unit. I donít know what PERC knows. I recognize that some deference is to be given to PERC in its area of expertise and I would gladly do so were there a record to allow me to make such a consideration. That doesnít exist in this particular case. There has to be some support for what ever decision is made. It simply canít be by default."
What is the bottom line? The Judge has sent our case back to PERC; they must determine if there is any legal basis for IFPTE Local 17 to represent KC employees. The judge clearly doubts it.
What happens next? The courtís summary judgement is being prepared. There is a 30 day appeal window. Our strategy for action depends on whether the judgement is appealed by KC.