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AFSCME Council 25 v. Faust Public Library

Court of Appeals of Michigan

July 23, 2015

AFSCME COUNCIL 25, Petitioner-Appellee,
v.
FAUST PUBLIC LIBRARY, Respondent-Appellant

MERC. LC No. 12-000981.

For FAUST PUBLIC LIBRARY, Respondent - Appellant: STEVEN H. SCHWARTZ, SOUTHFIELD, MI; MICHAEL M. MCNAMARA, NORTHVILLE, MI.

For AFSCME COUNCIL 25, Charging Party (MERC) - Appellee: TERE M. MCKINNEY, DETROIT, MI.

Before: JANSEN, P.J., and METER and BECKERING, JJ.

OPINION

Page 255

[311 Mich.App. 451] Per Curiam.

Respondent, the Faust Public Library (Library), appeals by right the decision

Page 256

and order of the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC), which concluded that the position held by librarian Lisa Hausman as the head of the Library's children's services department did not qualify as a statutory supervisor and, therefore, that the challenged [311 Mich.App. 452] ballot cast by Hausman in a union representation election would be opened and counted with the election results. The Library also challenges MERC's refusal to permit the Library to pursue an alternative claim that if the head of the children's services department is a nonsupervisory position, then the heads of two other departments of the Library, the adult services and circulation departments, are also nonsupervisory positions such that the challenged ballots cast by the employees holding those two positions should also be opened and counted. We affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

As explained in Macomb County v AFSCME Council 25, 494 Mich. 65, 77; 833 N.W.2d 225 (2013):

In a case on appeal from the MERC, the MERC's factual findings are conclusive if supported by competent, material, and substantial evidence on the whole record. Legal questions, which include questions of statutory interpretation and questions of contract interpretation, are reviewed de novo. As a result, an administrative agency's legal rulings are set aside if they are in violation of the constitution or a statute, or affected by a substantial and material error of law. [Quotation marks and citations omitted.]

We first address and reject the Library's contention that there was not competent, material, and substantial evidence to support MERC's finding that the head of the children's services department is a nonsupervisory position.

MERC's classification of an employee as supervisory or nonsupervisory involves findings of fact. See Police Officers Ass'n of Mich. v Fraternal Order of Police, Montcalm Co Lodge No 149, 235 Mich.App. 580, 586; 599 N.W.2d 504 (1999). " Findings of fact by [MERC] are [311 Mich.App. 453] conclusive if supported by competent, material, and substantial evidence on the whole record. This Court will reverse a MERC determination of an appropriate bargaining unit only upon a clear showing of error." Grosse Pointe Farms, 197 Mich.App. at 735 (1993) (citation omitted).

" The Legislature has segregated supervisory and executive personnel from other personnel for purposes of collective bargaining." Mich Ed Ass'n v Clare-Gladwin Intermediate Sch Dist, 153 Mich.App. 792, 795; 396 N.W.2d 538 (1986); see also Grosse Pointe Farms, 197 Mich.App. at 733 (" Generally, supervisory employees are not included in the same bargaining unit as nonsupervisory personnel." ). Because the term is not defined in the public employment relations act (PERA),[1] this Court has ...


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