Vote may have been improper

Evans City council reinstated street department union

February 12, 2020 Cranberry Local News

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EVANS CITY — Borough Council’s vote in January to reinstate the streets department union may have been improper, some council members said.

At its Feb. 3 meeting, the council revisited the topic, with its first mention during discussion of the January meeting minutes. Councilwoman Faye Parenti said that while the minutes stated a vote to reinstate the street department union was unanimous, she didn’t vote for it because she thought it was an improper vote.

“I knew the motion was inappropriate, but I did not know the appropriate way that should have been taken with no discussion,” Parenti said.

According to Act 195 of 1970, which governs public-sector unions in the state, public employees must request certification from the state to formally form a union. If certified by the state, the public employer would then consent to a vote by the employees on whether to form a union.

Borough solicitor Neva Stotler told the council it could discuss the motion in executive session following the meeting, and that the motion “could be corrected by amendment.” Because the council did not reconvene following the meeting, they did not take any official action on the union certification Feb. 3.

The union, Teamsters Local Union 538, was created in May 2016. Its contract with the borough was to last through this December.

The borough informed the bargaining unit they no longer recognized the union when the number of employees in the department dropped to one.

A right-to-know request filed with the borough returned no documents indicating the union had been dissolved.

The matter likely will be considered again at the council’s March meeting.

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