November 10, 2014
University support staff conversion election survives challenge by Kansas Association of Public Employees; 2 percent raise still at issue
On Jan. 29, the American Federation of Teachers local chapter 6400, also known as Kansas Association of Public Employees, the union representing service and maintenance employees at K-State, filed a complaint against the university with the State of Kansas Public Employee Relations Board, or PERB.
The complaint alleged that K-State had violated the Kansas Public Employer-Employee Relations Act, or PEERA, in relation to the classified employees' conversion to university support staff and asked that the vote be declared null and void.
On June 26, the union filed a second complaint against the university with the board. The second complaint alleged that the two percent raise was awarded to university support staff in violation of the act.
The university filed a motion to dismiss both complaints.
In ruling on that motion, the board found that the conversion of employees from classified to unclassified university support staff is not a term or condition of employment subject to the act, and dismissed the union's claims regarding the vote and subsequent conversion. The presiding officer also found that further questions remain as to the union's allegations regarding the two percent raise, and set deadlines allowing the parties to engage in further discovery and file dispositive motions.
The university will continue to vigorously defend the conversion process and the validity of the 2 percent raise.