March 15, 2011

State Labor Board: Prosecutor and Judge (twice)

Marc Comtois

I guess I'm not as up on the workings of the State Labor Board as I should be. I was unaware that the State Labor Board could "issue a complaint" against someone, then hold a hearing to determine if that same complaint was valid in the first place.

The state Labor Relations Board has issued a complaint against Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist for “creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation” at the state Department of Education during the tumult in Central Falls last year. The board is holding a hearing at 9 a.m. Tuesday at its Cranston headquarters....After an investigation that included testimony from both sides, the Labor Relations Board issued its complaint in January....Both sides will be asked to testify under oath Tuesday.

After the hearing, the state Labor Relations Board will determine if the complaint should be upheld or dismissed at the next board meeting.

This sounds like a process problem or, dare I say, inefficiency, to say the least. Basically, regardless of the merits of the complaint, is it really the most efficient (not to say unfair) system that has the same individuals hearing the same issues by the same people two times for the sake of...what? Possibly changing their minds? Does that actually ever happen?

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It would be interesting to know the stats of the Board's decisions on the matters it decides to "hear", after "hearing" from each side to decide whether to "hear" the matter. How many labor vs. management wins?

Posted by: riborn at March 15, 2011 6:19 PM
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