AFSCME Union Attempted To Represent Probate Court Workers
The Probate Court Administrator does not qualify as an "employer" under the State Labor Relations Act. The union filed a petition to serve as the exclusive representative of employees who work for the Probate Court Administrator. The Board of Labor Relations' agent investigated and recommended dismissal. The union filed an objection. Although the union identified the Probate Court administrator as the "employer," the State Labor Relations Act's definition of "employer" excludes the state or any political or civil subdivision. The Board of Labor Relations found that the Probate Court Administrator does not qualify as an "employer" under the State Labor Relations Act and that child probate court officers work as employees of the regional children's probate courts. "[N]either the Probate Court Administrator, a regional children's probate court administrative judge, nor a regional children's probate court," wrote the Board of Labor Relations, "is an employer within the scope of the Act." The board dismissed the union's petition. George Kelly, of Siegel, O'Connor, O'Donnell & Beck, represented the Probate Court Administrator, and J. William Gagne, of Gagne & Associates, represented the union.