Minnesota Teamsters Public and Law Enforcement Employees Union, Local No. 320, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Respondent,
City of Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, Relator, Bureau of Mediation Services, Respondent.
Stauber, Judge Bureau of Mediation Services File No. 12PCL1193
Patrick J. Kelly, Joseph A. Kelly, Kevin M. Beck, Kelly & Lemmons, P.A., St. Paul, Minnesota (for respondent Minnesota Teamsters)
Susan E. Torgerson, Charles E. Long, Kennedy & Graven, Chtd., Minneapolis, Minnesota (for relator)
Lori Swanson, Minnesota Attorney General, Kelly S. Kemp, Assistant Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota (for respondent Bureau of Mediation Services)
Considered and decided by Schellhas, Presiding Judge; Hudson, Judge; and Stauber, Judge.
On a certiorari appeal from the decision of the Commissioner of the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) to include police cadets in a certified bargaining unit, relator argues that (1) the decision is arbitrary and capricious and unsupported by substantial evidence and (2) because BMS issued a final order excluding police cadets from the bargaining unit in 2005, the principle of res judicata precludes review of that final order. We reverse.
Relator City of Brooklyn Park (the city) and respondent Minnesota Teamsters Public and Law Enforcement Employee's Union, Local No. 320 (the union), are parties to collective-bargaining agreements pursuant to the Public Employment Labor Relations Act (PELRA), Minn. Stat. §§ 179A.01-.25 (2012). On November 14, 2002, BMS certified the union as the exclusive representative for certain city employees. The bargaining unit included "[a]ll non-licensed employees employed by [the city], who are public employees . . ., excluding supervisory and licensed employees." This group generally included police cadets without specifically mentioning them.
The city employs police cadets as part of its police cadet program. This program's objective "is to facilitate the entry of qualified candidates for police officer positions into the Police Department and to provide the best possible police service to our very diverse community." "Police cadets are individuals the Police Department has conditionally committed to employ as peace officers as soon as they become qualified for such a position and that [the] Department has an opening it is authorized to fill." The city also employs community service officers (CSOs), who are members of the bargaining unit and who may have some similar responsibilities to police cadets.
In 2004, the city and the union entered into a stipulation for an order that excluded the police cadets from the bargaining unit. The stipulation stated that the parties agreed that the police cadet classification
is not a proper part of this bargaining unit because cadets do not share a community of interest with the rest of the bargaining unit, and ...