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Published: Monday, 4/19/2010

Judge again rules TPPA issue should be handled by state board

Dan Wagner Dan Wagner

A Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge affirmed Monday his earlier ruling that a labor issue between the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association and the city belongs in front of the State Employment Relations Board.

Judge James Jensen heard argument from city and union attorneys before granting the city's motion to dismiss. The ruling means that there will not be a hearing Wednesday for union lawyers to present evidence with hopes of blocking several forced cutbacks on their members that have already been put in place.

Monday's decision is in line with the judge's March 31 decision that denied the union's request for a temporary restraining order to block the forced cuts from going into effect April 1. The judge said that the issue was not one of differing interpretations of the union's contract but instead of an acknowledged unfair labor practice on the part of the city.

According to state law, he said, unfair labor practice issues belong before SERB.

Union president Dan Wagner said after the hearing that the outcome was expected. He said the union will appeal the judge's decision as well as likely file an unfair labor practice complaint with the state.

He added that the union has attempted to continue negotiations with the city to help the financial crisis. Mr. Wagner said he believes the city now feels that it has the "upper hand" and so continues to ask for more than just financial concessions.

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