Final Decision and Order Issued April 21, 2005

                                      Case No. 03-06
                                      Issued:  June 14, 2004

SHARRON V. A. WOOD,             )
               Complainant,     )
          v.                    )            INTERIM
                                )             ORDER
(CMTC),                         )
               Respondents.     )

     This prohibited practice claim had its origins when the
Complainant, a probationary instructor in the Nursing Department
at Central Maine Community College, was informed that her con-
tract would not be renewed.  The complaint, filed on November 8,
2002, alleges that the employer interfered with the rights
protected by 26 M.R.S.A. 1023 by coercing the Complainant into
resigning her position, thereby violating 1027(1)(A) of the
University of Maine System Labor Relations Act (the "Act").  The
complaint further alleges that the employer and the bargaining
agent colluded to deny her rights and that the union breached its
duty of fair representation in violation of 1027(2)(A). 

     Grover G. Alexander, Esq., represented the Complainant,   
Donald F. Fontaine, Esq., represented Respondent Maine Education
Association, and Linda S. McGill, Esq., represented the Maine
Technical College System.  Chair Peter T. Dawson presided over
the evidentiary hearing with Employer Representative Karl Dornish
and Employee Representative Robert Piccone.

     In accordance with the Prehearing Order issued on July 11,
2003, the hearing was bifurcated.  The issues to be presented at 


the first stage of the hearing were limited to whether the
employer interfered with the Complainant's exercise of the rights
provided by the collective bargaining agreement or coerced her
into abandoning such rights or coerced her resignation.


     The Board's jurisdiction to hear this case and issue a
decision lies in 26 M.R.S.A. 1029.  Respondent Maine Community
College System is a technical college within the meaning of 26
M.R.S.A. 1022(1-C) and 1029.[fn]1  The Maine Education Association 
is a bargaining agent within the meaning of 26 M.R.S.A. 1029(2).

                         FINDINGS OF FACT

1.   On August 21, 2000, Sharron Wood began working at the Auburn
     campus of Central Maine Community College ("CMCC") as an
     Instructor in the Nursing Program.  The collective bargain-
     ing agreement between the Maine Technical College System (of
     which CMCC is one part) and the Maine Education Association
     establishes a 3-year probationary period for faculty
     members.  The events giving rise to this prohibited practice
     case arose during Ms. Wood's second year as a probationary
     faculty member, specifically during the spring of 2002.
2.   The Nursing Department at Central Maine Community College is
     made up of six full-time faculty, including the Department
     Chair, along with several adjunct faculty members who are
     primarily responsible for clinical supervision of students. 
     The faculty members report to the Department Chair, Ms. Anne
     Schuettinger.  The Chair reports to the Dean of Academic 

     1 P.L. 2003, C. 20, Part OO, effective on March 27, 2003, changed
the name of the Maine Technical College System to the Maine Community
College System.  Central Maine Technical College (CMTC) became Central
Maine Community College (CMCC).  Both names are used here interchange-


     Affairs, Ms. Patricia Vampatella, who reports to the
     President of CMCC, Dr. Scott Knapp.  
3.   Ms. Wood shared an office with Ms. Susan Jamison, a faculty
     member who had been employed there about five years.     
     Ms. Kathy McManus, whose office was across the hall from 
     Ms. Schuettinger's office, was in her first year as a
     faculty member at the college during the events at issue in
     this case.
4.   The collective bargaining agreement between the Maine
     Technical College System and the Maine Education Association
     for the Faculty Unit had an effective date of July 1, 2001,
     and expired June 30, 2003.
5.   Article 16 of the collective bargaining agreement covers
     probation.  It states:
          A.  All faculty members shall serve a probationary
          period of up to three (3) years.  Contracts shall be
          issued annually.  Non-renewal of contracts of
          probationary faculty members shall be at the discretion
          of the President.  Probationary faculty members whose
          contracts are not renewed shall be given written
          notification of at least ten (10) weeks.  Such faculty
          members shall have the opportunity to appeal the
          decision of the President to the System President whose
          decision shall be final.

          B.  Faculty members who have completed their three (3)
          year probationary period shall receive six (6) months
          prior notice in the event that their contract is not

6.   Article 6 of the collective bargaining agreement covers
     faculty evaluations.  The relevant portions state:
          D. Evaluation programs at the various colleges    
          will at a minimum contain the following:

               1. Faculty members with continuing contract
               status shall be evaluated each year.

               2. Probationary members shall be evaluated
               twice each year. 


               3. All monitoring or observation of faculty
               member for the purpose of evaluation shall be
               done with the knowledge of the faculty

               4. A faculty member will be given a copy of a
               written report of his/her evaluation which
               shall be prepared by his/her evaluator within
               one (1) week of the evaluation and the
               faculty member may request a conference to
               discuss such evaluation report.  The faculty
               member shall have the evaluation report at
               least one (1) day prior to any such
               conference.  The faculty member may offer
               written comments in response to any
               evaluation report and such response shall be
               attached to the file copy.
               . . .

7.   Article 4 of the collective bargaining agreement covers
     discipline and states, in full:

     A.   No faculty member covered by this Agreement shall
          be reprimanded or suspended without just cause.
     B.   No faculty member with continuing contract status
          shall be discharged or suffer non-renewal of
          contract except for just cause.
     C.   No faculty member shall be suspended without pay
          or discharged without notice in writing.
     D.   A faculty member may meet with the President or
          his/her designee to discuss the action proposed or
          taken within three (3) days after receipt of the
          suspension or dismissal notice.  The faculty
          member, if he/she chooses, may have a
          representative of the Association present to
          advise and/or represent him/her at this meeting.
     E.   Any faculty member suspended without pay or
          dismissed may grieve directly to the System
          President at Step 2 of the grievance procedure
          within fifteen (15) days after the faculty member
          becomes aware of such disciplinary action.
     F.   The Association shall be given prompt written
          notice of the discharge, suspension or non-renewal

          of any faculty member.
     G.   A faculty member who is given a written reprimand
          shall be notified that a copy of the reprimand
          will be sent to the Association's steward if the
          faculty member requests it.  The faculty member
          shall be given the opportunity to make this
          request when the reprimand is issued.

8.   Article 8 of the collective bargaining agreement, setting
     forth the grievance procedure, defines "grievance" as "A
     dispute concerning the meaning or application of the
     specific terms of this Agreement."  It defines "grievant" as
     "A faculty member, a group or class of faculty members or
     the Association." 
9.   The grievance procedure has various time constraints for
     filing a grievance, for responding, and for appealing to the
     next step.  The first step is for the grievant to present
     the claim orally to the Vice President, the second step is a
     written grievance to the President of the College, the third
     step is a written appeal to the System President, and the
     final step is arbitration.  The Association is the only
     party that may appeal the System President's decision to
10.  With respect to dismissals, Article 8(B)(1)(b) provides:
          Any faculty member suspended without pay or
          dismissed may grieve directly to the System
          President at Step D.3 of the grievance procedure
          within fifteen (15) days after the faculty member
          becomes aware of such disciplinary action.

11.  All faculty members, whether probationary employees or non-
     probationary, are appointed to their positions for one-year
     terms.  The President of the College has the sole authority
     to appoint or reappoint a faculty member.
12.  At the end of her first year of employment at the College,
     Ms. Wood was evaluated by her supervisor, Ms. Schuettinger. 

     The evaluation was completed in May of 2001 and Ms. Wood was
     subsequently reappointed to her position as a probationary 
     Instructor in the Nursing Department.  Ms. Wood was not
     evaluated again until May 10, 2002.  
13.  Although the collective bargaining agreement states that
     probationary employees are to be evaluated twice each year,
     Ms. Wood did not receive a mid-year evaluation in either her
     first or her second year of employment.  There was no
     evidence that she complained about this or filed a grievance
     regarding this omission on either occasion. 
14.  On April 10, 2002, Ms. Wood's supervisor, Ms. Schuettinger,
     counseled Ms. Wood on a number of performance issues
     concerning Ms. Wood's relations with other staff members and
     certain attendance issues.  She informed Ms. Wood that the
     issues addressed would be summarized on her annual
     evaluation.  Ms. Schuettinger told Ms. Wood that if the
     issues discussed were not addressed during the following
     academic year, then Ms. Schuettinger would not recommend
     that her employment be renewed beyond the third year of her
     probationary period.
15.  After the April 10 meeting with Ms. Wood, Ms. Schuettinger
     wrote a summary of the issues discussed, describing the
     performance issues and the statement that Ms. Wood would
     have to correct the problems in order to obtain renewal
     beyond the upcoming academic year.  Ms. Schuettinger also
     wrote that Ms. Wood said, "You don't want to get rid of me
     now because you don't want to have to replace me."       
     Ms. Schuettinger did not give Ms. Wood a copy of the summary
     or any written documentation of their April 10, 2002,
16.  Two of Ms. Wood's colleagues testified that in late April or
     early May, Ms. Wood asked them whom to contact about joining
     the union.  Ms. McManus, who was a union member, gave     


     Ms. Wood the name of someone to ask.  Ms. Jamison testified
     that Ms. Wood told Ms. Jamison she should probably join the
     union because she had had a conversation with Anne
     Schuettinger and that it had not gone well.
17.  In a letter dated April 25, 2002, the Maine Education
     Association notified Ms. Wood that they had recently
     received and processed her application for membership in the
     Association.  The letter indicates that a membership card
     was enclosed along with other materials.
18.  Ms. Wood testified that although she had become a member of
     the union and was having either $25 or $40 a month taken out
     of her paycheck, she was unaware of the general notion that
     if she had a dispute with her employer, she could call on
     the union for assistance.  Ms. Wood testified that she did
     not know what her union dues were for, but assumed she would
     eventually be told.
19.  Ms. Schuettinger provides her annual performance evaluations
     for the faculty members during the final week of the school
     year which, in 2002, was the week of May 6 to 10.  Her
     practice is to post a schedule for the performance
     evaluations, with the faculty members coming to her office
     at the scheduled time.  Ms. Schuettinger posted the schedule
     sometime in the first half of that final week of school.  
     It had two evaluation meetings scheduled for the morning of
     May 9, two for the afternoon of May 9, and Ms. Wood's
     evaluation scheduled for 9 a.m. on Friday, May 10.  
20.  Ms. Schuettinger's practice over the seven years she had
     served as Department Chair was to give a copy of the
     evaluation to the faculty member at the start of the
     meeting, discuss it, and then have the faculty member sign
     it to indicate that the faculty member had reviewed the
     evaluation.  It was not her practice to give the faculty
     member an advance copy of the evaluation, but she would have

     done so had such a request been made.  Ms. Wood did not
     request a copy of the evaluation in advance of their
21.  Ms. Wood arrived at Ms. Schuettinger's office at 9:00 a.m.
     on May 10th.  Ms. Schuettinger informed Ms. Wood that Dean
     Vampatella would be joining them.  Ms. Wood stated she
     thought it was unfair for two of them to be there.  While
     they were waiting for Dean Vampatella to arrive,         
     Ms. Schuettinger gave Ms. Wood copies of the student
     evaluations to review.  The student evaluations were
22.  When Dean Vampatella arrived shortly after 9 a.m., Ms. Wood
     again brought up the fact that she thought the situation was
     a "power thing" with both the Dean and the Department Chair
     present.  Ms. Wood wanted to know why the Dean was there. 
     Dean Vampatella replied that she was there to monitor the
     process for the benefit of both the faculty and the Chair. 
     Ms. Wood stated she thought that it was unfair to have two
     of them while she was there without any support.         
     Ms. Schuettinger said she thought Kathy McManus was across
     the hall and Ms. Wood could have her join them.  Ms. Wood
     did not want to bring her in.  Ms. Wood did not ask to call
     another faculty member or a representative of the union,
     even though by this point she had realized the meeting was
     not going to be a positive one.
23.  Ms. Schuettinger began the evaluation process by handing 
     Ms. Wood a copy of the evaluation and saying that even
     though her student evaluations were positive, she would be
     recommending that Ms. Wood's probationary contract not be
     renewed.  Ms. Wood was shocked and visibly upset.  She said
     she did not understand why they were doing this.  She was
     crying and asked if she could take the evaluation somewhere
     to read in private.



24.  Ms. Wood was allowed to leave Schuettinger's office so that
     she could read the evaluation in private.  Neither Dean
     Vampatella or Ms. Schuettinger stated that the evaluation
     had to be signed that day, nor did they impose any sort of 
     time limit on Ms. Wood or suggest that Ms. Wood had to
     return at any particular time.  When Ms. Wood left Chair
     Schuettinger's office, she was visibly upset and unable to
     speak very clearly.  
25.  Ms. Wood went across the hall to the office of Kathy
     McManus, another nursing faculty member with whom Ms. Wood
     was friendly.  She knocked and asked if she could come in. 
     As soon as Ms. McManus saw that Ms. Wood was upset and
     crying, she said sure.  Ms. Wood sat at the second desk in
     the office and Ms. McManus asked Ms. Wood what happened. 
     Ms. Wood replied that they weren't going to renew her
     contract, and that "I can't believe this is happening
     again."  Ms. McManus did not ask what Ms. Wood meant by this
     last statement.
26.  Ms. Wood stayed and spoke with Ms. McManus for about a half
     an hour or forty-five minutes.  At some point in the
     conversation, Ms. McManus asked Ms. Wood if she had talked
     to her husband or her father.  Ms. McManus knew that     
     Ms. Wood's father was an attorney.[fn]2  Ms. Wood told her that 
     she would speak with her father that night and that she had 
     not been able to reach her husband yet.
27.  During the conversation with Ms. Wood, Ms. McManus tried to
     help Ms. Wood deal with the bad news.  Ms. McManus offered
     sympathy to Ms. Wood but does not recall discussing the
     content of the evaluation other than the fact that it was
     negative.  They discussed Ms. Wood's plans for that summer,
     which included a trip to visit her daughter in Chicago and 

     2 Ms. Wood's father, Grover Alexander, has been representing her
throughout this proceeding.


     included buying another house so that she and her husband
     could renovate it.  They ended up talking about what options
     Ms. Wood had and brainstorming different ideas.  One option
     mentioned was that she could do nothing.  Another option was
     to "fight the thing."  Ms. McManus testified that "I'm not
     even sure if either one of us knew what that meant at that
     time."  When they were talking about doing nothing, it
     became apparent to them that the negative evaluation might
     make it difficult to find another teaching position.  They
     discussed the fact that Ms. Wood has always wanted to teach,
     that she is a good teacher, and that she wanted to be able
     to teach at another institution.  The idea came up of the
     possibility of resigning in order to keep the negative
     evaluation out of her record.  Ms. McManus said she could
     serve as a reference and thought Ms. Wood would perform
     better at another institution where management styles did
     not collide as much as they did at CMCC.  Ms. McManus
     offered to call Dean Vampatella to see if resignation and
     removing the evaluation was even a possibility that Ms. Wood
     could consider.  Ms. Wood wanted her to make the phone call
     for her.
28.  Ms. McManus called the Dean but did not reach her.  She then
     went out in the hall to look around the office area to see
     if the Dean was there.  Ms. McManus came back to her office
     and called Dean Vampatella again.  This time, the Dean
     answered.  Ms. McManus said Ms. Wood wanted to know if she
     resigned, could the negative evaluation be removed or
     destroyed.  Dean Vampatella responded that it was a possib-
     ility, but she could not commit either way.  Ms. McManus
     gave that information to Ms. Wood.  
29.  By this time, Ms. Wood had pulled herself together and was
     composed.  Ms. Wood then left Ms. McManus's office.  When 
     Ms. Wood left, Ms. McManus thought she was going over to 


     find Dean Vampatella to discuss the possibility of resigning
     and having the evaluation removed from her personnel record. 
     Ms. McManus fully expected Ms. Wood to resign if they could
     work that out.
30.  Dean Vampatella and Chair Schuettinger remained in
     Ms. Schuettinger's office for about a half an hour after 
     Ms. Wood left, in case Ms. Wood decided to return.  After a
     while, Dean Vampatella looked around for Ms. Wood and
     checked to see that her car was still in the parking lot. 
     Dean Vampatella had to return to her office across campus
     and told Ms. Schuettinger she could be reached there if
     needed.  Ms. Wood did not return to Ms. Schuettinger's
31.  Dr. Knapp, the President of the College, was aware of the
     fact that the Department Chair was going to recommend that
     Ms. Wood's contract not be renewed.  Chair Schuettinger and
     Dean Vampatella had met with him briefly earlier that week
     to inform him that Ms. Schuettinger would probably be
     recommending non-renewal of Ms. Wood's contract.  At that
     meeting, they did not discuss the details of Ms. Wood's
     evaluation or performance problems, as Dr. Knapp thought it
     was inappropriate for him to hear the substance of the
     evaluation at that stage.  The meeting was brief.
32.  Dean Vampatella received the phone call from Ms. McManus at
     about 9:45 a.m., but needed to check with Dr. Knapp before
     she could answer the question regarding a possible
     resignation.  The Dean went to Dr. Knapp's office to ask
     whether she could accept Ms. Wood's resignation and destroy
     the evaluation.  Dr. Knapp testified that he understood that
     the resignation request had originated with Ms. Wood.    
     Dr. Knapp responded that it could be done only if Ms. Wood
     submitted a separate document acknowledging that she was
     resigning before the evaluation process had been completed. 

     Dr. Knapp authorized Dean Vampatella to accept Ms. Wood's
     resignation if it was accompanied by such a document and to
     shred her evaluation in turn.  
33.  Dean Vampatella conveyed this information to Ms. Wood,
     either through Ms. McManus or directly when Ms. Wood came to
     the Dean's office sometime later that morning.  In either
     case, when Ms. Wood and Dean Vampatella met in the Dean's
     office, the Dean explained that if Ms. Wood resigned and
     submitted a separate document stating that she was resigning
     before the evaluation process was completed, then the Dean
     would shred her evaluation.  The Dean did not state or
     suggest in any way that Ms. Wood had to resign.  Dean
     Vampatella indicated that she would be available the rest of
     the day up until about a half an hour before the graduation
     ceremony.  She did not say the resignation had to be
     submitted that day.
34.  Susan Jamison shared an office with Ms. Wood.  Ms. Jamison
     entered their office at about 11 a.m. on May 10th and saw
     that Ms. Wood looked distressed.  Ms. Jamison asked her what
     was wrong.  Ms. Wood asked if she could talk to her about
     it, shut the door, and then told her she had been fired.
35.  Ms. Jamison and Ms. Wood went through portions of the
     evaluation discussing each item, with Ms. Jamison telling
     her what points she agreed with and which she did not
     understand.  The conversation was not argumentative.  
36.  Ms. Jamison had submitted her resignation to the College in
     April.  Ms. Wood knew this and commented that management
     must have really wanted Ms. Wood out if they were willing to
     deal with the loss of two instructors at once.  At some
     point, Ms. Wood told Ms. Jamison that it would be bad to
     continue to work at CMCC because nobody really wanted her
     there.  Ms. Wood also indicated that she and her husband had
     bought some land and she needed to have a job to be able to 


     pay for that house.
37.  Ms. Wood told Ms. Jamison of a proposal made to her that she
     could resign and they would get rid of the evaluation and
     asked if she thought it was a good idea.  Ms. Jamison said
     she should consider it.  Ms. Wood did not specify who had
     made this proposal.
38.  Ms. Wood received a phone call from her husband while she
     was discussing her evaluation with Ms. Jamison.  Mr. Wood
     knew that his wife's evaluation was scheduled for the
     morning of May 10th.  Ms. Wood had also told him about the
     April 10th meeting with Ms. Schuettinger and that she
     disagreed with her supervisor's views.  Mr. Wood called his
     wife at about noon to see how things were going.  Her voice
     was shaky and he could hardly hear her.  She told him that
     she had been fired and she said "I can't talk, I've got to
     go meet with Pat, I'll call you later."
39.  Ms. Wood told Ms. Jamison that she was too nervous to type
     the resignation and asked Ms. Jamison if she would do it for
     her.  Ms. Wood told Ms. Jamison what words to type, but was
     not referring to any notes when doing so.  Ms. Jamison
     testified that Ms. Wood was unsure what date to use because
     the resignation was supposed to be before the evaluation
     actually took place and she was planning on asking Dean
     Vampatella what date to use.  Ms. Wood was waiting for a
     call from Dean Vampatella about what time she could meet
     with her.  Ms. Jamison was under the impression that     
     Ms. Wood wanted the documents typed to be ready for that
40.  After they had typed up the resignation letters, Dean
     Vampatella called.  When that call came in, Ms. Wood made
     copies of the letters and left.  Ms. Jamison thought
     Ms. Wood was going to Dean Vampatella's office to resign. 
41.  Both of the resignation documents are directed to Anne 


     Schuettinger and signed by Sharron Wood.  One says: 
          On this date I am formally submitting my
          resignation from the CMTC nursing program as a
          full time faculty and will not be renewing my

     The other says:
          On this date I am formally submitting my
          resignation from the CMTC nursing program as a
          full time faculty member and will not be renewing
          my contract.  I acknowledge that the resignation
          is prior to the evaluation process being
     Both documents are dated May 10, 2004, with the month and
     year in typeface and the "10" handwritten.  
42.  When Ms. Wood arrived at Dean Vampatella's office for the
     second time, she handed the Dean the two resignation
     documents.  Dean Vampatella reviewed them and concluded that
     they met the requirements set out by Dr. Knapp.  They went
     into the next room to the shredding machine and shredded the
     evaluation.  In response to Ms. Wood's question, Dean
     Vampatella said she would make sure that if Ms. Schuettinger
     had kept a copy of the evaluation, it would be shredded as
43.  Ms. Wood claims that Dean Vampatella told her not to worry
     about the date, because she would not be submitting them
     until Monday, anyway.  Dean Vampatella denies making such a
44.  Ms. Wood left the campus right after she submitted her
     resignation and witnessed the Dean shredding her evaluation.
45.  That evening, after speaking with her father, Ms. Wood
     attempted to withdraw her resignation.  Her father called
     Dean Vampatella at her home on Friday evening and told her
     that Ms. Wood wanted to withdraw her resignation.  The Dean
     responded that as she considered the resignation to already
     have been accepted, he would have to speak to the system's 


     attorney.  Mr. Alexander asked for his home phone number,
     but she did not know it.  She said if he called her office
     first thing on Monday morning, she would give Mr. Alexander
     the attorney's number.
46.  Mr. Alexander also called Ms. Schuettinger Friday evening to
     tell her Ms. Wood was withdrawing her resignation.
47.  Mr. Alexander called Dean Vampatella again on Saturday,
     asking who else participated in the decision to shred the
     evaluation.  Ms. Vampatella declined to answer.
48.  Ms. Wood called Dean Vampatella on Sunday to tell her that
     she was withdrawing her resignation and would come by her
     office on Monday to pick up the resignation letter.  Dean
     Vampatella replied that Ms. Wood should call her office
     first, because she could not return the resignation unless
     instructed to do so by the system attorney.
49.  Late on Sunday evening, May 12, 2002, Ms. Wood sent e-mail
     messages to Ms. Schuettinger, Dean Vampatella, and Dr. Knapp
     stating that she was withdrawing her resignation.  In two of
     the messages, Ms. Wood stated that her resignation was sub-    
     mitted under duress.  Ms. Wood indicated that she would be
     pursuing her rights relating to the nonrenewal recommend-
     ation under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement
     "as well as all other applicable civil laws in the Maine
50.  The collective bargaining agreement does not include any
     provision authorizing the withdrawal of a resignation.
51.  In a letter dated May 17, 2002, the System's General Counsel
     informed Mr. Alexander that the College viewed Ms. Wood's
     resignation as accepted and in effect until such time as the
     College was persuaded to act otherwise.
52.  On June 7, 2002, Ms. Wood went to Dean Vampatella's office
     prepared to present an oral grievance which was summarized
     in a 3-page memo Ms. Wood had in hand.  Ms. Wood gave her 


     the summary but Dean Vampatella did not want to discuss it
     and Ms. Wood left.  The memo alleged that the College failed
     to comply with the collective bargaining agreement's
     provisions on 1) the annual appointment of the Nursing
     Department Chair, 2) the frequency of evaluations for
     probationary faculty, 3) notice requirements for monitoring
     of performance, 4) assuring academic freedom and cooperative
     efforts to achieve excellence in classroom instruction,   
     5) the appointment of a committee to create and update
     evaluation procedures for faculty, 6) provision of an
     advance copy of the evaluation, and 7) forcing a resignation
     and then tampering with her personnel file by shredding the
53.  In letters to Mr. Alexander dated June 27 and June 29, 2002,
     the System's attorney explained Ms. Wood's resignation was
     not a grievable matter concerning the meaning or application
     of a specific term in the collective bargaining agreement. 
     The College also took the position that since Ms. Wood
     resigned her position, she was not entitled to grieve the
     issues regarding the evaluation and nonrenewal of her
     probationary contract.  
54.  Ms. Wood's father, asserting that he was acting as her
     representative with the permission of the MEA,[fn]3 sent various 
     letters purporting to be "formal grievances" to Dean
     Vampatella; the President of CMCC, Dr. Knapp; and the
     President of the Maine Community College System,         
     Mr. Fitzsimmons, in an effort to have the issued addressed
     or, alternatively, move the case on to arbitration.
55.  When the College communicated its position that the matter
     was not grievable, it offered Ms. Wood and her attorney the 

      3 The nature of this permission, the scope of the authority
delegated to Mr. Alexander, and whether that authority was revoked are
not relevant issues in this part of this proceeding.


     opportunity to meet informally with Dr. Knapp so that he
     could listen to her position and review her employment
     status.  This offer was initially made in June and was
     scheduled in a letter dated June 29, 2002: 
          . . . Dr. Knapp is willing to meet with Ms. Wood
          for the purpose of hearing and considering her
          position.  This meeting will not be a formal
          hearing with trial-like procedures.  Rather, the
          meeting will provide Ms. Wood an opportunity to
          explain her concerns and complaints to Dr. Knapp
          and, if appropriate, to explore resolution of her
          dispute.  In short, the MTCS will, without waiver
          or concession, accord Ms. Wood the opportunity and
          process that would apply under the bargaining
          agreement at this step.

56.  Ms. Wood's attorney rejected the offer in a letter dated
     August 2, 2002.  That letter stated, in part:
          We must respectfully decline Dr. Knapp's
          "opportunity to meet" on August 13th for the
          simple reason that the dictatorial tone and terms
          imposed by your letter of July 29th create the
          impression that in order to be heard, a contrite
          Mrs. Wood must first kneel at the palace gates and
          beg forgiveness for her past transgressions before
          entry will be considered . . . and we do not like
          that feeling.  Mrs. Wood feels she has done
          nothing wrong and we believe that it is Dr. Knapp
          who should seek forgiveness for his having
          permitted the conditions to exist at CMTC out of
          which this problem arose.  C.M.T.C. is a public
          institution . . . not a personal fiefdom; there
          are not persons of royalty; there are no vested or
          proprietary interests held by anyone; nor is it
          empowered to deprive its employees of due process
          or to breach its private contracts at will.



     The procedural background in this case is complex and
involved a number prehearing conferences and various motions. 
Understanding this background is important to understanding the
nature of the evidentiary hearing.  Each preliminary ruling was
geared to bring focus to the issues to be presented, limit those
issues to matters within the Board's jurisdiction, and allow the
presentation of evidence in an orderly manner.  
     The Executive Director reviewed the prohibited practice
complaint and dismissed as insufficient the allegations that the
College violated 1027(1)(B), (1)(C) and (1)(E).[fn]4  The Executive 
Director rejected the College's argument that the surviving 
portions of the complaint merely asserted various contract 
violations, stating: 

     . . .  The thrust of the charge is that, through the
     alleged events of May 10, 2002, the employer interfered
     with the complainant's exercise of the rights provided
     by the collective bargaining agreement or coerced the
     employee into abandoning such rights and that the
     employer's conduct rose to the level of a statutory
     violation. . . .  [The complaint] alleges that the
     employer took actions and made statements which
     effectively prevented the complainant from seeking
     bargaining agent representation and from individually
     pursuing the evaluation review and appeal process set
     forth in the collective bargaining agreement.  In
     addition, the complaint charges that the employer and
     the bargaining agent colluded to deny the complainant
     the rights guaranteed by the Act. . . .

At a prehearing conference on April 16, 2003, the College renewed
its motion to dismiss, claiming the motion presented a
dispositive legal issue which would render a fact hearing
unnecessary.  See MLRB Rule Ch. 12, 10(7).  The Prehearing
Officer requested briefs and subsequently denied the Motion to 

     4 The Executive Director's reasoning was fully described in his
letter of December 13, 2002.  His action became official by letter of
December 31, 2002, after the opportunity to amend the complaint had


Dismiss in the Prehearing Order dated May 14, 2003.  After
quoting the language of the Executive Director cited above, the
Prehearing Officer noted:

     The Executive Director was correct in stating that
     there are portions of the complaint that allege more
     than just employer violations of the collective
     bargaining agreement.  There are three potentially
     viable charges contained in the complaint:  that the
     employer interfered with the Complainant's exercise of
     the rights provided by the collective bargaining
     agreement or coerced the employee into abandoning such
     rights; that the employer and the union colluded to
     deny the Complainant the rights guaranteed by the Act;
     and that the union violated its duty of fair represen-

     Before the next prehearing conference, the Prehearing
Officer asked the parties to "be prepared to identify those
exhibits that relate to the issue of whether the employer
interfered with the Complainant's exercise of the rights provided
in the collective bargaining agreement or coerced her resigna-
tion, the essence of the first of the three issues identified in
the May 14, 2003 Prehearing Order."
     The prehearing conference was reconvened on June 23, 2003. 
As part of its prehearing submission, the Maine Education Assoc-
iation requested the prehearing officer to identify in advance
the fact issues for hearing.  The Association also requested that
the Prehearing Officer specifically order that three specific
fact issues not be allowed to be presented at the hearing.  The
Complainant submitted a motion requesting permission for the
Complainant's attorney to testify at the hearing.
     On July 11, 2003, the Prehearing Officer issued a Prehearing
Order that listed exhibits and objections, witnesses, responded
to various subpoena requests, and established various
prerequisites should Attorney Alexander desire to pursue his
request to testify.  Of particular note here, the Order also
bifurcated the hearing so that the first portion would be on 


"whether the employer interfered with the Complainant's exercise
of the rights provided by the collective bargaining agreement or
coerced the employee into abandoning such rights or coerced her
resignation."  The Prehearing Officer also agreed that the three
factual issues identified by the Association were beyond the
scope of the issues appropriately raised in the first portion of
the bifurcated hearing.  Those issues were whether Complainant's
job performance was satisfactory, whether there was cause for
non-renewal of her contract, and issues related to the size of
the Department Chair's workload.  
     On October 8, 2003, the Complainant filed a "Motion for
Clarification and to Amend the Supplemental Prehearing Conference
Memorandum and Order, dated July 11, 2003."[fn]5  That motion sought 
to expand the issues to be heard to include numerous alleged 
contract violations (regardless of whether they occurred during 
the 6-month statute of limitations period), the alleged personal 
animosity directed at the Complainant by the Department Chair and 
the Dean, and the merits of the Complainant's performance eval-
uation.  The Motion also sought to have the Board order CMCC to 
disclose the name of the person consulted for authority to shred 
the Complainant's evaluation.  The Prehearing Officer denied all 
but the final item of this Motion in the Supplemental Prehearing 
Memorandum and Order dated October 17, 2003.
     In that Order, the Prehearing Officer gave a well-reasoned
explanation for his denial of the Complainant's motion.  We quote
it below and affirm that it is an accurate statement of the law:

        In seeking to expand the issues to be presented
     during the first part of the bifurcated hearing, the
     Complainant argues that the employer "violated and
     thereby interfered with Complainant's ability to
     exercise her rights under Articles 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8,
     13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22 and 25 of the collective 


     5 The Complainant also filed a Motion in Limine seeking to limit
the participation of the MEA in the evidentiary hearing.  That motion
was denied at the start of the hearing.


     bargaining agreement in addition to coercing her into
     abandoning her rights under Articles 3, 4, 6, 8, 13,
     16, 17, 19 and 25."

        Complainant misconstrues the Board's jurisdiction. 
     A violation of the contract is not by itself a
     prohibited practice.  See Langley v. Dept. of
     Transportation, No. 00-14, (March 29, 2002) (Calling a
     contract violation interference with a "right to fully
     participate in the contract" does not transform it into
     a prohibited practice).  There are instances in which a
     contract violation is relevant to the disposition of a
     prohibited practice complaint.  See Id.  In fact, two
     of the contract violations alleged in the current case
     are at the heart of this case:  That the employer
     interfered with the complainant's exercise of the
     rights to file a grievance (Art. 8) by failing to
     provide her with a copy of the performance evaluation
     in advance of the conference as required by Article 6. 
     The other contract violations alleged have no bearing
     on the Complainant's representational and collective
     bargaining rights within the meaning of section 1023.

        Section 1027(1)(A) makes it unlawful for an employer
     to interfere with, restrain or coerce an employee in
     the exercise of rights guaranteed in 1023.  Section
     1023 states:  

             No one may directly or indirectly inter-
          fere with, intimidate, restrain, coerce or
          discriminate against . . . technical college
          employees or a group of . . . technical
          college employees in the free exercise of
          their rights, hereby given, voluntarily to
          join, form and participate in the activities
          of organizations of their own choosing for
          the purposes of representation and collective
          bargaining, or in the free exercise of any
          other right under this chapter.

        The focus of 1023, which is labeled "Right of
     university, academy or technical college employees to
     join labor organizations," is on the rights of
     representation and collective bargaining granted by the
     Act.  The test for a violation of Section 1027(1)(A) is
     whether the employer has engaged in conduct which "may
     reasonably be said to tend to interfere with the free
     exercise of employee rights guaranteed in 26 M.R.S.A. 
     1023."  Teamsters v. Univ. of Maine, No. 79-37 (Oct.
     17, 1979), citing Teamsters v. Univ. of Maine, Nos. 


     78-16 and 78-20 at 8 (1979).  Thus, the conduct must
     interfere with the representational and bargaining
     rights set forth in Section 1023.

        The statement in the various prehearing orders
     focusing on whether "the employer interfered with the
     Complainant's exercise of the rights provided by the
     collective bargaining agreement or coerced the employee
     into abandoning such rights" is not the same as asking
     whether the employer violated the contract.  Filing a
     grievance, appealing a performance evaluation, or
     seeking union representation is how an individual
     exercises the representational and collective
     bargaining rights guaranteed by section 1023.  Failure
     to adhere to a contract is not interference with rights
     guaranteed by the Act.  The Board does not have
     jurisdiction to hear claims of contract violations when
     they are unrelated to a prohibited practice complaint.

     The first stage of the bifurcated hearing occurred on
October 28 and 29, 2003.  The parties were allowed to present
evidence, examine and cross examine witnesses on issues that were
arguably related to "whether the employer interfered with the
Complainant's exercise of the rights provided by the collective
bargaining agreement or coerced the employee into abandoning such
rights or coerced her resignation."  Although there were
differences of opinion on the relevance of evidence presented,
the scope of the hearing was, for the most part, consistent with
the limitations specified in the prehearing orders.  The
Complainant's brief is not quite so limited, but the arguments
presented will be addressed point by point nonetheless.
     Complainant's brief has, as its first argument, the claim
that the employer "interfered with complainant's exercise of the
rights provided by the collective bargaining agreement" by
failing to evaluate Complainant's performance twice annually and
by failing to provide an advance copy of the May 10, 2002,
evaluation, both actions that Complainant alleges were required
by Article 6 of the collective bargaining agreement.  The essence
of the argument is that if the employer had complied with these 



provisions, the Complainant would have either improved her job
performance or filed a grievance. 
     There are two problems with this argument.  First, it
ignores the distinction between interfering with the free
exercise of representational or bargaining rights and violating a
collective bargaining agreement.  The Complainant's construction
transforms every contact violation or inaction by the Employer
into a prohibited practice.  The failure to provide a performance
evaluation two times a year is simply not interference with the
free exercise of the representational or collective bargaining
rights guaranteed by the Act.  See Teamsters v. City of Calais,
No. 80-29 (May 13, 1980), p. 7, (right to file a grievance is
protected); and MSEA v. Dept. of Human Services, No. 81-35, p. 5
(June 26, 1981) (participating in bargaining is protected).  
     The Complainant also argues that the collective bargaining
agreement requires that an employee be given a copy of the
evaluation one day in advance and that the failure to do so
interfered with her right to file a grievance or appeal the
evaluation.  Even if the Complainant's interpretation were a
correct reading of the contract, which the evidence suggests is
doubtful,[fn]6 it cannot be said to interfere with her right to file 
a grievance.
     There is no evidence in the record that Ms. Wood was
prevented from filing a grievance over the failure of the Depart-
ment Chair to evaluate her during the course of the year.  She
could have filed a grievance over the omission, but did not do
so.  Similarly, there is no evidence in the record that during
any of the meetings on May 10, 2002, that the Complainant asked 

     6 The Department Chair credibly testified that in her seven years
as Chair, her practice was to give the employee the evaluation at the
start of the meeting, not the day before.  This was corroborated by
the two other instructors who testified.  In addition, the Association
presented in its brief a credible reading of Article 6(D)(4) that does
not result in a requirement that an advance copy always be provided.


for assistance from a union representative and was denied that
opportunity.  She could have asked to contact the union
representative, but did not do so.  The employer was under no
obligation to inform her that she could contact the union
representative for assistance.  See AFT Local 3711 v. Sanford
School Committee, No. 01-24, at 12 (Jan. 31, 2002).  
     The Complainant's argument that had the employer given her
an advance copy of the evaluation, she would have had the
opportunity to determine her rights and would have been prepared
to file a grievance does not translate into a cognizable
interference, restraint and coercion violation.  The facts are
that one month earlier, Ms. Wood was counseled on her job
performance and warned that her contract would not be renewed the
following year if the problems were not addressed.  After that
meeting, she told a co-worker that she may be needing the
assistance of the union because the meeting with the Department
Chair had not gone well.  She then joined the union.  By Sunday
evening, May 12th, when she sent her e-mail messages attempting
to withdraw her resignation, she had determined that she had some
rights under the collective bargaining agreement.  Ms. Wood's
failure to determine her rights before the May 10th evaluation
cannot be blamed on the employer.
     The second argument presented by the Complainant is that the
employer interfered with her right to file a grievance by refus-
ing to accept and respond to grievances filed after the Complain-
ant resigned from her position.  The Complainant mistakenly
relies on the language of 1025(2)(E) for the proposition that an
employee has the right to file a grievance independent of the
union.  That provision merely protects the employer from a charge
of circumventing the union if it chooses to adjust an individual
employee's grievance without the intervention of the bargaining
agent.  See AFT Local 3711, Sanford Teachers Assoc. v. Sanford
School Committee, No. 01-24 (interpreting the parallel provision 


contained in the collective bargaining law covering municipal
employees).  The employer is under no obligation under Maine's
collective bargaining laws to respond to grievances filed by
individual employees.  Id.  In addition, an employer is under no
obligation to arbitrate a grievance unless there is a written
agreement to arbitrate.  MSEA v. BOER, 652 A.2d 654, at 655 (Me.
1995), citing 14 M.R.S.A. 5927-5928.  In this case, the
collective bargaining agreement states that the Association
reserves to itself the right to take a grievance to arbitration. 
Art. 8(E)(1)("If the grievant is not satisfied . . . , the
Association may appeal the System President's decision to
arbitration . . ." (Emphasis added)).
     It appears that the basis for this argument is the Complain-
ant's assertion that the resignation was coerced, therefore any
actions by the employer relying on that resignation are invalid. 
The only coercion cognizable under the statutes enforced by this
Board is coercion in the free exercise of the representational or
collective bargaining rights protected by those statutes.  The
decisions of the National Labor Relations Board are instructive
on this matter.  Under the National Labor Relations Act, a
resignation may be considered a constructive discharge in
violation of Section 8(a)(3) and (1)[fn]7 under either the
traditional constructive discharge theory or the Hobson's Choice
doctrine.  As the NLRB explained,
     . . . a traditional constructive discharge occurs when
     an employee quits because his employer has deliberately
     made the working conditions unbearable and it is proven
     that (1) the burden imposed on the employee caused, and
     was intended to cause, a change in the employee's
     working conditions so difficult or unpleasant that the
     employee is forced to resign, and (2) the burden was
     imposed because of the employee's union activities.

     7 Section 8(a)(3) is comparable to 1027(1)(B) in prohibiting
discrimination based on union activity and Section 8(a)(1) is
comparable to the 1027(1)(A) interference, restraint and coercion


     Grocers Supply Co., 294 NLRB 438, 439 (1989); and
     Crystal Princeton Refining Co., 222 NLRB 1068, 1069
        Under the Hobson's Choice theory, an employee's
     voluntary quit will be considered a constructive
     discharge when an employer conditions an employee's
     continued employment on the employee's abandonment of
     his or her Section 7 rights and the employee quits
     rather than comply with the condition.  Hoerner Waldorf
     Corp., 227 NLRB 612, 613 (1976).

Intercon I (Zercom), 333 NLRB 223, at fn. 3 & 4 (2001).  In the
present case, there is no evidence that any of the actions by the
employer were taken because Ms. Wood became a union member in
April.  Moreover, between that time and when she left the campus
after submitting her resignation, Ms. Wood did not attempt to
exercise any right protected by the Act.
     Contrary to the Complainant's assertions, the employer was
not obligated to accept Ms. Wood's withdrawal of her resignation
nor was it obligated to process the grievances she attempted to
file after she resigned.  The College accepted Ms. Wood's resig-
nation on May 10, 2002, when Dean Vampatella received the two
documents from Ms. Wood in exchange for shredding her evaluation. 
The College did not allow Ms. Wood to later rescind her resig-
nation.  The employer's position that she could not file a
grievance following her voluntary resignation was not an
unreasonable reading of the contract.[fn]8  When an issue is
merely one of contract interpretation not implicating a prohib-
ited practice, and the employer has a sound arguable basis for
its interpretation of the contract, the Board has no business
attempting to resolve the contract interpretation dispute.  See
NCR Corp., 271 NLRB 1212 (1984).  To do so would be in violation
of this Board's statutory mandate to oversee the collective
bargaining process and not formulate contracts for the parties.  

     8 CMCC did afford Ms. Wood the opportunity to meet with Dr. Knapp
to review her employment status, which Ms. Wood declined.


See Caribou School Dept. v. Caribou Teachers Assoc. and MLRB, 402
A.2d 1279, 1287 (Me. 1979)(Board has no authority to make a
contract for the parties).
     The third argument is that the employer coerced the
Complainant into abandoning her rights to seek union represent-
ation and file grievances and ultimately coerced her into resign-
ing.  The first part of the argument relies on the alleged
statement of the employer that because of her probationary status
there was nothing that she or the union could do.  The second
part of the argument is that it was Dean Vampatella's idea that
Ms. Wood resign and she coerced Ms. Wood into agreeing by telling
her she had no other options.  
     Ms. Wood testified that when she was first informed that her
supervisor was recommending nonrenewal of her contract and she
asked "Why are you doing this?", Ms. Schuettinger responded with 
"[B]ecause I can do it.  You're a . . . probationary employee,
and you don't have any rights and there's nothing either you or
the union can do about it."  Both Ms. Schuettinger and Dean
Vampatella denied that Ms. Schuettinger made any such statement. 
After that meeting, Ms. Wood spent over an hour with two co-
workers discussing the negative evaluation and her options. 
Neither of the two co-workers testified that Ms. Wood said    
Ms. Schuettinger told her that as a probationary employee she had
no rights.  It does not make sense that Ms. Wood would be told by
her supervisor that she had no option, walk across the hall and
speak with a co-worker extensively about her options and yet not
mention what her supervisor had just told her.  Given the absence
of any corroboration from the co-workers with whom Ms. Wood
discussed her options, we do not find Ms. Wood's testimony on
this point credible. 
     Even if Ms. Schuettinger had made the statement, it is not
interference, restraint or coercion.  Probationary employees have
very limited rights under the collective bargaining agreement to 


contest nonrenewal of their contracts.  Consequently, such a
statement could easily be viewed as just a matter of opinion.  
In Langley v. DOT, the Board considered a very similar statement
where an employee was told he was going to be discharged after
taking unpaid and unapproved leave.
        Moreover, even if the manager told the union
     representative that he had "no alternative" but to
     dismiss Langley, it is no more interference, restraint
     or coercion of Langley's rights under the Act than is a
     simple contract violation.  The "no alternative"
     statement is simply a reflection of the manager's
     reading of his options in dealing with Langley's
     impending absence from work.  If Langley disagreed with
     the manager's conclusions, he had the right to file a
     grievance.  There is no allegation that the employer's
     conduct interfered with Mr. Langley's ability to file a
     grievance over his discharge, Teamsters v. City of
     Calais, No. 80-29 (May 13, 1980), p. 7, (interfering or
     restraining an employee in the right to file a 
     grievance is a prohibited practice).  There is also no
     allegation that the employer's conduct interfered with
     Langley's ability to exercise a right granted by SELRA. 
     See, e.g., MSEA v. Dept. of Human Services, No. 81-35,
     p. 5 (June 26, 1981) (participating in bargaining is
     one of the employee rights guaranteed by section
Langley v. DOT, No. 00-14, at 4-5 (March 29, 2002).  
     Implicit in the Complainant's coercion argument is the
allegation that the employer insisted that Ms. Wood take some
action that day, by either signing the evaluation or resigning. 
Neither the Dean nor the Chair imposed a time limit on Ms. Wood
for reviewing the evaluation.  There is no evidence in the
record, other than the testimony of the Complainant, that the
Department Chair or the Dean insisted that the Complainant sign
the evaluation or resign that day.  We do not find credible the
Complainant's assertions that during the May 10th meeting, Chair
Schuettinger said over and over again, "Read it, sign it, I want
it today."  Over the next two hours, Ms. Wood discussed her
situation extensively with two of her co-workers, Kathy McManus
and Sue Jamison.  Neither of those witnesses, who both gave 


credible and consistent testimony, testified that Ms. Wood said
anything to them about a statement made by either Dean Vampatella
or Ms. Schuettinger that Ms. Wood had to act that day.  Had the
evaluation meeting really transpired as Ms. Wood claims, she
certainly would have brought up this critical point in her
conversations with Ms. McManus and Ms. Jamison. 
     Complainant also asserts that the idea of resigning in order
to avoid the negative evaluation came from Dean Vampatella.   
Ms. Wood claims that she did not discuss the subject of
resignation with Ms. McManus at all.  We found Ms. McManus to be
a very credible witness.  To accept Ms. Wood's testimony on this
point would require us to conclude that Ms. McManus made up an
elaborate story about how their discussion led to the idea of a
resignation.  Ms. McManus had no stake in the outcome of this
proceeding or other reason to fabricate a story.  We therefore
reject the Complainant's assertion that Dean Vampatella presented
the idea of resignation as Ms. Wood's only option. 
     The Complainant's fourth argument is that the employer's
refusal to comply with various articles of the contract amounts
to a "repudiation of the collective bargaining agreement as it
relates to the subject-matter of those articles."   This argument
is without merit.  What makes a "repudiation of the collective
bargaining agreement" a prohibited practice is that a wholesale
repudiation of a major provision of the contract or the contract
as a whole may be tantamount to a repudiation of the bargaining
relationship or of the basic principles of collective bargaining. 
See Grane Health Care, 337 NLRB 432, at 435-6 (2002); Textron
Inc., 310 NLRB 1209, 1211 at fn. 8 (1993).  There is no such
evidence in this case. 

     In summary, we conclude that the employer did not violate
1027(1)(A) by interfering, restraining or coercing Ms. Wood in
the exercise of rights protected by the Act.  The employer did 


not coerce Ms. Wood into abandoning her rights nor did the
employer coerce her into resigning from her employment.  Ms. Wood
resigned her position voluntarily after discussing her options
with two co-workers and considering her situation for about two
hours.  She voluntarily resigned in exchange for the benefit of
having the negative evaluation destroyed.  She could have
contacted her union for assistance prior to resigning but did not
do so.  The employer did nothing to prevent her from seeking
assistance from the union.
     We also conclude that the employer did not violate the Act
by refusing to entertain the grievances filed by the Complainant
after her resignation.  When Ms. Wood resigned from her employ-
ment, the employer reasonably concluded that she had waived her
contractual right to file a grievance.  Section 1025(2) does not
grant an employee a statutory right to present a grievance
without the assistance of the union.  Therefore, the employer's
refusal to respond to Ms. Wood's grievance was not unlawful
interference, restraint or coercion in the exercise the rights
guaranteed in 1023.


     On the basis of the foregoing findings of facts and
discussion and by virtue of and pursuant to the powers granted to
the Maine Labor Relations Board by the provisions of 26 M.R.S.A.
 1029, it is hereby ORDERED:

          1.  That the portion of the Complaint
          charging the Maine Community College System
          with violating 26 M.R.S.A 1027(1)(A) by
          coercing her resignation or coercing her into
          abandoning her rights is dismissed.

          2.  That the parties prepare to continue this
          proceeding on the issue of the scope of a union's
          duty of fair representation of a former employee
          who voluntarily resigned and whether the 


          Association breached that duty.  The parties
          must meet and confer regarding the potential
          for creating a stipulated record and create
          such a record, to the extent possible.

Dated at Augusta, Maine, this 14th day of June, 2004.

                                   MAINE LABOR RELATIONS BOARD

                                   Peter T. Dawson

                                   Karl Dornish, Jr.                
                                   Employer Representative 

                                   Robert L. Piccone
                                   Alternate Employee Representative