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You can search the entire site. or go to the recent opinions, or the chronological or subject indices. Public Safety Employees Association v. City of Fairbanks (6/15/2018) sp-7251

Public Safety Employees Association v. City of Fairbanks (6/15/2018) sp-7251

        Notice:  This opinion is subject to correction before publication in the PACIFIC  REPORTER .  

        Readers are requested to bring errors to the attention of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts,  

         303 K Street, Anchorage, Alaska 99501, phone (907) 264-0608, fax (907) 264-0878, email  

                                                                                

         corrections@akcourts.us.  



                  THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF ALASKA  



PUBLIC SAFETY EMPLOYEES                            )  

ASSOCIATION, AFSCME LOCAL                          )    Supreme Court Nos. S-16501/16510  

803, AFL-CIO,                                      )  

                                                   )    Superior Court No. 4FA-15-02868 CI  

                         Appellants and            )  

                          Cross-Appellees,         )    O P I N I O N  

                                                   )  

        v.                                         )   No. 7251 - June 15, 2018  

                                                   )  

CITY OF FAIRBANKS,                                 )  

                                                   )  

                         Appellee and              )  

                          Cross-Appellant,         )  

                                                   )  

         and                                       )  

                                                   )  

ALASKA LABOR RELATIONS                             )  

AGENCY,                                            )  

                                                   )  

                         Appellee.                 )  

                                                   )  



                 Appeal  from  the  Superior  Court  of  the  State  of  Alaska,  

                 Fourth Judicial District, Fairbanks, Michael P. McConahy,  

                 Judge.  



                 Appearances:    Molly  C.  Brown  and  Margaret  Simonian,  

                 Dillon & Findley, P.C., Anchorage, for Appellants and Cross- 

                 Appellees.    Paul  J.  Ewers,  City  Attorney,  Fairbanks,  for  

                 Appellee and Cross-Appellant.  Notice of nonparticipation  

                 filed by Kimberly D. Rodgers, Assistant Attorney General,  

                 Anchorage, and Jahna Lindemuth, Attorney General, Juneau,  

                 for Appellee.  


----------------------- Page 2-----------------------

                   Before:  Stowers, Chief Justice, Winfree, Maassen, Bolger,  

                   and Carney, Justices.  



                   WINFREE, Justice.
  

                   BOLGER, Justice, with whom MAASSEN, Justice, joins, dissenting.
  



I.       INTRODUCTION  



                   This appeal requires us to decide whether a city council's reconsideration  

                                                    



and ultimate rejection of a labor agreement constituted an unfair labor practice under  



Alaska's  Public  Employment  Relations  Act  (the  Act).                        An  Alaska  Labor  Relations  

                                                                                  



Agency (ALRA) panel concluded a violation occurred, and on appeal the superior court  

                                                                              



affirmed that ruling.  But because the record does not support a finding of bad faith on  



                                                                                                           

the city's part, and because the failure to ratify the agreement alone cannot be a violation  



                                                            

of the Act, we reverse the superior court's decision affirming the ALRA panel's ruling.  



II.      FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS  



         A.        Facts  



                   This case arises from disputed collective bargaining negotiations between  



City  of  Fairbanks  and  Public  Safety  Employees  Association,  AFSCME  Local  803  



(PSEA).  PSEA is the labor representative for the City's police and dispatch employees.  



                                 

                   The  City  is  governed  by  a  home-rule  charter  vesting  "executive  and  



                                                  1                                                               2  

administrative power" in the mayor  and "all [other] powers" in the city council.                                    In  



                           

2013 the City and PSEA began negotiating a collective bargaining agreement for fiscal  



                                                                              

years 2014 through 2017.  Then-Mayor John Eberhart was the lead negotiator for the  



         1         Fairbanks City Charter  4.1(b) (1995).  



         2        Id.   1.2(a); see also id.  1.3 ("The city shall have and may exercise all  



powers, functions, rights, privileges, franchises and immunities of every name and nature  

which a home-rule city may constitutionally possess in the State of Alaska.").  



                                                          -2-                                                    7251
  


----------------------- Page 3-----------------------

                                   3 

                                                                                       

City's bargaining team,  and PSEA was represented by its internally selected bargaining 



team.  



                    Mayor Eberhart and his bargaining team acted in concert with the city  



                                          4  

                                                                            

council during negotiations.   It is undisputed that negotiations could not move forward  



                                

until the city council tentatively approved the City's bargaining position.  During months  



                                                        

of negotiations the City's bargaining team would reach tentative agreement on financial  



terms with PSEA and then would present those terms to the city council for tentative  



approval in executive session.   



                            

                    The negotiating teams reached a tentative agreement; on August 11, 2014,  

in accordance with a City ordinance,5 the mayor presented the agreement to the city  



council in open public session for ratification as Ordinance 5953.  The city council  



          3         See Fairbanks General Code Ordinance (FGCO)  42-1(1)(a) (2011) ("The       



mayor  shall  have  .  .  .  the  authority  to  negotiate  with  representatives  of  employee  

organizations  representing  city  employees  for  the  purpose  of  arriving  at  collective  

bargaining agreements as to wages, hours and terms or conditions of employment.").  



          4         See id.  42-1(2)(c) ("The city council shall review and identify economic  

                                                                   

bargaining items upon which the mayor may commence negotiations; however,  the  

                                                                                                              

mayor shall make no tentative agreement to any economic proposal which substantially  

                                                                   

deviates from the city council's approval prior to receiving further approval."); id.  42- 

                                                                                         

1(2)(d) ("The mayor shall provide the city council with periodic information reports  

which shall describe the status of pending negotiations.").  



          5         See id.  42-1(2)(e) ("Upon completion of negotiations, the mayor shall,  



                                                  

where applicable, present to the city council for ratification all tentatively agreed upon  

provisions in the replacement bargaining agreement.").  



                                                               -3-                                                         7251
  


----------------------- Page 4-----------------------

                                                                                              6 

                                                       

advanced the ordinance to its next regular meeting;  in the interim the PSEA membership 



voted to approve the agreement.  



                         The city council heard public testimony about the agreement on August 25.  



                                                                               

Five people commented, focusing on the City's ability to fund the agreement, how the  



agreement would affect spending on other labor agreements, the need to attract new  



                                                                                                                                                   

employees  with  higher  wages,  and  the  feasibility  of  reduced  work  hours.    Council  



members then questioned City employees about the contract, focusing almost entirely  



                                                                 

on the proposed agreement's cost.  The discussion ended with council members debating  



                                                                                                                                               

whether the agreement would save money or cost money in the long run and, if the latter,  



                                                                                                                                         

whether other benefits outweighed the cost.  The city council ultimately voted 4 to 3 to  



adopt  the  ordinance,  with  Mayor  Eberhart  casting  the  tie-breaking  vote.    Before  



                       

concluding the August 25 session, Mayor Eberhart introduced Ordinance 5955, which  



appropriated funds for the labor agreement.  Ordinance 5955 was advanced by a 4 to 2  



vote, and the meeting was adjourned at 12:05 a.m. on August 26.  



                                                                                                

                         On August 27 then-Council Member Jim Matherly filed a written notice of  



reconsideration of Ordinance 5953, apparently believing that, because the August 25  



                                                                                                                                           

meeting had adjourned after midnight, a motion for reconsideration would remain timely  



                                                                                                                       

through August 27.  But the City Clerk rejected his motion as untimely because it was  



                                                                      7  

not filed within 24 hours of the vote.   



             6           See Fairbanks City Charter  3.3 ("Every ordinance shall be introduced in   



writing and, after advancement to second reading, shall be published in full or by title at              

least once, with notice of the time and place when and where it will be given a public                                             

hearing and be considered for passage.").  



             7  

                                  

                         See FGCO  2-120(g)(2) ("A member who voted on the prevailing side  

may . . . [o]n the day immediately following the vote on a resolution or ordinance, give  

the city clerk written notice of reconsideration.").  Council Member Matherly had voted  

                                                                                                                                          (continued...)  



                                                                               -4-                                                                        7251
  


----------------------- Page 5-----------------------

                                                                                                    

                   Council Member Matherly took up the issue again at the city council's next  



meeting,  on  September  8,  moving  to  suspend  the  rules  of  procedure  to  allow  



                                                  8  

                                                     Council Member Hilling requested clarification on  

reconsideration of Ordinance 5953. 



suspension  of  the  rules,  and  the  Mayor,  City  Attorney,  and  City  Clerk  provided  



clarification based on the Fairbanks General Code and Robert's Rules of Order.  The  



motion to suspend the rules then passed by a 5 to 1 vote.  



                   Once  the  city  council  rules  were  suspended,  Council  Member  Hilling  



moved to reconsider Ordinance 5953.  Council Member Matherly explained that after  



                                                          

the August 25 vote he had reexamined the contract and that he was concerned it was  



           

overly  costly to the City.  He further explained that he thought his earlier motion to  



                                                                                                    

reconsider had been timely.  Before voting on reconsideration, city council members  



                                       

asked  several  procedural  questions  of  the  Mayor,  City  Attorney,  and  City  Clerk,  



                                                              

including  how  many  times  an  ordinance  could  be  reconsidered  and  whether  public  



                                                                                                                 

comment was allowed prior to the vote.  The three responded that an ordinance could be  



reconsidered  only  once  regardless  of  the  subsequent  vote's  outcome  and  that  if  the  



                                                                                               

motion to reconsider carried, Ordinance 5953 would be reopened as if the original vote  



had never taken place.  The City Clerk advised that allowing public comment was the  



                                                  

city council's prerogative, and the city council then called for additional public comment  



before voting.  



          7        (...continued)  



"yea" on Ordinance 5953.  



          8        See id.   2-120(o) ("The city council rules and order of business shall be  



observed in all cases unless suspended temporarily for good cause by a vote of five  

                        

members present.  Any member may move at any time for the suspension of any rule,  

and such motion must be seconded to entitle it to consideration.").  



                                                            -5-                                                      7251
  


----------------------- Page 6-----------------------

                                                                                                                  

                       Nine people commented on the motion to reconsider.  Most comments were  



                                                       

focused on the cost to the City; people commented that they thought the agreement was  



too expensive, that the City could not afford the agreement, and that the agreement's  



                                                                 

costs were greater than the City had been promised during negotiations.  City council  



                                                                         

members then questioned City staff about the City's ability to pay under the agreement's  



                       

terms.  City employees reported that the cost of the agreement was likely higher than  



                                                                                                                               

calculated during negotiations, that approving the agreement would result in pressure for  



                                                                                                                         

higher wages in other collective bargaining agreements, and that costs would drastically  



                                                                    

increase if either party opted out of the agreement.  The city council debated the motion,  



                                                                                                                  

with all six council members focusing comments on the cost to the City.  The city council  



then voted 4 to 2 to reconsider Ordinance 5953.  



                       After the motion to reconsider carried, but before Ordinance 5953 was  



revoted on, Council Member Hilling moved to postpone the revote to the city council's  



                                                                           

September 22 meeting.  The motion  was  amended to further postpone the revote to  



November 3, which Council Member Hilling praised as giving new city council members  

                                                                                                          9  The motion to postpone  

time to "get up to speed" on the contract dispute before voting. 



consideration of Ordinance 5953 carried 5 to 1.  The city council then  approved an  



amended version of the previously advanced funding Ordinance 5955, increasing the  



police department's funding by $5,939 but explicitly rejecting all increases contemplated  



in the tentative labor agreement.  



            9          We judicially notice that a Fairbanks city council election was set to take              



place on October 7, 2014.  We also notice that Council Member Hilling did not run for                           

reelection,  guaranteeing   that  at  least  one  new  council  member  was  expected  to  be  

elected, and that Council Member Anderson ultimately was not reelected.  See Mullins  

v.  Oates, 179 P.3d 930, 936 n.10 (Alaska 2008) (taking judicial notice of reasonably  

                                                                                                                              

indisputable fact on appeal).  



                                                                        -6-                                                                  7251
  


----------------------- Page 7-----------------------

                    On November 3 the newly constituted city council voted unanimously not  



                                                                                                         

to adopt Ordinance 5953; the proposed collective bargaining agreement with PSEA thus  



was not approved by the city council.  



          B.        Proceedings  



                   A week after the city council's final vote, PSEA filed a charge with the  



                                                                                                   10  

ALRA; PSEA asserted the City had refused to bargain in good faith.                                     PSEA requested  



that  the  ALRA  find  the  city  council's  suspension  of  the  rules  and  subsequent  



                                                                                             

reconsideration of Ordinance 5953 was an unfair labor practice and order the City to let  



the tentative agreement stand as the final collective bargaining agreement between the  



                                                                            

City and PSEA.  In April an ALRA hearing officer found probable cause to support the  



charge.  



                                                                                               

                    In November an ALRA three-member board panel decided 2 to 1 that the  



                                                                 

City had committed an unfair labor practice and ordered the city council to execute the  



                                                 11  

                                                                                                  

collective  bargaining  agreement.                     The  ALRA  panel  concluded  that:    the  City  was  



                                                

accountable for all actions of the city council; the city council had unreasonably delayed,  



                                          12 

                                             under the totality of the circumstances the city council's  

or "strung out," negotiations; 



                                                                                     

actions constituted bad faith; an enforceable contract was entered into between the City  



                                           

and PSEA after the first vote on August 25, 2014; the City had no valid excuse to rescind  



          10       See AS 23.40.110(a)(5) ("A public employer . . . may not . . . refuse to  



bargain collectively in good faith with an organization that is the exclusive representative  

                                                                                             

of employees in an appropriate unit . . . .").  



          11       Public  Safety  Emps.  Ass'n,  AFSCME  Local  853,  AFL-CIO  v.  City  of  



Fairbanks , ALRA Dec. No. 305 (Nov. 24, 2015) (Order 305).  



          12       An employer violates the Act by "stringing out" when it delays negotiations  



to obtain more favorable terms or to avoid agreement.  See Alaska Cmty. Colls.' Fed'n  

                                                                                       

of Teachers Local No. 2404 v. Univ. of Alaska ( CCFT), 669 P.2d 1299, 1303 (Alaska  

                                                                                          

1983).  



                                                             -7-                                                       7251
  


----------------------- Page 8-----------------------

                                                                          

the  contract;  and  the  remedy  for  the  violation  was  enforcement  of  the  tentative  



                13  

                    

agreement.          The ALRA panel ordered the City to "execute the collective bargaining  



                                                                                                             14  

agreement it reached with [PSEA], and that it ratified on August 25, 2014."                                      



                   The City appealed the ALRA panel's decision to the superior court.  The  

                                                                           

superior court held that the city council could not be a public employer under the Act15  

                                                                         



but that the ALRA's material factual findings were supported by substantial evidence  



and the ALRA otherwise had authority to order execution of the tentative agreement.  



                                                                                                              

                   PSEA appeals the superior court's ruling that the city council is not a public  



                                                     

employer under the Act.  The City cross-appeals the court's affirmance of the ALRA  



panel's  finding  of  an  unfair  labor  practice  and  its  order  that  the  City  execute  the  



collective bargaining agreement.  



III.      STANDARD OF REVIEW  



                   When  a  superior  court  acts  as  an  intermediate  appellate  court  in  an  

administrative matter, "we independently review the merits of the agency's decision."16  



We review an agency's factual findings to determine "whether they are supported by  

                                                                                                           



substantial evidence," which is "such  relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might  

                                                          

                                                                                 17  " 'We view the evidence in  

accept as adequate to support" the agency's conclusion.  

                                                                                                        



favor of the findings,' and we will not choose between competing inferences or evaluate  

                                 



          13       Id. at 6-9.  



          14       Id. at 9.  



          15       See AS 23.40.250(7) (defining public employer under the Act).  



          16       State, Dep't  of  Admin.,  Div.  of  Ret. & Benefits v. Shea (Shea III), 394 P.3d  



524,  528-29 (Alaska 2017) (citing Shea  v. State, Dep't of Admin., Div. of Ret. & Benefits  

(Shea II), 267 P.3d 624, 630 (Alaska 2011)).  



          17       Id. at 529 (quoting Shea II, 267 P.3d at 630).  



                                                             -8-                                                      7251
  


----------------------- Page 9-----------------------

                                            18  

                        

the strength of the evidence."                  "We will look only to determine if substantial evidence  



exists  in  the  record,  taking  into  account  evidence  in  the  record  detracting  from  the  



                                               19  

                                                                                                   

supporting evidence's weight."                    "The substantial evidence test is highly deferential, but  



                                      

we still review the entire record to ensure that the evidence detracting from the agency's  



                                                                               

decision is not dramatically disproportionate to the evidence supporting it such that we  

cannot 'conscientiously' find the evidence to be 'substantial.' "20  



                                                                                    

                    We review an agency's legal conclusions using our independent judgment  



                                  

only if "the agency's specialized knowledge and experience would not be particularly  

probative."21  In all other cases we apply the "reasonable basis standard," deferring to an  



                                                                                       22  

agency's legal interpretation "so long as it is reasonable."                                



          18        Id. (internal alterations and footnote omitted) (first quoting Raad v. Alaska  



State Comm'n for Human Rights, 86 P.3d 899, 903 (Alaska 2004); then citing Shea II,  

                                                                         

267 P.3d at 630).  



          19        Id. (citing Shea II, 267 P.3d at 630).  



          20  

                                  

                    Shea II, 267 P.3d at 634 n.40 (emphases in original) (quoting  Universal  

                                                                         

Camera Corp. v. Nat'l Labor Relations Bd., 340 U.S. 474, 488 (1951)); see also id. ("[A]  

                                                                    

court may [not] displace the Board's choice between two fairly conflicting views, even  

                                                                            

though the court would justifiably have made a different choice had the matter been  

before it de novo.  [But under the substantial evidence test,] a reviewing court is not  

barred from setting aside a Board decision when it cannot conscientiously find that the  

evidence supporting that decision is substantial, when viewed in the light that the record  

in its entirety furnishes, including the body of evidence opposed to the Board's view."  

         

(third alteration in original) (quoting Universal Camera, 340 U.S. at 488)).  



          21  

                                                                          

                    Marathon Oil Co. v. State, Dep't of Nat. Res. , 254 P.3d 1078, 1082 (Alaska  

2011) (quoting Matanuska-Susitna Borough v. Hammond , 726 P.2d 166, 175 (Alaska  

1986)).  



          22        Id. (citing Matanuska Susitna Borough , 726 P.2d at 175).  



                                                               -9-                                                         7251
  


----------------------- Page 10-----------------------

                   The parties strenuously dispute the proper application of these principles  



to  the  issues  in  this  case.    The  City  urges  us  to  use  our  independent  judgment  in  



                   

determining whether the city council is a public employer and whether the ALRA had  



authority to order execution of the collective bargaining agreement.  The City also argues  



       

that whether an unfair labor practice occurred is a legal question within the ALRA's  



                                                            

expertise, subject to rational basis review. PSEA counters that we should review the first  



                                                                              

two questions under the rational basis standard, and that whether an unfair labor practice  



occurred is a factual question subject to the substantial evidence standard.  



                   The  ultimate  issue  we  decide  in  the  City's  appeal  is  whether  the  City  



                                                                             23  

                                                                                 That is a legal question, well  

violated the Act by committing an unfair labor practice.  

within  the  scope  of  the  ALRA's  "specialized  knowledge  and  experience."24                                  We  



therefore apply the reasonable basis standard to the ALRA panel's conclusion that the  



                                                 25  

City  violated  AS  23.40.110(a)(5).                   The  factual  findings  the  ALRA  panel  made  in  



                                                  

reaching that conclusion, including whether the City bargained in bad faith and whether  

it strung out negotiations, are reviewed for substantial evidence.26  



                   PSEA's  appeal  does  not  require  such  deference.    The  city  council  is  a  



public employer under the Act only if the city council is a "political subdivision of the  



         23        See  AS  23.40.110(a)(5)  ("A  public  employer  or  an  agent  of  a  public  



employer may not . . . refuse to bargain collectively in good faith with an organization  

that is the exclusive representative of employees in an appropriate unit . . . .").  



         24        See Marathon Oil, 254 P.3d at 1082;  see also Alaska Pub. Emps. Ass'n v.                   



State,  831  P.2d  1245,  1247  (Alaska  1992)  (holding  whether  unfair  labor  practice  

occurred is legal question).  



         25        See Marathon Oil, 254 P.3d at 1082.  



         26        See  CCFT,  669  P.2d  1299,  1302-03  (Alaska  1983)  (reviewing  for  



substantial evidence ALRA findings of no bad faith or stringing out).  



                                                         -10-                                                    7251
  


----------------------- Page 11-----------------------

         27  

                                                                             

state."      "Political subdivision" is a "non-technical statutory term" whose meaning can  

                                                                                 28    We  therefore  interpret  the  

be  determined  without  specialized  agency  expertise.                             



meaning of AS 23.40.250(7) using our independent judgment, adopting "the rule of law  

                                                    

that is most persuasive in light of precedent, reason, and policy."29  



IV.	      DISCUSSION  



          A.	       The City Council Is Not A Public Employer, But The ALRA's Unfair  

                                                           

                    Labor Practice Order Was Against The City, Not The City Council.  



                    After the superior court held that the city council is not a public employer  

                                                                                                      



-  even  while  the  court  affirmed  the  ALRA  panel's  decision  -  the  parties  began  

                                                                                                     



disputing  the  significance  of  the  superior  court's  holding.    The  City  argues  that  



                                                                                

"[b]ecause the [c]ity [c]ouncil is not a[n] [Act] public employer, there can be no unfair  



                                                                                

labor  practice."  PSEA argues that "ALRA's decision stands even if this Court finds that  



the [c]ity [c]ouncil is not a 'public employer,' " but it nonetheless contends that the  



superior court must be reversed.  



                                                                                                       

                    Our analysis begins with the plain language of the Act.  Section 110(a)(5)  



                                                                                                         

provides that a "public employer or an agent of a public employer may not . . . refuse to  



                                                                                             

bargain collectively in good faith with an organization that is the exclusive representative  



                                                       30  

of employees in an appropriate unit."                      "Public employer" is defined in  250(7) as:  



                    the  state  or  a  political  subdivision  of  the  state,  including  

                    without  limitation,  a  municipality,  district,  school  district,  

                                                                                      



          27        See AS 23.40.250(7) (" '[P]ublic employer' means the state or a political  



subdivision of the state . . . .").  



          28        See City of Valdez v. State, 372 P.3d 240, 247 (Alaska 2016).  



          29       Id.  at 246 (quoting Heller  v. State, Dep't of Revenue                           , 314 P.3d 69, 73  



(Alaska 2013)).  



          30        AS 23.40.110(a)(5).  



                                                             -11-	                                                      7251
  


----------------------- Page 12-----------------------

                                                                          

                     regional educational attendance area, board of regents, public  

                      and  quasi-public  corporation,  housing  authority,  or  other  

                      authority established by law, and a person designated by the  

                                                                               

                     public employer to act in its interest in dealing with public  

                                        [31] 

                      employees.  

We first determine whether the city council is "a political subdivision of the state."32  



                     The answer to this question is no.  The term "political subdivision," as used  



throughout  Alaska  Statutes,  does  not  contemplate  legislative  bodies  as  political  



subdivisions of the state.  Instead, legislative bodies are treated as distinct subparts of a  



                                                                                  

broader political subdivision, like a municipality.  For instance,  255 of the Act notes:  



"[The Act is] applicable to organized boroughs and political subdivisions of the state,  



home  rule  or  otherwise,  unless  the  legislative  body  of  the  political  subdivision,  by  



                                                                                                                    33  

ordinance  or  resolution,  rejects  having  the  provisions  .  .  .  apply."                                            Similarly,  



AS 39.35.950 provides:  "The request [to become an employer in the Public Employees'  



                                                       

Retirement System plan] shall be made after adoption of a resolution by the legislative  



                                                               34  

                                                                                                                     

body of the political subdivision . . . ."                         Also similarly, AS 26.23.500 provides:  "A  



                                                                                         

political subdivision may withdraw from participation in the Alaska instrastate mutual  



                                                       

aid system . . . .  To withdraw, the governing board of a political subdivision shall adopt  



           31        AS 23.40.250(7).   Alaska Statute 23.40.250 contains the caveat that the                                  



definition applies "unless the context otherwise requires." But the context of  110(a)(5)                

does not require a different definition than that provided in  250(7), so this provision  

does not affect our analysis.  



           32  

                                                                                                             

                     PSEA has not argued that the city council might be a "person" within the  

meaning of AS 23.40.250(7).  



           33        AS 23.40.255(a) (emphasis added).  



           34        AS 39.35.950 (emphasis added).  



                                                                  -12-                                                             7251
  


----------------------- Page 13-----------------------

                            35  

a resolution . . . ."            These are only a few examples of the distinction present in our  



                                                                                        

statutes; the legislature has plainly not contemplated that legislative bodies are political  



subdivisions.  Therefore the city council is not a public employer under the Act.  



                    This holding, however, does not resolve the real issue in this case.  The  



                                                                                                                          

ALRA  panel  did  not  decide  that  the  city  council  was  a  public  employer  -  such  a  



                                                                     

conclusion cannot be found in its finding of facts, conclusions of law, or analysis.  On  



                                                                                                       

the contrary, its decision plainly states that "[t]he City of Fairbanks is a public employer  



under AS 23.40.250(7)"; "the City of Fairbanks violated AS 23.40.110(a)(5)"; and "[t]he  



                                                                                                                           

process  the  City  applied  under  the  facts  of  this  case  supports  a  conclusion  that  it  



                                    36  

bargained in bad faith."                



                    What  the  ALRA  panel  did  conclude  is  that  the  City  should  be  held  

                                                                                             



accountable for the city council's actions, and it did so by finely parsing whether the  

                                       



actions of a legislative body could be attributed to a political subdivision at large.  First,  

                                                                                



the ALRA panel noted that "[i]n the typical scenario, employees of the executive branch  

                                                                                                      



of  a  state  or  political  subdivision  comprise  the  'public  employer'  in  a  negotiating  



              37  

process."         Second, it determined that "the facts here indicate the [city council], the  



                                                                                                                       38  

[C]ity's legislative branch, was actively involved in negotiations with PSEA."                                             Third,  



it  concluded  that  "[t]his  active  involvement  makes  the  [c]ouncil  members'  actions  

    



accountable in determining whether there was an unfair labor practice violation in this  

                                                         



          35        AS 26.23.500(b) (emphasis added).  



          36        Order 305 at 7, 9 (emphases added).  



          37        Id. at 6.  



          38        Id.  



                                                               -13-                                                         7251
  


----------------------- Page 14-----------------------

           39  

case."         This reasoning was not a legal conclusion that the city council itself had become                



the public employer, but rather the ALRA panel's resolution of the "threshold issue" of                          



"whether the [city council]'s actions in the collective bargaining process . . . constitute                        



                                                                                  40  

actions by a public employer under [the Act]."                                         



                        We therefore conclude the city council is not a public employer under the  

                                                                                                  



Act, but the ALRA panel's unfair labor practice finding was directly against the City.  



There is no dispute that the City is a public employer; as such we must decide the City's  



cross-appeal.  



            B.	         The Conclusion That The City Committed An Unfair Labor Practice  

                                                       

                        Was Not Reasonable.  



                        The City's cross-appeal raises several legal and factual challenges to the  



ALRA panel's decision:  (1) Ordinance 5953 was not ratified; (2) the city council did not  

                                                                                                                         



circumvent City rules; (3) failure to ratify a tentative agreement is not an unfair labor  



                                                                                                                  

practice;  (4)  there  was  no  intent  to  string  out  negotiations;  (5)  the  ALRA  panel  



                                

misconstrued the city council's role in negotiations; (6) the ALRA panel does not have  



                                                                                             

the power to order a city to appropriate money; and (7) the ALRA panel could not rule  



                                                                                                 

on contract remedies because the tentative agreement's chosen forum was superior court.  



                                         

                        We  hold  that  the  ALRA  panel's  bad  faith  finding  is  not  supported  by  



                                                                                                                               

substantial evidence and that without such a finding it was unreasonable to conclude the  



City violated the Act.  



                        1.	        The bad faith finding is not supported by substantial evidence.  



                                                                                  

                        The ALRA panel concluded that "by striking a deal, ratifying that deal, and  



                                                                                                                                             

then stringing out and delaying the reconsideration process to ultimately attempt to deny  



            39         Id.  



            40         Id.  



                                                                         -14-	                                                                       7251  


----------------------- Page 15-----------------------

PSEA its due, the City violated the duty to bargain in good faith and committed an unfair       



labor practice."  In support of its inference that the City "delay[ed] the reconsideration  



                                                                                                

process to ultimately attempt to deny PSEA its due," the ALRA panel found that:  (1) the  



                                                                                          

city  council  had  an  active  role  in  negotiations;  (2)  the  city  council  authorized  its  



                                                                                                

negotiators to offer contract terms to PSEA; (3) the city council approved those contract  



                                                                               

terms   as   negotiations   progressed;   (4)   the   city   council   ratified   those   terms   on  



August 25, 2014; (5) that ratification created an enforceable contract; (6) the city council  



                                                                                                             

undid the ratification two months later by invoking unusual procedures; (7) the City was  



                                                     

bound to the tentative agreement's terms despite the reconsideration; and (8) the City had  



                                                                            41  

                                                                                Because several of these findings  

no excuse for changing or modifying those terms. 



are  unsupported  by  "such  relevant  evidence  as  a  reasonable  mind  might  accept  as  

                                                                                                           



                                           42  

adequate  to  support"  them,                  the  bad  faith  finding  is  not  supported  by  substantial  



evidence.  



                    The ALRA panel's foundational error was finding that the city council  

                                                                                 



ratified  the  tentative  agreement  at  the  August  25  session.    Ordinance  5953  was  



                                                                                                         

reconsidered at the September 8 session; legally it was as if a vote on the Ordinance had  



                          43  

never been taken.              The ALRA panel's Decision and Order does not adequately reckon  



          41        Order 305 at 7-8.  



          42        See Shea III, 394 P.3d 524, 529 (Alaska 2017) (quoting                               Shea II, 267 P.3d  



624, 630 (Alaska 2011)).  



          43        See  Fairbanks  City  Charter    2.10  ("The  council,  by  ordinance,  shall  



determine its own rules of procedure . . . ."); FGCO  2-120(g) ("When a motion is  

                                       

reconsidered, that vote is canceled as though it had never been taken."); see also H 

                                                                                                                           ENRY  

M.   ROBERT  III  ET  AL .,   ROBERT 'S  RULES  OF  ORDER  NEWLY  REVISED  324  (11th  ed.,  

Da  Capo  Press  2011)  ("The  effect  of  the  adoption  of  the  motion  to  Reconsider  is  

immediately to place before the assembly again the question on which the vote is to be  

                                                                                                               (continued...)  



                                                              -15-                                                         7251
  


----------------------- Page 16-----------------------

with these facts "detracting from the supporting evidence's weight";44 "the evidence  

                                                                        



detracting  from  the  agency's  decision  is  .  .  .  dramatically  disproportionate  to  the  



                                  45 

                                                                                                           

                                                                                                               

evidence supporting it."              This error seems to have infected the remainder of the ALRA  



                                                                                                     

panel's analysis, causing it to inaccurately frame the facts.   Rather than treating the  



reconsideration  as  a  legitimate  part  of  the  legislative  process,  the  ALRA  panel  



characterized  the  city  council  as  "invoking  unusual  procedures"  to  "deny  PSEA  its  

due."46  The ALRA panel found that the suspension, reconsideration, postponement, and  



ultimate rejection of Ordinance 5953 constituted "stringing out" - a violation of the  



                                                                         47  

duty to "sincere[ly] desire to reach an agreement."                          In other words, bad faith.  



                                                                                                  

                   We  do  not  think  "reasonable  minds  might  accept  the  administrative  



                                                                            48  

                                                                                             

agency's decision" here "in light of the whole record."                        Because there is a "presumption  



that  proceedings  of  the  governing  body  of  a  municipality  have  been  conducted  in  



                                49 

                                                                    

accordance with law,"              a finding of stringing out requires evidence in the record that  



          43       (...continued)  



reconsidered - in the exact position it occupied the moment before it was voted on  

originally." (emphasis in original)).  



          44       See Shea III, 394 P.3d at 529 (citing Shea II, 267 P.3d at 630).  



          45       See Shea II, 267 P.3d at 634 n.40 (emphases in original).  



          46       Order 305 at 7.  



          47       Id. at 6-7.  



          48       See Cassel v. State, Dep't of Admin., 14 P.3d 278, 282 (Alaska 2000).  



          49       Liberati v. Bristol Bay Borough , 584 P.2d 1115, 1118 (Alaska 1978) (citing  



CHESTER JAMES ANTIEAU , MUNICIPAL CORPORATION  LAW  4.19, at 4-38 (3d ed. 1978));  

see also McCormick v. City of Dillingham , 16  P.3d  735, 738 (Alaska 2001); City of St.  

Mary's v. St. Mary's Native Corp. , 9 P.3d 1002, 1008 & n.25 (Alaska 2000).  



                                                           - 16-                                                     7251
  


----------------------- Page 17-----------------------

either the city council violated its own laws or that the delay in reconsideration was  



intended to force different terms from PSEA.  The record supports neither inference.  



                                                                    

                     First, as to violating the City's own laws, PSEA conceded at oral argument  



                                                                                                                     

before us that nothing improper occurred, save that it argued the city council did not have  



                                                                           

good cause to suspend the rules of procedure.   The ALRA panel too made no findings  



                                

of fact to overcome the presumption of regularity, finding only that the procedures the  



                                                                                   50  

                                                                                          Our  own  review  of  the  city  

city  council  invoked  were  "unusual,"  not  unlawful. 



council's rules of procedure and the administrative record confirms that the city council  

                                                                                          



at all times acted on advice of counsel, with strict attention to observing its rules of  



                                                     

procedure and Robert's Rules of Order.  We see nothing illegal or improper with the  



City's process in suspending its rules to allow reconsideration of Ordinance 5953.  



                                             

                     "Good cause," moreover, is not the sort of procedural standard amenable  



to searching judicial review.  We have noted that "questions regarding 'legislative rules'  



are  nonjusticiable,  absent  exceptional  circumstances,  as  the  constitution  specifically  



                                                                                                                                    51  

                                                                                             

commits to the legislature the authority to provide for its own rules of procedure." 



Though we are not concerned here with the justiciability of the city council's rules of  

                                                                



procedure themselves, we will not second-guess whether the city council had good cause  

                                                                                                                



                                                                                                                       52  

to  suspend  its  rules  absent  an  ALRA  finding  that  no  good  cause  existed.                                           There  



                                                                                          

certainly are no findings of fact allowing an inference of stringing out solely based on  



procedural irregularity.  



          50         Order 305 at 7.  



          51         Walleri v. City of Fairbanks, 964 P.2d 463, 468 n.4 (Alaska 1998).  



          52         See generally Order 305 (failing to identify any violation of city council                 



procedure).  



                                                                -17-                                                          7251
  


----------------------- Page 18-----------------------

                                                 

                    Because  the  city  council  did  not  violate  its  own  laws,  the  remaining  



argument for a stringing out inference would be that the City used otherwise lawful  



                                                                                                            

procedures to delay ratification and force PSEA to accept less favorable terms or to avoid  



reaching agreement entirely.  The City concedes this is the best interpretation of the  



                                                                                                                                  53  

                                                                                                             

ALRA panel's decision.  But again the "whole record" does not support such a finding. 



                                                                                    

                    The ALRA panel identified no evidence in the record directly supporting  



                                                                       54  

                                                                                                                         

its finding of intent to string out negotiations.                           It instead inferred stringing out had  



                                                                                                     

occurred based on the city council "ratifying those terms and the entire agreement at a  



                                                                          

public meeting, only to reverse all of its previous actions and undo the ratified agreement  



by rejecting those terms more than two months after ratification by invoking unusual  



                    55 

                                                                                                     

procedures."            Before us at oral argument PSEA also asserted that the reversal process's  



length made the city council's actions problematic, but when asked whether any evidence  



in  the  record  indicated  the  delay  was  not  solely  due  to  financial  concerns,  PSEA's  



                                     

counsel  responded,  "I  can't  think  of  any."    Counsel  pointed  to  the  initial  August  



                                                                                             

ratification,  followed  by  the  delay  until  after  the  October  election,  before  the  final  



contract rejection in November, as the source of the stringing out finding.  



                                            

                    PSEA  argues  that,  under  our  deferential  standard  of  review,  this  is  



                             

sufficient:  ALRA was entitled to infer stringing out from the process alone.  PSEA also  



                                                                      

urges us to consider the city council's actions throughout the negotiations as an example  



          53        See  Cassel  v.  State,  Dep't  of  Admin.,  14  P.3d  278,  282  (Alaska  2000)  



(explaining  that  substantial  evidence  review  must  take  place  "in  light  of  the  whole  

record").  



          54        See generally Order 305 (failing to identify explicit intent to string out).  



This is unsurprising; only a malevolent or incompetent public employer would declaim  

                                                                                                               

that it wanted to bargain in bad faith.  



          55        Id. at 7.  



                                                               -18-                                                         7251
  


----------------------- Page 19-----------------------

of  an  employer  shifting  positions,  pointing  to  the  tentative  approvals  in  executive  



sessions  as  an  indication  that  the  city  council  accepted  the  agreement's  financial  



                                                                             

implications before "unfairly revers[ing] its position."  And PSEA correctly points out  



that we "will not choose between competing inferences or evaluate the strength of the  



                   56 

                                                            

evidence"              when  we  examine  whether  substantial  evidence  exists,  arguing  that  we  



                                                                                                                                                   

cannot  reach  a  different  inference  from  the  gap  in  time  between  August  25  and  



November 3.  



                                                                                                       

                         But the record ultimately cannot bear the inference that PSEA would like  



                                          

it to, for four reasons.  First, the city council's directives during the bargaining process  



                                                                                                                                         

were necessarily tentative, just as the PSEA bargaining team's agreement was tentative  



                                                                         

and subject to a membership vote. The analogy to an employer shifting positions during  



                                                                                                                      

negotiations is inappropriate because formal approval could be taken only at a meeting  



                                                                                                                                             57  

                                                                                                                                                  Second,  

that was open to the public, in accordance with Alaska's Open Meetings Act. 



there is no evidence in the record that the city council was aware of the higher cost  



estimates when it tentatively approved sections of the agreement in executive sessions;  



on the contrary, until the August 25 meeting the city council appears to have had only  



the  City  Finance  Department's  projections.    It  was  only  after  public  comment  and  



                                                                                     

additional information from staff that the city council realized the City might not be able  



                          

to afford the agreement.  Third, there is no evidence in the record that the city council  



                                                                            

voted for reconsideration for any reason other than concern about managing the City's  



            56           Shea III, 394 P.3d 524, 529 (Alaska 2017) (citing Shea II, 267 P.3d 624,  



630 (Alaska 2011)).  



            57           See AS 44.62.310; see also FGCO  2-148 ("When under consideration,   



all persons interested may submit their views on proposed ordinances and resolutions by           

letter filed with the city clerk.  In the city council's discretion, interested persons may   

also be heard orally.").  



                                                                             -19-                                                                      7251
  


----------------------- Page 20-----------------------

finances.  The agency record demonstrates that most of the public testimony concerned  



                                                                                                        

cost  to  the  City,  that  nearly  all  the  questioning  of  City  employees  pertained  to  the  



agreement's  ultimate  cost,  and  that  the  council  members  based  their  votes  on  their  



                                                                                  

assessment of the City's ability to pay.                    Fourth, there is no evidence in the record that  



postponing the ratification vote to November was for any reason other than giving the  



                                                                                                     

city council time to reassess the contract, taking into account the municipal election  



                                                                                                         

scheduled for October and that incoming council members needed time to understand the  



             58  

contract.        On this record "the evidence detracting from the agency's decision is . . .  



                                                                                                

dramatically  disproportionate  to  the  evidence  supporting  it  such  that  we  cannot  



                                                                                                                         59  

                                                                                                                             A  

'conscientiously' find the evidence supporting the decision to be 'substantial.' " 



                                                                      

"reasonable mind" could not conclude that the city council's actions were motivated by  

bad faith.60  



                                                                                                           

                    Ultimately, the ALRA panel inferred bad faith because it treated the city  



                                               

council's actions like those of a private employer.  But legislative bodies are not like  



private employers; they are not even like the executive branch of a public employer.  The  



city council is a political, legislative body, chosen by the city's residents to represent  



their interests.  When constituents inform their representatives that they believe the City  



                                                                               

cannot afford an agreement, it is not improper for the city council to reevaluate and vote  



against that agreement, even despite a previous tentative approval.  Such an action is not  



                                                                                           

bad faith, but rather a reflection of the political process.  That action is no different from  



                                                                                                    

PSEA submitting a tentative agreement to its members for approval and discovering that  



          58        See supra note 9.  



          59        See Shea II, 267 P.3d at 634 n.40 (emphases in original) (quoting Universal  



Camera Corp. v. Nat'l Labor Relations Bd., 340 U.S. 474, 488 (1951)).  



          60        See Shea III, 394 P.3d at 529 (quoting                   Shea II, 267 P.3d at 630).  



                                                             -20-                                                        7251
  


----------------------- Page 21-----------------------

                                                                                                                   

its  own  members  do  not  favor  it.                 Any  other  rule  would  shut  the  public  out  of  



participating in the City's financial business.  



                   The  ALRA  panel's  bad  faith  finding  is  not  supported  by  substantial  



evidence.  



                   2.        It was not reasonable to conclude that the City violated the Act.  



                                                                          

                   Having concluded the ALRA panel's bad faith finding is not supported by  



substantial evidence, we now turn to its legal conclusion that the City violated the Act.  



                                                                                                          

                   Section 110(a)(5) of the Act provides:  "A public employer or an agent of  



a  public  employer  may  not  .  .  .  refuse  to  bargain  collectively  in  good  faith  with  an  



organization that is the exclusive representative of employees in an appropriate unit,  



including   but   not   limited   to   the   discussing   of   grievances   with   the   exclusive  



                       61  

representative."           The ALRA panel interpreted this statute as meaning that a public  



employer has "an 'obligation . . . to participate actively in the deliberations so as to  



                                                                                     62  

                                                                                         Applying the reasonable  

indicate a present intention to find a basis for agreement.' " 



basis standard of review, we conclude this understanding of  110(a)(5) is a reasonable  



                                                      

interpretation of "good faith," as it matches persuasive federal interpretations of the  

National Labor Relations Act.63  



          61       AS 23.40.110(a)(5).  



          62       Order 305 at 7 (alteration in original) (quoting ABA   SECTION OF LABOR  



AND                                                                                                                      

       EMPLOYMENT LAW , THE DEVELOPING LABOR LAW 914-15 (JOHN E. HIGGINS , JR .  

ED ., 6th ed. 2012) and cases cited therein).  



          63  

                                                                                                   

                   See  NATIONAL            LABOR       RELATIONS   BOARD ,  NLRB  CASE                      HANDLING  

MANUAL ,  30,019 Section 10(J) Proceedings Under the NLRA, 2015 WL 7377488  

(2015) (quoting  N.L.R.B. v. Montgomery Ward & Co. , 133 F.2d 676, 686 (9th Cir.  

                                        

1943)); see also CCFT , 669 P.2d 1299, 1302 n.1 (Alaska 1983) ("[W]e will consider the  

                                                                                  

experiences of the National Labor Relations Board 'in remedying unfair labor practices  

                                         

                                                                                                         (continued...)  



                                                           -21-                                                      7251
  


----------------------- Page 22-----------------------

                                                                                              

                   No violation of the Act occurred in this case.   The ALRA panel's fact  



findings, removing those unsupported by substantial evidence, establish only that the city  



                                                                                                 

council chose not to ratify Ordinance 5953 after hearing from the public  and being  



                                                                                          

persuaded that it would be too costly to the City.  Such a failure to ratify alone does not  



                                                                                                 64  

evince  a  lack  of  "present  intention  to  find  a  basis  for  agreement."                         Thus,  having  



                                           

concluded the ALRA panel's bad faith finding is unsupported by substantial evidence,  



we cannot affirm the agency's conclusion based solely on the failure to ratify.  

                   Concluding that the City violated the Act was unreasonable.65  



V.        CONCLUSION  



                                                                                   

                   We REVERSE the superior court's decision affirming the ALRA panel's  



order.  



          63       (...continued)  



to be highly relevant to the performance of those functions by locally created labor  

boards . . . .' " (quoting Alaska Pub. Emps. Ass'n v. Municipality of Anchorage , 555 P.2d  

                                                                                          

552, 553 (Alaska 1976))).  



          64       See Alaska Cmty. Colls.' Fed'n of Teachers, Local No. 2404 v. Univ. of  

                                              

Alaska , ALRA Dec. No. 54, ULPC 79-4 (Oct. 26, 1979), aff'd CCFT, 669 P.2d at 1303;  

                                                                                                  

see also Marathon Oil Co. v. State, Dep't of Nat. Res., 254 P.3d 1078, 1082 (Alaska  

                                                                                                       

2011) ("We give more deference to agency interpretations that are 'longstanding and  

continuous.' " (quoting Premera Blue Cross v. State, Dep't of Commerce, Cmty. & Econ.  

                                                                                   

Dev., Div. of Ins. , 171 P.3d 1110, 1119 (Alaska 2007))).  



          65       In addition to challenging the findings and conclusions discussed above,  



the City argues that the ALRA has no authority to order a legislative body to spend  

money  and  that  the  ALRA  had  no  jurisdiction  in  this  case  because  the  tentative  

agreement's chosen forum was the superior court.  Because we hold that the ALRA panel  

could not reasonably conclude the City committed an unfair labor practice, we do not  

need to resolve these issues to reach our decision.  



                                                          -22-                                                    7251
  


----------------------- Page 23-----------------------

BOLGER, Justice, with whom MAASSEN, Justice, joins, dissenting.  



                                                                                              

                   I   believe   the   Alaska   Labor   Relations   Agency   (ALRA)   reasonably  



                                                       

concluded that the City of Fairbanks committed an unfair labor practice.  The findings  



of the ALRA on this issue were quite specific:  



                                                                               

                   The issue under the specific facts of this case is, did the City  

                   Council, in its active role in negotiations, drive the City to act  

                                                                                       

                   in bad faith by authorizing its negotiators to offer contract  

                   terms to PSEA, then approving those terms as negotiations  

                   progressed, and finally ratifying those terms and the entire  

                   agreement  at  a  public  meeting,  only  to  reverse  all  of  its  

                                    

                   previous actions and undo the ratified agreement by rejecting  

                                                               

                   those  terms  more  than  two  months  after  ratification  by  

                   invoking unusual procedures.  We find that by striking a deal,  

                                                                                      

                   ratifying that deal, and then stringing out and delaying the  

                   reconsideration process to ultimately attempt to deny PSEA  

                   its due, the City violated the duty to bargain in good faith and  

                   committed an unfair labor practice.  



                   Each of these findings is supported by substantial evidence in the agency  



record.    The  city  council  did  authorize  its  negotiators  to  offer  and  approve  specific  

                                       



contract terms as the negotiations progressed and then approved the entire agreement at  

                          



a public meeting.  The council did not follow its normal process for reconsideration;  



instead,  it  allowed  the  motion  for  reconsideration  to  be  accepted  late.    Then  it  



reconsidered and rejected the terms it had twice previously approved.  Based on this  

                                       



record, the ALRA could reasonably conclude that the council had bargained in bad faith.  



Since these findings are supported by substantial evidence, we are required to defer to  

the agency's decision.1  



          1        State, Dep't of Admin., Div. of Ret. & Benefits v. Shea                       , 394 P.3d 524, 529  



(Alaska 2017).  



                                                            -23-                                                         7251  


----------------------- Page 24-----------------------

                    The court's opinion relies on the "presumption  that proceedings of the  



                                                                                                                          2  

                                                                                                                             The  

governing body of a municipality have been conducted in accordance with law." 



opinion  notes  that  "the  city  council's  directives  during  the  bargaining  process  were  



                                                                                               

necessarily  tentative,"  that  the  reconsideration  decision  was  based  on  new  financial  



                              

estimates, and that there was no evidence contradicting the City's asserted reasons for  



                                       3 

                                                                                           

reconsideration and delay.   The opinion then concludes that PSEA did not overcome the 



presumption that the City was acting in good faith.  



                                                                                                                  

                    But the presumption of regularity does not shield the council's actions from  



                      4  

legal scrutiny.   Based on PSEA's complaint, the ALRA was required to determine  



                                                                                            5  

                                                                                                 In  order  to  fulfill  this  

whether  the  City  had  committed  an  unfair  labor  practice. 



                                                                                               

responsibility, it was required to make a factual finding about whether the council was  



                              6  

acting in good faith.   The ALRA was not required to accept the City's explanations for  



                                                              

the council's behavior.  And the fact that the council followed the statutes and ordinances  



for scheduling, review, and reconsideration of the agreement does not mean that the  



          2         Op. at 16 (quoting Liberati v. Bristol Bay Borough , 584 P.2d 1115, 1118   



(Alaska 1978)).  



          3         Op. at 19-20.  



          4  

                                                                                         

                    See  Citizens to Preserve Overton Park, Inc. v. Volpe, 401 U.S. 402, 415  

                                                                                                                   

(1971) (stating that the presumption of regularity does "not shield [agency] action from  

                                                                            

a thorough, probing, in-depth review"); see also  Wright v. State, 501 P.2d 1360, 1372  

(Alaska 1972) (" Where no evidence indicating otherwise is produced, the presumption  

of regularity supports the official acts of public officers . . . ." (emphasis added) (quoting  

                                                                                            

Gallego v. United States, 276 F.2d 914, 917 (9th Cir. 1960))).  



          5         See  AS  23.40.130  (requiring  the  ALRA  to  investigate  all  complaints  



alleging unfair labor practices).  



          6         See  AS  23.40.110(a)(5)  (defining  unfair  labor  practice  to  include  a  



"refus[al] to bargain collectively in good faith").  



                                                              -24-                                                         7251
  


----------------------- Page 25-----------------------

council  was  acting  in  good  faith.    The  evidence  that  the  ALRA  relied  on  could  



reasonably support the opposite conclusion.  



              I  conclude  that  there  was  substantial  evidence  supporting  the  ALRA's  



finding that the City did not bargain in good faith.  



                                            -25-                                      7251
  

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