STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
University of Minnesota,
Filed November 23, 1999
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 9819621
Joeffre Kolosky, 7018 Brooklyn Blvd., #7, Minneapolis, MN 55429 (pro se appellant)
Mark B. Rotenberg, General Counsel, University of Minnesota, Thomas J. Schumacher, Associate General Counsel, 325 Morrill Hall, 100 Church Street S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455 (for respondent)
Considered and decided by Shumaker, Presiding Judge, Davies, Judge, and Willis, Judge.
Appellant Joeffre Kolosky challenges adverse summary judgment, arguing that the district court erred in concluding that (1) Kolosky does not have standing to pursue claims against respondent University of Minnesota under the Minnesota Public Employee Labor Relations Act (PELRA), Minn. Stat. §§ 179A.01-.25 (1998), and (2) federal law preempts Kolosky's state-law claims. We affirm.
The district court granted the University's motion for summary judgment, concluding that (1) Kolosky does not have standing to bring his PELRA claim, and, in the alternative, (2) Kolosky's PELRA claim is preempted by section 301 of the federal Labor Management Relations Act of 1947. This appeal followed.
Kolosky argues that the district court erred in finding that he does not have standing to assert a claim under section 179A.13 of PELRA, which allows "[a]ny employee, employer, employee or employer organization, exclusive representative, or any other person or organization aggrieved by an unfair labor practice" to bring an action for damages or injunctive relief. Minn. Stat. § 179A.13, subd. 1 (1998). But the supreme court has determined that only a party who is a signatory to the applicable CBA can be "aggrieved by an unfair labor practice" under the statute. Minnesota Educ. Ass'n v. Independent Sch. Dist. No. 404, 287 N.W.2d 666, 669 (Minn. 1980). The University and Kolosky's union were the only signatories to the CBA and to the agreement that terminated it. Therefore the union, not its individual members, has standing to enforce conditions of the CBA. See Paoletti v. Northwestern Bell Tel. Co., 370 N.W.2d 672, 675 (Minn. App. 1985), review denied (Minn. Sept. 26, 1985). To allow individual members of a union to bring CBA-enforcement actions under PELRA "would render suspect any agreement executed by an organization for its members." Minnesota Educ. Ass'n, 287 N.W.2d at 669; see Eisen v. State, Dep't of Pub. Welfare, 352 N.W.2d 731, 735 (Minn. 1984). The district court did not err in concluding that Kolosky does not have standing to bring a claim under PELRA.
Because we affirm the district court's determination on the standing issue, we do not address whether Kolosky's alleged cause of action under PELRA is preempted by federal law.