STATE OF WISCONSIN CIRCUIT COURT MARATHON COUNTY
MOSINEE SCHOOL DISTRICT,
Decision No. 20479-G
Case No. 02CV592
[NOTE: This document was re-keyed
by WERC. Original
pagination has been retained.]
The petitioner, Mosinee School District, seeks reversal of respondent's ruling that the
Payroll Accounting/Human Resources Specialist is not a confidential employee and,
should be included in the Mosinee Educational Support Personnel Association bargaining
The record indicates that the respondent reviewed the evidence as to whether or not
Payroll Accounting/Human Resources Specialist position met the criteria for confidential
within the meaning of Sec. 111.70(1)(i) Wis. Stats. After hearing, the respondent made
findings of fact including a finding that the Payroll Accounting/Human Resources Specialist
position does not have sufficient access to, knowledge of, or participation in confidential
relations matters to be a confidential employee. This Court finds that the findings of the
respondent are supported by substantial evidence in the record. The Court hereby accepts
findings of the respondent as conclusive.
The respondent argues that the respondent's decision as to whether an employee is a
confidential employee is entitled to great weight deference. Mineral Point Unified
v. WERC, 251 Wis.2d 325, 334-340, 641 N.W.2d 701 (Ct. App. 2002). Generally,
Court is to give great weight deference when four factors have been met:
1. The agency was charged by the legislature with the
2. The interpretation of the agency is long standing; and
3. The agency employed its expertise or specialized knowledge in
4. The agency's interpretation will provide uniformity and
consistency in the
application of the statute.
In this case, the petitioner has conceded the first three factors of the "great weight"
standard of review. The respondent argues, however, that the fourth factor is at issue in that
respondent's interpretation will not provide uniformity and consistency in the application of
statute because its decision in this case is inconsistent with prior rulings.
Under the "great weight" standard of review, this Court must uphold an agency's
reasonable interpretation that is not contrary to the clear meaning of the statute, even if the
feels that an alternative interpretation is more reasonable. The Court must affirm the
decision if there is any rational basis to support it.
This Court has taken judicial notice of the prior decisions of the respondent cited in
Memorandum Decision and in its Brief. The respondent has long held that a de
to confidential labor relations matters as generally insufficient grounds for exclusion of an
employee from a bargaining unit. The respondent's conclusion that the combination of the
job duties of the Payroll Accounting/Human Resources Specialist position is not
sufficient to warrant her exclusion from the bargaining unit as a confidential employee
consistent with the respondent's interpretation of the "confidential employee" exemption in
the long line of cases cited by the respondent. The Court is persuaded that the respondent
has addressed the claimed inconsistencies cited by the petitioner and distinguished them.
The Court finds that the respondent's decision is reasonable and rationally supported.
The decision of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission in this case is
affirmed in all respects. The counsel for the respondent is directed to provide a proposed
judgment for review and execution by this Court
Executed at Wausau, Wisconsin, this 11th day
of June , 2003.
BY THE COURT
"Managerial" employees within MERA, (2) that the collective bargaining agreement
Circuit Court Judge