Case Caption: United Steelworkers Locals 9488 and 9489 v. Division of Personnel et al Case Number: SCT-Civ-2020-0106Date: 02/07/2024Author: Cabret, Maria M. Citation: 2024 VI 9Summary: Considering an appeal brought by a union, as the bargaining representative for certain employees within the Government of the Virgin Islands’ Division of Personnel (“DOP”), from a memorandum opinion and order of the Superior Court affirming a decision of the Public Employees Relations Board (the “PERB”) excluding two employees (one, a Recruitment and Classification Supervisor, and the other, a Territorial Administrator) from a collective bargaining unit due to their status as “confidential employees,” the Superior Court erred by relying on federal case law and the labor-nexus test rather than 24 V.I.C. §362(q) in determining which employees are “confidential.” However, this error was harmless, as the PERB correctly excluded the employees in question from the bargaining unit because they were political appointees within the intendment of 24 V.I.C. § 362(g)(2) who possessed confidential relationships with policy-making officials. Since the Superior Court did not err in finding that substantial evidence supported the PERB’s decision, the Superior Court’s order enforcing the underlying order of the PERB in this respect is affirmed. Regarding the DOP’s cross-appeal, the Superior Court erred when it sua sponte found that two other employees (one, a Personnel Records Management Supervisor, and the other, a Financial Management Supervisor) are non-supervisory employees. Supervisory classification is neither relevant to the issues in this case, nor was it raised before the Superior Court or by the parties, and this appeal does not present the rare, exceptional case warranting consideration of an issue not previously raised by the parties. Accordingly, the portion of the Superior Court’s opinion and order finding that these two other employees are non-supervisory employees is vacated.Attachment: Open Document or Opinion