PERB held an Advisory Committee meeting on January 17, 2013. It was a good turnout of people representing both unions and management. There was also a significant number of PERB staff in attendance. Here is a brief summary of what was discussed:
SMCS and General Regulations Changes
On December 13, 2012, PERB held a hearing on the proposed regulations relating to the transfer of the State Mediation and Conciliation Service to PERB and the proposed general regulation changes. (Those proposed regulations can be found here.) No changes were made so PERB is preparing to submit the regulation packages to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). OAL then has 30 working days to conduct its review. So the best estimate of when the proposed regulations will go into effect is sometime in April 2013.
Proposed MMBA Election Regulations
There was discussion of the draft proposed regulations for MMBA elections. Les Chisholm, Regional Director, emphasized that the proposal was that these regulations would only apply if the parties consented to a PERB election. The only regulation discussed was 33002 (Stay of Election) and whether PERB should use the term “laboratory conditions” instead of “free choice.”
PERB asked for comment on the status of the IHSS Act. PERB has not begun drafting regulations for the IHSSA. Audience members knowledgeable in this area stated that the 8 counties affected would have 12-18 months to move people into managed care beginning September 2013. So the state-wide authority would probably not take over bargaining until 2015. There does not appear to be a move afoot to expand the counties subject to the IHSSA in the immediate future.
Proposed MMBA Factfinding Regulations
PERB asked for comment on its draft proposed MMBA factfinding regulations. Basically PERB is going to make the determination of the sufficiency of a factfinding request appealable to the Board. At first, I didn’t think this was a big deal, but the more I think about it, it’s not beneficial for employers. Right now, if a factfinding request is denied, it’s not appealable. That means the employer can move forward with implementation. If the decision denying factfinding becomes appealable, the employer is going to be in a difficult position. Do you go ahead and implement and risk the Board granting the appeal? Or do you delay implementation until you’re sure the appeal is denied? There was discussion about how any appeal needed to be expedited and everyone in the room agreed with that. Even so, there is a real possibility that even an expedited appeal could take longer than the factfinding process itself. So the more I think about it, this is an area that employers may want to comment on if these regulations are formally proposed.
PERB has received roughly 50 requests for factfinding under AB 646.
PERB is working on posting all fact-finding decisions on its website.
PERB is down to two Board members; so it doesn’t have a quorum presently. The Governor is expected to appoint at least one new Board member but there is no word on when that will happen.
Now that SMCS is under PERB, it will no longer be charging money for conducting elections which it started to do in July 2010.