On Friday, September 28, the Governor vetoed AB 2305, 2886, and 3034. These bills would have expanded PERB’s jurisdiction by adding, respectively: peace officer unions; the Orange County Transportation Authority and the San Joaquin Regional Transit District; and the supervisory units of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District. Here is the Governor’s veto message:
These bills expand the Public Employment Relations Board’s jurisdiction to cover labor disputes involving several local public agencies. Over the years, the Legislature has expanded the Board’s jurisdiction, but the necessary funding for the increased workload has not kept pace. This has resulted in significant backlogs at the Board – both labor and employers have complained about this problem. This Administration has recently increased the Board’s funding to help correct this problem. The Board’s jurisdiction should not be expanded again until the Board’s ability to handle its previously expanded caseload is established.
I must admit, I was surprised by the veto. However, the Governor is correct that beginning with the MMBA in 2001, the Legislature has not only added more employees to PERB’s jurisdiction, but also added many new laws for PERB to enforce. All this has helped to create a backlog at PERB where today, the oldest case before the Board was docketed on October 8, 2014, which means the case was probably filed in 2013. Even if that case is an anomaly, there are 6 cases on the Board’s docket from 2015, and 14 cases from 2016. This fiscal year, the Governor gave PERB an additional 7 positions. That should certainly help. But I’m skeptical that 7 positions alone will do the job unless there are also other changes in how PERB’s processes its cases…
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