Governor Brown has vetoed AB 2126, which would have made mediation mandatory and expanded the scope of factfinding under the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA). Here is the Governor’s veto message:
To the Members of the California State Assembly:
I am returning Assembly Bill 2126 without my signature.
This bill would amend the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act to provide that mediation in the collective bargaining process may be invoked by one party, rather than requiring both parties to mutually declare impasse and request mediation as required under current law. The bill would also specify that fact finding is not limited to disputes over a new memorandum of understanding but also applies when negotiations reach impasse over issues within the life of the contract.
This measure is premature because a key issue it raises is currently pending before two separate courts of appeal. I would like to get the benefit of the courts’ reasoning before I take any action on a bill of this type.
I would note, however, based on my experience as Mayor of Oakland, that the negotiating process between labor and management under the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act seems extraordinarily robust and extensive.
This veto is a very pleasant surprise. In my humble opinion, the Governor definitely made the right decision. While I generally support mediation, by mandating it this bill would further drag out the bargaining process, especially in light of how long it is taking to get through the factfinding process. Also, I’m glad the Governor wants to wait to see how the two courts of appeal are going to rule in the factfinding cases involving the County of Riverside and the San Diego Housing Commission. I feel that the employers in both of those cases have strong positions.
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