Court Denies Permanent Injunction in UC Strike

The San Francisco superior court today denied PERB’s request for a permanent injunction against AFSCME. PERB had sought the permanent injunction on behalf of the UC to prohibit AFSCME from calling a strike without sufficient notice and also prohibit certain health and safety sensitive positions from striking at all. The court had issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against AFSCME on July 11th. In a widely publicized move, AFSCME claimed that the TRO was improper and went ahead with its strike on July 14th.At the hearing today the judge questioned whether a permanent injunction was “moot” since the AFSCME strike…

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PERB’s Jurisdiction Over Units Containing Cops

As discussed in this blog, PERB’s jurisdiction over public employee strikes that threaten health and safety is one of the hot issues in the public sector. Another brewing issue involves PERB’s jurisdiction over bargaining units containing Penal Code section 830.1 peace officers. When PERB gained jurisdiction over administration of the MMBA in 2001, an exception was carved out for Penal Code 830.1 peace officers. (Gov. Code, §3511.) Penal Code 830.1 peace officers include most all city police officers and county deputy sheriffs. As it stands, while Penal Code 830.1 peace officers are subject to the MMBA, they are not subject…

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AFSCME Defies Court Order; Goes on Strike

According to the Sacramento Bee, about 500 AFSCME members are picketing in front of UC Davis Medical Center this morning, in defiance of a court order enjoining such a strike. When told of UC’s threat to discipline employees who defied the court order, one demonstrator replied that the possibility of discipline was a just a “rumor.”In my opinion, all the employees who went on strike today are engaged in unprotected activity as far as state labor law is concerned. That means there is nothing prohibiting the UC from imposing discipline on employees participating in the strike. The UC would of…

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PERB Stops Threatened UC Strike

On July 11th, PERB obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) against AFSCME Local 3299 from the San Francisco Superior Court. The TRO enjoins members of AFSCME’s Service Unit and Patient Care Technical Unit at the University of California—approximately 19,000 total employees—from engaging in a threatened strike beginning July 14th. In seeking injunctive relief, PERB asserted that AFSCME had engaged in bad faith bargaining and that the strike by patient care employees would pose a serious threat to the delivery of care to UC patients. Although the threat to public health and safety was one of the grounds for seeking injunctive…

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Court: PERB Does Not Have Exclusive Jurisdiction Over Essential Employee Strikes

Contra Costa Co. v. Public Employees Union Local One (--- Cal.Rptr.3d ---, 2008 WL 2136950 (Cal.App. 1 Dist.)In response to a threatened strike by public employees, the County of Contra Costa (County) sought a court injunction prohibiting “essential” employees from participating in any strike. Of the 5800 employees threatening to strike, the County argued that 270 employees were essential to maintaining public health and safety. PERB intervened in the court proceedings to assert that it had exclusive initial jurisdiction over the dispute since any strike would arguably be protected or prohibited by the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA). Finding that the MMBA…

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