State Employee Furloughs Challenged

The Professional Engineers in California Government (State Bargaining Unit 9) and the California Association of Professional Scientists (State Bargaining Unit 10) have jointly filed a petition for writ of mandate in Sacramento Superior Court (Case No. 2008-80000126) challenging the Governor’s authority to unilaterally impose furloughs on state employees upon a declaration of an emergency. At the same time, the Service Employees International Union Local 1000 (SEIU) has filed an unfair practice charge with PERB challenging the same action by the Governor.The unions are challenging the Governor’s executive order S-16-08 issued on December 19, 2008. The executive order declared a state…

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PERB Issues 2007-2008 Annual Report

PERB recently released its annual report for fiscal year 2007-2008. (The report is available by clicking here.) Here are some highlights:Unfair Practice Charges816 unfair practice charges (UPCs) were filed in fiscal year 2007-08. This was just slightly less than the 823 UPCs filed in 2006-07. Since PERB assumed jurisdiction over the MMBA in 2001, UPCs have been averaging over 800 a year, roughly double the number before 2001.Interestingly, in 2007-08 the number of UPCs filed actually decreased under the MMBA, EERA, and HEERA. The Dills Act, however, saw a dramatic increase from 71 to 137 UPCs. This is likely due…

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Appeal Filed in Email Case

Los Angeles County Superior Court (PERB Dec. No. 1979-C) (Issued on 10/7/08)The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees has filed a petition in the court of appeal challenging the email case (PERB Decision No. 1979-C), discussed in this blog on October 9, 2008.

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PERB Calls Meeting to Deal with Factfinding Budget

The 2008-2009 budget for PERB eliminated funding for factfinding, which in the previous year had been $85,000. However, the Legislature and Governor did not eliminate PERB's mandate under EERA and HEERA to fund factfinding. PERB has called a Board meeting for October 27, 2008, to address this problem.In 2002-03, when the state also faced a serious budget crisis, PERB reduced the per diem it paid to factfinders to $100/per day from $600/per day. That resulted in a drastic reduction of individuals willing to as factfinders. The few factfinders who accepted the $100/day rate reduced the number of cases they would…

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Restrictions on Union Email Use Ok

Los Angeles County Superior Court (PERB Dec. No. 1979-C) (Issued on 10/7/08)The Los Angeles County Superior Court (Court) has the following policy on email use:“The Court provides access to its electronic communications systems for the purpose of facilitating the performance of court related business. . .. Employees may not use the system in a manner or to a degree that is disruptive or detrimental to the Court or to the employee's performance. . .. Any violation of this policy may subject an employee to discipline.”This policy recognized that there would always be some incidental non-work related email use by employees.…

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