EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH (FOR SPECIFIC SUBJECTS, SEE SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION, SEC 1000) – In General, Per Se and Totality of Conduct; Prima Facie Case
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601.01000 – In General, Per Se and Totality of Conduct; Prima Facie Case
Charge stated a prima facie case of premature declaration of impasse by employer. Under employer’s local rules adopted pursuant to MMBA, “impasse” means that the parties “have reached a point in their meeting and conferring in good faith on a dispute over matters within the scope of their representation at which their differences in position are so substantial or prolonged that future meetings would be futile.” Where parties participated in a series of productive bargaining sessions in which both parties made significant bargaining concessions at each session, allegations did not support premise that the difference in the parties’ respective positions were so substantial or prolonged that future meetings would be futile. Failure of employer to afford the union an opportunity to respond to the employer’s last offer indicates an intent to subvert the negotiating process and generally demonstrates the lack of a genuine desire to reach agreement. Union’s willingness to bargain is not dispositive of the issue of whether or not impasse has occurred. A holding that impasse cannot exist as long as one party desires to continue bargaining to reach an agreement is fundamentally inconsistent with local rules that permit either party to allow any party to negotiations to declare impasse and request an impasse meeting. Such a holding would allow any party to negotiations to prevent impasse and would render the local impasse procedure rule that either party may declare impasse meaningless. Charge failed to allege a prima facie case that the employer failed to participate in good faith in the scheduling of an impasse meeting, where the union failed to timely respond to the employer’s proposed dates for an impasse meeting and only proposed a date that was a public holiday. Charge failed to allege a prima facie case that the employer failed to participate in local impasse procedures authorizing voluntary mediation upon agreement by both parties, where the charge failed to allege that the union ever requested mediation during the impasse procedures or the employer refused such a request.