PERB: OPERATION, JURISDICTION, AUTHORITY; APPLICABILITY OF AND CONFLICTS WITH OTHER STATUTES – Conflicts Between PERB-Administered Laws and Other California Statutes; Education Code/Supersession; MMBA Supersession
Single Topic for Decision 2427M
Full Decision Text (click on the link to view): Full Text
101.02000 – Conflicts Between PERB-Administered Laws and Other California Statutes; Education Code/Supersession; MMBA Supersession
The lawfulness of a refusal to discuss a particular proposal or subject turns on whether the subject is negotiable. There is no “good-faith doubt,” “mistake of law” or similar defense available when a party refuses outright to meet or negotiate, because it doubts the negotiability of a proposal. If the matter is within scope, then the refusal to discuss it is a per se violation of the duty to bargain and, unlike a surface bargaining allegation, no inquiry into the respondent's subjective motive is necessary. Because pension plan provisions relied on by the unions did not confer any right to “permanency” in employee pension benefits or contribution formulas, unions failed to show that employer’s proposed changes to employee pension contribution formulas affected “vested rights” outside the scope of negotiations. Because no vested rights were identified, the Board declined to consider whether, or under what circumstances, vested rights may be modified through collective bargaining.