EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; DEFENSES – Waiver by Union; Contract Waivers; Bargaining History Estoppel; Disclaimer; Supersession
Single Topic for Decision 2443M
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608.07000 – Waiver by Union; Contract Waivers; Bargaining History Estoppel; Disclaimer; Supersession
A recognized employee organization may waive its MMBA right to meet and confer. However, waiver is disfavored and must be clear and unmistakable. An employer raising a waiver defense must establish that: (1) it provided the employee organization clear and unequivocal notice that it would act on a matter, and (2) the employee organization clearly, unmistakably and intentionally relinquished its right to meet and confer in good faith. Section 7.01.4 of the parties’ contract contains both a restriction on the City’s managerial right to conduct layoffs and a limited waiver of the union’s right to meet and confer over the decision to contract out bargaining unit work. The waiver of the union’s right to bargain is limited by the occurrence of one of the triggering events identified in Section 7.01.4, the City’s loss of Redevelopment Agency (RDA) funding or a general fund deficit of $7 million. Since there is no dispute that the City lost RDA funding in 2012, we conclude that the City was entitled to implement layoffs and contracting out of bargaining unit work subject only to reasonable notice.