CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES;PROCEDURES BEFORE THE BOARD – Weight Given to ALJ's Proposed Decision: Findings, Conclusions, Credibility Resolutions

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1107.02000 – Weight Given to ALJ’s Proposed Decision: Findings, Conclusions, Credibility Resolutions

The Board rejected Charging Party’s exception that, by requesting bargaining over a single issue following impasse, the Charging Party had effectively broken the deadlock and revived the Respondent’s duty to bargain over the single issue, which had already been part of the overall deadlock reached in negotiations for a successor MOU. (pp. 10-11.) The Board found no violation of the duty to bargain because Charging Party’s request for single-issue negotiations did not break the impasse and revive the Respondent’s duty to bargain. Although impasse necessarily entails an overall deadlock in negotiations, it may stem from disagreement over a single subject, if the disagreement is of such importance that the parties’ failure to agree on that one subject causes all negotiations to break down. (pp. 10-11.) The party asserting that an impasse has been broken must point to the changed circumstances that would justify a return to the bargaining table. Mere speculation regarding possible concessions by the other party is insufficient to revive bargaining. There must be substantial evidence that a party is committed to a new bargaining position. Vague and general statements about possible concessions or a request by one party for additional meetings, if unaccompanied by an indication of the areas in which that party foresees future concessions, are insufficient to break an impasse where the other party has clearly announced that its position is final. (p. 9.)