EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; DEFENSES – Hard Bargaining
Single Topic for Decision 2571M
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608.15000 – Hard Bargaining
A party exhibits bad faith if it fails to adequately explain its inflexible position. (County of San Luis Obispo (2015) PERB Decision No. 2427-M, p. 29; San Bernardino City Unified School District (1998) PERB Decision No. 1270, at pp. 85-86.) However, an inflexible position that is fairly maintained and rationally supported does not, alone, prove bad faith. (Oakland Unified School District (1982) PERB Decision No. 275, p. 16.) Hard bargaining cannot shield party from liability if it adopted a take-it-or-leave-it attitude or rushed to impasse. Employer adopted a “take-it-or-leave it” attitude when it (1) presented its position as an ultimatum, telling union it had a choice of either accepting new terms or arriving at impasse; (2) showed a predetermination to negotiate or impose its own proposals without carefully and mutually reviewing the union’s proposals, issues, and concessions; and (3) declared impasse based not on an assessment of the parties’ actual differences, but on the fact that it had not achieved capitulation to all of its demands. Furthermore, County of Solano (2014) PERB Decision No. 2402-M, is in tension with Regents of the University of California (1983) PERB Decision No. 356-H, p. 21, as it may be bad faith for employer to insist that it will not agree to different terms for different employee groups.