EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; UNILATERAL CHANGE (FOR NEGOT OF SPECIFIC SUBJECTS, SEE SEC 1000, SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION) – Change in Past Practice
Single Topic for Decision 2618E
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602.06000 – Change in Past Practice
While the parties’ past practice in this case may have been sufficient to meet the Pajaro standard, we need not reach that question, because the inquiry is fundamentally different when the parties’ past practices are considered to help define the meaning of contract language. In such situations, we scrutinize the parties’ application of their own agreement in order to discern its meaning:
This rule of practical construction is predicated on the common sense concept that “actions speak louder than words.” Words are frequently but an imperfect medium to convey thought and intention. When the parties to a contract perform under it and demonstrate by their conduct that they knew what they were talking about the courts [and the Board] should enforce that intent.