EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; NEGOTIATIONS; INDICIA OF SURFACE OR BAD FAITH BARGAINING; TOTALITY OF CIRCUMSTANCES – Time Limit on Negotiations
Single Topic for Decision 2691M
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606.06000 – Time Limit on Negotiations
City and union were not actually at impasse when the City declared impasse. The City declared impasse mainly due to the upcoming submission deadline, by which bargaining parties must submit to the City’s Board of Supervisors a successor MOU for ratification or suffer a penalty, viz., a delay in the implementation of new economic enhancements. PERB’s finding that the City relied on the Charter’s submission deadline to declare impasse prematurely provided significant evidence that the submission deadline, as applied in the case, prevented the parties from devoting sufficient time to hear and reflect on one another’s positions and endeavor in good faith to reach a mutual accommodation. In addition, the bargaining was rushed and there was insufficient time for the process to play out. The parties’ negotiations, then, were entirely antithetical to the MMBA’s core purpose of promoting “full communication” between public employers and employees’ chosen organizations, through a robust duty to meet and confer in good faith for a reasonable period of time. (MMBA, § 3500, subd. (a).) For these reasons, PERB found in union’s favor on its as-applied challenge.