IMPASSE PROCEDURES; IN GENERAL; DUTY TO PARTICIPATE IN GOOD FAITH – Declaration/Determination of Impasse
Single Topic for Decision 2694M
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900.02000 – Declaration/Determination of Impasse
If an employer declares impasse without reaching a bona fide impasse after good faith negotiations, but the employer neither changes employment terms nor refuses to continue bargaining, the Board considers that evidence under the totality of conduct test. (City of San Ramon (2018) PERB Decision No. 2571-M, p. 7, fn. 9; County of Riverside (2014) PERB Decision No. 2360-M, p. 12.) In contrast, if the employer in those circumstances refuses to bargain further or proceeds to change employment terms, that constitutes further evidence of bad faith under the totality test, and it also constitutes a per se violation. (San Ramon, supra, at p. 11, fn. 9; Riverside, supra, at p. 11.) City prematurely declared impasse where both parties had additional room to move on economics, which was the main issue in the negotiations. Even assuming a first impasse, alleged impasse was broken when the parties made concessions in later negotiation sessions. An impasse “can be terminated by nearly any change in bargaining-related circumstances” that is sufficient to suggest that “attempts to adjust differences may no longer be futile.” (PERB v. Modesto City Schools District (1982) 136 Cal.App.3d 881, 899.) “Most obviously, an impasse will be broken when one party announces a retreat from some of its negotiating demands.” (Ibid.) City was not privileged to impose the terms contemplated in its June 20, 2012 proposal, both because of its refusal to meet after June 20, 2-12 and its unremedied unilateral changes pertaining to unilaterally subcontracting bargaining unit work.