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750.01000 – In General

Because IBEW should have raised its personal bias argument during the unit determination hearing, the Board ultimately dismissed the claim on waiver grounds. IBEW should have requested before or during the 2017 unit determination hearing that the City replace the City Manager or that he recuse himself from hearing the petition. The core principle is that “[e]vidence of bias or any lack of neutrality by PERB, its ALJs or any of its agents should be brought to the attention of the Board immediately.” (Hacienda-La Puente Unified School District (1997) PERB Decision No. 1186, p. 11.) In the instant case, IBEW had several opportunities after it filed its petition to move for the City to replace the City Manager or to ask the City Manager to recuse himself. Instead, IBEW argued for the first time at the PERB hearing that the City Manager’s bias disqualified him from considering the unit petition. IBEW claimed that it would have been futile to move for the City Manager’s recusal at the 2017 hearing because he denied IBEW’s similar request at the 2013 hearing on another employee organization’s severance petition. The 2013 events standing alone are not sufficient to establish futility, and IBEW therefore should have afforded the City an opportunity to address the issue and, in doing so, preserve its position that the City was unreasonably applying its Employee Relations Ordinance by letting the City Manager decide the appropriateness of the petitioned-for unit. (pp. 22-24.)