EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; UNILATERAL CHANGE (FOR NEGOT OF SPECIFIC SUBJECTS, SEE SEC 1000, SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION) – In General
Single Topic for Decision 2818I
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602.01000 – In General
Past practice can be used to establish the status quo from which we assess an alleged unilateral change, and it can also be used as an interpretive aid in assessing ambiguous written language. In the former instance, a past practice establishes the status quo only if it was “regular and consistent” or “historic and accepted.” (County of Merced (2020) PERB Decision No. 2740-M, p. 13, fn. 9.) However, the inquiry is fundamentally different when analyzing the parties’ past practice to help ascertain the meaning of ambiguous contract language. (Antelope Valley Community College District (2018) PERB Decision No. 2618, p. 21.) In such circumstances, the past practice is but one tool for interpreting the contract, and therefore need not be as definitive as when it is defining the status quo in the absence of a contract term. (Id. at p. 22.) Union failed to establish either manner of past practice violation based on insufficient testimony and past practice consistent with the language of the MOU.