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410.01100 – Content of Communication

Even without the presumptive section 3550 violation borne of the University’s section 3553, subdivision (b) violation, the Board found that Teamsters proved a prima facie case of a section 3550 violation. The FAQs tended to influence employee free choice on several fronts. FAQ 2, by asking “Must I join the Union?,” couches union membership in a negative light as a potential compulsory obligation that an employee might wish to avoid. FAQ 3 suffers from a similar pitfall. The question, “Will I have to pay monthly union dues?,” treats the choice to join a union as a financial burden an employee may wish to avoid, thereby emphasizing the cost of union membership without any mention of the benefits. (See Regents of the University of California (2021) PERB Decision No. 2755-H, p. 41 [University’s FAQ regarding union dues framed the Janus decision only in terms of a financial advantage to agency fee payers, eliding any hint that the right-to-work framework Janus imposed may ultimately reduce compensation and protections].) By highlighting these questions and labeling them as “FAQs,” the University suggested that AO2s commonly ask these questions, or should ask them, rather than asking about membership benefits. Spotlighting these topics to the exclusion of others reduced the accretion, and by extension the choice to join and support Teamsters, to an overall burden. (pp. 21-22.)