EMPLOYER INTERFERENCE, RESTRAINT, COERCION, EMPLOYER CONDUCT AFFECTING ORGANIZING, UNION ACCESS; SOLICITATION, AND OTHER UNION RIGHTS – In General; Prima Facie Case.
Single Topic for Decision I057M
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401.01000 – In General; Prima Facie Case.
The MMBA accords recognized employee organizations the right to represent their members in their employment relations with public agencies, and it is unlawful for a public agency to deny these organizations the rights guaranteed to them under the MMBA. The MMBA prohibits public agencies from interfering with the formation and administration of any employee organization, or to encourage employees to join any employee organization in preference to another. The MMBA authorizes local agencies to adopt reasonable rules and regulations for the administration of employer-employee relations, including procedures for recognizing employee representatives as the exclusive bargaining agent for units of employees, as well as for decertifying an exclusive representative organization. That section specifically provides, however, that no public agency shall unreasonably withhold recognition of employee organizations. Moreover, it is an unlawful practice for a public agency to violate its own local rules, or to adopt and enforce local rules not in conformance with the provisions or purposes of the MMBA. The employer’s duty to bargain in good faith is owed to the recognized employee organization. Where the duty exists, an employer’s outright refusal to bargain with a recognized employee organization violates the duty to bargain in good faith. The purposes of the MMBA are promoting full communication between public employers and employees and improving personnel management and employer-employee relations by recognizing the right of public employees to join organizations of their own choice and to be represented by these organizations in their employment relationship with public agencies. To achieve these purposes, in 1968 the Legislature established in the MMBA a system of collective bargaining and conferred on employees, employers and employee organizations particular rights and duties. Among those rights and duties are the right of employees to select their representative free of employer interference, and the right of the selected representative to engage the employer in collective negotiations over wages, hours and employment terms and conditions.