UNFAIR PRACTICE ISSUES; STRIKES, SLOWDOWNS AND WORK STOPPAGES – Pre-Impasse
Single Topic for Decision I058E
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301.02000 – Pre-Impasse
A union’s strike preparations undertaken before impasse procedures have been exhausted do not constitute “reasonable cause” to believe that an unfair practice has been committed sufficient to justify PERB seeking injunctive relief from the courts in the absence of evidence that the union lacked the intent to reach an agreement. Unlike an actual work stoppage, preparing for a strike is more akin to speech protected by EERA. PERB has long held that speech in the workplace that is related to the legitimate concerns of employees is protected activity within the meaning of EERA section 3543. A union’s communications to bargaining unit members and to the employer regarding strike preparation, including strike threats and strike votes, without a work stoppage are not coercive activities under EERA.