All notes for Subtopic 1309.15000 – Transit District Units

DecisionDescriptionPERC Vol.PERC IndexDate
2667P San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
Employee preference alone is not sufficient to justify severance of a separate bargaining unit. PERB must determine based on the totality of the evidence presented at the hearing whether severance of the requested unit is appropriate. (pp. 33-34.) more or view all topics or full text.
09/06/19
2667P San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
The transit district enabling acts generally grant SMCS jurisdiction to resolve questions concerning representation (QCR), including determinations of appropriate bargaining units. (p. 17.) In doing so, the Board shall apply federal law unless (1) the question presented is governed by an explicit provision of the applicable transit district act, or (2) considerations unique to public sector labor relations require deviation from federal law. (pp. 17-18.) more or view all topics or full text.
09/06/19
2667P San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
A unit of skilled craft workers may be severed from an existing represented unit in California’s public transit district systems. The question is whether the proposed bargaining unit is an appropriate skilled craft unit. (p. 18.) more or view all topics or full text.
09/06/19
2667P San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
A skilled craft unit consists of a distinct and homogeneous group of skilled journeymen craftsmen, who, together with helpers or apprentices, are primarily engaged in the performance of tasks which are not performed by other employees and which require the use of substantial craft skills and specialized tools and equipment. To be a “journeyman craftsman” an individual must have a kind and degree of skill which is normally acquired only by undergoing a substantial period of apprenticeship or comparable training. (p. 19.) more or view all topics or full text.
09/06/19
2667P San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
PERB traditionally takes a narrow view of “skilled crafts” under certain statutes it administers based on statutory language defining “skilled crafts employees” as including, but not necessarily limited to, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, painters, and operating engineers. In cases arising under the transit acts, and in the absence of similar narrowing language in those enabling acts, PERB follows a broader definition of skilled craft workers under federal precedent. (p. 19, fn. 12.) more or view all topics or full text.
09/06/19
2667P San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
Transit district employees who, after completing certain apprenticeship programs, are assigned work according to their craft lines that no other employee classification outside their craft performs, and whom do not receive cross-training between different crafts or with other general classifications, are skilled craft workers. (p. 20.) more or view all topics or full text.
09/06/19
2667P San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
Under federal law, and thus in transit district cases, the determination of whether a group of skilled craft workers should be severed from an existing bargaining unit is guided by balancing competing interests: (1) those in maintaining industrial stability and system-wide bargaining units against (2) those in the opportunity to break away from a historical unit by a vote for separate representation. (p. 21.) The goal is to ensure that craft employees’ interests do not predominate without affording a voice in the decision to other unit employees, whose collective strength is weakened by a successful severance. (Ibid.) Thus, the party seeking severance must meet a heavy burden. (Id.) more or view all topics or full text.
09/06/19
2667P San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
In transit district cases, PERB will consider the following factors drawn from federal law to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether craft severance is appropriate: (1) the character of the proposed unit, specifically whether it consists of a distinct and homogenous group of skilled journeymen craftsmen; (2) the history of collective bargaining between the employees at issue and the employer as a whole; (3) whether the petitioned-for employees have maintained a separate identity within the larger existing unit; (4) the history and pattern of collective bargaining in the industry involved; and (5) the degree to which the skilled craft workers are part of an integrated production process. (pp. 21-22.) Each of the federal factors is considered in concert with PERB’s preference for system-wide bargaining units in PUC transit districts. (p. 23.) more or view all topics or full text.
09/06/19
2667P San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
The first craft severance factor in transit district cases traditionally examines whether the proposed unit consists of “a distinct and homogenous group” of skilled journeymen craftsmen. Though they are not a distinct and homogenous group, given the preference in California’s public sector for multi-craft bargaining units, the inclusion of three distinct craft groups in a proposed unit does not bar severance. (pp. 25-26.) more or view all topics or full text.
09/06/19
2667P San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
The second craft severance factor in transit district cases examines the parties’ bargaining history, with emphasis on whether the existing history has produced stable labor relations, and whether such stability will be unduly disrupted by severance. This factor is given substantial weight. (p. 26.) more or view all topics or full text.
09/06/19
2667P San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
A recent change in the bargaining representative does not necessarily destabilize the existing relationship between the bargaining unit and employer. There must be some showing that the decertification resulted not from a generalized dissatisfaction with the incumbent union, but from dissatisfaction among the skilled craft employees specifically. (p. 27.) The evidence did not show that the incumbent unions failed to adequately represent the petitioned-for employees’ interests—both advocated for their interests in bargaining sessions. And the failure to achieve a bargaining goal on behalf of certain employees does not mean the union failed to adequately represent them. (pp. 27-28.) more or view all topics or full text.
09/06/19
2667P San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
Inadequate representation of the group seeking severance is unlikely to be found where employees in the proposed unit have participated in internal union affairs and in contract negotiations as part of the existing unit. (p. 28.) more or view all topics or full text.
09/06/19
2667P San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
The third craft severance factor in transit district cases examines whether the severance-seeking group has maintained a separate identity within the larger unit, and the extent of their participation in establishing and maintaining existing representational structure. This includes consideration of the similarity of terms and conditions of employment between the proposed and existing units, as well as any transfers or interchange between those units’ positions. (p. 29.) The participation of petitioned-for employees in general unit representation matters indicates they’ve not sought to maintain a separate identity, though this conclusion may be inconclusive where there is an absence of interchange between the classifications and they share similar and dissimilar terms and conditions of employment. (p. 30.) more or view all topics or full text.
09/06/19
2667P San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
The fourth craft severance factor in transit district cases examines the history and pattern of collective bargaining in the industry involved. (p. 30.) more or view all topics or full text.
09/06/19
2667P San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
The fifth craft severance factor in transit district cases examines the degree to which the skilled craft workers are part of an integrated production process. (p. 31.) Considerations include whether the skilled craft workers work primarily in production areas or in separate shops, whether the production process is functionally dependent upon the work performed by the skilled craft workers, and whether a work stoppage among employees in the proposed unit would have a substantial impact on the operations of the other parts of the system. (Ibid.) Consistent with PERB’s preference for system-wide bargaining units in transportation systems, the evidence demonstrated functional dependence where the petitioned-for classifications perform duties integral to the provision of safe, reliable public transit services. (pp. 32-33.) more or view all topics or full text.
09/06/19
2650P * * * JUDICIAL APPEAL PENDING * * * San Joaquin Regional Transit District and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 276
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
The transit district enabling acts generally grant employees the right to form bargaining units appropriate for collective bargaining and authorize SMCS to resolve disputes over questions concerning representation (QCR) or whether a particular unit is appropriate. (PERB Reg. 3005 [distinguishing petitions for certification or decertification, which involve a QCR, from those for clarification, in which there is no QCR].) A QCR arises when there is a legitimate doubt whether the union has majority support in the bargaining unit. (NLRB v. Financial Inst. Employees of Am., Local 1182 (1986) 475 U.S. 192, 198.) If a QCR exists, a union must demonstrate majority support among employees to be added to an existing unit. (Teamsters Nat. United Parcel Service Neg. Cmte. v. NLRB (D.C. Cir. 1994) 17 F.3d 1518, 1524.) In contrast, accretion allows employees to be added to an existing unit without an election or other demonstration of majority support. (IBEW Local 889 v. Aubry (1996) 42 Cal.App.4th 861, 872.) more or view all topics or full text.
06/21/19
2650P * * * JUDICIAL APPEAL PENDING * * * San Joaquin Regional Transit District and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 276
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
As in any case involving a unit determination, the Board examines the traditional community of interest factors to determine whether the proposed transit unit is appropriate. These include: bargaining history; desires of the affected employees; nature of the employer’s business; similarity in scale and manner of determining earnings; similarity in employment benefits, hours of work, and other terms and conditions of employment; similarity in the kind of work performed; similarity in the qualifications, skills, and training of the affected employees; frequency of contact or interchange among the employees; geographical proximity; continuity or integration of production processes; common supervision and determination of labor-relations policy; and relationship to the employer’s administrative organization, as well as the employer’s authority to bargain effectively at the level of the unit and the effect of a unit on the efficient operation of the public service. more or view all topics or full text.
06/21/19
2650P * * * JUDICIAL APPEAL PENDING * * * San Joaquin Regional Transit District and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 276
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
System-wide bargaining units “are favored” in California’s public sector in California’s public sector transit districts. (IBEW Local 889 v. Aubry (1996) 42 Cal.App.4th 861, 871.) Adopting a contrary rule might result in unit proliferation and employee fragmentation that would impede the efficient service required of our public transportation systems. more or view all topics or full text.
06/21/19
2650P * * * JUDICIAL APPEAL PENDING * * * San Joaquin Regional Transit District and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 276
1309.15000: REPRESENTATION ISSUES; UNIT DETERMINATION/CRITERIA (SEE ALSO WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE?, SECTION 200); Transit District Units
Community of interest is determined by the totality of circumstances. (Monterey Peninsula Community College District (1978) PERB Decision No. 76, p. 13.) In determining whether a community of interest exists, we do not “go[] down a check list” of these factors but rather ascertain whether employees share a substantial mutual interest in matters subject to meeting and negotiating. (Ibid.) County bus system is an integrated system. Community of interest determination flows from multiple general and specific facts, including geographic location, contact, interchange, work proximity, and overlapping skills and duties between classification union sought to accrete into existing unit and historically included classification. Moreover, classification sought to be accreted and historically included classification report to the same immediate supervisor and supervision chain, receive at least some of the same training, perform the same primary function of assisting passengers in navigating the transit system, work in outdoor weather conditions, wear uniforms and must be familiar with the bus routes. more or view all topics or full text.
06/21/19