All notes for Subtopic 1404.01000 – In General

DecisionDescriptionPERC Vol.PERC IndexDate
2701I * * * JUDICIAL APPEAL PENDING * * * Region 2 Court Interpreter Employment Relations Committee
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
The parties’ practical construction of a contract, as shown by their actions, is important evidence of their intent. (p. 40.) However, based on a non-waiver clause in the parties’ MOU, the union did not waive its contractual right to meet and confer with the regional committee over the impact of future changes to employee pension contributions simply by doing so previously with one of the trial courts. The Board further declined to consider evidence of the union’s conduct as it related to other regional committees. (pp. 40-41, fn. 31.) more or view all topics or full text.
03/16/20
2701I * * * JUDICIAL APPEAL PENDING * * * Region 2 Court Interpreter Employment Relations Committee
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
Although PERB lacks the authority to enforce contracts, it may interpret them when necessary to resolve an unfair practice allegation. In such cases, traditional rules of contract law guide the Board’s interpretation. Where the contractual language is clear and unambiguous, it is unnecessary to go beyond the plain language of the contract itself to ascertain its meaning. However, where the contract language is silent or ambiguous, PERB may examine past practice or bargaining history. (p. 38.) Under the plain language of the parties’ contract, the regional committee was contractually obligated to bargain over the impacts of changes to employee pension contributions by the local trial courts. (p. 39.) more or view all topics or full text.
03/16/20
2609I San Francisco County Superior Court and Region 2 Court Interpreter Employment Relations Committee
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
When required, PERB interprets collective bargaining agreements according to their plain meaning if the language is clear. If the language is ambiguous, the Board may consider extrinsic evidence, such as bargaining history, where available. The Board also attempts to harmonize contract provisions to give meaning to each provision. more or view all topics or full text.
439912/18/18
2544E Bellflower Unified School District
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
Although the Board interpreted EERA section 3540.1, subdivision (h), as making a collective bargaining agreement with a duration of more than three years contrary to public policy, it expressed no opinion whether such an agreement is void in its entirety, terminable at will by either party. (p. 8.) more or view all topics or full text.
427012/15/17
2544E Bellflower Unified School District
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
In the absence of any explanation or briefing from a school district who argued that the management rights clause remained in effect after 2010, or a request for reconsideration showing both extraordinary circumstances and that the Board’s determination in a prior decision that the parties’ agreement had expired in 2010 contained prejudicial error of fact, the Board had no grounds to consider the district’s waiver defense, which was based on the management rights language, in this case. (p. 7.) The interpretation of a collective bargaining agreement is not simply a factual finding of the sort which the Board or its agents are free to disregard in a subsequent case involving the same language. Because of its significance for governing the parties’ ongoing relationship, a Board finding as to the meaning of a contract term is more akin to a question of law, particularly where, as here, the question is whether the contract itself is illegal or void for public policy, as declared by the three-year limit for collective bargaining agreements set forth in EERA section 3540.1, subdivision (h). (pp. 6-7.) more or view all topics or full text.
427012/15/17
2544E Bellflower Unified School District
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
Because the uncontradicted, unimpeached testimony of three union witnesses and one management witness was that the parties’ collective bargaining agreement had expired in 2010, the Board denied a school district’s exception arguing that the agreement’s management rights clause had remained in effect and served as a waiver of the union’s right to bargain over subcontracting of the district’s bus services. (p. 5.) Uncontradicted, unimpeached testimony at hearing is sufficient to carry the burden of proof in an unfair practice case. (PERB Reg. 32178.) more or view all topics or full text.
427012/15/17
2544E Bellflower Unified School District
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
The Board rejected a school district’s exception that it had no notice that the ALJ considered the duration language of the parties’ agreement ambiguous or that the meaning of the duration language would be dispositive in the case by determining whether the management rights clause remained in effect. (p. 5-6.) A PERB hearing officer has the power and the duty to “[i]nquire fully into all issues and obtain a complete record upon which the decision can be rendered” and to “[r]ender and serve the proposed decision on each party.” (PERB Reg. 32170.) A hearing officer is not required to advise the parties of which factual disputes or legal issues may determine the outcome of the case, nor to make preliminary factual findings at the hearing itself so that the parties may object or offer additional evidence or argument on the issue. (Ibid.) more or view all topics or full text.
427012/15/17
2242M County of Sonoma
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
Although PERB does not have jurisdiction to resolve pure contract disputes, it may interpret contract language if necessary to do so to decide an unfair practice charge case. Traditional rules of contract law guide the Board's interpretation of collective bargaining agreements. A contract must be interpreted so as to give effect to the mutual intention of the parties as it existed at the time of contracting, so far as the same is ascertainable and lawful. Where contractual language is clear and unambiguous, it is unnecessary to go beyond the plain language of the contract itself to ascertain its meaning. Where the contract language is silent or ambiguous, the policy may be ascertained by examining past practice or bargaining history. Where contract language was ambiguous and review of extrinsic evidence failed to support charging party’s interpretation, MOU did not establish a written agreement to link retiree health insurance benefits to current bargaining unit employees. more or view all topics or full text.
3613102/29/12
2173M County of Sonoma
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
Although PERB does not have jurisdiction to resolve pure contract disputes, it may interpret contract language if necessary to do so to decide an unfair practice charge case. Traditional rules of contract law guide the Board's interpretation of collective bargaining agreements. A contract must be interpreted so as to give effect to the mutual intention of the parties as it existed at the time of contracting, so far as the same is ascertainable and lawful. Where contractual language is clear and unambiguous, it is unnecessary to go beyond the plain language of the contract itself to ascertain its meaning. Where the contract language is silent or ambiguous, the policy may be ascertained by examining past practice or bargaining history. Where contract language was ambiguous and review of extrinsic evidence failed to support charging party’s interpretation, MOU did not establish a written agreement to link retiree health insurance benefits to current bargaining unit employees. more or view all topics or full text.
356103/01/11
2101H Regents of the University of California (Davis)
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
Although PERB does not have jurisdiction to resolve pure contract disputes pursuant to HEERA section 3563.2(b), it may interpret contract language if doing so is necessary in deciding an unfair practice charge case. In such cases, traditional rules of contract law guide the Board’s interpretation of collective bargaining agreements. more or view all topics or full text.
345503/01/10
2101H Regents of the University of California (Davis)
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
A contract must be so interpreted as to give effect to the mutual intention of the parties as it existed at the time of contracting, so far as the same is ascertainable and lawful. Where contractual language is clear and unambiguous, it is unnecessary to go beyond the plain language of the contract itself to ascertain its meaning. The whole of a contract is to be taken together, so as to give effect to every part, if reasonably practicable, each clause helping to interpret the other. Thus, the Board must avoid an interpretation of contract language which leaves a provision without effect. more or view all topics or full text.
345503/01/10
2101H Regents of the University of California (Davis)
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
When contractual language is clear and unambiguous, it is unnecessary to go beyond the plain language of the contract itself to ascertain its meaning. more or view all topics or full text.
345503/01/10
2112I Los Angeles Superior Court
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
Where the union alleged that the employer unilaterally changed procedures for filling regular full-time assignments, the Board agent appropriately harmonized provisions of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) regarding the application of seniority and the employer’s authority to determine the number of employees in any status. When interpreting a CBA each provision must be read in conjunction with those around it and harmonized as a whole, so as to not leave any of the terms without meaning. more or view all topics or full text.
349406/07/10
1976E Berkeley Unified School District
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
PERB recognizes legal significance of rescission based on mistake of fact only when: (1) mistake is unilateral and (2) rescission is raised as a defense to a bad faith bargaining charge. PERB does not recognize mutual mistake of fact as a defense to an unfair practice charge or as the source of an affirmative duty to bargain. more or view all topics or full text.
3213809/09/08
1883E San Diego Unified School District
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
A party seeking rescission based on a unilateral mistake of fact must show that: (1) the party made a material mistake regarding a basic assumption of the contract; (2) the party seeking the rescission did not neglect a legal duty or otherwise fail to exercise ordinary diligence; and (3) the mistake was so significant that enforcement of the contract would be unconscionable. PERB has long shown a strong interest in labor relations stability and is loathe to upset working relationships. Accordingly, rescission requests will only be granted in extraordinary cases. (Once a final collective bargaining decision is reached, it takes precedence over and subsumes prior tentative agreements, which are then no longer in effect. more or view all topics or full text.
01/25/07
1775E Standard School District
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
PERB has long held that a party is precluded from making unilateral changes in the status quo both during the term of a negotiated agreement and after that agreement expires, until such time as the parties negotiate a successor agreement or they negotiate through completion of the statutory impasse procedure. The PAR provision cannot be analogized to an arbitration clause. It continues in effect after expiration of the agreement because the parties agrees to condition the termination of the contract on discontinuation of state funding. more or view all topics or full text.
2916208/26/05
1777E King City Joint Union High School District
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
When interpreting collective bargaining agreements, the Board applies traditional rules of contract law, such as the provisions of Civil Code sections 1638 and 1641. This guidance is used in unilateral change cases. Every contract requires mutual assent and the outward manifestation or expression of assent is controlling. Where the contract language is silent or ambiguous, the policy may be ascertained by examining past practice or bargaining history. Looking at the surrounding provisions under the principle of “noscitur a sociis,” the salary increase formula clearly substantiates the principle in the CBA that 65% of the appropriate revenues will be allocated to unit members. The Board’s interpretation harmonizes the potential conflict between provisions of the CBA and so “gives a reasonable, lawful and effective meaning to all the terms” as provided in Civil Code 1641. “Line 1100” is not a technical term under Civil Code section 1645 because it is not a term understood by the union negotiators, who are teachers and who are not school district budget officers. The parties’ outward expressions supports the Board’s interpretation as shown in District spreadsheets with a line item for “unit member salaries.” Looking at bargaining history and the parties’ testimony, substitute teachers, walk-on coaches, and summer school and independent study teachers are not members of the bargaining unit. more or view all topics or full text.
2916409/14/05
1568E Long Beach Community College District * * * OVERRULED by Long Beach Community College District (2008) PERB Decision No. 1941
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
Union may waive right to bargain about contracting out unit work. However, such a contractual waiver will not be construed solely from a broadly based management-rights clause. Any waiver of a right to bargain over a negotiable contracting out decision must be “clear and unmistakable.” The “clear and unmistakable” standard is a high one and mandated by the Board’s previous findings that there is a strong public policy against finding waivers based on inferences. A waiver of an exclusive representative’s right to bargain will never be lightly inferred. In cases where the alleged waiver is exceptional in “breadth or severity,” the “clear and unmistakable” standard must be stringently applied. The burden of proof for establishing an affirmative defense of waiver rests exclusively with the District. Each contract clause must be read in conjunction with phrases surrounding it and harmonized as a whole. more or view all topics or full text.
283312/18/03
1539M City of Folsom
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
Siroky did not allege that a proposed settlement agreement which precluded the City from recovering an attorneys’ fee award against him, was executed by the parties. Therefore, City’s attempt to recover the fee award is not an adverse action. more or view all topics or full text.
279906/26/03
1478H Regents of the University of California
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
As an alleged violation of a settlement agreement constitutes a violation of a legal contract, and not an unfair practice under the HEERA, PERB lacks authority to adjudicate the issue. more or view all topics or full text.
263304803/12/02
1313S State of California (Department of Personnel Administration)
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
In interpreting contractual provisions, it is unnecessary to look beyond the plain language of the contract when that language is clear and unambiguous, citing Marysville Joint Unified School District; p. 3. When contract language is found to be ambiguous, the Board looks to bargaining history and the past practice of the parties to ascertain the meaning of the language; p. 3. The pertinent contract language in this case is susceptible to differing interpretations and therefore cannot be considered clear and unambiguous. As a result, the bargaining history and the practice of the parties must be reviewed to ascertain the meaning of the provision; p. 4. more or view all topics or full text.
233005501/29/99
A248Ea Fremont Union Union High School District
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
In determining whether deferral to arbitration is appropriate, the Board determines whether the contract covers the alleged unfair practice, a party's opinion about the legality of the act is not admissible evidence. more or view all topics or full text.
182501311/23/93
1240E Fremont Unified School District
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
Where contract provisions are clear and ambiguous, discussion of past practice and bargaining history is unnecessary; p. 5, note 5. more or view all topics or full text.
222902612/04/97
1231H Trustees of the California State University (Academic Professionals of California)
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
HEERA section 3589(b) provides that disputes regarding failure to arbitrate pursuant to collective bargaining agreement may be pursued in court; pp. 3-4. more or view all topics or full text.
222901111/17/97
0896E Los Rios College Federation of Teachers, California Federation of Teachers/American Federation of Teachers, Local 2279 (Deglow)
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
Pursuant to EERA section 3541.5(b), Board does not have the authority to enforce oral contract wherein employee organization allegedly promised to provide flyers and mailings for upcoming agency fee election; dismissal letter, p. 3. more or view all topics or full text.
152213308/14/91
0663S Union of American Physicians and Dentists (Stewart)
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
Good faith compliance with time provisions in parties' settlement agreement does not require absolute compliance unless party is prejudiced by delay or time is of the essence. more or view all topics or full text.
121905704/13/88
0915E Compton Community College District
1404.1000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; In General
PERB does not have jurisdiction to resolve pure contract disputes; p. 7. more or view all topics or full text.
162301212/20/91