All notes for Subtopic 1404.03000 – General Principles of Contract Interpretation

DecisionDescriptionPERC Vol.PERC IndexDate
2723E Lodi Unified School District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
By the plain language, the District appeared to replace the provisions of one provision—requiring employees over the cap to submit vacation plans and providing that supervisors may schedule vacation on behalf of employees—with a provision to cash out balances over the cap on an annual basis. CSEA was reasonable in its belief that the plain language spoke for itself, and the District should reasonably have anticipated this understanding. In such circumstances, the District negligently agreed to the terms of the agreement, but CSEA was not equally negligent, and the District is bound by its agreement. (See Merced County Sheriff’s Employee’s Association v. County of Merced (1987) 233 Cal.Rptr. 519, 673.) more or view all topics or full text.
05/26/20
2723E Lodi Unified School District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
The parties’ contract language clearly and unambiguously provided that (1) employees maintain the right to schedule their vacation, subject to work requirements as determined by their supervisors; and (2) at the conclusion of each fiscal year, the District must pay out accrued but unused vacation time over the maximum carryover amount, except that employees experiencing an illness or injury may exceed the carryover cap if their illness or injury prevented them from taking vacation during the fiscal year. Where contractual language is clear and unambiguous, it is unnecessary to go beyond the plain language of the contract itself to ascertain its meaning. (Civ. Code, § 1638; Marysville Joint Unified School District (1983) PERB Decision No. 314, p. 9.) more or view all topics or full text.
05/26/20
2723E Lodi Unified School District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
“PERB may interpret contract language if doing so is necessary in deciding an unfair practice charge case.” (County of Ventura (2007) PERB Decision No. 1910-M, p. 9.) Traditional rules of contract law guide interpretation of a collective bargaining agreement between a public employer and a recognized employee organization. (National City Police Officers’ Assn. v. City of National City (2001) 87 Cal.App.4th 1274, 1279; Grossmont Union High School District (1983) PERB Decision No. 313, pp. 15-16.) “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.” (Civ. Code, § 1636.) “[T]he 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.” (Civ. Code, § 1641.) Thus, the Board must avoid interpreting contract language in a way which leaves a provision without effect. (State of California (Department of Corrections) (1999) PERB Decision No. 1317-S, p. 9.) more or view all topics or full text.
05/26/20
2701I * * * JUDICIAL APPEAL PENDING * * * Region 2 Court Interpreter Employment Relations Committee
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
A zipper clause does not preclude midterm negotiations where the language of a specific contract provision clearly contemplates midterm negotiations. (p. 41.) more or view all topics or full text.
03/16/20
2701I * * * JUDICIAL APPEAL PENDING * * * Region 2 Court Interpreter Employment Relations Committee
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
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
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
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
2684E Modoc County Office of Education
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
In interpreting a contract, the Board relies on traditional rules of contract interpretation and uses the California Civil Code as a guide. Hence, the Board begins analyzing a contract by examining the parties’ intent, as demonstrated by the ordinary and plain meaning of the contract language. (p. 15.)When contract terms are ambiguous, PERB may look to extrinsic evidence such as bargaining history to discern the parties’ intent. Bargaining proposals and parties’ discussions of those proposals are the most probative forms of extrinsic evidence in interpreting a collective bargaining agreement. Testimony regarding a party’s subjective understanding of a contract provision is of minimal value absent evidence that the parties mutually discussed their respective understandings during bargaining. (pp. 16-17.)PERB may ascertain established policy from past practice where the contract is silent or ambiguous as to a policy. (p. 17.) “The parties’ practical construction of a contract, as shown by their actions, is important evidence of their intent, and helps us to resolve ambiguities in the contract.” [Citation.] However, evidence of past practice based upon a union’s acquiescence to a previous unilateral change is not relevant to a waiver defense because such acquiescence does not operate as a waiver of the right to bargain for all times. (p. 18.) more or view all topics or full text.
11/27/19
2658M Inland Empire Utilities Agency
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
If the plain meaning of a MOU is clear, little to no weight should be given to contextual evidence, including bargaining history or the language of extrinsic policies. more or view all topics or full text.
07/24/19
2609I San Francisco County Superior Court and Region 2 Court Interpreter Employment Relations Committee
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
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
2593H Regents of the University of California (Irvine)
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
According to the maxim that “a word takes its meaning from the company it keeps” (noscitur a sociis), it is appropriate to adopt a restrictive meaning of a listed item if acceptance of a broader meaning would make other items in the list unnecessary or redundant, or would otherwise make the item markedly dissimilar to the other items in the list. more or view all topics or full text.
436910/26/18
2546S State of California (Department of Forestry and Fire Protection)
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
Applying traditional rules of contract interpretation, the Board first determines whether the language is clear and unambiguous. If it is not, the Board will examine extrinsic evidence of the language’s meaning, including bargaining history and past practice. more or view all topics or full text.
4210001/29/18
2546S State of California (Department of Forestry and Fire Protection)
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
Board found it significant that exclusive representative did not update its own publication regarding the disciplinary process to publicize its belief that new contract language secured a new right in the disciplinary process. more or view all topics or full text.
4210001/29/18
2544E Bellflower Unified School District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
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
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
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
2544E Bellflower Unified School District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
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
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
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
2427M County of San Luis Obispo
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
Where plain language of pension plans relied on by the unions did not confer an absolute right to “permanency” in the particular benefits or contributions formulas, unions failed to show that changes to employee pension contribution formulas were “vested rights” beyond the scope of mandatory bargaining. Because no vested rights were identified, the Board declined to consider whether, or under what circumstances, vested rights may be modified through collective bargaining. more or view all topics or full text.
3917606/03/15
2414M County of Tulare * * * VACATED IN PART by County of Tulare (2016) PERB Decision No. 2414a-M
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
In every contract dispute, the analysis must begin with the parties’ intent, as demonstrated by the ordinary and plain meaning of the language of their agreement. Every term should be given effect and, wherever possible, PERB should avoid an interpretation that disregards a contractual provision as surplus language. The Board reversed the proposed decision where the ALJ ignored contract language indicating that employees “will be placed” in certain pre-determined pay ranges and job titles as an unambiguous expression of the parties’ intent when they entered into their agreement. When referring to future events, the ordinary and plain meaning of the verb “will” is the same as “shall,” which is to impose a duty or requirement. This usage is the mandatory sense that drafters typically intend and that courts typically uphold as an enforceable obligation. Where the parties agreed that employees “will be placed” in certain pay ranges and job titles upon expiration of their agreement, it was unnecessary to consider their conduct in successor negotiations to determine their intent. Once negotiated, parties should have a reasonable expectation that their collective agreements will be enforced. Contractual rights may survive the agreement that gave rise to them, if the parties so intended. more or view all topics or full text.
3911102/26/15
2242M County of Sonoma
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
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
2239M County of Riverside
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
Where the language of a statutory provision is susceptible of two constructions, one of which, in application, will render it reasonable, fair and harmonious with its manifest purpose, and another which would be productive of absurd consequences, the former construction will be adopted. The court has applied this principle to the interpretation of a collective bargaining agreement so it is appropriate to apply this principle as well to an ERR, which was arrived at after the parties have consulted with one another, and is therefore sufficiently similar to an MOU. more or view all topics or full text.
3612602/24/12
2155M County of Orange * * * OVERRULED IN PART by Santa Clara Valley Water District (2013) Decision No. 2349- M
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
An arbitration clause in a grievance process does not continue in effect after the expiration of the contract except for disputes that: (1) involve facts and occurrences that arose before expiration; (2) involve post-expiration conduct that infringes on rights accrued or vested under the agreement; or (3) under normal principles of contract interpretation, survive the expiration of the agreement. more or view all topics or full text.
352401/18/11
2173M County of Sonoma
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
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
2160E Sonoma County Office of Education
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
Traditional rules of contract law guide PERB’s interpretation of a collective bargaining agreement. PERB need not go beyond the plain language of the contract when the charging party has not alleged facts, such as bargaining history or the parties’ past practice, showing that contract language is susceptible to another interpretation,. The plain language of the collective bargaining agreement set the employer’s health benefits premium contribution rate at 100% of a particular health plan’s rate; it did not require the employer to maintain a certain level of health benefits. The charge failed to allege any facts showing that the parties gave the language anything other than its ordinary meaning. Accordingly, the employer did not make an unlawful unilateral change when it deducted the amount of a health benefits premium increase from employees’ paychecks during negotiations following expiration of the agreement. more or view all topics or full text.
353302/01/11
2101H Regents of the University of California (Davis)
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
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)
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
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
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
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, including in unilateral change cases, the Board applies traditional rules of contract law. Each contract 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
2027M City of Riverside
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
PERB’s interpretation of a collective bargaining agreement is guided by traditional rules of contract interpretation, including those set forth in the Civil Code. A provision of a memorandum of understanding stating that the MOU superseded all side letters except “grievance resolutions documents” was ambiguous. The parties’ bargaining history showed the MOU did not supersede a prior written grievance settlement because: (1) during bargaining, the union told the employer that it considered the grievance settlement to be a “grievance resolution document;” and (2) the testimony of the employer’s lead negotiator that he was unaware of the union’s position when he agreed to the exception language was not credible. The employer’s proffered interpretation that the exception was intended to apply only to future grievance resolutions is unreasonable because: (1) it is contrary to the plain meaning of “supersede;” and (2) it would leave the exception without effect. more or view all topics or full text.
339705/19/09
1883E San Diego Unified School District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
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
1777E King City Joint Union High School District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
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
1760H Trustees of the California State University
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
To determine whether the university departed from its past policy or practice when it adopted Skelly hearing instructions, the Board must first interpret the language of the policy at issue. The plain language of the policy must be accepted if it is clear and unambiguous. Where any ambiguity exists, it is proper to rely on extrinsic evidence to ascertain the meaning of the policy; p. 10. more or view all topics or full text.
2910503/30/05
1568E Long Beach Community College District * * * OVERRULED by Long Beach Community College District (2008) PERB Decision No. 1941
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
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
1517H Coalition of Unviersity Employees (Buxton)
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
Arbitration is available where the contract has expired if disputes involve events that occurred before expiration or involve post-expiration conduct that infringes on rights accrued or vested under the agreement not that this case held. more or view all topics or full text.
275104/07/03
1362E Morgan Hill Unified School District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
Where the wage increase provision of the parties' final agreement includes language which differs from that of the tentative agreement, and the final agreement language is clear and unambiguous, it is unnecessary to go beyond the plain language to ascertain its meaning; p. 3. In interpreting contract language, the Board examines bargaining history to determine the intent of the parties only if the language of the contract is found to be ambiguous; p. 3. more or view all topics or full text.
243102412/10/99
1317S State of California (Department of Corrections)
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
Where the language of the parties' overtime policy side letter is clear and unambiguous, it is unnecessary to go beyond the plain meaning of that language; p. 8. Even if past practice is taken into account, failure to exercise contractual rights in the past, does not preclude the employer from doing so in the future, Marysville at p. 10; p. 9. The Board looked to section 1638 of the California Civil Code for guidance in the interpretation of the contractual language which states, in part: "INTENTION TO BE ASCERTAINED FROM LANGUAGE. The language of a contract is to govern its interpretation, if the language is clear and explicit, and does not involve an absurdity." Additionally, the Board considered Civil Code section 1641 which states, in part: "EFFECT TO BE GIVEN TO EVERY PART OF CONTRACT. 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."; p. 7. more or view all topics or full text.
233007203/05/99
A229E Riverside Community College District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
When considering contract interpretation disputes it is proper to consider the whole contract taken together, so as to give effect to every part. "An interpretation which gives a reasonable, lawful, and effective meaning to all the terms is preferred to an interpretation which leaves a part unreasonable, unlawful or of no effect." 1 Watkin, Summary of Cal. Law (9th ed. 1987) sections 686 and 690; p. 3. more or view all topics or full text.
162304602/27/92
A221S State of California (Department of Personnel Administration) (California State Employees Association)
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
When language in consent election agreement is clear and unambiguous, parties are bound by its terms; pp. 12-13. more or view all topics or full text.
152210906/20/91
1287E Antelope Valley Union High School District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
The Board follows the guidance contained in the California Civil Code sections 1638 [the language of a contract is to be given its interpretation, if the language is clear and explicit and does not involve an absurdity] and 1641 [the whole of a contract is to be taken together, so as to give effect to every part, if reasonably practical, each clause helping to interpret the other] in assessing whether the CBA has been breached in unilateral change cases; pp. 5-6. In order to give meaning to the language of a particular CBA section, it must be interpreted as giving the district the right to make the change complained of or be rendered meaningless and ineffective; p. 7. Broadly worded contract clause concerning selection and promotion of employees allows district to change its promotional interview policy. more or view all topics or full text.
222916809/25/98
1240E Fremont Unified School District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
Where contract provisions are clear and ambiguous, discussion of past practice and bargaining history is unnecessary; p. 5, note 5. The Board finds that Education code does not preempt the provisions of the parties' agreement because there is no conflict between the Ed. code's grant of discretion and the contractual provisions which set forth the procedure through which the District may exercise that discretion; p. 6. more or view all topics or full text.
222902612/04/97
1174H Trustees of the California State University (Academic Professionals of California)
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
The language of a written agreement controls its interpretation; if language is clear and unambiguous, testimony regarding parties' intent is unnecessary; p. 6. A written contract must be construed to give effect to every part thereof; p. 7. Where contract language clearly and unambiguously provided that parties could not delete any term of contract without written amendment, Board refused to find that contract terms expired when reopened; pp. 6-7. more or view all topics or full text.
212801911/12/96
1138E Barstow Unified School District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
The Board follows the California Civil Code in the interpretation of contractual language including whether contract language constitutes a waiver of the right to bargain. When contract language is ambiguous, the Board may examine bargaining history for evidence of a conscious abandonment of the right to bargain over a particular subject; p. 13. The rules of contract interpretation require that the intent of the parties is to be ascertained from the contract language itself, if it is clear and explicit; and an interpretation which gives a reasonable, lawful and effective meaning to all the terms is preferred to an interpretation which leaves a part unreasonable, unlawful or of no effect, citing Witkin; p. 15. more or view all topics or full text.
202704402/20/96
1083E Sierra Joint Union High School District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
Follow contract principles and Civil code where interpretation of contract is ambiguous and contains multiple contingencies; p. 12. When the contract is clear and unambiguous on its face, Board does not need to go beyond plain language of the contract to ascertain meaning; p. 11, 12 and 18. Where contract language ambiguous, extrinsic evidence (bargaining history, parties' conduct, etc.) is properly considered by Board to determine the meaning of the contract; p. 11, 12 and 18. more or view all topics or full text.
192605102/17/95
1077H University of California (University of California-American Federation of Teachers)
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
In determining whether employer action repudiates contract, the rules of contract interpretation are used. These include consideration of extrinsic evidence when the contract language is ambiguous. The evidence may be received only to establish a meaning to which the language of the contract is reasonably suseptible; p. 29, proposed dec. more or view all topics or full text.
192603512/16/94
0876E Glendora Unified School District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
Without factual allegations identifying evidence to support a particular interpretation, the Board agent is not required to accept the charging party's conclusory allegations regarding the interpretation of the contract. Rather, the Board agent is free to examine the contract and, by reference to its terms only, determine its meaning; pp. 8-9. Where contract language is clear and unambiguous on its face it is unnecessary to go beyond the language of the contract itself to ascertain its meaning. Thus, Board agent did not exceed his authority nor decide the ultimate issue when he rejected the Association's unsupported and conclusory allegation concerning the interpretation of the contract; p. 10. more or view all topics or full text.
152208205/16/91
0555E Butte Community College District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
Unless parties intended a strict legal meaning or special meaning to be applied, the words of a contract will be understood in their ordinary or popular sense, see Civil Code sec. 1644; rule of Civil Code sec. 1654, that uncertain language to be construed most strongly against party who caused uncertainly, does not apply where lanuage arrived at through process of negotiations. more or view all topics or full text.
101703712/30/85
0486E San Mateo County Community College District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
ALJ properly looked to bargaining history where contract is not clear and unambiguous. more or view all topics or full text.
91608402/13/85
0314E Marysville Joint Unified School District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
Absent any evidence of bargaining history, Board cannot infer that parties intended to attach a meaning to the hours provision of their agreement contrary to its plain meaning; p. 10. more or view all topics or full text.
71416305/27/83
0286E Chico Unified School District
1404.3000: GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION; General Principles of Contract Interpretation
No violation under Grant Joint Union HSD (1982) PERB Decision No. 196 where sick leave verification requirements during sick out were a reasonable application of the contract's provisions; p. 12. more or view all topics or full text.
71407702/22/83