Decision 1570M – County of San Joaquin

SA-CE-148-M

Decision Date: December 19, 2003

Decision Type: PERB Decision

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Perc Vol: 28
Perc Index: 37

Decision Headnotes

605.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; OTHER PER SE VIOLATIONS
605.02000 – Insistence on Nonmandatory/Illegal Subjects (See also Scope of Representation, Sec 1000)

PERB has held that retirement benefits for current employees is a mandatory subject of bargaining. In contrast, retirement benefits for retirees – those who are no longer employed by the employer – is only a permissive subject of bargaining. A party may not insist to impasse on a permissive subject of bargaining.

1000.00000 – SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION
1000.02121 – Retirement

PERB has held that retirement benefits for current employees is a mandatory subject of bargaining. In contrast, retirement benefits for retirees – those who are no longer employed by the employer – is only a permissive subject of bargaining. A party may not insist to impasse on a permissive subject of bargaining.

1100.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; CHARGE
1100.01000 – In General/Prima Facie Case

It is well-settled that a Board agent must accept the plain language of the contract or rule where it is clear and unambiguous. However, where the contract language or rule is unclear or ambiguous, the Board has held that the parties should be given an opportunity to offer evidence to support their differing interpretations at an evidentiary hearing. In light of union’s factual allegations, Board cannot find the local rule at issue to be clear and unambiguous. To the contrary, the local rule appears to be reasonably susceptible to the interpretation offered by the union. Accordingly, union has established a prima facie case and a complaint should issue.

1100.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; CHARGE
1100.02000 – Investigation of Charge

It is well-settled that a Board agent must accept the plain language of the contract or rule where it is clear and unambiguous. However, where the contract language or rule is unclear or ambiguous, the Board has held that the parties should be given an opportunity to offer evidence to support their differing interpretations at an evidentiary hearing. In light of union’s factual allegations, Board cannot find the local rule at issue to be clear and unambiguous. To the contrary, the local rule appears to be reasonably susceptible to the interpretation offered by the union. Accordingly, union has established a prima facie case and a complaint should issue. Charging party’s factual allegations must be accepted as true during the investigation.

1407.00000 – GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION
1407.01000 – General Principles

It is well-settled that a Board agent must accept the plain language of the contract or rule where it is clear and unambiguous. However, where the contract language or rule is unclear or ambiguous, the Board has held that the parties should be given an opportunity to offer evidence to support their differing interpretations at an evidentiary hearing. In light of union’s factual allegations, Board cannot find the local rule at issue to be clear and unambiguous. To the contrary, the local rule appears to be reasonably susceptible to the interpretation offered by the union. Accordingly, union has established a prima facie case and a complaint should issue.