Decision 2045M – County of Sacramento

SA-CE-505-M

Decision Date: June 30, 2009

Decision Type: PERB Decision

View Full Text (PDF)

Perc Vol: 33
Perc Index: 127

Decision Headnotes

200.00000 – PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE? (SEE 502 AND 1309)
200.01000 – In General

Retirees are not protected by the MMBA as they are not persons employed by the public employer and an employer is not required to bargain over their health insurance benefits. Current employees, however, do have bargaining rights protected by the MMBA and the employer is required to bargain over health benefits.

200.00000 – PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYEE? (SEE 502 AND 1309)
200.05000 – Other Excluded Employees

Retirees are not protected by the MMBA as they are not persons employed by the public employer.

602.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; UNILATERAL CHANGE (FOR NEGOT OF SPECIFIC SUBJECTS, SEE SEC 1000, SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION)
602.01000 – In General

The Board found that the County unilaterally changed the eligibility criteria for current employees-future retirees’ participation in the Retiree Health Insurance Program/Retiree Medical and Dental Insurance Program by discontinuing subsidies for medical and dental insurance for employees retiring after June 1, 2007, in violation of the MMBA.

602.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; UNILATERAL CHANGE (FOR NEGOT OF SPECIFIC SUBJECTS, SEE SEC 1000, SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION)
602.06000 – Change in Past Practice

Enforceable past practice because here, unlike in Courier-Journal (2004) 342 NRLB No. 113 where the contract language authorized the employer to make changes in health care premiums during the contract and the employer had a past practice for more than ten years of making such changes during the successive contracts and hiatus periods between contracts, the County had a 27-year past practice of awarding retiree health subsidies.

608.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; DEFENSES
608.01000 – In General

A statement by an employer that it may unilaterally change a mandatory subject of bargaining did not establish a waiver by the union. Specifically, the County placed an annual reservation clause in its administrative policy for the plan.

608.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; DEFENSES
608.07000 – Waiver by Union; Contract Waivers; Bargaining History Estoppel; Disclaimer; Supersession

A statement by an employer that it may unilaterally change a mandatory subject of bargaining did not establish a waiver by the union. Specifically, the County placed an annual reservation clause in its administrative policy for the plan.

1000.00000 – SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION
1000.02059 – Health Plans

Future retirement health benefits for current employees are within the scope of bargaining. The fact that the County made the change on June 5, effective June 1, did not change the prospective nature of the action because the change was prospective for all those employed on June 5 as well as those employed on June 1.

1000.00000 – SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION
1000.02121 – Retirement

Future retirement health benefits for current employees are within the scope of bargaining. The fact that the County made the change on June 5, effective June 1, did not change the prospective nature of the action because the change was prospective for all those employed on June 5 as well as those employed on June 1.

1201.00000 – REMEDIES FOR UNFAIR PRACTICES; REINSTATEMENT; BACKPAY BENEFITS
1201.08000 – Other

Future retirement health benefits for current employees are within the scope of bargaining. The fact that the County made the change on June 5, effective June 1, did not change the prospective nature of the action because the change was prospective for all those employed on June 5 as well as those employed on June 1.

1205.00000 – REMEDIES FOR UNFAIR PRACTICES; MISCELLANEOUS REMEDIAL PROVISIONS
1205.01000 – In General

The County unilaterally implemented changes in eligibility to participate in the Retiree Health Insurance Program/Retiree Medical and Dental Insurance Program. Thus, the Board ordered the County to rescind the unilateral change and return to the status quo as it would have been had the policy not been implemented and to make whole all those impacted by the unilateral change.

1205.00000 – REMEDIES FOR UNFAIR PRACTICES; MISCELLANEOUS REMEDIAL PROVISIONS
1205.07000 – Restoration of Status Quo

The County unilaterally implemented changes in eligibility to participate in the Retiree Health Insurance Program/Retiree Medical and Dental Insurance Program. Thus, the Board ordered the County to rescind the unilateral change and return to the status quo as it would have been had the policy not been implemented and to make whole all those impacted by the unilateral change.