Decision 2078S – State of California (Department of Personnel Administration)

SA-CE-1747-S

Decision Date: November 24, 2009

Decision Type: PERB Decision

View Full Text (PDF)

Perc Vol: 34
Perc Index: 11

Decision Headnotes

601.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH (FOR SPECIFIC SUBJECTS, SEE SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION, SEC 1000)
601.01000 – In General, Per Se and Totality of Conduct; Prima Facie Case

Charge failed to state prima facie case of bad faith bargaining under either per se or totality of conduct test because DPA’s failure to make or respond to economic proposals was justified during period when funds available for State employee compensation were uncertain due to an unprecedented State budget deficit. In light of these circumstances, DPA negotiators’ lack of authority to bargain over economic items did not delay or thwart bargaining, particularly as the parties reached agreement on several non-economic items.

603.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; BYPASSING EXCLUSIVE REP
603.01000 – In General

Governor’s letter to State employees listing proposals to close State budget deficit did not constitute direct dealing, even though some of the proposals concerned matters within the scope of representation, because letter did not: (1) ask State employees to bargain over or accept the proposals; (2) threaten State employees with force or reprisal or promise them a benefit; or (3) undermine the exclusive representative in the eyes of bargaining unit members as the letter stated the Governor would work with union leaders to achieve the necessary results.

603.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; BYPASSING EXCLUSIVE REP
603.04000 – Circumvention of Union; Direct Dealing With Employees

Governor’s letter to State employees listing proposals to close State budget deficit did not constitute direct dealing, even though some of the proposals concerned matters within the scope of representation, because letter did not: (1) ask State employees to bargain over or accept the proposals; (2) threaten State employees with force or reprisal or promise them a benefit; or (3) undermine the exclusive representative in the eyes of bargaining unit members as the letter stated the Governor would work with union leaders to achieve the necessary results.

605.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; OTHER PER SE VIOLATIONS
605.01000 – Outright Refusal to Bargain

Charge failed to state prima facie case of per se violation because DPA’s failure to make or respond to economic proposals was justified during period when funds available for State employee compensation were uncertain due to an unprecedented State budget deficit.

606.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; NEGOTIATIONS; INDICIA OF SURFACE OR BAD FAITH BARGAINING; TOTALITY OF CIRCUMSTANCES
606.18000 – Lack of Sufficient Authority

A negotiator’s lack of authority to bind the employer to an agreement indicates bad faith only when the limitation “was intended to or was used to foreclose the achievement of any agreement.” DPA negotiators’ lack of authority to bargain over economic items did not delay or thwart negotiations during period when an unprecedented budget deficit justified DPA’s failure to bargain over economic items. Nor did DPA negotiators’ announcement of their limitation midway through bargaining indicate bad faith because DPA had not previously stated its negotiators had authority to negotiate economic items.