Decision 2112I – Los Angeles Superior Court

LA-CE-24-I

Decision Date: June 7, 2010

Decision Type: PERB Decision

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Perc Vol: 34
Perc Index: 94

Decision Headnotes

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 charge failed to state a prima facie case for unlawful unilateral change, where the union alleged changes in practice by eliminating nine regular court interpreter assignments and leaving vacancies in daily as-needed assignments unfilled. The Court Interpreter Act specifically provides that the “delivery of court services” is outside the scope of representation, and the Board has held that an employer’s determination of staff or service levels is not within the scope of representation. A matter outside scope does not become a mandatory subject of bargaining because the parties negotiate over it or even reach an agreement.

602.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; UNILATERAL CHANGE (FOR NEGOT OF SPECIFIC SUBJECTS, SEE SEC 1000, SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION)
602.02000 – Prior Notice and Opportunity to Bargain

The charge failed to state a prima facie case for unlawful unilateral change, where the alleged changes were outside the scope of representation. Union alleged the employer made changes in practice by eliminating nine regular court interpreter assignments and leaving vacancies in daily as-needed assignments unfilled. The Court Interpreter Act specifically provides that the “delivery of court services” is outside the scope of representation, and the Board has held that an employer’s determination of staff or service levels is not within the scope of representation. A matter outside scope does not become a mandatory subject of bargaining because the parties negotiate over it or even reach an agreement.

602.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; UNILATERAL CHANGE (FOR NEGOT OF SPECIFIC SUBJECTS, SEE SEC 1000, SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION)
602.03000 – Contract Repudiation or Breach

No unilateral change violation where employer’s actions were consistent with the terms of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Where the union alleged that the employer unilaterally changed procedures for filling regular full-time assignments, the Board agent appropriately harmonized provisions of the 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.

604.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; REFUSAL TO PROVIDE INFORMATION
604.01000 – In General

No violation where employer complied with union’s request for information and the union does not allege that it reasserted its request or otherwise communicated its dissatisfaction with the employer’s response. No violation where the union requested the employer provide information related to the basis for the elimination of regular assignments. Although the charge made reference to a comprehensive study by the employer to determine staffing needs, the charge does not include facts to establish such a study was completed or that the employer was in fact in possession of any relevant “written documents, reports, assignment data or analysis.” The employer need not comply with an information request if the requested information does not exist. Moreover, the employer is not obligated to provide details as to the thought process or rationale underlying managerial decisions.

604.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; REFUSAL TO PROVIDE INFORMATION
604.03000 – Form of Information Provided; Costs

No violation where employer complied with request and the union does not allege that it reasserted its request or otherwise communicated its dissatisfaction with the employer’s response. No violation where the union requested the employer provide information related to the basis for the elimination of regular assignments. Although the charge made reference to a comprehensive study by the employer to determine staffing needs, the charge does not include facts to establish such a study was completed or that the employer was in fact in possession of any relevant “written documents, reports, assignment data or analysis.” The employer need not comply with an information request if the requested information does not exist. Moreover, the employer is not obligated to provide details as to the thought process or rationale underlying managerial decisions.

604.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; REFUSAL TO PROVIDE INFORMATION
604.05000 – Subjects of Information

No violation where employer complied with request and the union does not allege that it reasserted its request or otherwise communicated its dissatisfaction with the employer’s response. No violation where the union requested the employer provide information related to the basis for the elimination of regular assignments. Although the charge made reference to a comprehensive study by the employer to determine staffing needs, the charge does not include facts to establish such a study was completed or that the employer was in fact in possession of any relevant “written documents, reports, assignment data or analysis.” The employer need not comply with an information request if the requested information does not exist. Moreover, the employer is not obligated to provide details as to the thought processor rationale underlying managerial decisions.

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

The charge failed to state a prima facie case for unlawful unilateral change, where the alleged changes were outside the scope of representation. Union alleged the employer made changes in practice by eliminating nine regular court interpreter assignments and leaving vacancies in daily as-needed assignments unfilled. The Court Interpreter Act specifically provides that the “delivery of court services” is outside the scope of representation, and the Board has held that an employer’s determination of staff or service levels is not within the scope of representation. A matter outside scope does not become a mandatory subject of bargaining because the parties negotiate over it or even reach an agreement.

608.00000 – EMPLOYER REFUSAL TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH; DEFENSES
608.06000 – Management-Rights Clause; Management Prerogative

The charge failed to state a prima facie case for unlawful unilateral change, where the alleged changes were outside the scope of representation. Union alleged the employer made changes in practice by eliminating nine regular court interpreter assignments and leaving vacancies in daily as-needed assignments unfilled. The Court Interpreter Act specifically provides that the “delivery of court services” is outside the scope of representation, and the Board has held that an employer’s determination of staff or service levels is not within the scope of representation. A matter outside scope does not become a mandatory subject of bargaining because the parties negotiate over it or even reach an agreement. No unilateral change violation where employer’s actions were consistent with the terms of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Where the union alleged that the employer unilaterally changed procedures for filling regular full-time assignments, the Board agent appropriately harmonized provisions of the 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.

1000.00000 – SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION
1000.01000 – In General; Test for Subjects Not Specifically Enumerated

The charge failed to state a prima facie case for unlawful unilateral change, where the alleged changes were outside the scope of representation. Union alleged the employer made changes in practice by eliminating nine regular court interpreter assignments and leaving vacancies in daily as-needed assignments unfilled. The Court Interpreter Act specifically provides that the “delivery of court services” is outside the scope of representation, and the Board has held that an employer’s determination of staff or service levels is not within the scope of representation. A matter outside scope does not become a mandatory subject of bargaining because the parties negotiate over it or even reach an agreement. Charge fails to establish a prima facie case where the charge merely states that the employer made staffing decisions based on unlawful animus and not legitimate business reasons. A charging party has the burden to allege the “who, what, when, where and how” of an unfair practice. Mere legal conclusions are not sufficient to state a prima facie case.

1000.00000 – SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION
1000.02134 – Staffing Practice

The charge failed to state a prima facie case for unlawful unilateral change, where the alleged changes were outside the scope of representation. Union alleged the employer made changes in practice by eliminating nine regular court interpreter assignments and leaving vacancies in daily as-needed assignments unfilled. The Court Interpreter Act specifically provides that the “delivery of court services” is outside the scope of representation, and the Board has held that an employer’s determination of staff or service levels is not within the scope of representation. A matter outside scope does not become a mandatory subject of bargaining because the parties negotiate over it or even reach an agreement. Charge fails to establish a prima facie case where the charge merely states that the employer made staffing decisions based on unlawful animus and not legitimate business reasons. A charging party has the burden to allege the “who, what, when, where and how” of an unfair practice. Mere legal conclusions are not sufficient to state a prima facie case.

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

Charge fails to establish a prima facie case where the charge merely states that the employer made staffing decisions based on unlawful animus and not legitimate business reasons. A charging party has the burden to allege the “who, what, when, where and how” of an unfair practice. Mere legal conclusions are not sufficient to state a prima facie case.

1100.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; CHARGE
1100.08000 – Pleading Requirements

Charge fails to establish a prima facie case where the charge merely states that the employer made staffing decisions based on unlawful animus and not legitimate business reasons. A charging party has the burden to allege the “who, what, when, where and how” of an unfair practice. Mere legal conclusions are not sufficient to state a prima facie case.

1404.00000 – GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION
1404.01000 – 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.

1404.00000 – GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT/ INTERPRETATION
1404.03000 – 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.