Decision 2239M – County of Riverside

LA-CE-353-M; LA-CE-438-M

Decision Date: February 24, 2012

Decision Type: PERB Decision

Description:  The charge alleged that the County violated the MMBA by denying the union’s petitions for a unit modification.  The local rule required a showing of 15 percent support in order to support a unit modification petition.  The County interpreted this rule to require 15 percent of the donor unit to support the unit modification.  Because such a showing would be virtually impossible, the ALJ decision found the denials an unreasonable interpretation of the local rule, and thus unlawful.

Disposition:  The Board affirmed the ALJ’s determination that the County’s interpretation of its unit modification rules was unreasonable and ordered the County to process the Association’s petitions for unit modification.

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Perc Vol: 36
Perc Index: 126

Decision Headnotes

1404.03000 – 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.