Decision 2332E – Santa Ana Unified School District

LA-CE-5203-E

Decision Date: October 3, 2013

Decision Type: PERB Decision

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Perc Vol: 38
Perc Index: 51

Decision Headnotes

102.00000 – PERB: OPERATION, JURISDICTION, AUTHORITY; SCOPE OF PERB JURISDICTION
102.01000 – In General/Exclusive Initial Jurisdiction-Deferral to Arbitration; Deference by Reviewing Courts

Contractual limitation on the scope of an arbitrator’s authority to fully remedy contract violations that are also unfair practices could render resort to arbitration futile within the meaning of EERA section 3541.5(a)(2). A dispute over whether a contractual provision is an express term of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement or not fails to meet the statutory requirement of EERA section 3541.5(a)(2) that the grievance machinery cover “the matter at issue” for deferral purposes. When asking an arbitrator to decide whether a collective bargaining agreement contains a particular provision would exceed the arbitrator’s authority, resort to arbitration would be futile under EERA section 3541.5(a)(2). Resort to arbitration would be futile under EERA section 3541.5(a)(2) when a union lacks authority under the relevant contract to pursue grievances in its own name for the disputed matters.

102.00000 – PERB: OPERATION, JURISDICTION, AUTHORITY; SCOPE OF PERB JURISDICTION
102.03000 – Enforcement of Settlement Agreements and Contracts 3541.5(b); 3514.5(b); 3563.2(b)

PERB has an institutional interest in assuring that settlements of unfair practice charges achieve labor peace.

201.00000 – PARTIES; DEFINITIONS; WHO IS AN EMPLOYER?
201.02000 – Agents (See also 1400)

Under either the judicial or PERB tests to establish ostensible or apparent authority of an employer’s agent, a union’s reliance on the authority of an employer’s attorney and bargaining representative to bind the employer to a settlement agreement of a PERB unfair practice charge is reasonable.) Ratification by a vote of a school district’s governing board is not the sine qua non of a binding agreement entered into by a district’s duly authorized agent. 1102. CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; DEFERRAL TO ARBITRATION 1102.01 Pre-Arbitration Contractual limitation on the scope of an arbitrator’s authority to fully remedy contract violations that are also unfair practices could render resort to arbitration futile within the meaning of EERA section 3541.5(a)(2). A dispute over whether a contractual provision is an express term of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement or not fails to meet the statutory requirement of EERA section 3541.5(a)(2) that the grievance machinery cover “the matter at issue” for deferral purposes. When asking an arbitrator to decide whether a collective bargaining agreement contains a particular provision would exceed the arbitrator’s authority, resort to arbitration would be futile under EERA section 3541.5(a)(2). Resort to arbitration would be futile under EERA section 3541.5(a)(2) when a union lacks authority under the relevant contract to pursue grievances in its own name for the disputed matters.

1102.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; DEFERRAL TO ARBITRATION
1102.01000 – Pre-Arbitration

Contractual limitation on the scope of an arbitrator’s authority to fully remedy contract violations that are also unfair practices could render resort to arbitration futile within the meaning of EERA section 3541.5(a)(2). A dispute over whether a contractual provision is an express term of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement or not fails to meet the statutory requirement of EERA section 3541.5(a)(2) that the grievance machinery cover “the matter at issue” for deferral purposes. When asking an arbitrator to decide whether a collective bargaining agreement contains a particular provision would exceed the arbitrator’s authority, resort to arbitration would be futile under EERA section 3541.5(a)(2). Resort to arbitration would be futile under EERA section 3541.5(a)(2) when a union lacks authority under the relevant contract to pursue grievances in its own name for the disputed matters.

1400.00000 – GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; AGENCY
1400.02000 – Employer Responsibility

Under either the judicial or PERB tests to establish ostensible or apparent authority of an employer’s agent, a union’s reliance on the authority of an employer’s attorney and bargaining representative to bind the employer to a settlement agreement of a PERB unfair practice charge is reasonable. Ratification by a vote of a school district’s governing board is not the sine qua non of a binding agreement entered into by a district’s duly authorized agent.

1403.00000 – GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES; ESTOPPEL
1403.01000 – In General

Generally, estoppel will be applied when four elements are present: (1) the party to be estopped must be apprised of the facts; (2) he must intend that his conduct shall be acted upon, or must so act that the party asserting the estopped had a right to believe it was so intended; (3) the other party must be ignorant of the true facts; and (4) he must rely on the conduct to his injury. However, estoppel will not be applied against the benefit of the public. A school district is equitably estopped from relying on Education Code section 35163 when it conceals from the union and PERB the alleged fact that ratification of a settlement agreement of a PERB unfair practice charge is required in order to bind the district.

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

PERB is not willing to import a requirement into a statute that the Legislature rejected.

1500.00000 – MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES; EDUCATION CODE
1500.01000 – In General

It is not within PERB’s jurisdiction to enforce the Education Code, and PERB is powerless to remedy violations of the Education Code. PERB does have jurisdiction to interpret the Education Code in an effort to harmonize its provisions with EERA and other statutes under PERB’s jurisdiction.

1500.00000 – MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES; EDUCATION CODE
1500.02000 – Education Code Sections Considered by PERB (By Number)

Education Code section 17604 does not apply to unfair practice settlement agreements made pursuant to PERB proceedings. The Legislature consciously chose not to import former Education Code section 13081(d) into EERA. Education Code section 35161 does not require that a settlement agreement of an unfair practice charge be ratified or approved of by a school district’s governing board in order to bind the district. Education Code section 35163 does not require ratification of a settlement agreement of an unfair practice charge by a vote of a school district’s governing board. A school district is equitably estopped from relying on Education Code section 35163 when it conceals from the union and PERB the alleged fact that ratification of a settlement agreement of a PERB unfair practice charge is required in order to bind the district.