Decision 2402M – County of Solano
Decision Date: December 16, 2014
Decision Type: PERB Decision
Description: The ALJ concluded that under the totality-of-circumstances test, the employer did not violate the MMBA or PERB regulations by failing to meet and confer in good faith when the employer sought “across the board” concessions from several bargaining units, nor did the employer violate its duty to provide information by failing to supply “target savings” information sought by charging party.
Disposition: The Board determined that the employer did not violate the MMBA or PERB regulations by seeking “across the board” concessions, by failing to supply “target savings” information or by offering binding arbitration as an incentive to reach an agreement.
Perc Vol: 39
Perc Index: 78
604.01000 – In General
An exclusive representative is entitled to all information that is necessary and relevant to the discharge of its duty of representation. An employer’s refusal to provide all information that is necessary and relevant to the discharge of exclusive representative’s duty of representation evidences bad faith and violates per se its duty to meet and confer unless the employer can demonstrate adequate reasons why it cannot supply the information. Information that pertains to a mandatory subject of bargaining is presumptively relevant. PERB applies a liberal, discovery-type standard to determine that the requested information is relevant to a matter within the scope of representation. If the information sought is not presumptively relevant, the exclusive representative must demonstrate how the information is relevant to its representational responsibilities such as negotiations or contract administration. An employer need not provide requested information that does not exist.
604.05000 – Subjects of Information
“Target savings” information requested by charging party is presumptively relevant, because it pertains to a mandatory subject of bargaining (wages).
605.04000 – Conditional Bargaining; Piecemeal or Fragmented Bargaining
PERB distinguishes between the negotiations of separate unit agreements during common sessions (“coordinated” bargaining) and the merger of negotiations for two or more units (“coalition” bargaining). In the first case, the respective unit proposals are considered independently of each other and the settlement of one contract is not dependent upon the settlement of the other. The only significant area of commonality is the use of the same bargaining sessions to address the separate issues. In coalition bargaining, however, negotiations are directed toward similar contracts, containing the same or similar provisions and the settlement of each contract is usually dependent upon the settlement of others. “Coordinated” bargaining connotes communication and accommodation among different bargaining agents, but independent decision making in separate bargaining processes. “Coalition” bargaining, on the other hand, implies a de facto merger of bargaining units, or an effort to achieve that end. To prevail on a theory that a party has refused to bargain by insisting on coalition bargaining, the charging party must prove that the responding party refused to bargain unless the bargaining units met jointly or that settlement of one contract was conditioned on the settlement of another contract.