Decision 2422H – Regents of the University of California
Decision Date: May 7, 2015
Decision Type: PERB Decision
Description: A Board agent denied a unit modification petition to include newly-created Professor of Practice and Visiting Professor of Practice classifications in an existing unit of the University’s Non-Academic Senate instructional employees.
Disposition: The Board affirmed the proposed decision which denied the unit modification petition. Although it was undisputed that one Professor of Practice was engaged primarily in instruction, he was also assigned to perform lay or non-academic research duties. Two other employees in the newly-created classifications had engaged solely in research duties and thus also had insufficient community of interest with employees in the Non-Academic Senate Instructional Unit. The Board also declined to consider modifying the Instructional Unit to include vacant positions because, in the absence of any assigned duties, there was no evidence of a community of interest.
Perc Vol: 39
Perc Index: 156
1309.01000 – In General/Definition of Appropriate Unit
PERB unit placement determinations are not confined to the particular unit configurations petitioned for by any party. Hearing Officer’s finding that petitioned for classification would be more appropriately included in another existing unit not improper when determining whether inclusion in the petitioned-for unit is appropriate.
1309.03000 – Community of Interest
No one criterion in the Board’s community of interest analysis is determinative. All criteria are considered, some criteria may receive different weight and consideration in different factual settings in order to further the purposes of the statute. Hearing Officer’s finding that Unit 18 employees do not have similar levels of education as other groups of academic employees was not supported by the record and even at odds with the Hearing Officer’s own factual findings. However, because of the relatively minor role played by educational levels in the proposed decision’s community of interest analysis, the error was determinative or sufficient to require reversing the Hearing Officer’s ultimate conclusion that Unit 18 members do not share a sufficient community of interest with current Professors of Practice to warrant the latter’s inclusion in Unit 18. Unlike unfair practice cases, in unit determination proceedings, there is no adjudication of unfair practice allegations against a respondent. Because unit determination proceedings lack the kind of notice or due process protections necessary for a finding of liability against a party, the Board declined to decide whether an employer’s email correspondence demonstrated anti-union animus in a representation matter. Because unit placement determinations are based largely on the actual duties assigned and performed, Hearing Officer appropriately denied petition regarding Visiting Professor of Practice series, where the positions were vacant and thus, there were no assigned duties to consider.