Decision 2531M – Santa Clara Valley Water District

SF-CE-950-M

Decision Date: June 23, 2017

Decision Type: PERB Decision

View Full Text (PDF)

Perc Vol: 42
Perc Index: 5

Decision Headnotes

750.00000 – EMPLOYER ADOPTION/ENFORCEMENT OF UNREASONABLE RULE
750.01000 – In General

Charging Party’s petition to establish a separate unit of professional employees but to retain the same exclusive representative of the current mixed unit failed to comply with the District’s local rules governing unit modification and severance. Charging Party failed to overcome the presumption of correctness afforded a legislative act to show that the District had acted unreasonably in applying or enforcing any aspect of its local rules governing unit modification and severance. The MMBA grants public agencies the right to “adopt reasonable rules and regulations” for the administration of employer-employee relations, including for determining what constitutes “an appropriate unit” of employees for collective bargaining purposes. PERB and judicial authority requires that, when evaluating the reasonableness of a public agency’s unit determination made pursuant to a local rule, the party challenging the unit determination bears the burden of demonstrating that the decision was not reasonable. (pp. 10-11.)

1105.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; EVIDENCE
1105.03000 – Burden of Proof; Weight of Evidence; Presumptions and Inferences; Affirmative Defenses

Charging Party’s petition to establish a separate unit of professional employees but to retain the same exclusive representative of the current mixed unit failed to comply with the District’s local rules governing unit modification and severance. Charging Party failed to overcome the presumption of correctness afforded a legislative act to show that the District had acted unreasonably in applying or enforcing any aspect of its local rules governing unit modification and severance. The MMBA grants public agencies the right to “adopt reasonable rules and regulations” for the administration of employer-employee relations, including for determining what constitutes “an appropriate unit” of employees for collective bargaining purposes. PERB and judicial authority requires that, when evaluating the reasonableness of a public agency’s unit determination made pursuant to a local rule, the party challenging the unit determination bears the burden of demonstrating that the decision was not reasonable. (pp. 10-11.)

1107.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES;PROCEDURES BEFORE THE BOARD
1107.01000 – Exceptions; Responses to Exceptions; Standing; Extensions of Time/Late Filing/Waiver

Charging Party’s petition to establish a separate unit of professional employees but to retain the same exclusive representative of the current mixed unit failed to comply with the District’s local rules governing unit modification and severance. Charging Party failed to overcome the presumption of correctness afforded a legislative act to show that the District had acted unreasonably in applying or enforcing any aspect of its local rules governing unit modification and severance. The MMBA grants public agencies the right to “adopt reasonable rules and regulations” for the administration of employer-employee relations, including for determining what constitutes “an appropriate unit” of employees for collective bargaining purposes. PERB and judicial authority requires that, when evaluating the reasonableness of a public agency’s unit determination made pursuant to a local rule, the party challenging the unit determination bears the burden of demonstrating that the decision was not reasonable. (pp. 10-11.)

1107.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES;PROCEDURES BEFORE THE BOARD
1107.02000 – Weight Given to ALJ’s Proposed Decision: Findings, Conclusions, Credibility Resolutions

Charging Party’s petition to establish a separate unit of professional employees but to retain the same exclusive representative of the current mixed unit failed to comply with the District’s local rules governing unit modification and severance. Charging Party failed to overcome the presumption of correctness afforded a legislative act to show that the District had acted unreasonably in applying or enforcing any aspect of its local rules governing unit modification and severance. The MMBA grants public agencies the right to “adopt reasonable rules and regulations” for the administration of employer-employee relations, including for determining what constitutes “an appropriate unit” of employees for collective bargaining purposes. PERB and judicial authority requires that, when evaluating the reasonableness of a public agency’s unit determination made pursuant to a local rule, the party challenging the unit determination bears the burden of demonstrating that the decision was not reasonable. (pp. 10-11.)

750.00000 – EMPLOYER ADOPTION/ENFORCEMENT OF UNREASONABLE RULE
750.01000 – In General

In the absence of decertification, Charging Parties had no absolute right to a separate unit of professional employees when the exclusive representative of the existing mixed unit did not wish to split the unit into professional and non-professional units. PERB and controlling judicial authority have held that the right of professional employees to separate representation is not absolute, but must be harmonized with other provisions of the statute. (p. 14.)

1105.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES; EVIDENCE
1105.03000 – Burden of Proof; Weight of Evidence; Presumptions and Inferences; Affirmative Defenses

In the absence of decertification, Charging Parties had no absolute right to a separate unit of professional employees when the exclusive representative of the existing mixed unit did not wish to split the unit into professional and non-professional units. PERB and controlling judicial authority have held that the right of professional employees to separate representation is not absolute, but must be harmonized with other provisions of the statute. (p. 14.)

1107.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES;PROCEDURES BEFORE THE BOARD
1107.01000 – Exceptions; Responses to Exceptions; Standing; Extensions of Time/Late Filing/Waiver

In the absence of decertification, Charging Parties had no absolute right to a separate unit of professional employees when the exclusive representative of the existing mixed unit did not wish to split the unit into professional and non-professional units. PERB and controlling judicial authority have held that the right of professional employees to separate representation is not absolute, but must be harmonized with other provisions of the statute. (p. 14.)

1107.00000 – CASE PROCESSING PROCEDURES;PROCEDURES BEFORE THE BOARD
1107.02000 – Weight Given to ALJ’s Proposed Decision: Findings, Conclusions, Credibility Resolutions

In the absence of decertification, Charging Parties had no absolute right to a separate unit of professional employees when the exclusive representative of the existing mixed unit did not wish to split the unit into professional and non-professional units. PERB and controlling judicial authority have held that the right of professional employees to separate representation is not absolute, but must be harmonized with other provisions of the statute. (p. 14.)

750.00000 – EMPLOYER ADOPTION/ENFORCEMENT OF UNREASONABLE RULE
750.01000 – In General

Because Charging Party could achieve separate representation for professional employees with a properly-filed petition for unit modification or decertification and a representation election for exclusive representation in its own name, rather than for continued representation by another employee organization who opposes severance, its reliance on PERB’s Regulations governing MMBA representation matters is misplaced. The MMBA grants public agencies the right to “adopt reasonable rules and regulations” for the administration of employer-employee relations, including for determining what constitutes “an appropriate unit” of employees for collective bargaining purposes. PERB must enforce and apply rules adopted by public agencies concerning unit determinations, representation, recognition, and elections and only has authority to assert jurisdiction and to conduct representation proceedings under PERB’s own Regulations where the public agency has no functionally equivalent local rules under which the petitioner can accomplish what it seeks without undue burden. (p. 15.)