Decision 2589C – El Dorado County Superior Court


Decision Date: October 17, 2018

Decision Type: PERB Decision

Description:  An administrative law judge (ALJ) found that Respondent El Dorado County Superior Court (Court) did not violate the Trial Court Act by informing employees on May 18, 2013 that it would be reducing and eventually eliminating the Court’s employer paid member pension contribution, and later implementing that change.  Charging Party Stationary Engineers Local 39 contended that the Court unlawfully insisted to impasse and then unilaterally imposed a waiver of so-called “classic” employees’ statutory right under the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA) to maintain the Court’s previously existing policy of cost-sharing until January 1, 2018.   According to Local 39, by prohibiting public employers from unilaterally changing existing pension cost-sharing agreements until January 1, 2018, section 20516.5 of PEPRA effectively conferred on public employees a statutory right to continue receiving existing EPMC benefits until January 1, 2018.  The ALJ rejected these contentions and concluded that the Court’s actions conformed with the plain meaning of the PEPRA.  Local 39 excepted to these conclusions and the Court filed cross-exceptions contesting PERB’s jurisdiction to interpret PEPRA.

Disposition:  The Board concluded it had jurisdiction to resolve the dispute, and on the merits affirmed the proposed decision’s dismissal of the complaint allegations and adopted the proposed decision.

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Perc Vol: 43
Perc Index: 64

Decision Headnotes

102.02000 – Concurrent or Conflicting Jurisdiction with Other Agencies or Courts; Interpretation or Enforcement of Other Statutes

Where the parties to an unfair practice case dispute whether external law, including the public employment retirement laws, removes an otherwise negotiable matter from the scope of representation, or creates a statutory right not subject to waiver or impairment through unilateral employer action, PERB may interpret the provisions of external law as necessary to decide questions arising under the collective bargaining statutes we administer. (County of San Luis Obispo, supra, PERB Decision No. 2427-M, pp. 30-34; City of San Jose (2013) PERB Decision.