April 2023 Board Decisions Summary

In April 2023, the Board issued three decisions. The decision descriptions and dispositions are below.

Employer: Barstow Community College District
Case No. LA-CE-6666-E
Issued date: April 21, 2023
Description: California School Employees Association, Chapter 176 (CSEA) excepted to the proposed decision of an administrative law judge (ALJ). The underlying complaint alleged that the Barstow Community College District violated the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA) by unilaterally implementing a new policy or process for allowing managerial non-bargaining unit employees to retreat into a bargaining unit classification in which they were permanently employed before their promotion (retreat policy), and to “bump” unit employees currently employed in that classification. The ALJ dismissed the complaint and underlying unfair practice charge, finding that though CSEA established a prima facie case of unilateral change, the District proved its retreat policy was superseded by the Education Code, and that its actions bumping an employee were fully covered by the parties’ memorandum of understanding (MOU), which the District followed. The ALJ also dismissed the related derivative interference violations. CSEA filed timely exceptions, challenging the ALJ’s dismissal of the unilateral change allegation based on the District’s affirmative defense of supersession, and in turn the dismissal of derivative interference allegations.

Disposition: In a non-precedential decision, the Board affirmed both the proposed decision’s factual findings and the dismissal of the complaint and underlying unfair practice charge. However, the Board departed from the ALJ’s analysis, vacating the ALJ’s supersession finding, and instead determining that the District did not violate EERA because it established that it had a binding past practice allowing interim managers to retreat to their bargaining unit positions.

Employer: City and County of San Francisco
Case No. SF-CE-1790-M
Issued date: April 26, 2023
Description: Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3 (OE3) alleged that City and County of San Francisco (City) violated the MMBA by: (1) asserting that its Charter barred retroactive wage increases; and (2) refusing to bargain over a retroactive wage increase. The ALJ dismissed the complaint and the underlying charge.
Disposition: The Board reversed the proposed decision. The MMBA requires the City to interpret its Charter to allow good faith negotiations over proposals for retroactive wage adjustments, and here the City unlawfully interpreted its Charter. The Board directed the City, among other remedies, to pay the extra bargaining costs OE3 incurred because of the City’s MMBA violation.

Organization: California Teachers Association (Cyhan)
Case No. LA-CO-1838-E
Issued date: April 26, 2023
Description: Charging Party Adam Cyhan appealed PERB’s Office of the General Counsel’s (OGC) dismissal of his unfair practice charge. The charge, as amended, alleges that the California Teachers Association (CTA) violated the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA) by conduct that includes conspiring with Perris Secondary Educators Association (PSEA), and Cyhan’s employer, Perris Union High School District, to violate his rights to select a representative of his own choice at a June 3, 2022 meeting, and failing to adequately represent him during that meeting. OGC dismissed the allegations because they failed to state a prima facie case of any unfair practice, including because CTA owes Cyhan no duty of fair representation as PSEA, not CTA, is the exclusive representative of employees in his bargaining unit. Cyhan timely appealed the dismissal of the charge.
Disposition: The Board affirmed OGC’s dismissal of the amended unfair practice charge. The Board dismissed the amended unfair practice charge without leave to amend.