July 2023 Board Decisions Summary

In July 2023, the Board issued two decisions. The decision descriptions and dispositions are below.

Decision No. 2860a-M

Organization: Orange County Employees Association (Sanchez)

Case No. LA-CO-254-M

Issued date: July 21, 2023


Description: Charging Party Paul Sanchez asked the Board to reconsider its earlier decision in which the Board affirmed an ALJ’s proposed decision dismissing claims that Orange County Employees Association (OCEA) breached its duty of fair representation under the MMBA by providing Sanchez with insufficient notice to consider and vote on whether to ratify a tentative agreement between OCEA and the County of Orange, providing misleading and incomplete information about the agreement, denying Sanchez’s requests for the ratification vote totals, and failing to provide OCEA’s policy regarding non-disclosure of contract ratification vote totals.

Disposition: In a non-precedential decision, the Board denied Sanchez’s request for reconsideration.

Decision No. 2867-M

Employer: City and County of San Francisco

Case Nos. SF-CE-1663-M, SF-CE-1675-M, & SF-CE-1676-M

Issued date: July 24, 2023


Description: In this consolidated case, Charging Parties International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers, Local 21 and Service Employees International Union, Local 1021 (collectively, Charging Parties) challenged two San Francisco City Charter provisions that prohibit municipal workers from striking and that, among other things, mandate termination of striking employees. Charging Parties alleged that Respondents City and County of San Francisco and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (collectively, the City or Respondents) maintained and enforced these provisions in violation of the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA).

Specifically, Charter section A8.346 prohibits municipal employees from engaging in strikes, sets forth the procedures for terminating employees who the City find violated the section, and limits the seniority and compensation rights of such employees whom the City later rehires. This strike prohibition is reiterated in section A8.409-4, which states that any municipal employee who engages in a strike “shall be dismissed from his or her employment pursuant to Charter section A8.346.” Additionally, a Declaration of Policy at the outset of Charter section A8.409 declares that “strikes by city employees are not in the public interest.”

The underlying consolidated complaint, as amended, alleged that the Charter provisions conflict with the MMBA by constituting an absolute ban on strikes by employees, rendering the provisions unenforceable. The amended complaint further alleged that Respondents have required employees to sign a document acknowledging receipt of a form stating that any employee who participates in a strike shall be terminated, thereby interfering with employee rights and Charging Parties’ right to represent employees.

After a formal hearing, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) found that the challenged Charter provisions conflict with the MMBA to the extent they prohibit striking. As a remedy, the ALJ found Charter section A8.346 unenforceable in its entirety and severed the reference to that section’s strike prohibition from Charter section A8.409. The ALJ did not find that the City’s requiring employees to sign an acknowledgement and receipt of the Charter provisions constitutes direct dealing.

Disposition: The Board affirmed the proposed decision’s finding that the Charter’s strike prohibition is unlawful facially and as applied. The Board further found unlawful the portion of the Declaration of Policy in A8.409 stating that City employee strikes are not in the public interest. The Board also affirmed the proposed decision’s remedial order deeming the unlawful Charter provisions void and unenforceable and ordered a City-wide notice posting. Last, the Board exercised its discretion not to reach Charging Parties’ exception regarding the dismissed direct dealing allegation as it would not impact the Board’s order even were it meritorious.