No Unilateral Change

County of Siskiyou (PERB Dec. No. 1894M) (Issued 3/27/07)

The issue in this case was whether the contract required that “extra help” employees be laid off prior to any permanent employees. The Board reached the same conclusion as the ALJ – to dismiss the complaint – but reached its decision based on a different rationale. The ALJ apparently had held that the contract language was ambiguous, and thus, found that the union had failed to meet its burden of proof to establish a ‘change.’

The Board in its analysis attempted to harmonize the contract language with the County Code and the County’s personnel policies. Based on its analysis, the Board found no requirement that “extra help” be laid off first, and thus, held that there was no unilateral change by the employer.

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