AB 1606 Signed into Law

On September 14, 2012, Governor Brown signed AB 1606.  AB 1606 amends the fact-finding provision under the MMBA (Gov. Code section 3505.4).  For some background see my prior posts here and here.  As enacted, AB 1606 does two things:

  1. The bill provides that mediation is not a prerequisite to fact-finding under the MMBA.  The language used in the bill largely mirrors PERB Regulation 32802.
  2. The bill also adds Gov. Code section 3505.4, subdivision (e), which states that, “The procedural right of an employee organization to request a factfinding panel cannot be expressly or voluntarily waived.”

Comments: 

  1. My understanding is that the sponsors wanted the new subdivision (e) because some employers were asking unions to waive fact-finding during the bargaining process.  As I mentioned before, if a union doesn’t want to waive fact-finding it can always say no.  However, if a union is offered something of value in exchange for waiving fact-finding what’s the harm in allowing the union to agree to it?  It seems a bit short-sighted on the part of the unions.
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