PERB Issues 2012-13 Annual Report

PERB has released its annual report for fiscal year 2012-2013. (The report is available here.)  The transmittal letter to the Legislature notes that, “The Board now has a full complement of Brown appointees who share the vision and policy objectives of the current administration.”  If you view labor relations as a dichotomy between labor and management, I read this statement as confirmation that the Board is going to tilt towards labor in the coming years.  That’s not unexpected; after all, elections have consequences.  However, I just hope that the Board will move in an incremental and predictable manner to provide as much stability to labor-management relations as possible.

With that in mind, here is my annual summary of the statistics in the report:

Unfair Practice Charges

678 unfair practice charges (UPCs) were filed in fiscal year 2012-13.  This represents an 11.7% decrease from fiscal year 2011-12 in which 768 UPC’s were filed and is the third year in the last four years in which UPC filings have decreased.  More significant, 678 UPC’s is the lowest number of UPC’s filed since at least 2001, when PERB took over jurisdiction of the MMBA.

The decrease in UPC’s was across-the-board, led by a 17% drop in UPC’s filed under the MMBA  (265 UPC’s versus 319 in 2011-12).  EERA saw a 10.8% drop in UPC’s (271 UPC’s versus 304 in 2011-12).  The Dills Act had 43 UPC’s (compared to 48 in 2011-12).  HEERA had a slight increase, going to 81 UPC’s compared to 78 in 2011-12.  My prediction is that the number of UPC’s will remain about the same.  I would be very surprised if the number of UPC’s continued to decrease more than a few percentage points.

Year: # of UPCs

2012-13: 678
2011-12: 768
2010-11: 744
2009-10: 802
2008-09: 868
2007-08: 816
2006-07: 823
2005-06: 1012
2004-05: 1126
2003-04: 838
2002-03: 802
2001-02: 740

ALJ Proposed Decisions

In 2012-13, the ALJs at PERB issued 76 proposed decisions.  This is a 24.5% increase from the 61 decisions issued last year.  The 76 proposed decisions issued this year are the most proposed decisions issued by PERB going back to 2002-03, which is as far back as I have records.  According to the annual report, the 76 proposed decisions is the highest number of proposed decisions issued since 1982-1983, when a minimum of ten administrative law judges wrote 77 proposed decisions.

Year: # of Proposed Decisions (Average # of Days)

2012-13: 76 (128)
2011-12: 61 (102)
2010-11: 38 (122)
2009-10: 57 (86)
2008-09: 52 (94)
2007-08: 44 (94)
2006-07: 41 (85)
2005-06: 46 (100)
2004-05: 49 (63)
2003-04: 47 (53)
2002-03: 52 (53)

Board Decisions

For 2012-13, the Board itself issued 51 decisions. It also considered 17 injunctive relief (IR) requests.  The 51 decisions is a dramatic 49% decrease from the 100 decisions issued in 2011-12.  However, when Board Member Alice Dowdin-Calvillo left in December 2012, the Board was without a quorum until Board Members Priscilla Winslow and Eric Banks were appointed on February 1, 2013.  Naturally, it would take a little time for the new Board members to begin issuing decisions.  So I view this year as an anomaly.

However, it is also important to view the number of Board decisions in relationship to the number of decisions on the Board’s docket.  As I will discuss more in a future blog post, PERB has now placed its docket online.  Currently, PERB has 62 cases on its docket.  So even if it resolved every case on its docket, PERB wouldn’t reach the 100 case milestone.  But that’s ok since the important goal is to resolve the cases on the docket as efficiently as possible, and not to hit a particular number of decisions.

Year: # of Board Decisions/IR Requests/Combined Total

2012-13: 51/17/68
2011-12: 100/21/121
2010-11: 79/16/95
2009-10: 79/13/92
2008-09: 89/19/108
2007-08: 65/28/93
2006-07: 87/16/103
2005-06: 80/23/103
2004-05: 142/14/156
2003-04: 128/13/141
2002-03: 73/14/87
2001-02: 44/23/67

Factfinding Requests

Starting this year, I’m going to include statistics for factfinding requests.  Factfinding has been in place under EERA and HEERA for years.  Starting on January 1, 2012, factfinding became available under the MMBA.  I foresee factfinding requests under the MMBA to increase dramatically in the next few years as unions take advantage of this new tool.  Below are the factfinding statistics with EERA/HEERA separated from the MMBA.

Year:  # of Requests

EERA/HEERA
2012-13:  34
2011-12:  29

MMBA
2012-13:  62
2011-12:  21

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