Strike Injunctions: How Often Does PERB Issue Them?

[Note: The original post has been corrected to include two additional strike injunctions issued in fiscal year 2015-2016. The chart also makes it clear the strike injunction was issued during the fiscal year, and not necessarily the calendar year.]

For those of you attending the annual CalPELRA conference, I will be speaking on Friday, November 4th, on the subject of strikes. Among the issues I will be talking about is the injunctive relief process before PERB and how it works. In preparation for my talk, I examined how many times PERB has issued injunctions against strike activity. To do this, I reviewed PERB’s annual reports which list all the injunctive relief requests denied and granted that year. PERB began providing this information in its annual reports in 1994.

According to my research, since 1994 PERB has granted injunctive relief against strike activity 18 times. In 1995, PERB granted injunctive relief against a strike by the Hayward Education Association. From 1996 to 2006, there were no strike injunctions granted by PERB. Beginning in 2006, activity in this area began to pick up. Since 2014, PERB has issued injunctive relief 9 times against strike activity. So what can we learn from these cases?

  1. With the exception of the Hayward strike in 1995, there has not been another strike injunction involving schools.
  2. Since 1995, all the strike injunctions fall into 2 broad categories: 1) hospitals (either at UC or a County) and 2) critical services involving city or county employees (eg public works, utilities).
  3. Both of these categories involve “essential employees” within the meaning of the County Sanitation District No. 2 v. Los Angeles County Employees Association (1985) 38 Cal.3d 564 case.

Below is a table showing all the cases where PERB has issued injunctive relief against a strike since 1994. Note, I do know of a handful of strike injunctions that have been issued by the courts without the direct involvement of PERB. However, those situations have become very rare given the decision in City of San Jose v. Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3 (2010) 49 Cal. 4th 597. Also, PERB issued injunctive relief against a strike involving San Joaquin County is approximately July 2016. However, since that occurred during the 2016-2017 fiscal year, it has not yet been included in PERB’s annual reports.

Fiscal Year Case
1994-1995 Hayward USD v Hayward Education Assn (IR 362)
2005-2006 University of California v California Nurses Assn (IR 487)
2007-2008 University of California v AFSCME (IR 548)
2008-2009 University of California v AFSCME (IR 553)
2009-2010 City of Palo Alto v SEIU (IR 576)
2009-2010 University of California v California Nurses Assn (IR 583)
2011-2012 County of Riverside v SEIU (IR 614)
2012-2013 University of California v AFSCME (IR 635)
2012-2013 University of California v UPTE (IR 636)
2013-2014 City of Hayward v SEIU (IR 640)
2013-2014 University of California v AFSCME (IR 646)
2013-2014 University of California v AFSCME (IR 656)
2014-2015 City of Vacaville v IUOE (IR 671)
2014-2015 County of San Bernardino v California Nurses Assn (IR 675)
2014-2015 County of Santa Clara v SEIU (IR 682)
2015-2016 County of Contra Costa v California Nurses Assn (IR 685)
2015-2016 County of Sonoma v SEIU (IR 690)
2015-2016 County of Solano v SEIU (IR 691)
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