AB 530 was introduced by Assembly Member Cooper on February 13, 2017. This bill would eliminate the peace officer carve-out to PERB’s jurisdiction. Currently, while peace officers are subject to the MMBA they are not subject to PERB’s jurisdiction. Instead, unfair practice charges from peace officers are handled in superior court. Peace officers have been exempt from PERB’s jurisdiction since PERB first took over the MMBA in 2001.
- AB 530 stands in sharp contrast to SB 548, which would give firefighters a mechanism to avoid PERB in favor of going to superior court. I wrote about SB 548 here. What is most interesting is that the justifications for these two bills directly contradict each other.
- For example, the Assembly analysis for AB 530 states that, “AB 530 will allow peace officer unions to use the expertise of PERB and give the smaller unions the ability to defend themselves against unfair labor practices. Supporters note that labor disputes involving a peace officer union go to the Superior Court, which can be costly and time-consuming.” (Emphasis added.) In contrast, the Senate analysis for SB 548 states that, “PERB’s increased workload … [has] resulted in delays that match or exceed those previously experienced in superior court.”
- To summarize: the firefighters want to get out from PERB’s jurisdiction because PERB takes longer than going to court, while the cops want to be under PERB because of court delays. Sounds like the cops and firefighters should get together and compare notes.