The Board will discuss proposed revisions to PERB regulation 32147, related to expedited cases, at its October 14, 2021, Board meeting. The text of the proposed draft is available here. PERB is inviting members of the public to comment during PERB’s regularly scheduled Board meeting of October 14, 2021, or in writing prior to or during the meeting. More details can be found on PERB’s website here.
On September 27, 2021, Governor Newsom signed SB 270 which provides for monetary penalties for certain violations of the Public Employee Communications Chapter (PECC) (Gov. Code §3555 et. seq.). Under the PECC, public employers must provide a union with the “name, job title, department, work location, work, home, and personal cellular telephone numbers, personal email addresses on file with the employer, and home address” of any new bargaining unit employee within 30 days of hire and of all bargaining unit employees every 120 days. (Gov. Code, §3558.) This section of the PECC was enacted in 2017 in anticipation of a Janus-type decision from the Supreme Court. Since its enactment, some unions have complained that employers are not providing all the information required by the PECC. As a result, several unions pushed for the enactment of SB 270.
Tim Draper, a venture capitalist, has submitted a ballot initiative that would prohibit collective bargaining for public sector employees in California. Specifically, the initiative would amend the California Constitution to provide that:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, neither the State nor any of its political subdivisions shall contract with a public employee labor organization or otherwise collectively bargain with a public employee labor organization on employer-employee relation matters
According to a post from Draper, “Union bosses donate to politicians. Politicians set union salaries and benefits. This can lead to favoritism, or even corruption. Government unions are anathema to being a free country.” Instead of collective bargaining, Draper’s initiative would allow the State Personnel Board to set salaries and benefits for all state employees. The initiative is silent on what would happen to other public employees. Presumably, salaries and benefits for other public employees would be set by the public employers.
The initiative has been submitted to the Attorney General for preparation of the circulating title and summary. Once that is complete, signature gathering can begin. Draper will need to gather 997,139 signatures to get the initiative onto the November 2022 ballot.
In November 2019, I created a list of all the PERB decisions being challenged in the courts of appeal. Back then there were 17 cases on appeal. Today there are 13 cases on appeal. In my opinion, the fewer cases on appeal is a function of PERB issuing fewer decisions and not that they are being challenged less. Consider that in January 2020, there were 40 cases on the Board’s docket. As of August 20, 2021, there are only 16. My speculation is that the percentage of Board decisions being challenged remains as high as ever.