The 2008-2009 budget for PERB eliminated funding for factfinding, which in the previous year had been $85,000. However, the Legislature and Governor did not eliminate PERB’s mandate under EERA and HEERA to fund factfinding. PERB has called a Board meeting for October 27, 2008, to address this problem.
In 2002-03, when the state also faced a serious budget crisis, PERB reduced the per diem it paid to factfinders to $100/per day from $600/per day. That resulted in a drastic reduction of individuals willing to as factfinders. The few factfinders who accepted the $100/day rate reduced the number of cases they would take and many considered it “pro bono” work. This time, it is unclear whether PERB will even be able to drastically reduce the rate it pays factfinders given that its entire factfinding budget has been eliminated.
PERB’s agenda and a memo describing the problem can be found at this link: Agenda for October 27, 2008, Meeting