At its meeting on December 8th, the Board voted to move forward with its proposed emergency regulations implementing AB 646. For a description of what happens next, see my prior post here.
- There were a lot of people at the meeting. When it came time for public comments on the proposed regulations only two individuals came foward to speak. The first was Glenn Rothner who wanted to emphasize the union-side view (and in fairness, the view of some [Correction: I initially forgot to include the word “some”] management-side advocates) that AB 646 requires fact-finding even where there is no mediation. In Glenn’s view, the proposed regulations give employers some certainty while preserving the option of other employers to pursue litigation if they so choose. The second speaker echoed these comments.
- After the public comment period, Member Dowdin Calvillo opined that it was not clear to her that AB 646 requires fact-finding even where there is no mediation. However, she was fine with forwarding the proposed regulations as the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) will presumably have a role in determining whether the regulations are supported by statutory authority.
- Member McKeag asked for staff’s response to the City and County of San Francisco’s letter submitted on December 7th which urged PERB to reject the argument that AB 646 requires fact-finding even on issues outside of MOU negotiations. (e.g. Seal Beach-type discussions over local rules). Staff declined to change the proposed regulations in response to the letter on the ground that the issue probably did not meet the definition of an “emergency” for purposes of promulgating emergency regulations. Instead, this was an issue that could be addressed through the normal rule-making process and/or left to litigation either through the PERB unfair practice process or through the courts.
- With that, the Board voted 3-0 (Member Huguenin was absent) to forward the emergency regulation package to OAL. According to staff, the package should be sent out to interested parties tomorrow to start the five working day notice period.