AB 1606: Mediation Not Required for Factfinding

AB 1606 was introduced by Assemblymember Perea on February 7, 2012.  AB 1606 would clarify that mediation is not a prerequisite to fact-finding under the MMBA.  Specifically, AB 1606 would make the following changes:

(a)  If the mediator is parties are unable to effect settlement of the controversy within 30 days after his or her the appointment of a mediator, or if the dispute was not submitted to mediation within 30 days after the date that either party provided the other with
written notice of a declaration of impasse
, the employee organization may request that the parties’ differences be submitted to a factfinding panel.

Comments

  1. AB 1606 purports to clarify existing law.  That’s debatable as there is a vocal contingent of management folks who believe that factfinding is not required if there is no mediation.  As I’ve said on my blog, I read AB 646 to require factfinding irrespective of whether there is mediation.  This bill would certainly clarify that issue.
  2. At first blush, AB 1606 also appears to be consistent with PERB’s emergency regulations on factfinding.  Those regulations establish outer time limits for requesting factfinding that do not appear to conflict with AB 1606.
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