AB 2126 passed the Assembly on May 29 and now heads to the Senate. To my knowledge, AB 2126 is the only active bill remaining in this Legislative session that would substantially affect PERB. AB 2126 would make the following changes to the MMBA:
- Impose mandatory mediation at the request of either party;
- Provide that any impasse over a mandatory subject of bargaining is subject to factfinding;
- Provide that factfinders only need to consider the statutory criteria relevant to a dispute.
- I’ve commented previously on this bill. (Click here for that post) Since that time the bill has not changed substantially.
- According to the Assembly Floor Analysis, PERB estimates that there could be 100 mediation cases annually. I think that’s a fair estimate, at least of additional mediation cases. Many local agencies already provide for mediation in their local rules and I would guess that there are more than 100 mediations annually throughout the state currently.
- PERB also estimates that administering the provisions of this bill would cost $800,000 annually. That seems high given that the bill requires the parties to split the cost of mediation. So all PERB is required to do is to process the request for assign a mediator. However, the $800,000 estimate could include money for additional mediators in the State Mediation and Conciliation Service unit of PERB – which would be welcome.