PERB Gets Additional Positions in New Budget; General Counsel Departing

Here is an update on some happenings at PERB:

PERB’s Budget for 2014-2015

Gov. Jerry Brown signed the 2014-2015 state budget on May 13.  For PERB, the new budget means the addition of several positions.  In terms of funding, PERB’s 2014-2015 budget is $8,756,000.  This is essentially the same as PERB’s estimated budget expenditures for 2013-2014 of $8,749,000.

However, PERB’s new budget includes a $360,000 redirection from operating expenses to personnel expenses.  This will allow PERB to create four new positions from its 2012-2013 position allocation base “to address increased workload due to new statutory requirements, existing workload due to a prior contracts expiring, and support functions in two regional offices.”

With the reallocation, PERB will have 57.1 positions for 2014-2015.  According to the detailed summary of PERB’s budget, the four new positions include: 1 administrative law judge, 1 attorney, and 2 legal secretaries.

General Counsel Departing

Unrelated to the budget, for those of you who have not heard, PERB General Counsel Suzanne Murphy is departing PERB.  I initially posted that she is retiring but I was incorrect.  My apologies to Ms. Murphy for that mistake.  Ms. Murphy was appointed General Counsel on May 2, 2011, by Governor Brown.  My understanding is that with her departure, Deputy General Counsel Wendi Ross will assume the role of Acting General Counsel.

There is no news yet on who will be appointed PERB’s new General Counsel, but here is how the process works.  By law, the General Counsel is appointed by the Governor at the recommendation of the Board.  (Gov. Code, §3541 subd. (f).)  Unlike Board Members, the General Counsel does not serve a defined term, but serves at the pleasure of the Board.  This is in contrast to the NLRB, where the General Counsel has a term just like the Board Members.  One major difference is that under the NLRA, the NLRB General Counsel actually prosecutes cases before the NLRB.  PERB utilizes a different system.  While the General Counsel investigates charges and issues complaints, under PERB’s system the General Counsel’s office does not prosecute cases before the Board.

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