Last year, in response to Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, public sector unions introduced AB 2835 which would have mandated that public employers provide an “orientation” to new employees during which time the union would be entitled to make a 30-minute presentation. That bill failed to make it out of the Senate. This year, AB 52 was introduced which would have similarly required that public employers provide new employees an orientation during which time the union would be entitled to participate. That bill never made it out of the Assembly.
However, it appears that public sector union advocates may have accomplished their goal anyway. SB 104—which appears to be a budget trailer bill—mandates that public sector unions have access to employee orientations. Specifically, SB 104 requires that:
- The parties bargain over the structure, time, and manner of access of unions to new employee orientations;
- Failure to reach agreement would result in baseball-style “compulsory interest arbitration”;
- Arbitration would occur on an expedited timeline and be final and binding;
- The parties would be required to open existing contracts or enter into a side-letter to incorporate the arbitrator’s decision.
In addition, SB 104 would require that employers provide unions with the name, address, personal email, and personal cell phone number of all new employees within 30 days of hire. SB 104 would apply to all the major acts administered by PERB, including the MMBA, EERA, HEERA, Dills Act, and Trial Court Act.
- I don’t like introducing the concept of binding interest arbitration into the public sector. I think it’s going to create a lot of headaches for everyone involved.
- This bill also leaves a lot of questions unanswered. I’ll have another blog post shortly highlighting some of those unanswered questions.