CSAC Bulletin Article

Counties Oppose Bill that Would Erode Local Collective Bargaining Process

March 12, 2020

CSAC, along with a number of coalition partners, sent a letter yesterday in opposition to AB 2307 (Bonta), which would create a statewide standard of paid time off for public employees to engage in specified activities related to employer-employee relations, also known as “release time.” Current law allows the decision to be made locally, through the collective bargaining process, as to whether new employee orientations are included in release time.  Leaving the issue of release time to the local bargaining process was explicitly agreed to by all stakeholders in the deal that granted unions statewide access to new employee orientations. A bill to reverse that deal was introduced the very next session.

For some agencies that hold weekly new employee orientations, any number of employees could be granted two to three hours per month of paid time to complete duties on behalf of their unit. Larger agencies that may have bi-weekly orientations would see even greater paid time through local revenue for the purposes employee representative outreach to their membership.

A nearly identical bill was passed by the Legislature last year, before being vetoed by Governor Newsom. The Governor shared counties’ concerns that the bill tried to address issues in an overly broad way instead of leaving them to the collective bargaining process.

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