Employee Relations 01/28/2011
AB 148 (Smyth) - Request for Comment
As Introduced on January 14, 2011
AB 148, by Assembly Member Cameron Smyth, would add to the definition of ethics laws – with regard to ethics training for officers and employees of a local government – compensation setting guidelines that have been established by specified organizations. The specified organizations include, but are not limited to, CSAC, the League of California Cities, the California Special Districts Association, and the California City Management Foundation.
AB 148 additionally requires local agencies to post their ethics training record on their website and to submit a copy of that record to the Attorney General within 14 days of receiving it. Further, if the local agency has adopted a written attendance compensation policy or written reimbursement policy, AB 148 requires the local agency to post a copy of it on their website and send a copy of the policy to the State Controller. If the agency does not comply, the Controller has the authority to withhold any funds to which the local agency is entitled.
AB 148 is currently awaiting assignment to a policy committee. Please contact Faith Conley with your feedback.
FPPC Will Not Move Forward with New Compensation Reporting Form
In November, we reported in The CSAC Bulletin on the Fair Political Practice Commission’s (FPPC) proposal to include an option for government officials to disclose their compensation in their Statements of Economic Interest, or Forms 700. CSAC sent a joint letter with the Regional Council of Rural Counties to the FPPC, requesting that it delay action on its proposal until all regulatory and legislative disclosure requirements were considered in total in 2011 to avoid duplication of efforts.
Action on the proposal was to be taken at FPPC’s January 28 meeting; however, it has come to our attention that FPPC will not move forward with this proposal. CSAC will keep you apprised of any changes should they occur.
California Supreme Court Issues Important Ruling in Collective Bargaining Case
The California Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the City of
Richmond’s decision to lay off firefighters for fiscal reasons is
not subject to collective bargaining (International
Association of Fire Fighters, Local 188, AFL-CIO v. Public
Employment Relations Board (City of Richmond), 11 S.O.S.
In 2003, the City of Richmond (city), facing a budget crisis, laid off 18 of its 90 firefighters. The city met with the union representing the firefighters, the International Association of Firefighters, Local 188, AFL-CIO (union) to discuss the effects of the layoffs on the remaining, employed firefighters. At this time, the union argued that there were other cost-saving measures the city could take to avoid layoffs; the city ultimately rejected the union’s argument.
In 2004, the union filed a complaint with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), alleging that the city violated the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA) by not meeting with the union to confer over the city’s layoff decision. PERB declined to issue the complaint, explaining that the decision to lay off employees is not subject to collective bargaining; this decision was upheld by a PERB member panel and the Contra Costa County Superior Court agreed, concluding that the city’s decision to lay off the firefighters is not subject to collective bargaining under MMBA although the effects of such layoffs are subject. The union appealed the Superior Court’s decision, but the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s judgement. To read the full case, click here.