Employee Relations 04/26/2013
Public Employment Relations Board Proposes Rules Related to Elections and Factfinding Requests
The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) has proposed new
regulations related to 1) representation and agency shop
elections conducted by the State Mediation and Conciliation
Service (SMCS) pursuant to the county local rules and 2) the
appealability of a Board Agent’s determination of the sufficiency
of a factfinding request. The supporting documents released by
PERB can be found here.
The proposed new regulations related to elections would be applicable whenever SMCS conducts representation and agency shop elections pursuant to the local rules of employers under the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA), the Trial Court Act, or the Court Interpreter Act. The regulations would provide that such elections would be conducted pursuant to a Consent Election Agreement. The regulations further:
- Mandate all elections be conducted by secret ballot and describe the substance of the ballots, including that ballots shall be prepared under the supervision of SMCS and that SMCS shall determine the order of voting choices and wording of each ballot in the absence of an agreement by the parties.
- Define “parties” as the employer, the employee organization which is the exclusive representative of employees in the voting unit, any employee organization eligible to appear on the ballot in a representation election, or any group of employees who have filed a valid petition.
- Allow any party to an SMCS-conducted election to request the Board stay the election pending the resolution of an unfair practice charge relating to the voting unit after an investigation and a finding that the alleged unlawful conduct would affect the election process and make the determination of a stay appealable to the Board.
- Require that SMCS provide a notice of election to the parties.
- Require the employer to provide a list, as specified, of voters to the election supervisor.
- Define voter eligibility and provide a process to challenge eligibility.
- Allow each party to station an agent at the ballot county to verify the tally of ballots.
- Establish a process and a 10-day window to file objections concerning the conduct of the election.
- Provide the powers and duties of the Board Agent concerning objections, including the power to conduct investigatory conferences and to issue written determinations.
The second set of proposed regulations would authorize the appeal
of a Board Agent’s determination of whether a factfinding request
made pursuant to the MMBA is sufficient. PERB states that in the
past, PERB has provided similar appeal rights for sufficiency of
impasse determinations under other PERB-administered statutes.
After developing a body of precedent, PERB then eliminated the
appealability of such determinations. PERB believes that
developing precedent related to MMBA factfinding would provide
clarity and guidance and allow the Board to develop useful
precedent to guide the parties in future matters.
The Board will hold a public hearing at 10:00 am, on June 13, 2013 to hear comments on the proposed regulations. Written comments may also be submitted.