Employee Relations 05/03/2013
Brown Act/Public Records Act
SB 570 (DeSaulnier) – Oppose Unless Amended
As Amended on April 16, 2013
Senate Bill 570, by Senator Mark DeSaulnier would, within statute governing the Public Records Act, require public agencies to accept credit cards as payment for a copy of a public record when the record is 20 or fewer pages in length. The bill would additionally prohibits a public agency from charging for copies of records when:
- The records are in PDF format.
- The records he records consist of data extracted from a database, if new programming is not required to extract the data.
CSAC believes that SB 570 would be a cost burden for counties
that would need to install a credit card option to meet the
requirements of the bill and for those counties which currently
accept credit cards but require a minimum purchase amount, as
they will be incurring additional costs due to the per
transaction charges most credit card companies impose on
SB 570 will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 6.
SB 751 (Yee) – Request for Comment
As Amended on May 2, 2013
Senate Bill 751, by Senator Leland Yee, as currently in print would require local agencies that are both a Metropolitan Planning Organization and a transportation planning agency to publicly report any action taken and to report the individual vote or abstention of each member present.
Amendments taken this week would now place this language in the Brown Act, thereby applying these provisions to any legislative body of a local agency.
Currently, the Brown Act does not require local agencies, unless the session is closed or is utilizing teleconferencing, to report on individual members’ votes, only the action taken. Local agencies can, however, adopt requirements to report the specific votes of individual board members if they feel it is warranted to do so.
SB 751 is awaiting a vote on the Senate Floor.
SB 809 (DeSaulnier) – Support
As Amended on May 1, 2013
Senate Bill 809, by Senator Mark DeSaulnier, would create the CURES Fund (Fund) within the State Treasury and require licensed health practitioners and pharmacists, prior to providing patients with Schedule II, III, or IV controlled substances, to access information regarding a patient’s history of controlled substance prescriptions. The bill is aimed at curbing workers’ compensation claimants’ misuse and abuse of prescribed opioids, an increasing concern to, and cost for, employers.
The Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES), maintained by the Department of Justice (DOJ), is an electronic monitoring system of Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances and provides for the electronic transmission of those controlled substance prescriptions data to the DOJ when they are dispensed.
SB 809 would require health practitioners that prescribe or dispense controlled substances and certain drug wholesalers to pay increased licensing, certification and renewal fees to the CURES Fund. The bill would also require qualified manufactures (those making controlled substances and doing business in California), and health care service plans to pay an annual tax that would be administered by the State Board of Equalization and deposited into the Fund.
SB 809 will be heard in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on May 8.
AB 252 (Yamada) – Oppose
As Amended on April 2, 2013
AB 252, by Assembly Member Mariko Yamada, would, for employees hired on or after January 1, 2014, place restrictions on when they may be represented by their employer as a social worker. The employee must possess a degree from an accredited school of social work to be classified as such.
CSAC believes the cost pressures created by AB 252, including those associated updating classification structures and salary increase pressures associated with re-classification, cannot be absorbed by counties in the current fiscal climate. Counties continue to see pressures on employee compensation from the continued increase pension costs, increased costs to provide health coverage, and a desire by employees to reverse what for most counties has been several years of little or no pay increases. AB 252 will introduce another difficult issue into that local discussion when it may or may not be the priority of the county or its employees.
AB 252 is awaiting a hearing date in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
AB 537 (Bonta) – Oppose
As Amended on April 17, 2013
Assembly Bill 537, by Assembly Member Rob Bonta, would prohibit employers from restricting communication between local agency representatives and employee representatives as part of labor negotiation ground rules. This change is contrary to the understood ban on “direct dealing” where a member of a bargaining team communicates directly with the members of the union or the agency. The change is one-sided in that it does not prohibit the union from seeking a ground rule that the employer cannot communicate directly with employees. Additionally, the bill would:
- Bind a governing body to any tentative agreement reached by the bargaining representatives. The MMBA currently states that a tentative agreement is provided to the governing body for review. Again, this change is one-sided in that the bill would not bind the employee representatives to the agreement until ratification by the employees.
- Make three changes related to arbitration: 1) Applies the provisions of the California Arbitration Act to the enforcement of arbitration agreements under the MMBA; 2) Prohibits a rejection of a request for arbitration due to procedural challenges (timelines, failure to exhaust pre-arbitration remedies); and, 3) Makes an agreement to arbitrate a dispute enforceable, even if the conduct in question may also constitute an unfair labor practice.
- Require “meet and confer” over local rules rather than “consultation” and subjects an impasse over local rules to factfinding procedures.
AB 537 will be heard is awaiting a hearing date in the Assembly
AB 616 (Boacanegra) – Oppose
As Amended on April 25, 2013
Assembly Bill 616, by Assembly Member Raul Bocanegra, would allow either an employer or an employee representative to seek a determination from the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) as to whether the parties have reached impasse during labor negotiations and would extend the timeline for an employee representative to submit a dispute to factfinding.
It should be noted that AB 616 was substantially amended; its original version would have shifted recognition of employee representative and unit determination from local rules to PERB and shifted designation of management and confidential employees to PERB.
CSAC remains opposed to AB 616. Creating a new process for determining whether impasse has been reached, rather than allowing local rules to dictate, adds an unnecessary administrative layer to the collective bargaining process that will result in delays and costs to both PERB and counties. Additionally, extending the time period from 30 to 60 days for the submission of differences to a factfinding panel will do nothing more than lengthen the negotiating period to the benefit of the party interested in maintaining the status quo.
AB 616 is awaiting a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.