UPEC Unfair Labor Practice Charge Forces Shasta County to the Bargaining Table
Posted On: Jan 30, 2015
On Friday, January 23rd, Labor Relations Representative Ryan Heron and UPEC Staff Attorney Ocean Mottley traveled to Sacramento for an informal settlement hearing in relation to the Unfair Labor Practice charge filed by UPEC for the County's refusal to bargain over the switch from Interagency Merit Systems (IMS) to an Approved Local Merit System county (ALMS). After a long day of settlement discussions, the UPEC representatives were finally able to secure a settlement agreement that forces Shasta County to the bargaining table to meet and confer on the County's disciplinary appeals procedures for lower level disciplinary actions.
The County's decision to move away from IMS was a unilateral change to the MOU between UPEC and Shasta County for the General Unit, as well as a violation of the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act. Upon originally learning about the County's intent to move away from IMS, UPEC issued a letter to the County demanding to bargain over the change. In response, the County returned a letter indicating that they were refusing to bargain, and that they did not believe this was a subject of bargaining. Now, nearly one year later, UPEC will get the chance to bargain over the impact of this change.
In addition, the County has also agreed to put a stay on all disciplinary appeals that may occur in the interim until a new appeal process can be bargained. This means that anybody who is disciplined between now and the completion of negotiations will be able to wait until the final outcome of negotiations and choose to appeal to the newly bargained appeal procedure.
Prior to making the unilateral change, IMS covered employees in Social Services and Child Support Services Departments (which represent nearly 50% of the total Bargaining Unit) had the option under the MOU to choose whether to appeal their disciplinary action to the State Personnel Board or to the County's Employee Appeals Board. Upon moving away from IMS, employees lost the right to appeal discipline to the State Personnel Board, which was a far superior option to the local Employee Appeals Board.
UPEC representatives were happy to achieve the settlement deal and are eager to get back to the bargaining table to attempt to negotiate a better disciplinary appeals process. Shasta County attempted to make a unilateral change to working conditions, and the UPEC charge has hopefully taught the County a lesson.
We will be sure to keep members updated as the bargaining process moves along.