March/April 2017 Advocate: Unfair Labor Practice Complaint issued against District

UNION RIGHTS

Unfair Labor Practice Complaint issued against District for sending inappropriate email to faculty about negotiations

by Dan Kaplan, AFT 1493 Executive Secretary

On February 16, 2017, the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) issued a Complaint against the District charging it with “attempting to bypass, undermine and derogate the authority of AFT Local 1493 in violation of Government Code section 3543.5 by its October 17, 2016 email about negotiations that was sent to all District faculty.

As faculty may recall, on October 17, 2016, Kathy Blackwood, the District’s Executive Vice Chancellor, sent an e-mail message to the entire faculty bargaining unit. The subject of the message was “Negotiations Update.”

AFT Local 1493 charged the District with engaging in unfair labor practices in violation of California Government Code section 3543.5 when it sent this email. In response to AFT 1493’s charge that the District has committed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP), the General Counsel of the Public Employment Relations Board, has issued this Complaint on behalf of PERB.

By sending this email to all faculty in the District, the District attempted to bypass, undermine and derogate the authority of AFT 1493 in violation of Government Code section 3543.5(c).

Further, by sending this email, the District’s conduct interfered with the rights of faculty bargaining unit employees to be represented by AFT 1493 in violation of Government Code section 3543.5(a).

Finally, this conduct by the District also denied AFT Local 1493 its right to represent faculty bargaining unit employees in violation of Government Code section 3543.5(b).

PERB has required the District to file an answer to the allegations of the Complaint within 20 calendar days.  PERB has now scheduled an informal settlement conference.  If there is no settlement, then a formal hearing will be scheduled.

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