Dec. 2016 Advocate: AFT files Unfair Labor Practice Charge against District


AFT files Unfair Labor Practice Charge against District

In the November 2016 issue of The Advocate, the lead article addressed the October 17 email to all faculty sent by Vice Chancellor Kathy Blackwood which suggested that the AFT had made false “claims” about the District’s contract proposal and then provided what she called “factual information” (apparently suggesting that the Union was providing inaccurate information.) The Advocate article stated: “In fact, a significant amount of the so-called “factual information” that Kathy presented in that email were new proposals and information that was not presented during negotiations.” The article went on to clarify many of the incorrect or misleading points presented in that message.

In response to that email, AFT 1493 filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with the California Public Employment Relations Board on October 25, which charged that the following actions violated sections 3543.5(a)(b)(c) and 3543.1(a) of the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA):

  • “Through its email communication on October 17, indicating that the Union had misinformed the faculty about the status of negotiations proposals by the District, the District acted to disparage AFT 1493 so as to drive a wedge between union representation and bargaining unit employees.”
  • The email “was intended to, and had the natural and probable effect of, undermining and derogating the Union’s ability to represent and negotiate on behalf of its members.”
  • “In soliciting unit members in the October 17, 20l6 email to contact the District…by stating: ‘Please feel free to contact Eugene Whitlock … or me … with any questions you have or if you need additional factual information concerning the District’s proposal’, as contrasted with contacting their exclusive bargaining agent, the District sought to determine for themselves the extent of employee support for positions espoused by the Union, and to interfere in the Union’s representation of the faculty bargaining unit.”
  • “The District’s action … interferes, restrains and coerces employees in their exercise of their right to representation by the Union.”
  • “The District’s action … was designed to erode and undermine the Union’s position as the exclusive bargaining representative. Regardless of the District’s motive, the District’s action had the natural and probable effect of eroding and undermining the Union’s position as the exclusive representative, thereby interfering in the Union’s representation of the faculty.”
  • “An Employer cannot solicit employee sentiment with respect to a subject it is going to raise with the Union in upcoming negotiations, mediation or fact-finding.”
  • “The District’s actions as alleged above constitute negotiations in bad faith.”