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County Files Exceptions to PERB Hearing Proposed Decision

County Files Exceptions to PERB Hearing Proposed Decision

November 2015 brought a decision by the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) on allegations of unfair labor practices brought by the Services Employee International Union Local 521 (SEIU) dismissing the County of Tulare of all charges. 

Prompted after the 2014-2015 contract negotiations with SEIU Local 521, the County filed an unfair labor practice charge with PERB due to SEIU’s bargaining tactics during negotiations.  SEIU then countered with their own charge alleging that the County interfered with SEIU’s ability to represent its members by filing a charge against them.

Both cases were consolidated and a hearing was heard before Administrative Law Judge Christine A Bologna who issued a proposed decision on April 28, 2017.  It dismissed all charges but made the following findings:

  • SEIU and/or its representatives engaged in regressive bargaining, violated ground rules, and engaged in improper direct dealing and bypassing County bargaining representatives during the 2014-2015 contract negotiations, but the conduct did not rise to the level of bad faith negotiations.
  • SEIU failed to support its allegation that the County dominated or interfered with the administration of SEIU by filing a charge against SEIU.
  • The County did not unlawfully withhold certain confidential information requested by SEIU. 
  • SEIU failed to support its allegation that County Employment Relations Policy 14(a)(1)-(6) prevented organizational activity, and SEIU’s claim was contrary to PERB precedent.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 to file exceptions to the proposed decision.  “The County acted in good faith during the negotiations process and seeks to make decisions in the best interest of all Tulare County employees,” stated Chairman Pete Vander Poel. 

The official request to PERB is for a revision of Judge Bologna’s Proposed Decision and asks the Board order the full relief stated on the record at the formal hearing.