Legal Resources | Government Code | GC 3557
Public Employee Communication
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (g), upon request of the employer or the exclusive representative, the parties shall negotiate regarding the structure, time, and manner of the access of the exclusive representative to a new employee orientation. The failure to reach agreement on the structure, time, and manner of the access shall be subject to compulsory interest arbitration pursuant to this section.
(b) (1) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), when negotiating access to a new employee orientation, if any dispute has not been resolved within 45 days after the first meeting of the parties, or within 60 days after the initial request to negotiate, whichever comes first, either party may make a demand for compulsory interest arbitration, and if a demand is made, the procedure prescribed by this subdivision shall apply. The arbitrator selection process described in paragraph (2) shall commence within 14 days of a party's demand for compulsory interest arbitration. The party demanding compulsory interest arbitration shall be responsible for requesting a panel of arbitrators from the State Mediation and Conciliation Service. A party shall not submit any proposal to compulsory interest arbitration that was not the parties' final proposal during the parties' negotiations. In the case of a school district employer whose administrative offices are closed during the summer, the timeline on this subdivision shall commence on the first day that the district administrative office reopens.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the parties may mutually agree to submit their dispute to compulsory interest arbitration at any time.
(2) The appointment of an arbitrator for compulsory interest arbitration shall be made by the State Mediation and Conciliation Service using its process to obtain a panel of arbitrators, except as provided in paragraph (4). Within seven days of receipt of a request for a panel, the State Mediation and Conciliation Service shall send the parties a list of seven arbitrators selected from its roster. Within seven days following the receipt of the list, the parties shall make their selection. Unless the parties agree on an alternate selection procedure, they shall alternatively strike one name from the list provided by the service until only one name remains. A coin toss shall determine which party shall strike the first name. In lieu of this process, the parties may mutually select any individual to serve as the arbitrator. Any party that fails to participate in the selection of an arbitrator within the prescribed period waives its right to strike names from the list. Interest arbitration shall commence either on the arbitrator's earliest available date or any other date to which the parties agree, and shall be completed within 30 days. The decision of the arbitrator shall be issued within 10 days and shall be final and binding on the parties. The decision shall provide the exclusive representative with reasonable access to new employee orientations. The arbitrator shall consider, weigh, and be guided by the following criteria:
(A) The ability of the exclusive representative to communicate with the public employees it represents.
(B) The legal obligations of the exclusive representative to the public employees.
(C) State, federal, and local laws that are applicable to the employer.
(D) Stipulations of the parties.
(E) The interests and welfare of the public and the financial condition of the public agency.
(F) The structure, time, and manner of access of an exclusive representative to a new employee orientation in comparable public agencies, including the access provisions in other memoranda of understanding or collective bargaining agreements containing those provisions.
(G) The Legislature's findings and declarations under Section 3555.
(H) Any other facts that are normally or traditionally taken into consideration in establishing the structure, time, and manner of access of an exclusive representative to a new employee orientation.
(3) The parties shall equally share all costs of arbitration.
(4) If a city or county objects to the procedure for appointment of an arbitrator pursuant to paragraph (2), that city or county, within five days of a demand for arbitration by the exclusive representative, may request that the Public Employment Relations Board appoint a PERB Administrative Law Judge or other PERB employee to serve as the arbitrator in lieu of an arbitrator appointed by the State Mediation and Conciliation Service. The city or county shall pay for the cost of that arbitrator. The board shall appoint the arbitrator within five days of receiving that request. The same procedures, criteria, and timeline for arbitrations set forth in paragraph (2) shall apply.
(c) During the period between the effective date of this section and the expiration of an existing memorandum of understanding or collective bargaining agreement between the parties, a request to meet and confer pursuant to subdivision (a) shall reopen the existing memorandum of understanding or collective bargaining agreement solely for the limited purpose of negotiating an agreement regarding access of the exclusive representative to new employee orientations. Either party may elect to negotiate a side letter or similar agreement in lieu of reopening the existing memorandum of understanding or collective bargaining agreement. This section, however, does not abrogate existing agreements between public agencies and recognized employee organizations.
(d) This section does not prohibit agreements between a public employer and an exclusive representative that provide for new employee orientations that vary from the requirements of this chapter. If such an agreement is negotiated, the requirements of this chapter shall not apply to the extent that they are inconsistent with the agreement. In the absence of a mutual agreement regarding new employee orientations, all of the requirements of this chapter shall apply.
(e) A public employer identified in subdivision (a) of Section 3555.5 does not unlawfully support or favor an employee organization or encourage employees to join any organization in preference to another as prohibited by subdivision (d) of Section 3506.5, subdivision (d) of Section 3519, subdivision (d) of Section 3543.5, or subdivision (d) of Section 3571 of this code, or subdivision (d) of Section 99563.7 of the Public Utilities Code, or any other state law, by permitting a recognized employee organization or an exclusive representative the opportunity to present at new employee orientations as required by this section or consistent with a negotiated agreement pursuant to this section.
(f) This section is not intended to modify the scope of bargaining or representation under any applicable employer-employee relations statute.
(g) A provision in a memorandum of understanding reached pursuant to Section 3517.5, and in effect on the effective date of the act adding this section, regarding the access of an exclusive representative to a new employee orientation shall control for the duration of that agreement, and the rights and duties established by this section shall apply only upon expiration of the agreement. The provisions of Section 12301.24 of the Welfare and Institutions Code regarding the access of representatives of a recognized employee organization to an orientation shall control with respect to public employers and exclusive representatives who are governed by the provisions of that section.
(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 363, Sec. 3.)