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SB-1156 Agricultural employer-employee collective bargaining and mediation.(2001-2002)

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SB1156:v93#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 1156
CHAPTER 1145

An act to add Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 1164) to Part 3.5 of Division 2 of the Labor Code, relating to agricultural labor relations.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  September 30, 2002. Approved by Governor  September 30, 2002. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1156, Burton. Agricultural employer-employee collective bargaining and mediation.
Existing law establishes a procedure pursuant to which backstretch employees working for a licensed trainer or horseman in the horse racing industry may join a labor organization for purposes of collective bargaining with their employers. It authorizes the California Horse Racing Board to order the parties to engage in good faith negotiations for employment agreements on an individual employer basis and to participate in mandatory mediation if no agreement is reached. If an impasse is declared the board may appoint an arbitrator to determine the issues and issue a binding order. Existing law authorizes specified disputes to be adjudicated by the stewards, who have the authority to order any remedy therefor, and authorizes the California Horse Racing Board to require the parties to submit to binding arbitration subject to judicial review.
This bill would provide a mediation procedure applicable to specified agricultural employers and a labor organization certified as the exclusive bargaining agent of a bargaining unit of agricultural employees. It would permit either party to file with the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, following a specified period, a declaration that the parties have failed to reach a collective bargaining agreement. It would require the board, upon receipt of a declaration pursuant to this procedure, to immediately issue an order directing the parties to mandatory mediation and conciliation of the issues for a specified period.
This bill would require the mediator, if the parties do not resolve the issues to their mutual satisfaction, to certify that the mediation process has been exhausted. It would require the mediator to issue a report that determines all unresolved issues and establishes the final terms of a collective bargaining agreement.
This bill would permit either party, within a specified period, to petition the board to review the mediator’s report, and would permit the board to accept for review only those portions of a petition that establish a prima facie case of grounds therefor, as specified. It would require the board, if it does not accept a petition for review, to issue an order confirming the mediator’s report and order it into immediate effect. It would require the board, if it finds grounds to grant review, to order the provisions of the report that are not the subject of the petition for review into effect as a final order of the board. If the board does not accept a petition for review the mediator’s report would become the final order of the board.
This bill would require the board to issue a decision concerning the petition and under specified conditions to issue an order requiring modification of the collective bargaining agreement in the mediator’s report. It would require the mediator to meet with the parties for an additional mediation period and, at the end of this mediation period, to prepare a 2nd report resolving any outstanding issues, and to file it with the board.
This bill would permit either party within a specified period after the issuance of the mediator’s 2nd report, to petition the board for a review of the mediator’s 2nd report. If no petition is filed, the mediator’s report would take immediate effect as a final order of the board. If a petition is filed, the board would be required to issue an order confirming the mediator’s report and order it into immediate effect, unless it finds that the report is subject to review on any of the grounds specified by this bill, in which case the board shall determine the issues and shall order the mediator’s report, as modified by the board, into immediate effect as a final order of the board. It would permit the board to set aside the mediator’s report on specified grounds.
This bill would permit either party, within a specified period after the mediator’s report takes effect, to file an action to enforce the provisions of the mediator’s report, as specified. It would also permit either party, within a specified period after the mediator’s report takes effect, to petition for a writ of review in the court of appeal or the California Supreme Court for a writ of review, and would specify the basis for review by the court.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares that a need exists for a mediation procedure in order to ensure a more effective collective bargaining process between agricultural employers and agricultural employees, and thereby more fully attain the purposes of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act, ameliorate the working conditions and economic standing of agricultural employees, create stability in the agricultural labor force, and promote California’s economic well-being by ensuring stability in its most vital industry.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 1164) is added to Part 3.5 of Division 2 of the Labor Code, to read:
CHAPTER  6.5. Contract Dispute Resolution

1164.
 (a) An agricultural employer or a labor organization certified as the exclusive bargaining agent of a bargaining unit of agricultural employees may file with the board, at any time following 90 days after certification of the labor organization, a declaration that the parties have failed to reach a collective bargaining agreement and a request that the board issue an order directing the parties to mandatory mediation and conciliation of their issues. “Agricultural employer,” for purposes of this chapter, means an agricultural employer, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1140.4, who has employed or engaged 25 or more agricultural employees during any calendar week in the year preceding the filing of a declaration pursuant to this subdivision.
(b) Upon receipt of a declaration pursuant to subdivision (a), the board shall immediately issue an order directing the parties to mandatory mediation and conciliation of their issues. The board shall request from the California State Mediation and Conciliation Service a list of nine mediators who have experience in labor mediation. The California State Mediation and Conciliation Service may include names chosen from its own mediators, or from a list of names supplied by the American Arbitration Association or the Federal Mediation Service. The parties shall select a mediator from the list within seven days of receipt of the list. If the parties cannot agree on a mediator, they shall strike names from the list until a mediator is chosen by process of elimination. If a party refuses to participate in selecting a mediator, the other party may choose a mediator from the list. The costs of mediation and conciliation shall be borne equally by the parties.
(c) Upon appointment, the mediator shall immediately schedule meetings at a time and location reasonably accessible to the parties. Mediation shall proceed for a period of 30 days. Upon expiration of the 30-day period, if the parties do not resolve the issues to their mutual satisfaction, the mediator shall certify that the mediation process has been exhausted. Upon mutual agreement of the parties, the mediator may extend the mediation period for an additional 30 days.
(d) Within 21 days, the mediator shall file a report with the board that resolves all of the issues between the parties and establishes the final terms of a collective bargaining agreement, including all issues subject to mediation and all issues resolved by the parties prior to the certification of the exhaustion of the mediation process. With respect to any issues in dispute between the parties, the report shall include the basis for the mediator’s determination. The mediator’s determination shall be supported by the record.

1164.3.
 (a) Either party, within seven days of the filing of the report by the mediator, may petition the board for review of the report. The petitioning party shall, in the petition, specify the particular provisions of the mediator’s report for which it is seeking review by the board and shall specify the specific grounds authorizing review by the board. The board, within 10 days of receipt of a petition, may accept for review those portions of the petition for which a prima facie case has been established that (1) a provision of the collective bargaining agreement set forth in the mediator’s report is unrelated to wages, hours, or other conditions of employment within the meaning of Section 1155.2, or (2) a provision of the collective bargaining agreement set forth in the mediator’s report is based on clearly erroneous findings of material fact.
(b) If it finds grounds exist to grant review within the meaning of subdivision (a), the board shall order the provisions of the report that are not the subject of the petition for review into effect as a final order of the board. If the board does not accept a petition for review or no petition for review is filed, then the mediator’s report shall become a final order of the board.
(c) The board shall issue a decision concerning the petition and if it determines that a provision of the collective bargaining agreement contained in the mediator’s report violates the provisions of subdivision (a), it shall issue an order requiring the mediator to modify the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. The mediator shall meet with the parties for additional mediation for a period not to exceed 30 days. At the expiration of this mediation period, the mediator shall prepare a second report resolving any outstanding issues. The second report shall be filed with the board.
(d) Either party, within seven days of the filing of the mediator’s second report, may petition the board for a review of the mediator’s second report pursuant to the procedures specified in subdivision (a). If no petition is filed, the mediator’s report shall take immediate effect as a final order of the board. If a petition is filed, the board shall issue an order confirming the mediator’s report and order it into immediate effect, unless it finds that the report is subject to review for any of the grounds specified in subdivision (a), in which case the board shall determine the issues and shall issue a final order of the board.
(e) Either party, within seven days of the filing of the report by the mediator, may petition the board to set aside the report if a prima facie case is established that any of the following have occurred: (1) the mediator’s report was procured by corruption, fraud, or other undue means, (2) there was corruption in the mediator, or (3) the rights of the petitioning party were substantially prejudiced by the misconduct of the mediator. For the sole purpose of interpreting the terms of paragraphs (1), (2), and (3), case law that interprets similar terms used in Section 1286.2 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall apply. If the board finds that any of these grounds exist, the board shall within 10 days vacate the report of the mediator and shall order the selection and appointment of a new mediator, and an additional mediation period of 30 days, pursuant to Section 1164.
(f) Within 60 days after the order of the board takes effect, either party or the board may file an action to enforce the order of the board, in the superior court for the County of Sacramento or in the county where the parties’ principal place of business is located. No final order of the board shall be stayed during any appeal under this section, unless the court finds that (1) the appellant will be irreparably harmed by the implementation of the board’s order, and (2) the appellant has demonstrated a likelihood of success on appeal.

1164.5.
 (a) Within 30 days after the order of the board takes effect, a party may petition for a writ of review in the court of appeal or the California Supreme Court. If the writ issues, it shall be made returnable at a time and place specified by court order and shall direct the board to certify its record in the case to the court within the time specified. The petition for review shall be served personally upon the executive director of the board and the nonappealing party personally or by service.
(b) The review by the court shall not extend further than to determine, on the basis of the entire record, whether any of the following occurred:
(1) The board acted without, or in excess of, its powers or jurisdiction.
(2) The board has not proceeded in the manner required by law.
(3) The order or decision of the board was procured by fraud or was an abuse of discretion.
(4) The order or decision of the board violates any right of the petitioner under the Constitution of the United States or the California Constitution.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit the court to hold a trial de novo, to take evidence other than as specified by the California Rules of Court, or to exercise its independent judgment on the evidence.

1164.7.
 (a) The board and each party to the action or proceeding before the mediator may appear in the review proceeding. Upon the hearing, the court of appeal or the Supreme Court shall enter judgment either affirming or setting aside the order of the board.
(b) The provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure relating to writs of review shall, so far as applicable, apply to proceedings instituted under this chapter.

1164.9.
 No court of this state, except the court of appeal or the Supreme Court, to the extent specified in this article, shall have jurisdiction to review, reverse, correct, or annul any order or decision of the board to suspend or delay the execution or operation thereof, or to enjoin, restrain, or interfere with the board in the performance of its official duties, as provided by law and the rules of court.

1164.11.
 This chapter shall apply to all election certifications issued by the board before and after the effective date of this chapter.

1164.13.
 The provisions of this chapter are severable. If any provision of this chapter or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.