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SB-598 Sacramento Regional Transit District: employee relations.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/19/2021 04:00 AM
SB598:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 598


Introduced by Senator Pan

February 18, 2021


An act to amend, renumber, and add Sections 102410 of, and to add Sections 102398, 102399, and 102403.5 to, the Public Utilities Code, relating to public employment.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 598, as introduced, Pan. Sacramento Regional Transit District: employee relations.
Existing law establishes the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) in state government as a means of resolving disputes and enforcing the statutory duties and rights of specified public employers and employees under various acts regulating collective bargaining, including the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act. Existing law includes within PERB’s jurisdiction the resolution of disputes alleging violation of rules and regulations adopted by a public agency, as defined, concerning unit determinations, representations, recognition, and elections, as specified. Existing law does not apply the above provisions to employees of specified transit agencies, including the Sacramento Regional Transit District, among others.
Existing law establishes the Sacramento Regional Transit District and designates it a rapid transit district. Existing law provides that district employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, assist, or join labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection. Existing law provides that the district has an obligation to bargain in good faith with a duly designated or certified labor organization and to execute a written collective bargaining agreement with such labor organization, as specified. Existing law provides that the duly designated or certified labor organization shall also have the obligation to bargain in good faith.
This bill would grant PERB jurisdiction to enforce these labor provisions applicable to the Sacramento Regional Transit District and would require employers and employees to adjudicate complaints of specified labor violations before PERB as an unfair labor practice. The bill would provide that exclusive representatives have the right to represent their bargaining units in employer-employee relations with the district, and employees have the right to be represented by their exclusive representative. The bill would require the district to give reasonable written notice to an exclusive representative of its intent to make any changes to matters within the scope of representation for purposes of providing the exclusive representative a reasonable amount of time to negotiate with the district regarding the proposed changes. The bill would also make it unlawful for the district or an employee organization to engage in certain acts, including imposing or threatening to impose reprisals on employees, or refusing to meet and negotiate in good faith in mutually agreed upon impasse procedures. By requiring the district transit agencies to adjudicate claims before PERB, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute for the Sacramento Regional Transit District.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 102398 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

102398.
 As used in this chapter, the following definitions apply:
(a) “District” means the Sacramento Regional Transit District, including all operations and extensions of its transportation system, regardless of modality or vehicle type, and excluding all temporary bus lines.
(b) “Employee organization” means an organization that includes employees of the district that has as one of its primary purposes representing those employees in their relations with the district. “Employee organization” shall also include any person of the organization authorized to act on its behalf.
(c) “Exclusive representative” means an accredited employee organization recognized or certified as the exclusive negotiating representative of employees in an appropriate unit within the district.

SEC. 2.

 Section 102399 is added to the Public Utilities Code, immediately following Section 102398, to read:

102399.
 (a) It is a primary purpose of this chapter to promote the improvement of personnel management and employer-employee relations within the district by providing a uniform basis for recognizing the right of employees to join employee organizations of their own choice, to be represented, to select one employee organization as the exclusive representative of the employees in an appropriate unit, and to afford employees a voice at work.
(b) The Public Employment Relations Board established pursuant to Section 3541 of the Government Code, and the powers and duties of that board, as described in Section 3541.3 of the Government Code, shall have jurisdiction, as appropriate, to enforce this chapter.

SEC. 3.

 Section 102403.5 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

102403.5.
 (a) Exclusive representatives shall have the right to represent their bargaining unit members in employer-employee relations with the district, and employees shall have the right to be represented by their exclusive representative.
(b) This chapter is not intended to adversely affect any rights afforded to exclusive representatives or district employees under existing law, as it may be amended from time to time.

SEC. 4.

 Section 102404 of the Public Utilities Code is amended and renumbered to read:

102404.102411.
 Whenever the district acquires existing facilities from a publicly or privately owned public utility, either in proceedings by eminent domain or otherwise, the district shall assume and observe all existing pension and labor contracts. To the extent necessary for operation of facilities, all of the employees of such acquired public utility whose duties pertain to the facilities acquired shall be appointed to comparable positions in the district without examination, subject to all the rights and benefits of this part, and these employees shall be given sick leave, seniority, vacation, and pension credits in accordance with the records and labor agreements of the acquired public utility. Members and beneficiaries of any pension or retirement system or other benefits established by that public utility shall continue to have the rights, privileges, benefits, obligations, and status with respect to such established system. No employee of any acquired public utility shall suffer any worsening of his their wages, seniority, pension, vacation, or other benefits by reason of the acquisition.
The district may extend the benefits of this section to officers or supervisory employees of the acquired public utility.

SEC. 5.

 Section 102404 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

102404.
 The district shall give reasonable written notice to an exclusive representative of its intent to make any change to matters within the scope of representation of the employees represented by the exclusive representative for purposes of providing the exclusive representative a reasonable amount of time to negotiate with the district regarding the proposed changes.

SEC. 6.

 Section 102405 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

102405.
 It is unlawful for the district to do any of the following:
(a) Impose or threaten to impose reprisals on employees, to discriminate or threaten to discriminate against employees, or otherwise to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees because of their exercise of rights guaranteed to them by this chapter. As used in this subdivision, “employee” includes an applicant for employment or reemployment with the district.
(b) Deny employee organizations rights guaranteed to them by this chapter.
(c) Refuse or fail to meet and negotiate in good faith with an exclusive representative. Knowingly providing an exclusive representative with inaccurate information, whether or not it is in response to a request for information, constitutes a refusal or failure of the district to meet and negotiate in good faith with the exclusive representative.
(d) Dominate or interfere with the formation or administration of any employee organization, or contribute financial or other support to it, or in any way encourage employees to join any employee organization in preference to another.
(e) Refuse to participate in good faith in mutually agreed upon impasse procedures.

SEC. 7.

 Section 102405 of the Public Utilities Code is amended and renumbered to read:

102405.102412.
 The district shall not contract with any company, person, or public agency for such company, person, or public agency to provide transit facilities or services or acquire any existing system, or part thereof, whether by purchase, lease, condemnation, or otherwise, nor shall the district dispose of or lease any transit system, or of its system, or part thereof, nor merge, consolidate, or coordinate any transit system or part thereof, unless it shall first have made adequate provision for any employees who are, or may be, displaced. The terms and conditions of such provision shall be a proper subject of collective bargaining.

SEC. 8.

 Section 102406 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

102406.
 It is unlawful for an employee organization to do any of the following:
(a) Impose or threaten to impose reprisals on employees, discriminate or threaten to discriminate against employees, or otherwise interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees because of their exercise of rights guaranteed to them by this chapter.
(b) Refuse or fail to meet and negotiate in good faith with the district concerning any of the employees of which it is the exclusive representative.
(c) Refuse to participate in good faith in mutually agreed upon impasse procedures.

SEC. 9.

 Section 102406 of the Public Utilities Code is amended and renumbered to read:

102406.102413.
 Notwithstanding the provisions of the Government Code, employees of this district may authorize and, upon such authorization, the district shall make deductions from wages and salaries of such employees pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement with a duly designated or certified labor organization:
(a) For the payment of union dues, fees, or assessments.
(b) For the payment of contributions pursuant to any health and welfare plan or pension or retirement plan.
(c) For any purpose for which deductions may be authorized by employees of any private employer.

SEC. 10.

 Section 102407 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

102407.
 (a) This chapter shall not displace, or supplant, the requirements of Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 3610) of Division 4.5 of Title 1 of the Government Code, and the impasse resolution and injunctive relief procedures provided for pursuant to Sections 3612 to 3614, inclusive, of the Government Code shall remain exclusive.
(b) The initial determination as to whether the charge of unfair practice is justified and, if so, the appropriate remedy necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter, is a matter within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Public Employment Relations Board, except that in an action to recover damages due to an unlawful strike, the Public Employment Relations Board shall have no authority to award strike-preparation expenses as damages, and shall have no authority to award damages for costs, expenses, or revenue losses incurred during, or as a consequence of, an unlawful strike.

SEC. 11.

 Section 102407 of the Public Utilities Code is amended and renumbered to read:

102407.12414.
 The obligation of the district to bargain in good faith with a duly designated or certified labor organization and to execute a written collective bargaining agreement with such labor organization covering the wages, hours, and working conditions of the employees represented by such labor organization in an appropriate unit, and to comply with the terms thereof, shall not be limited or restricted by any provision of law. The obligation of the district to bargain collectively shall extend to all subjects of collective bargaining which are or may be proper subjects of collective bargaining with a private employer, including retroactive provisions. The duly designated or certified labor organization shall also have the obligation to bargain in good faith.

SEC. 12.

 Section 102408 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

102408.
 (a) Any charging party, respondent, or intervenor aggrieved by a final decision or order of the Public Employment Relations Board in an unfair practice case, except a decision of that board not to issue a complaint in such a case, may petition for a writ of extraordinary relief from that decision or order.
(b) A petition for a writ of extraordinary relief shall be filed in the district court of appeal having jurisdiction over any county in which the district operates. The petition shall be filed within 30 days from the date of the issuance of the Public Employment Relations Board’s final decision or order, or order denying reconsideration, as applicable. Upon the filing of the petition, the court shall cause notice to be served upon the Public Employment Relations Board and thereafter shall have jurisdiction of the proceeding. The Public Employment Relations Board shall file in the court the record of the proceeding, certified by that board, within 10 days after the clerk’s notice unless that time is extended by the court for good cause shown. The court shall have jurisdiction to grant any temporary relief or restraining order it deems just and proper, and in like manner to make and enter a decree enforcing, modifying, and enforcing as modified, or setting aside in whole or in part the decision or order of the Public Employment Relations Board. The findings of the Public Employment Relations Board with respect to questions of fact, including ultimate facts, if supported by substantial evidence on the record considered as a whole, shall be conclusive. Title 1 (commencing with Section 1067) of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure relating to writs shall, except where specifically superseded by this section, apply to proceedings pursuant to this section.
(c) If the time to petition for extraordinary relief from a Public Employment Relations Board decision or order has expired, the Public Employment Relations Board may seek enforcement of any final decision or order in a district court of appeal or superior court having jurisdiction over the county where the events giving rise to the decision or order occurred. The Public Employment Relations Board shall respond within 10 days to any inquiry from a party to the action as to why the Public Employment Relations Board has not sought court enforcement of the final decision or order. If the response does not indicate that there has been compliance with the Public Employment Relations Board’s final decision or order, the Public Employment Relations Board shall seek enforcement of the final decision or order upon the request of the party. The Public Employment Relations Board shall file in the court the record of the proceeding, certified by that board, and appropriate evidence disclosing the failure to comply with the decision or order. If, after hearing, the court determines that the order was issued pursuant to the procedures established by the Public Employment Relations Board and that the person or entity refuses to comply with the order, the court shall enforce the order by writ of mandamus or other proper process. The court may not review the merits of the order.

SEC. 13.

 Section 102408 of the Public Utilities Code is amended and renumbered to read:

102408.102415.
 The district shall take such steps as may be necessary to obtain coverage for the district and its employees under Subchapter II of the Federal Social Security Act, as amended, and the related provisions of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act, as amended.

SEC. 14.

 Section 102409 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

102409.
 This chapter, as amended by the act adding this section, shall not be interpreted as if it were in conflict with any collective bargaining agreement and shall not be implemented to abrogate an agreement entered into before January 1, 2021, between the district and an employee organization. Sections 102405 to 102408, inclusive, shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the Public Employment Relations Board’s interpretation of parallel provisions in other statutes it enforces.

SEC. 15.

 Section 102409 of the Public Utilities Code is amended and renumbered to read:

102409.102416.
 The district shall take such steps as may be necessary to obtain coverage for the district and its employees under the workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation disability, and unemployment insurance laws of the State of California.

SEC. 16.

 Section 102410 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

102410.
  Chapter 11.5 (commencing with Section 3555) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code applies to the district and its employees. Notwithstanding subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (i) of Section 3558.8 of the Government Code, the district is a public employer for purposes of Chapter 11.5 (commencing with Section 3555) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code.

SEC. 17.

 Section 102410 of the Public Utilities Code is amended and renumbered to read:

102410.102417.
 In the event an exclusive collective bargaining representative is selected pursuant to Section 102403, the provisions of Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 3500), Division 4, Title 1 of the Government Code are not applicable to the district.

SEC. 18.

 The Legislature finds and declares that a special statute is necessary and that a general statute cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution because of the unique need of the Sacramento Regional Transit District to efficiently and cost-effectively adjudicate unfair labor practice complaints.

SEC. 19.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.