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



Current Version: 09/13/21 - Enrolled Compare Versions information image


SB598:v95#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  September 13, 2021
Passed  IN  Senate  September 09, 2021
Passed  IN  Assembly  September 08, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  July 01, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 16, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  April 12, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 598


Introduced by Senator Pan
(Coauthor: Assembly Member McCarty)

February 18, 2021


An act to amend Sections 102400, 102401, 102402, and 102403 of, to add Sections 102398, 102399, 102411, 102412, 102413, 102414, 102415, 102416, 102417, and 102418 to, and to repeal and add Sections 102404, 102405, 102406, 102407, 102408, 102409, and 102410 of, the Public Utilities Code, relating to public employment.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 598, 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 authorizes PERB to adopt rules and regulations to carry out its purposes, as provided. 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. The bill would require PERB to perform its duties imposed by the bill consistent with existing regulations, and would authorize PERB to make additional regulations, as specified. The bill would authorize an exclusive representative to move one or more of its bargaining units to the jurisdiction of PERB to adjudicate complaints of specified labor violations as an unfair labor practice, and would make the jurisdiction of PERB irrevocable for that bargaining unit. The bill would give PERB the exclusive jurisdiction to make the initial determination of whether the charge of unfair practice is justified and, if so, to determine the appropriate remedy necessary. 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 and its existing regulations, shall apply, as appropriate, to this chapter. The board shall perform its duties under this section consistent with its regulations and shall have the authority to make additional regulations. The board may also adopt, amend, or repeal all rules and regulations necessary to carry out this article as emergency regulations in accordance with the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code). The adoption, amendment, or repeal of regulations pursuant to this subdivision is conclusively presumed to be necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, or general welfare within the meaning of Section 11346.1 of the Government Code.

SEC. 3.

 Section 102400 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

102400.
 Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist employee 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.

SEC. 4.

 Section 102401 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

102401.
 Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, whenever a majority of the employees employed by the district in a unit appropriate for collective bargaining indicate a desire to be represented by an employee organization, the district, upon determining, as provided in Section 102403, that the employee organization represents the employees in the appropriate unit, shall enter into a written contract with the exclusive representative of the employees governing wages, salaries, hours, pensions, and working conditions. If, after a reasonable period of time, representatives of the district and the exclusive representatives of the employees fail to reach agreement either on the terms of a written contract governing wages, hours, pensions, and working conditions or the interpretation or application of the terms of an existing contract, upon the agreement of both the district and the representatives of the employees, the dispute may be submitted to an arbitration board and the decision of the majority of the arbitration board shall be final and binding.
The arbitration board shall be composed of two representatives of the district, and two representatives of the employee organization, and they shall endeavor to agree upon the selection of the fifth member. If they are unable to agree, the names of five persons experienced in labor arbitration shall be obtained from the California State Mediation and Conciliation Service. The employee organization and the district shall, alternately, strike a name from the list so supplied, and the name remaining after the employee organization and the district have stricken four names, shall be designated as the arbitrator. The employee organization and the district shall determine by lot who shall first strike from the list. The decision of a majority of the arbitration board shall be final and binding upon the parties. The expenses of arbitration shall be borne equally by the parties. Each party shall bear their own costs.

SEC. 5.

 Section 102402 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

102402.
 (a) A contract or agreement shall not be made, or assumed under this article, with any employee organization, association, or group that denies membership to, or in any manner discriminates against, any employee on any basis listed in subdivision (a) of Section 12940 of the Government Code, as those bases are defined in Sections 12926 and 12926.1 of the Government Code. However, the organization may preclude from membership any individual who advocates the overthrow of the government by force or violence.
(b) The district shall not discriminate with regard to employment against any person on any basis listed in subdivision (a) of Section 12940 of the Government Code, as those bases are defined in Sections 12926 and 12926.1 of the Government Code, except as otherwise provided in Section 12940 of the Government Code.

SEC. 6.

 Section 102403 of the Public Utilities Code is amended to read:

102403.
 If there is a question whether an employee organization represents a majority of employees or whether the proposed unit is or is not appropriate, such matters shall be submitted to the California State Mediation and Conciliation Service for disposition. The California State Mediation and Conciliation Service shall promptly hold a public hearing after due notice to all interested parties and shall thereupon determine the unit appropriate for the purposes of collective bargaining. In making such determination and in establishing rules and regulations governing petitions and the conduct of hearings and elections, the California State Mediation and Conciliation Service shall be guided by relevant federal law and administrative practice, developed under the Labor-Management Relations Act, 1947, as presently amended. It is declared to be in the public interest that the district shall not express any preference for one union over another.
The California State Mediation and Conciliation Service shall provide for an election to determine the question of representation and shall certify the results to the parties. Any certification of an employee organization to represent or act for the employees in any collective bargaining unit shall not be subject to challenge on the grounds that a new substantial question of representation within such collective bargaining unit exists until the lapse of one year from the date of certification or the expiration of any collective bargaining agreement, whichever is later; provided, that no collective bargaining agreement shall be construed to be a bar to representation proceedings for a period of more than two years.

SEC. 7.

 Section 102404 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.

SEC. 8.

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

102404.
 (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. 9.

 Section 102405 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.

SEC. 10.

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

102405.
 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. 11.

 Section 102406 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.

SEC. 12.

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

102406.
 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. 13.

 Section 102407 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.

SEC. 14.

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

102407.
 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. 15.

 Section 102408 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.

SEC. 16.

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

102408.
 (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) (1) An exclusive representative may elect to move one or more of its bargaining units to the jurisdiction of the Public Employment Relations Board for unfair practice charges. Notification by the exclusive representative of such election shall be filed with the General Counsel of the Public Employment Relations Board or their designee and served on the district pursuant to applicable regulations. An election by an exclusive representative for one or more of its bargaining units to be subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Employment Relations Board shall be irrevocable for that unit.
(2) 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. 17.

 Section 102409 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.

SEC. 18.

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

102409.
 (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. 19.

 Section 102410 of the Public Utilities Code is repealed.

SEC. 20.

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

102410.
 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, 2022, 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. 21.

 Section 102411 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

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 the 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 that established system. No employee of any acquired public utility shall suffer any worsening of 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. 22.

 Section 102412 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

102412.
 The district shall not contract with any company, person, or public agency for that 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 the provision shall be a proper subject of collective bargaining.

SEC. 23.

 Section 102413 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

102413.
 Notwithstanding the provisions of the Government Code, employees of this district may authorize and, upon authorization, the district shall make deductions from wages and salaries of 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. 24.

 Section 102414 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

102414.
 The obligation of the district to bargain in good faith with a duly designated or certified employee organization and to execute a written collective bargaining agreement with that employee organization covering the wages, hours, and working conditions of the employees represented by that employee 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 that are or may be proper subjects of collective bargaining with a private employer, including retroactive provisions. The duly designated or certified employee organization shall also have the obligation to bargain in good faith.

SEC. 25.

 Section 102415 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

102415.
 The district shall take 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. 26.

 Section 102416 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

102416.
 The district shall take 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. 27.

 Section 102417 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

102417.
 In the event an exclusive collective bargaining representative is selected pursuant to Section 102403, the provisions of Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 3500) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code are not applicable to the district.

SEC. 28.

 Section 102418 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

102418.
 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. 29.

 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. 30.

 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.