SEIU Local 521 recently filed an unfair practice charge against the County of Monterey for its refusal to meet with workers to discuss impacts of a unilateral change to working conditions.
Click here to see the PERB charge filed. (PDF)
Management of the Resource Management Agency directed several members of the Bridge Maintenance Crew to temporarily report to work in Greenfield instead of Salinas, 42 miles away from where the majority of crew members reside. Management offered no rationale for the change, but we suspect it’s simply to save money on the backs of our members. After all, forcing employees to commute on their own time, using their own vehicles makes good business sense if you don’t care about your workforce.
Although the County has the right to transfer employees to different worksites, the law gives unions the right to negotiate over reasonably foreseeable effects of a management decision, before the decision is implemented (see PERB Decision No. 2321-M (2013) Santa Clara County Correction Peace Officers’ Association v. County of Santa Clara). This is called “impact bargaining,” or “effects bargaining.”
Despite invoking our right to effects bargaining before the transfer was implemented, Human Resources Manager Margarita Arista refused to meet. We even cited the legal precedent that supports our position, but Arista could not bring herself to even consider that management was doing anything wrong. Therefore, our Contract Enforcement Department had no choice but to file a charge with the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to enforce our rights.
Stay tuned for updates.
SEIU Local 521 members have a Contract Enforcement Department (CED) on their side.
CED works with union stewards to protect contracts, defend members facing disciplinary issues, and to advocate for better working conditions through individual and group grievances.