Employees who work for San Diego Count and belong to an employee organization the county recognizes can count on new procedures for settling facts to resolve a dispute over wages, hours, or other terms and conditions of employment. County supervisors last week amended the county's Labor Relations Ordinance to keep employees on track after an organization requests fact finding.
Employee organizations will not have to compromise on a position on an issue disputed with the county without a full fact finding process. A fact finding process has been mandatory following requests by an organization covered by the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act since January 1st in 2012. Old procedures in the ordinance were called into question by enactment of the new law.
Communications between the county and its employee organizations done to improve labor relations or keep them steady are kept "uniform and orderly" by the procedures written in the ordinance.
The new procedures in the ordinance make the fact finding process clear and timely.
Investigations and hearings will move ahead on a set schedule.
Even if investigations done by the county, and a public hearing, can not help resolve a dispute with an employee organization that continues though meetings and talks can not carry through, county employees can still count on proving disputed facts true or false.
Following an impasse, once fact finding is requested, a panel of neutral citizens will be selected within 10 days to settle the facts. The public hearing will last 30 days, without an extension for brief filings unless the parties mutually agree.
Deciding an employee organization's group of county employees now will take a minority vote of support. The former need to call up at least 50 percent of employees in a unit to decertify the current employee organization to give a new organization an opportunity to take its place in the unit, or give a group of employees an opportunity to leave the organization, has come to an end. A more practical 35 percent vote is all that is now needed.
Actions taken to organize the rank and file employees will not get halted by a need to gain broad agreement, but overzealous union actions can get headed off at the workplace.
Organization representatives who take up the task of talking to employees at a county workplace to recruit and organize them have to keep their actions within limits. Doing the organization work among the employees at work may not disrupt their work on the county's operations.
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