Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Governor Brown Vetoes PORAC Endorsed Bill Allowing Peace Officers to File Unfair Practices with PERB

On October 14, 2017, the Governor vetoed A.B. 530, a Bill introduced by Jim Cooper to provide Penal Code 830.1 peace officers access to PERB.  Mastagni Holstedt assisted in the drafting of this PORAC supported this Bill and both David E. Mastagni and Kathleen Storm testified in favor of the Bill extending PERB's jurisdiction to all peace officers while preserving their ability to seek injunctive relief in court.

PERB possesses expertise in enforcing the MMBA and affords other local public employees access to a cost-effective administrative process to  enforce their bargaining and representational rights.  In light of the prohibition against peace officers engaging in certain job actions in response to unfair practices, A.B. 530 also authorized all peace officers to "seek injunctive relief or a writ of mandamus to preserve the status quo or prevent irreparable harm pending a final determination by the board on any issue upon which a court has not made a ruling."  Currently, non-830.1 peace officer unions may obtain similar injunctive relief, but only if PERB agrees to bring such an action.

Unfortunately, the Governor denied 830.1 peace officers access to PERB by vetoing the Bill.  He explained his veto as follows: "I am returning Assembly Bill 530 without my signature. This bill authorizes peace officers to bring unfair practice charges to the Public Employment Relations Board while preserving their existing right to directly petition a superior court for injunctive relief. No other group has both of these rights and I’m unconvinced that providing such a unique procedure is warranted."