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Public School Employers Must Provide Unions Access to New Employee Orientations, and Must Negotiate the Structure, Time, and Manner

  • July 18, 2017

July 18, 2017

Effective July 1, 2017, AB 119 requires public employers (including TK-12 and Community College Districts) to provide unions with access to a new employee orientation.  The employer must give at least 10 days’ notice of a new employee orientation except when the need for orientation is urgent and unforeseeable, and, upon request, must meet and confer with unions over the structure, time, and manner of union access to orientations. (Govt. Code, § 3556.)

The requirement includes the following:

  • Public school employers must provide unions with at least 10 days’ notice of a new employee orientation.
  • Public school employers are required to meet and confer with unions, upon request, regarding the structure, time and manner of the access.
  • If no agreement is reached, within 45 days after the first negotiation session or 60 days from the request to negotiate, whichever is first, either party may initiate compulsory interest arbitration.
  • The arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding.
  • If the union’s request to meet and confer is during the term of the collective bargaining agreement, the parties must either reopen the agreement for this limited purpose or execute a side letter agreement to incorporate the union access agreement or an interest arbitration decision.

AB 119 also requires public school employers to provide unions with the following information about new unit members within 30 days of hire and at least every 120 days:

  • Name
  • Home address
  • Personal email address, and
  • Personal cell phone number.

Public school employers must immediately issue the ten day notice to their unions about new employee orientations.  Public school employers should anticipate that the unions will request to negotiate access to the orientations, although the law does not specify the nature or extent of the union’s right to participate in the orientation.

We are aware that many public school employers already have a practice of including a union meeting as part of new employee orientation. Those that do, and that do not have a written agreement formalizing the practice, should do so with the agreement of the union.

If you have questions about AB119, please contact a DWK attorney.

PRACTICE AREAS
  • Labor, Employment and Personnel

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