Friday, December 10, 2010

PERB Issues 2009-2010 Annual Report

PERB recently released its annual report for fiscal year 2009-2010. (The report is available here.) Here are the highlights for the 200-2010 fiscal year:

Unfair Practice Charges

802 unfair practice charges (UPCs) were filed in fiscal year 2009-10. This represents a 7.6% decrease from fiscal year 2008-09 in which 868 UPCs filed. It’s also the lowest number of UPCs filed since 2002, when 802 UPCs were also filed.

The decrease in UPCs can be attributed to the Dills Act (82 UPCs versus 167 in 2008-09) and MMBA (267 UPCs versus 310 in 2008-09). UPCs under EERA stayed roughly the same (308 UPCs versus 303 in 2008-09) and actually increased under HEERA (117 UPCs versus 72 in 2008-09).

The decrease in UPC filings goes against the prediction I made last year. I had thought that with the economic situation UPCs would increase under EERA and the MMBA. That turned out not to be the case. However, I know many local entities entered into short-term deals requiring furloughs and temporary concessions. Many of those deals will need to be renegotiated this year. So I anticipate UPC filings in 2010-11 under EERA and MMBA will at least stay the same if not increase.

In contrast, I think we will see a continued decrease in UPCs under the Dills Act and HEERA. This is because the largest state employee unit, SEIU, now has a contract. Similarly, several large units in the UC system now have contracts too. So the level of UPCs will likely continue to drop under those two statutes.

ALJ Proposed Decisions

In 2009-10, the ALJs at PERB issued 57 proposed decisions. This is an increase from the 52 decisions issues in 2008-09. The average number of days to render a decision in 2009-10 was 86 days, a decrease from the 94 days on average it took to render a decision in 2008-09.

Year: # of Proposed Decisions (Average # of Days)

2009-10: 57 (86)

2008-09: 52 (94)

2007-08: 44 (94)

2006-07: 41 (85)

2005-06: 46 (100)

2004-05: 49 (63)

2003-04: 47 (53)

2002-03: 52 (53)

Board Decisions

For 2009-10, the Board itself issued 79 decisions. It also considered 13 injunctive relief (IR) requests. The 79 decisions issued represent an 11% decrease from the 89 decisions issued in 2008-09. Unfortunately, for 2010-11 I expect the number of Board decisions to further decrease. This is because the Board has only three members currently with two vacancies. Even if new members are appointed, it will take some time for them to get up to speed. Current statistics bear this out. With almost half the fiscal year over, PERB has issued 30 Board decisions. Even if a few more decisions are issued before the end of the year, and assuming PERB can remain just as productive during the second half of the fiscal year, I would expect the number of Board decisions for the full fiscal year to be in the mid- to high-60’s.

The chart below lists the number of decisions issued by the Board since 2001. (In past years, the Board has sometimes included IR requests in its decision count. So to make things easier, I have listed the number of Board decisions, IR requests, and the total.)

Year: # of Board Decisions/IR Requests/Combined Total

2009-10: 79/13/92

2008-09: 89/19/108

2007-08: 65/28/93

2006-07: 87/16/103

2005-06: 80/23/103

2004-05: 142/14/156

2003-04: 128/13/141

2002-03: 73/14/87

2001-02: 44/23/67