The City of Sierra Madre ("City") has violated Government Code Sections 3500 et seq. by violating its duty to meet and confer in good faith. More specifically, City has violated sections 3502 (right to participate in union), 3502.1 (retaliation against employee), 3505.4 (implementation of last, best and final offer), and 3506 (discrimination prohibited).
The City and the Sierra Madre Police Officers' Association ("SMPOA") have been in the process of meeting and conferring over a successor memorandum of understanding governing all matters relating to employment conditions and employer-employee relations, including, but not limited to, wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment. In doing so, the SMPOA and its members representing SMPOA during these contract negotiations, have exercised their rights under Government Code 3502.
The parties met and the City provided its last, best, and final offer. Prior to imposition in December 2011, SMPOA would receive holiday hours in a bank for time off and then cash out at the end of the year. The holidays would accrue on the day of the holiday. SMPOA received holidays for July 1, 2011 through imposition in December 2011 in accordance with this practice. During negotiations, there was no explanation that this was going to be changed in any way and holidays were not a topic of discussion at negotiations. The City's last best and final did not include anything about changing holidays. However, after imposition, the City decided to not pay holidays for the remainder of the fiscal year; thus POA was only paid for 48 hours and not the remaining 56 hours.
The City may impose its original last, best and final offer -- to the extent its provisions are legal -- after exhausting the impasse procedures. However, the City may not implement a last, best and final offer that it unilaterally revised/modified during the impasse procedures so as to include terms and conditions of employment substantially more detrimental to the SMPOA than those under its original last, best and final offer. See Govt Code 3505, 3505.4.
Furthermore, the City's actions are designed to retaliate and discriminate against SMPOA, its members, and its elected officials for exercising their rights to collectively bargain, form and participate in union activities. More specifically, the City has violated sections 3502 (right to participate in union), 3502.1 (retaliation against employee), 3505.4 (implementation of last, best, and final offer), and 3506 (discrimination prohibited). In addition, SMPOA reserves its rights to amend this charge to include additional violations.
The SMPOA requests, as a remedy for the City's actions, all of the following: (1) that the implementation of the last, best and final offer be rendered null and void and set aside, and any monies collected under the last, best, and final offer be paid back to the employees; (2) that the City be compelled to comply with the MMBA, by not implementing the terms proposed it its (sic) last, best, and final offer; (3) that the City be precluded from retroactively implementing any terms that detrimentally effect the SMPOA; (4) that the City be required to post notice that its conduct violated the MMBA; and (5) that the City be ordered to reimburse the SMPOA for all attorneys fees and costs incurred in this matter.
(So let's see if I have this right. The City of Sierra Madre has been paying the SMPD at the end of the year for any untaken vacation time. A practice that doesn't exist in private industry, by the way. But now that this unusually generous practice has been discontinued, the SMPOA's legal handlers have launched a lawsuit against the City of Sierra Madre. Be interesting to see if any Court verdict comes before or after we have begun our negotiations with other law enforcement agencies.)