CIVIL SERVICE ASSOCIATION LOCAL 400 SEIU AFL CIO v. CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

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Court of Appeal, First District, Division 4, California.

CIVIL SERVICE ASSOCIATION, LOCAL 400, SEIU, AFL-CIO, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO et al., Defendants and Respondents.

Civ. 40755.

Decided: November 16, 1977

Van Bourg, Allen, Weinberg & Roger, Victor J. Van Bourg, David A. Rosenfeld, San Francisco, for plaintiff and appellant. Thomas M. O'Connor, City Atty. of the City and County of San Francisco, James L. Lazarus, Deputy City Atty., Virginia Lum, Staff Atty., San Francisco, for defendants and respondents.

The Civil Service Association, Local 400, SEIU, AFL-CIO, appeals from a judgment denying a writ of mandate to compel the City and County of San Francisco and the board of supervisors of the city and county (respondents) to reinstate the 48-hour extended work week for counselors and senior counselors at Log Cabin Ranch and Hidden Valley Ranch, until such time as respondents have met and conferred with appellant concerning the issue of whether the extended work week should be eliminated.

Appellant is the recognized employee organization for certain of respondents' employees at the Log Cabin and Hidden Valley Ranches, centers for the detention and treatment of juveniles.

Approximately 30 years ago, respondents established a practice known as the “extended work week” at Log Cabin Ranch, and about nine years ago the extended work week was established at Hidden Valley Ranch. Under the “extended work week” practice, counselors and senior counselors worked 48 hours each week, rather that the normal 40 hours, and received eight hours of overtime pay.

On or about May 12, 1976, the board of supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco eliminated from the budget for the ensuing fiscal year the money which would have been used to pay for the overtime worked by the counselors and senior counselors at Log Cabin and Hidden Valley Ranches. This funding was eliminated during the normal public hearings involved in the budgetary process. As a result of this budgetary decision by the board of supervisors, the counselors and senior counselors were only required to work a normal work week and were not required to work eight hours of overtime. Consequently, their salaries reflected this loss of overtime pay.

The trial court denied the writ, taking the view that “The deletion of funds from a department budget which would have been used to make overtime payments is a strictly legislative matter and, consequently, is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Board of Supervisors and therefore not an appropriate subject for meeting and conferring.”

Appellant contends that, under Government Code section 3505,[FN1] respondents were required to meet and confer in good faith, upon request, with appellant, concerning the elimination of the extended work week, prior to the actual elimination of that practice. Appellant is correct in its contention.

Under section 3504.5[FN2] respondents are required to give reasonable, written notice to appellant, as a “recognized employee organization,” of any proposal for legislative action “directly relating to matters within the scope of representation.” (International Assn. of Fire Fighters Union v. City of Pleasanton (1976) 56 Cal.App.3d 959, 969, 129 Cal.Rptr. 68.) “(M)atters within the scope of representation” include all matters relating to employment conditions and employer-employee relations, including, but not limited to, wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment (s 3504).[FN3] The elimination of the long-standing overtime practice, in the present case, was directly related to the counselors' and senior counselors' “hours” of employment and, upon appellant's request for a conference on the matter, was clearly a mandatory negotiable subject under the statute. (See Dublin Professional Firefighters, Local 1885 v. Valley Community Services Dist. (1975) 45 Cal.App.3d 116, 119, 119 Cal.Rptr. 182; see also Fire Fighters Union v. City of Vallejo (1974) 12 Cal.3d 608, 616-618, 116 Cal.Rptr. 507, 526 P.2d 971; Huntington Beach Police Officers' Assn. v. City of Huntington Beach (1976) 58 Cal.App.3d 492, 503-504, 129 Cal.Rptr. 893; International Assn. of Firefighters Union v. City of Pleasanton, supra, 56 Cal.App.3d 959, 971-973, 129 Cal.Rptr. 68.) There was no evidence, and no finding, that respondents gave written notice to appellant as required by section 3504.5.

Under section 3505, respondents were required to “meet and confer in good faith” with the employees organization, concerning the elimination of the overtime employment condition “prior to arriving at a determination of policy or course of action” on the matter. (Dublin Professional Firefighters, Local 1885 v. Valley Community Services Dist., supra, 45 Cal.App.3d 116, 118-119, 119 Cal.Rptr. 182; International Assn. of Firefighters Union v. City of Pleasanton, supra, 56 Cal.App.3d 959, 971-973, 129 Cal.Rptr. 68.) Section 3505 also provides that: “ ‘Meet and confer in good faith’ means that a public agency, or such representatives as it may designate, and representatives of recognized employee organizations, shall have the mutual obligation personally to meet and confer promptly upon request by either party and continue for a reasonable period of time in order to exchange freely information, opinions, and proposals, and to endeavor to reach agreement on matters within the scope of representation prior to the adoption by the public agency of its final budget for the ensuing year. The process should include adequate time for the resolution of impasses where specific procedures for such resolution are contained in local rule, regulation, or ordinance, or when such procedures are utilized by mutual consent.”

The ultimate act of fixing compensation for city employees is, of course, a municipal legislative function. (Bagley v. City of Manhattan Beach (1976) 18 Cal.3d 22, 25, 132 Cal.Rptr. 668, 553 P.2d 1140; San Leandro Police Officers Assn. v. City of San Leandro (1976) 55 Cal.App.3d 553, 557, 127 Cal.Rptr. 856.) The provisions of the statute do not limit the board's legislative power to fix salaries or its power ultimately to adopt a policy eliminating the extended work week but, upon appellant's request, respondents were obligated to consult with the union before eliminating the overtime practice. The “meet and confer” sessions do not impinge on the legislative power vested in the board of supervisors (see Los Angeles County Employees Assn., Local 660 v. County of Los Angeles (1973) 33 Cal.App.3d 1, 7-8, 108 Cal.Rptr. 625), but rather provide “a useful channel through which employee representatives may voice suggestions” as to how the board's discretion in salary matters should be exercised (see City and County of San Francisco v. Cooper (1975) 13 Cal.3d 898, 922, 120 Cal.Rptr. 707, 534 P.2d 403) and help promote full communication between the public employer and its employees (see Dublin Professional Firefighters, Local 1885 v. Valley Community Services Dist., supra, 45 Cal.App.3d 116, 119, 119 Cal.Rptr. 182).

The judgment is reversed with directions to the superior court to issue a writ of mandate reinstating the extended work week until respondents have met and conferred with appellant.

FOOTNOTES

FOOTNOTE.  

1.  Unless otherwise designated, all statutory references hereinafter are to the Government Code.

2.  Section 3504.5 provides:Except in cases of emergency as provided in this section, the governing body of a public agency, and boards and commissions designated by law or by such governing body, shall give reasonable written notice to each recognized employee organization affected of any ordinance, rule, resolution, or regulation directly relating to matters within the scope of representation proposed to be adopted by the governing body or such boards and commissions and shall give such recognized employee organization the opportunity to meet with the governing body or such boards and commissions.In cases of emergency when the governing body or such boards and commissions determine that an ordinance, rule, resolution or regulation must be adopted immediately without prior notice or meeting with a recognized employee organization, the governing body or such boards and commissions shall provide such notice and opportunity to meet at the earliest practicable time following the adoption of such ordinance, rule, resolution, or regulation.

3.  Section 3504 provides:The scope of representation shall include all matters relating to employment conditions and employer-employee relations, including, but not limited to, wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment, except, however, that the scope of representation shall not include consideration of the merits, necessity, or organization of any service or activity provided by law or executive order.

THE COURT: [FN*] FN* Before Rattigan, Acting P. J., Christian, J., Rothenberg, J., under assignment by the Chairman of the Judicial Council.