Labor Relations: Collective Bargaining in Community College Districts

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The purpose of this workbook is to assist community college districts and their administrative and management teams in effectively administering the labor negotiation process.

The Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA) - the California law that mandates the collective bargaining responsibilities for California public school employers, including school and community college districts — refers to this process as "meeting and negotiating."  (Gov. Code §§ 3540-3549.3.) However, in light of the manner in which both the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) and the courts have interpreted the EERA, the traditional private sector term "collective bargaining" aptly describes the process.  Thus, this workbook uses these terms interchangeably.

The EERA was enacted to improve employer-employee relations within the public schools by providing a uniform basis for recognizing the right of public school employees to join and be represented by organizations of their own choosing "in their professional and employment relationships," to select an exclusive bargaining representative, and "to afford certificated employees a voice in the formulation of educational policy." (Gov. Code § 3540.)

Since the passage of EERA in 1975, labor disputes, strikes and litigation related to labor relations have been an unavoidable part of the negotiations environment.  This workbook will discuss the process of negotiations as well as substantive matters within the scope of representative.

There is a wide divergence among California community college district employers regarding collective bargaining approaches.  Most bargain collectively both with academic employees and with classified employees.  Some bargain with one group and not the other.  Some have units of supervisory employees.  Because of this diversity of experience, some workbook material may seem elementary to the reader who is an experienced labor negotiator and at the same time not sufficiently clear to the reader who is new to labor negotiations.  It is hoped, however, that the workbook as a whole will serve attendees as a helpful guide as they are involved in their employer's approach to the collective bargaining process.

Topics Include:

  • Legal Framework for Collective Bargaining in Community College Districts
    • Introduction
    • The Legal Framework for Negotiations
  • Subjects of Bargaining
    • The Contract and Past Practice
    • Scope of Representation
  • Negotiating the Collective Bargaining Agreement
    • Preparation for Negotiations
    • Negotiation Process
    • Agreement and Impasse

This document is provided as a benefit to Liebert Library subscribers and cannot be shared outside of their organization. The information contained within is a template only and is not designed to address the specific and unique issues, internal rules, practices, and/or governing documents that might be in place at your organization. You should always consult with legal counsel prior to implementation of any documents.

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