PERB Rules Employees Entitled to Reasonable Paid Released Time to Prepare for Negotiations
April 3, 2019 by Andrew Baker
Most of California’s public sector labor relations statutes require employers to grant employees reasonable released time to participate in the meet and confer process. In 1978, PERB issued a decision that noted – as an aside – that this requirement did not include time to prepare for the meet and confer process. PERB has now issued a decision overturning this 1978 decision, making clear that the right to released time includes time to prepare for negotiations. (Oroville Union High School Dist. (2/22/19) PERB Dec. No. 2627.)
In its decision, PERB emphasized that the right to released time to prepare for negotiations is subject to a reasonableness standard. PERB also pointed out that the parties are free to reach their own agreement on a particular amount of released time for preparation.
In the Oroville case, PERB ruled that under the particular circumstances presented, including the complexity, timing and importance of issues under consideration, the Union’s request for a single day of released time between bargaining sessions was reasonable.
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