On Monday, Governor Newsom signed SB 270 (Durazo) to create penalties for public sector employers who refuse to provide information on their new hires and employees for purposes of contact by the bargaining representatives.
Several years ago, IBEW 1245 joined with other unions to advocate for a bill that requires public sector employers to give unions the opportunity to connect and meet with new hires in order to inform them of their rights as union members. That bill was enacted into law, but it did not contain any penalties for employers who fail to follow it – and as a result, a good number of these public agency employers have ignored the law, and have purposefully withheld new employee contact information from the unions that represent them. The list of employees’ contact information is vital, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. To be able to represent our members to the best of our ability, we need to have their contact information.
Organized labor has been working for the past three years to pass legislation that holds public sector employers accountable for failing to comply with this law. SB 270 will do just that, by enacting a process of enforcement at the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). When public employers fail to provide the employee list, this bill will allow PERB to review the case and decide if penalties or other remedies can resolve the problem. SB 270 also provides the employer with an opportunity to cure the violation before penalties are imposed.
This is a big win for organized labor, and for all employees in the public sector.
–Hunter Stern, IBEW 1245 Assistant Business Manager