Chapter 2.25 EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE RELATIONS PROCEDURES, RULES AND POLICIES

Sections:

Prior legislation: Ords. 996 and 1270.

2.25.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to implement Cal. Gov’t Code ch. 10, div. 4, tit. 1, § 3500 et seq., captioned “Local Public Employee Organizations” by:

A. Providing orderly procedures for the administration of employer-employee relations between the district and its employees’ organization(s);

B. Establishing a system to resolve disputes regarding wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment; and

C. Clarifying in writing the rights and obligations of employees, employee organizations, and district management in the conduct of employer-employee relations activities. (Ord. 1270.1 § 1, 2017)

2.25.020 Definition of terms.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

“Authorized employee bargaining unit” shall mean a unit established pursuant to CVWDC 2.25.070.

“Board” shall mean the board of directors of the Coachella Valley Water District.

“Certify” shall mean the process by which the district formally acknowledges an employee organization as the exclusive recognized employee organization that represents district employees in an authorized bargaining unit.

“Consult” or “consult in good faith” shall mean to communicate orally or in writing for the purpose of presenting and obtaining views or advising of intended actions on matters outside the scope of representation, and does not involve the exchange of proposal and counter proposals in an endeavor to reach agreement.

“Days” shall mean calendar days unless otherwise stated.

“District” shall mean the Coachella Valley Water District, organized and operated pursuant to the provisions of the county water district law.

“Employee” shall mean any person regularly employed by the district except those persons elected by popular vote.

“Employee, confidential” shall mean an employee who has access to or possesses information relating to district management decisions, which affect employer-employee relations.

“Employee, management” shall mean:

1. Any employee having significant responsibilities for formulating and administering district policies and programs, including but not limited to the chief executive officer and department heads; and

2. Any employee having authority to exercise independent judgment to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or having the responsibility to direct them, adjust their grievances, or to effectively to recommend such action if the exercise of such authority is not merely clerical in nature, but requires the use of independent judgment.

“Employee organization(s)” shall mean any organization which includes employees of the district and which has as one of its primary purposes representing such employees of the district in their employment relations with the district.

“Employee, professional” shall mean employees engaged in work requiring specialized knowledge and skills attained through completion of a recognized course of instruction, including but not limited to attorneys, physicians, registered nurses, engineers, architects, teachers, and various types of physical, chemical, and biological scientists.

“Employment relations” shall mean the relationship between the district and its employees or their exclusive recognized employee organization, or, when used in a general sense, the relationship between district management and employees or their organization(s).

“Exclusive recognized employee organization” or “exclusive representative” shall mean an employee organization, or its duly authorized representative, that has been granted formal recognition by the district employee relations officer as representing the majority of employees in an authorized employee bargaining unit, or has been certified as the employee organization which received the majority of votes in a valid representation election for an authorized bargaining unit.

“General manager” shall mean the general manager-chief engineer of the Coachella Valley Water District.

“Impasse” shall mean a point in collective bargaining when the duly authorized representatives of the district and the exclusive recognized employee organization have considered each other’s proposals and counter proposals in good faith, attempted to narrow the gap of disagreement and have reached a point where their differences on matters intended to be included in a memorandum of understanding, and concerning which they are required to meet and confer, remains so substantial and prolonged that further negotiations would be futile.

“Mediation” or “conciliation” shall mean the efforts of an impartial third person, or persons, functioning as intermediaries to assist the parties in reaching a voluntary resolution to an impasse, through interpretation, suggestion, or advice. “Mediation” and “conciliation” are interchangeable terms.

“Meet and confer in good faith” (sometimes referred to herein as “meet and confer” or “meeting and conferring”) shall mean that the duly authorized representatives of the district and the exclusive recognized employee organization have the mutual obligation to meet and confer upon request by either party, at reasonable times and in good faith, in order to exchange information, opinions, and proposals regarding matters within the scope of representation in an effort to reach agreement on those matters within the authority of each party’s representatives. This does not require either party to agree to a proposal or to make a concession. The process should include adequate time for the resolution of impasses.

“Memorandum of understanding” shall mean a written document, prepared by the duly authorized representatives of the district and exclusive recognized employee organization, which sets forth those matters within the scope of representation upon which both parties have agreed.

“Ordinance” shall mean, unless the context indicates otherwise, the employer-employee relations ordinance of the Coachella Valley Water District.

“Scope of representation” shall mean all matters relating to employment conditions, including but not limited to wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment. District rights (CVWDC 2.25.040) are excluded from the scope of representation. (Ord. 1270.1 § 2, 2017)

2.25.030 Employee rights.

All employees shall have the following rights which may be exercised in accordance with state law and applicable ordinances, rules, and regulations, or as provided in a current memorandum of understanding that is in full force and effect:

A. The right to form, join, and participate in the activities of employee organizations of their own choosing for the purpose of representation on all matters of employer-employee relations.

B. The right to refuse to join or participate in the activities of employee organizations, and the right to represent themselves individually in their employment relations with the district.

C. The right to be free from interference, intimidation, restraint, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal on the part of a management employee, supervisor, other employee, or employee organization as the result of their exercise of these rights. (Ord. 1270.1 § 3, 2017)

2.25.040 District rights.

Subject to the provisions of any current memorandum of understanding, which is in full force and effect, all management rights and functions shall remain vested exclusively with the district, except those which are clearly and expressly limited in this chapter. It is recognized merely by way of illustration that such management rights and functions include but are not limited to:

A. The exclusive right to determine the mission of its constituent departments, commissions, and boards;

B. The right to set standards of service, to determine the number and location of employees, and to exercise complete control and discretion over the organization and technology of performing its work;

C. The right to determine the procedures and standards of selection for employment and promotion, as well as to determine the content of job classifications;

D. The right to hire, promote, classify, discipline, demote, lay off, and transfer employees, as well as to set and enforce performance standards;

E. The right to direct its employees, take disciplinary action, relieve its employees from duty due to lack of work or other legitimate reasons, and schedule and assign work and overtime; and

F. The right to maintain the efficiency of governmental operations, to determine the methods, means, and personnel by which government operations are to be conducted, and to contract out services. (Ord. 1270.1 § 4, 2017)

2.25.050 Designation of district employee relations officer.

The district shall designate a district employee relations officer. This officer shall be the district’s principal representative in all matters of employer-employee relations, with authority to meet and confer in good faith on matters within the scope of representation, pursuant to the requirements and provisions of CVWDC 2.25.080. The district employee relations officer is authorized to delegate these duties and responsibilities to other agents or parties. (Ord. 1270.1 § 5, 2017)

2.25.060 Representation proceedings.

Representation proceedings are administered by the district employee relations officer, both to resolve questions concerning representation and to determine the exclusive recognized employee organization for authorized employee bargaining units.

A. Recognition Requests and Petitions. An employee organization that seeks to become the exclusive recognized employee organization of an authorized employee bargaining unit may file a voluntary recognition request, or a petition for certification or decertification, as applicable.

1. Recognition Requests. A voluntary recognition is appropriate where an employee organization desires to become the exclusive recognized employee organization of an unrepresented authorized employee bargaining unit, without an election, based on a showing that a majority of the employees in the unit desire representation by such employee organization. Voluntary recognition is not appropriate where another employee organization has previously been recognized as the exclusive representative of all or part of the same bargaining unit.

a. Content and Timing of Voluntary Request for Recognition. An employee organization shall file a petition at any time with the district employee relations officer, seeking voluntary recognition for purposes of meeting and conferring in good faith as the exclusive representative of an existing unrepresented bargaining unit. This recognition request shall contain the following information and documentation:

i. The name and address of the employee organization.

ii. The names, titles, mailing address, and business telephone numbers of the employee organization’s officers.

iii. The names of the employee organization’s representatives who are authorized to speak on behalf of its members, including representatives who are not employees of the district.

iv. A statement that the primary purpose of the employee organization is to represent employees on matters concerning wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.

v. A statement that the employee organization has no restriction on membership based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, sexual orientation or marital status.

vi. A statement that the employee organization has recognized or does recognize that the provisions of Cal. Lab. Code § 923 are not applicable to district employees.

vii. A statement as to whether the employee organization is a chapter of, or affiliated directly or indirectly in any manner, with a local, regional, state, national or international organization, and if so, the name and address of each such organization.

viii. Certified copies of the employee organization’s constitution and bylaws.

ix. A designation of those persons, not to exceed two in number, and their addresses to whom notice, sent by regular United States mail, will be deemed sufficient notice on the employee organization for any purpose.

x. The job classification or titles of employees in the unit claimed to be appropriate and the approximate number of member employees therein.

xi. Either a signature petition containing employee signatures or individually signed employee authorization cards, dated within 30 days of the date upon which the petition is filed, which show proof of support of a majority (50 percent plus one) of the employees within the proposed new authorized employee bargaining unit. Such a signature petition or signed employee authorization cards shall clearly set forth the intent of the employee with respect to representation by the employee organization.

b. Response to Voluntary Recognition Request. The employee organization may request that written proof of support, contained within a voluntary recognition request, be submitted to a mutually agreed upon, disinterested third party rather than the district employee relations officer. If so, upon receipt of a voluntary recognition request, a neutral third party shall be selected by the district employee relations officer and the employee organization to review the signed request and signature petition/authorization cards to verify whether the employee organization has majority support (50 percent plus one) within the proposed unit. In the event the district employee relations officer and the employee organization cannot agree on a neutral third party, the State Mediation and Conciliation Service, or its successor, shall be the neutral third party and shall verify the majority support status of the employee organization.

c. Certification of Results. In the event that the district employee relations officer, or neutral third party, determines, based on the signed request and signature petition/authorization cards, that an employee organization has the majority support of the employees in the new bargaining unit, it shall be certified as the exclusive recognized employee organization of that bargaining unit.

d. Absence of Support of a Majority of Employees. In the event that the district employee relations officer, or neutral third party, determines, based on the signed request and signature petition/authorization cards, that (i) the petitioning employee organization does not have majority support, but has support of at least 30 percent or (ii) a second employee organization has the support of at least 30 percent of the employees in the unit in which recognition is sought, the district employee relations officer or neutral third party shall order an election to establish whether an employee organization, if any, has majority status, pursuant to the requirements of subsection (B) of this section.

2. Petition for Certification and/or Decertification. A petition for certification is appropriate where an election is required to determine the exclusive representative, if any, of an authorized employee bargaining unit comprised of currently represented employees. A petition for decertification is appropriate where an election is required to determine if the exclusive representative employee organization is no longer the majority representative of the employees in the authorized employee bargaining unit.

a. Content and Timing of Petition for Certification. An employee organization may file a petition for certification with the district employee relations officer seeking to become the exclusive recognized employee organization of an existing or newly created bargaining unit. Certification petitions may only be filed during the 30-day period beginning not earlier than 150 days and ending not later than 120 days before the expiration of any existing memorandum of understanding, or at any time when a valid memorandum of understanding is no longer in effect.

A petition for certification shall contain the following information and documentation:

i. The name and address of the employee organization.

ii. The names, titles, mailing address, and business telephone numbers of the employee organization’s officers.

iii. The names of the employee organization’s representatives who are authorized to speak on behalf of its members, including representatives who are not employees of the district.

iv. A statement that the primary purpose of the employee organization is to represent employees on matters concerning wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.

v. A statement that the employee organization has no restriction on membership based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, sexual orientation or marital status.

vi. A statement that the employee organization has recognized or does recognize that the provisions of Cal. Lab. Code § 923 are not applicable to district employees.

vii. A statement as to whether the employee organization is a chapter of, or affiliated directly or indirectly in any manner, with a local, regional, state, national or international organization, and if so, the name and address of each such organization.

viii. Certified copies of the employee organization’s constitution and bylaws.

ix. A designation of those persons, not to exceed two in number, and their addresses to whom notice, sent by regular United States mail, will be deemed sufficient notice on the employee organization for any purpose.

x. The job classification or titles of employees in the unit claimed to be appropriate and the approximate number of member employees therein.

xi. The date of expiration of any memorandum of understanding or extension of such a memorandum.

xii. A signature petition or individually signed employee authorization cards, dated within 30 days of the date upon which the petition is filed, which show proof of support of a majority (50 percent plus one) of the employees within the bargaining unit. Such a signature petition or signed employee authorization cards shall clearly set forth the intent of the employee with respect to representation by the employee organization.

b. Content and Timing of Petition for Decertification. An employee organization may file a petition for decertification with the district employee relations officer seeking to decertify an existing employee organization. An employee or group of employees may file a decertification petition seeking to decertify the incumbent exclusive recognized employee organization of an existing representation unit. Decertification petitions may only be filed during the 30-day period beginning not earlier than 150 days and ending not later than 120 days before the expiration of any existing memorandum of understanding or at any time when a valid memorandum of understanding is no longer in effect. Decertification petitions may be accompanied by a petition for voluntary recognition by the challenging employee organization.

A petition for decertification shall contain the following information and documentation:

i. The name, address, and telephone number of the petitioner and designated representative authorized to act as the petitioner’s agent for purposes of the petition for decertification.

ii. The name of the formally recognized exclusive employee organization.

iii. An allegation that the formally recognized exclusive employee organization no longer represents a majority of the employees in the appropriate bargaining unit.

iv. A signature petition or individually signed employee statements or authorization cards dated within six months of the date prior to the filing of the petition, which show proof that at least 30 percent of the employees in the bargaining unit do not desire to be represented by the formally recognized exclusive employee organization. Such a signature petition or signed employee statements shall clearly set forth the intent of the employee to no longer be represented by the exclusive recognized employee organization.

v. The date of expiration of any memorandum of understanding or extension of such memorandum.

c. Response to Petition. Upon receipt of the petition for certification or decertification, the district employee relations officer shall determine whether or not there has been compliance with the requirements of subsections (A)(2)(a) (certification) and (A)(2)(b) (decertification) of this section. If the district employee relations officer so determines, it shall direct a secret ballot election to be held to resolve the question of representation, pursuant to the requirements of subsection (B) of this section. If the district employee relations officer determines that the petition is not in compliance, it shall be dismissed.

B. Election Procedures. Elections shall be conducted to determine which, if any, employee organization shall be certified as the exclusive recognized employee organization of an authorized employee bargaining unit, or conversely, decertified from this status. The district employee relations officer shall arrange for secret ballot elections for this purpose. All challenging petitioners, who have submitted written proof that they represent at least 10 percent of the employees in the appropriate bargaining unit and have submitted a petition for recognition, shall be included on the ballot.

1. Consent Election Agreement. Upon directing an election, the district employee relations officer, any employee organizations that will appear on the ballot, and other involved parties shall attempt to agree on procedural matters related to the conduct of the election. Such procedural matters may include the method of the election, dates, hours, locations, and the order and wording of ballots.

2. Ballot. Provided that the employee organizations have established proof of support as required in this section, there shall be on the ballot: (a) the name of the incumbent employee organization; (b) the name(s) of the petitioning employee organization(s) and/or employee(s); (c) the name(s) of any challenging employee organization(s); and (d) a provision for “no representation” and/or decertification, as applicable. The incumbent exclusive representative of employees in the relevant bargaining unit shall not be required to provide proof of support to be placed on the ballot.

3. Eligible Voters. “Eligible voters” shall be defined as those employees in the authorized bargaining unit who are regularly employed in full-time positions within the unit who were employed during the pay period immediately prior to the date which is 15 days before the election. This shall include those on authorized leave of absence, sick leave, or vacation and who remain employed by the District in the same bargaining unit on the date of the election.

4. Voting Results. The district employee relations officer shall declare the results of an election, and then: (a) certify as the exclusive recognized employee organization of the authorized bargaining unit, the employee organization receiving the majority (50 percent plus one) of the votes cast; (b) decertify the incumbent representative if the choice “decertification” received a majority of the votes cast; or (c) declare that no employee organization is the exclusive recognized employee organization of the unit, if either (i) the choice “no representation” received a majority of the votes cast or (ii) no employee organization received a majority of the votes cast. In the event of the latter, a runoff election shall be conducted pursuant to the requirements of subsection (B)(5) of this section.

5. Runoff Election. If the ballot included three or more choices and no choice received a majority (50 percent plus one) of the votes cast, a runoff election shall be held as soon as practicable between the two choices receiving the largest number of votes. The rules governing an initial election, as provided in subsections (B)(1) through (B)(3) of this section, shall apply to a runoff election.

6. Any costs incurred in conducting an election, initial or runoff, shall be borne by the employee organization(s) whose name(s) appear on the ballot, equally if more than one so appear.

7. Election Bar. For a period of one year after either (a) an employee organization is certified as the exclusive recognized employee organization, (b) an employee organization is decertified, or (c) an election that did not result in the certification or decertification of an exclusive representative, any employee organization may not file a modification, certification, or decertification petition for that bargaining unit or any subdivisions thereof. (Ord. 1270.1 § 6, 2017)

2.25.070 Bargaining unit composition.

A. Appropriate New Bargaining Unit.

1. Factors. The district employee relations officer shall review the request filed by an employee organization seeking formal voluntary recognition as the exclusive representative of a defined bargaining unit, and shall determine whether the proposed bargaining unit is an appropriate and authorized unit. In the establishment of appropriate units, professional employees shall not be denied the right to be represented separately from nonprofessional employees. The principal criterion in making this determination is whether employees in the proposed unit have a community of interest. The district employee relations officer shall also consider the following factors in making such determination:

a. The unit, if any, that will assure employees the fullest freedom in the exercise of rights set forth under this chapter.

b. The history of employee relations (i) in the unit, (ii) among other employees of the district, and (iii) in similar public employment units.

c. The effect of the unit on the efficient operation of the district and sound employer-employee relations.

d. The extent to which employees have common skills, working conditions, job duties, performance rating standards, educational requirements, and/or supervision as well as interchangeability of skills.

e. The effect on the existing classification structure of dividing a single classification among two or more units.

2. Content and Timing of Petition. An employee organization may at any time propose that a bargaining unit, comprised of unrepresented classifications, be created by filing a voluntary recognition request or a petition for recognition, pursuant to CVWDC 2.25.060(A)(1) through (A)(2), by filing this request or petition with the district employee relations officer. A petition for a new bargaining unit shall include information sufficient to satisfy the requirements of CVWDC 2.25.060(A)(1)(a) (voluntary recognition) or CVWDC 2.25.060(A)(2)(a) (petition).

3. Response and Notice of Filing of Petition. Upon receipt of the petition, the district employee relations officer shall determine whether or not there has been compliance with the requirements of subsection (A)(2) of this section. If the district employee relations officer so determines, the officer shall (a) advise all employees in the proposed new authorized employee bargaining unit by posting notice at appropriate work locations for 30 days; and (b) shall serve notice of the filing on all exclusive recognized employee organizations.

4. Contest to the Determination that the Petition Does Not Comply. If the district employee relations officer determines that the petition is not in compliance with the requirements of subsection (A)(2) of this section, the officer shall so notify the petitioning employee organization. If the petitioning employee organization contests the finding that the petition was not in compliance, it may file a contest, in writing, with the district employee relations officer within 30 days after service of notice that the petition was not in compliance. If the contest is not granted by the officer, a hearing officer shall be selected by the district from the hearing officer panel established pursuant to subsection (E) of this section to conduct a hearing to determine compliance with the process provided for in this section. Following the hearing, the hearing officer shall grant or deny the contest. If the hearing officer finds that the petition was not in compliance with the requirements of subsection (A)(2) of this section, the petition shall be dismissed. If the hearing officer finds that the petition was in compliance, the petition shall be processed in accordance with this section.

5. No Challenges to Appropriateness of Proposed Unit. If no challenge is filed by any employee organization within 30 days after service of the notice of the filing of the petition, the district employee relations officer shall submit the proposed new authorized employee bargaining unit to the board.

6. Challenges to the Appropriateness of Proposed Unit. Within 30 days after mailing notice of the filing of the petition, a challenge may be filed, in writing, with the district employee relations officer by an employee organization. A challenge shall state the grounds for the challenge, clearly indicating the reasons why the proposed new unit is not appropriate. Any challenge filed by an employee organization shall be accompanied by proof of support of 10 percent or more of the employees in the newly proposed authorized employee representation unit unless the challenging employee organization is the incumbent representative of employees in the proposed unit. “Proof of support” for purposes of this section shall mean individually signed employee authorization cards dated within the 30-day challenge period setting forth the intent of employees with respect to representation by the employee organization.

7. Hearing on Challenges. Upon receipt of a challenge to the appropriateness of the unit, a hearing officer shall be selected by the district from the hearing officer panel established pursuant to subsection (E) of this section to conduct a hearing. Following the hearing, the hearing officer shall (a) grant or deny the challenge, or (b) recommend modification of the proposed new authorized employee representation unit. If the hearing officer recommends the creation of the new authorized employee representation unit, the district employee relations officer shall submit such recommendation to the board.

8. Creation of New Authorized Employee Representation Unit. The recommendation of the hearing officer regarding modification, consolidation and/or the creation of new bargaining units are subject to and effective upon approval of the board.

B. Assignment of New Classifications to Bargaining Units. The unit assignment process is used to determine the placement of a newly created classification in an authorized employee bargaining unit based upon the existing unit descriptions and duties of the new classification. The district employee shall review the duties of any proposed new job classifications in relation to the existing unit descriptions and shall recommend placement of all new job classifications in an appropriate authorized employee representation unit. A newly created job classification shall be assigned to an authorized employee representation unit upon approval by the board.

C. Modification of Existing Bargaining Units. An existing authorized employee representation unit may be modified upon petition of an employee organization. The existing unit proposed to be modified and/or the proposed new unit must be appropriate standing alone.

1. Content and Timing of Petition. An employee organization may propose that an existing authorized employee bargaining unit be modified by filing a petition with the district employee relations officer. Such petition shall be filed during the 30-day period beginning not earlier than 150 days, and ending not later than 120 days, before the expiration date of any memorandum of understanding covering classifications in the authorized employee bargaining unit proposed to be modified. Such petition may also be filed at any time after expiration of such memorandum of understanding. A petition for modification shall include information sufficient to satisfy the requirements of CVWDC 2.25.060(A)(1)(a)(i) through (A)(1)(a)(ix) (voluntary recognition) or CVWDC 2.25.060(A)(2)(a)(i) through (A)(2)(a)(ix) (petition), and it shall also contain:

a. A statement of all relevant facts in support of the proposed unit modification.

b. A description of the proposed unit, specifying the classifications to be removed from the existing bargaining unit and placed in a separate authorized employee bargaining unit.

c. Written proof of support from a majority (50 percent plus one) of the employees within the proposed new authorized employee bargaining unit.

2. Response and Notice of Filing of Petition. Upon receipt of the petition, the district employee relations officer shall determine whether or not there has been compliance with the requirements of subsection (C)(1) of this section. If the district employee relations officer so determines, or the district initiates modification of the unit, the officer shall (a) advise all employees in the proposed new authorized employee bargaining unit of such proposed unit modification by posting notice at appropriate work locations for 30 days, and (b) shall serve notice of the filing to all exclusive recognized employee organizations.

3. Contest to the Determination that the Petition Does Not Comply. If the district employee relations officer determines that the petition is not in compliance with the requirements of subsection (C)(1) of this section, the officer shall so notify the petitioning employee organization. If the petitioning employee organization disputes the finding that the petition was not in compliance, it may file a contest, in writing, with the district employee relations officer within 30 days after service of notice that the petition was not in compliance. If the contest is not granted by the officer, a hearing officer shall be selected by the district from the hearing officer panel established pursuant to subsection (E) of this section to conduct a hearing to determine compliance with the process provided for in this section. Following the hearing, the hearing officer shall grant or deny the contest. If the hearing officer finds the petition was not in compliance, the petition shall be dismissed. If the hearing officer finds that the petition was in compliance, the petition shall be processed in accordance with this section.

4. No Challenges to Appropriateness of Proposed Unit. If no challenge is filed within 30 days after service of the notice of the filing of the petition, the district employee relations officer shall submit the proposed bargaining unit modifications to the board.

5. Challenges to the Appropriateness of Proposed Unit. Within 30 days after service of the notice of the filing of the petition, an employee organization may file a challenge, in writing, with the district employee relations officer, either regarding the officer’s determination that the petition was not in compliance with the requirements of subsection (C)(1) of this section or regarding the officer’s acceptance of the district’s petition to modify. Such a challenge shall state the grounds for the challenge, clearly indicating the reasons why the proposed unit modification is not appropriate. Any challenge filed by an employee organization must also be accompanied by proof of support of 10 percent or more of the employees proposed to be removed from an existing authorized employee bargaining unit; provided, however, that the incumbent exclusive representative shall not be required to provide proof of support in order to file a challenge.

6. Hearing on Challenges. Upon receipt of a challenge to the appropriateness of the unit, a hearing officer shall be selected by the district to conduct a hearing. Following the hearing, the hearing officer shall (a) grant or deny the challenge, or (b) recommend modification of the authorized employee bargaining unit proposed by the employee organization. If the hearing officer recommends modification, consolidation and/or the creation of new authorized employee bargaining unit, as applicable, the district employee relations officer shall submit such recommendation to the board.

7. Creation of New Employee Representation Unit. The recommendation of the hearing officer regarding modification, consolidation and/or the creation of new bargaining units are subject to and effective upon approval of the board.

D. Clarification of Existing Authorized Employee Bargaining Units. The unit clarification process is used to determine whether a particular classification is included or excluded (i.e., should be added to or deleted) from an existing authorized employee representation unit based upon the existing unit description and the duties of the classification in question. Unit clarification is only appropriate if the number of positions to be added or removed is substantially smaller than the number of employees in an existing unit so as to not create a question as to the majority status of the incumbent exclusive representative. In the absence of a question of majority representation, a petition for clarification of an existing unit may be filed by an exclusive representative.

1. Content and Timing of Petition. An exclusive recognized employee organization may file a petition at any time with the district employee relations officer to clarify whether a particular classification is placed in the appropriate bargaining unit based on the existing unit description. A petition for clarification must contain:

a. The name and street address of the exclusive representative.

b. The name, title, mailing address and business telephone number of the exclusive representative’s principal representative.

c. A listing of the classifications and the number of employees to be added to and/or removed from an existing authorized bargaining unit.

d. A statement that the petitioning employee organization is an exclusive recognized employee organization.

e. The relevant reasons why the petitioning exclusive representative seeks clarification.

2. Response and Notice of Filing of Petition. Upon receipt of a petition for clarification, the district employee relations officer shall determine (a) whether or not the proposed clarification is appropriate, and (b) whether there has been compliance with the requirements of subsection (D)(1) of this section. If both criteria are met, the officer shall then (a) advise all employees in the classifications proposed to be assigned to a different representation unit by posting notice at appropriate work locations for 30 days, and (b) serve notice of the filing to all exclusive representatives of petitioned-for employees if different from the petitioning exclusive representative.

3. No Contest to Petition or Challenges to the Proposed Unit Clarification. If the district employee relations officer determines that the proposed clarification is appropriate and the petition is in compliance and there has been no challenge filed by any exclusive representative of the petitioned-for employees within 30 days after service of the notice of the filing of the petition, the officer shall submit the proposed unit clarification to the board.

4. Contest to Determination and Challenges to the Proposed Unit Clarification. Within 30 days after service of the notice of filing of the petition, any exclusive representative of the petitioned-for employees may file a challenge in writing with the district employee relations officer. Such a challenge or contest shall clearly indicate the reasons or basis for the challenge.

5. Hearing on Challenges. Upon receipt of a challenge to the appropriateness of the determination of the district employee relations officer, a hearing officer shall be selected by the district. Following the hearing, the hearing officer shall grant or deny the challenge and/or contest. If the hearing officer recommends that a classification be added to an existing authorized employee bargaining unit, or be removed from one authorized employee bargaining unit and placed in another, the district employee relations officer shall submit such recommendation to the board.

E. Hearing Officer. The hearing officer must be a third party neutral who is not employed by either a public entity or an employee organization and must have experience as a hearing officer or arbitrator in disputes regarding the composition and determination of bargaining units. The costs of the hearing officer, if any, shall be paid for by the district. Such costs do not include the costs incurred in the use of any employees, agents, or attorneys. (Ord. 1270.1 § 7, 2017)

2.25.080 Collective bargaining.

A. Employer-Employee Bargaining Obligations. The collective bargaining process begins when both parties meet and confer on matters within the scope of representation.

1. Meet and Confer. The district employee relations officer, and other district representatives, and the representative of the exclusive recognized employee organization for each authorized employee bargaining unit shall meet and confer in good faith in an attempt to reach agreement on all matters within the scope of representation.

2. Consultation in Good Faith. All matters affecting employer-employee relations, including those that are not subject to meeting and conferring, are subject to consultation. The district, through its district employee relations officer and other representatives, shall consult in good faith with representatives of all recognized employee organizations on employer-employee relations matters which affect them.

3. Impasse Procedures. When agreement is not reached through the meet and confer process, dispute settlement procedures have been established to facilitate resolution of unresolved negotiation items at impasse.

Either party may initiate the impasse procedures by filing with the other party a written request for an impasse meeting, together with a statement of its position on all disputed issues. The district employee relations officer shall then schedule and conduct an impasse meeting promptly, both to review the position of each party in a final effort to reach agreement and to discuss arrangements for the utilization of the impasse procedures.

a. Mediation. Upon written declaration of impasse, a party may request mediation within 10 days. The parties shall only proceed to mediation upon mutual agreement. All mediation proceedings shall be private. The mediator shall make no public recommendations nor take any public position concerning the issues. If the parties are unable to agree on a mediator after a reasonable period of time, they shall select the mediator from a list of seven names to be provided by the State Conciliation Service, or if that body for any reason shall fail to provide such list, by the American Arbitration Association. The parties shall alternatively strike one name, beginning with the recognized employee organization, until there is one remaining name on the list who shall be the mediator.

b. Fact Finding. If the parties have failed to resolve all their disputes through mediation not sooner than 30 days, but not more than 45 days, after the mediator was appointed, the employee association may request that the disputed issues be submitted to fact finding. If the matter is not submitted to mediation, the employee association may request fact finding within 30 days after a written declaration of impasse. Upon a timely request for fact finding, the parties will comply with the procedures and guidelines set forth under the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act and its regulations. (Ord. 1270.1 § 8, 2017)

2.25.090 Employee organization rights.

A. Status as Exclusive Recognized Representative. An employee organization shall be certified or recognized as the exclusive recognized employee organization, pursuant to the provisions of CVWDC 2.25.060. An exclusive recognized employee organization must represent all employees within the bargaining unit to which it has been certified, regardless of unit members’ membership status in the employee organization.

B. Bargaining Rights. An exclusive recognized employee organization shall have the right to meet and confer in good faith with authorized representatives of the district. The district is under no obligation to meet and confer with any employee organization, unless it has been certified and/or recognized as an exclusive recognized employee organization. If an employee organization is decertified pursuant to CVWDC 2.25.060(B), the district is under no obligation to meet and confer with such organization.

An exclusive recognized employee organization shall have the right to represent their members in their general employment relations with the district. Employee organizations may establish reasonable restrictions regarding who may join and may make reasonable provisions for dismissal of individuals from membership.

C. Time Off for Employee’s Appearance for Employee Organization. The exclusive recognized employee organization may select not more than two employee members of such organization to serve as representatives, and to attend scheduled meetings during regular work hours with the district employee relations officer or other district representatives on matters within the scope of representation. The district shall grant reasonable time off for these scheduled meetings during regular work hours, without loss of compensation or other benefits.

The employee organization shall, whenever practicable, submit the names of all such employee representatives to the district employee relations officer at least two working days in advance of such meetings. The employee organization and/or employee representatives must comply with the following requirements:

1. No employee representative shall leave his or her duty, work station, or assignment without the specific approval of the department head or other authorized district management official.

2. Any scheduled meeting shall be scheduled by district management in a manner consistent with operating needs and work schedules. Nothing provided herein shall limit or restrict district management from scheduling such meetings before or after regular duty or work hours under appropriate circumstances.

D. Access to Work Locations. Reasonable access to employee work locations shall be granted to recognized employee organizations or officers, whether they are employee members or non-employee representatives, for the purpose of processing grievances or contacting members of the employee organization about business within the scope of representation. Such representatives or officers shall not enter any work location without the prior consent of the relevant department head or the district employee relations officer. Access shall be restricted so as not to interfere with the normal operations of the relevant department, or with established safety and/or security requirements.

Solicitation of membership, as well as activities concerned with the internal management of an employee organization such as collecting dues, holding membership meetings, campaigning for office, conducting employee organization elections, and distributing literature, will not be permitted during work hours.

E. Use of District Facilities. Employee organizations may, with the prior approval of the district employee relations officer, be granted the use of district facilities during nonwork hours for meetings of employees, provided space is available and such meetings are not used for organizational activities or membership drives. Employee organizations shall submit all such requests in writing, stating the purpose(s) of the meeting. A copy of the agency shall be provided to the district employee relations officer as soon as it is available, but in no event less than 24 hours prior to such meeting.

The use of district equipment, other than items normally used in the conduct of such meetings such as desks, chairs, and blackboards, is strictly prohibited, the presence of such equipment in approved district facilities notwithstanding.

F. Use of District Bulletin Boards. Exclusive recognized employee organizations may use portions of district bulletin boards, subject to the following conditions:

1. All materials must receive the prior approval of the department, or division head in charge of the departmental bulletin board.

2. All materials must be dated and identify the organization that published them.

3. The actual posting of materials will be done by the district as soon as possible after they have been approved. Unless special arrangements are made, posted materials will be removed 31 days after the publication date. Materials which the department head considers objectionable will not be posted. However, the department head shall first discuss the denial of submitted materials, deemed objectionable, with the district general manager.

4. The district reserves the right to determine where bulletin boards shall be placed, and what portion of these boards are to be allocated to recognized employee organization materials.

5. An employee organization that does not abide by these rules will forfeit its right to have materials posted on district bulletin boards.

G. Availability of District Data. The district will make available to employee organizations such nonconfidential information, pertaining to employment relations with the employee organization, as is contained in the public records of the district. Such nonconfidential information shall be made available during regular office hours, in accordance with the district’s rules and procedures for making public records available, and after payment of reasonable costs when applicable. Such nonconfidential information includes regularly published data covering subjects under discussion or collective bargaining. If data is collected subject to a promise to keep its source confidential, such information may be made available in statistical summaries but shall not disclose its source.

Nothing in this rule shall be construed to require disclosure of:

1. Any records or information where the public interest served by not making the information available, or the privacy interests of third parties clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure or the employee organization’s stated need for the record or information.

2. Personnel, medical, or similar files, as disclosure of such records or information would constitute an unwarranted invasion of a third party’s privacy.

3. Records or information pertaining to pending or imminent litigation, as well as claims and/or appeals which have not been settled, to which the district is a party.

This right is subject to the limitations set forth in this section and Cal. Gov’t Code §§ 6250 through 6260. This right shall not be construed to require the district to do research for an inquirer, to program, or to otherwise assemble data in a manner other than is usually done by the district. (Ord. 1270.1 § 9, 2017)

2.25.100 Administration.

A. Payroll Deductions. An exclusive recognized employee organization may be authorized payroll deduction privileges, for membership dues as well as insurance premiums for plans sponsored by such organizations.

1. Form and Content of Employee Authorization. Such an employee organization must obtain the written authorization of employees in an authorized employee bargaining unit for which said employee organization has been certified as the exclusive representative. This written authorization shall be on uniform cards, signed by the employee, and approved by the district employee relations officer.

An employee’s earnings must be regularly sufficient, after other legal and required deductions are made, to cover the amount of the authorized deduction. If the salary of an employee is insufficient to cover the full withheld deduction, no deduction shall be made and all other legal and required deductions shall have priority.

2. Employee Organization’s Obligations. An employee organization, for which dues are deducted and collected, shall indemnify, defend, and hold the district harmless against any claims made, and against any suit instituted, against the district on account of the authorized payroll deductions for such organizations. In addition, an employee organization shall refund to the district any amounts paid to it in error upon presentation of supporting evidence.

B. Submission of Current Information by Exclusive Recognized Employee Organization. An exclusive recognized employee organization must submit to the district employee relations officer revised information whenever there has been a change in any of the following terms:

1. The name and street address of the organization.

2. The names, titles, mailing address, and home and business telephone numbers of its officers.

3. The names of employee organization representatives who are authorized to speak on behalf of the organization.

4. A designation of two persons and their addresses to whom notice sent by regular United States mail shall be deemed full and sufficient notice on the organization for any purpose.

5. A statement whether the exclusive recognized employee organization is a chapter of, or affiliated directly or indirectly in any manner, with a local, regional, state, national or international organization, and, if so, the name and address of each such organization.

6. Certified copies of any changes to the exclusive recognized employee organization’s constitution and bylaws.

C. Advance Notice. Reasonable written notice shall be given by the district to each exclusive recognized employee organization of any ordinance, rule, resolution, or regulation directly relating to matters within the scope of representation proposed to be adopted by the board. Each exclusive recognized employee organization shall also be given the opportunity to meet with the district prior to adoption.

D. Rules and Regulations. The board may adopt such rules and regulations as necessary or convenient to implement and administer the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 1270.1 § 10, 2017)

2.25.110 Construction.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to deny any person or employee the rights granted by federal or state laws, or the Water Code’s provisions. The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to conflict with the provisions of Cal. Gov’t Code ch. 10, div. 4, tit. 1, § 3500 et seq.

The rights, powers, and authority of the district’s board in all matters shall not be modified or restricted by this chapter, including the right to maintain any legal action.

Nothing contained in this chapter shall abrogate any written agreement between any employee organization and the district in effect on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. All such agreements shall continue in effect for the duration of the term specified therein, unless modified or rescinded by mutual agreement of the parties thereto. (Ord. 1270.1 § 11, 2017)