Article IV - Impasse Procedures

Employee Relations 750

Section 15. Initiation of Impasse Procedures

If the meet and confer process has reached impasse as defined in this resolution, either party may initiate the impasse meeting, together with a statement of its position on all disputed issues. An impasse meeting shall then be scheduled promptly by the Employee Relations Officer. The purpose of such impasse meeting shall be:

  1. To identify and specify in writing the issue or issues that remain in dispute;
  2. To review the position of the parties in a final effort to resolve such disputed issue or issues; and
  3. If the dispute is not resolved, to discuss arrangements for the utilization of the impasse procedures provided herein.

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Section 16. Impasse Procedures

  1. If the parties so agree, the dispute shall be submitted directly to the Board of Supervisors for determination.
  2. If they do not so agree within a reasonable period of time, the dispute shall be submitted to mediation. All mediation proceeds shall be private.
  3. If the parties failed to agree to submit the dispute directly to the Board of Supervisors, and failed to resolve the dispute through mediation within fifteen (15) days after the mediator commenced meeting with the parties, the parties may agree to submit the impasse to fact find. If the parties fail to agree on fact-finding, the impasse shall be submitted to the Board of Supervisors for such action as in its legislative discretion deems appropriate as in the public interest.

    Effective October 27, 2009, the following applies to the bargaining units represented by the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Association (SCLEA) only:

    If the parties failed to agree to submit the dispute directly to the Board of Supervisors, and failed to resolve the dispute through mediation, the parties may agree to submit the impasse to fact finding. There shall be no minimum or maximum time period for mediation. If the parties fail to agree on fact-finding, the impasse shall be submitted to the Board of Supervisors for such action as in its legislative discretion deems appropriate as in the public interest.

  4. If the parties agree to fact-finding, they may agree on the appointment of one or more fact-finders, a fact-finding panel of three (3) shall be appointed in the following manner: One member of the panel shall be appointed by the Employee Relations Officer, one member shall be appointed by the recognized employee organization, and those two shall name a third, who shall be the chairman. If they are unable to agree upon a third, they shall select the third member from a list of nine (9) names to be provided by the State Conciliation Service, the one to serve to be determined by the alternate striking of names, with the party who is to strike the first name to be determined by change method. The following statute the jurisdictional and procedural requirements for fact-finding:
    1. Subject to the stipulations of the parties, the fact-finders shall determine and apply all the following measures and criteria in arriving at their findings and recommendations:
      1. The fact-finders shall compare the total compensation and hours of the employees involved in the fact-finding proceeding with the total compensation and hours of other employees performing similar services in public and private employment in the same and comparable communities. The fact-finders shall make similar comparisons with respect to conditions of employment other than forms of compensation and hours. “Total compensation” shall mean all wage compensation, including but not limited to premium, incentive, minimum, standby, out-of-class and deferred pay; all paid leave time; all allowances, including but not limited to educational and uniform benefits; medical and hospitalization benefits; and insurance, pension and welfare benefits.
      2. The fact-finders shall then adjust the results of the above comparisons based on the following factors:
        1. Equitable employment benefit relationships between job classifications and positions within the County.
        2. The pattern of change that has occurred in the total compensation of the employees in the unit at impasse as compared to the pattern of change in the average consumer price index for goods and services, commonly known as the cost-of-living index.
        3. The benefits of job stability and continuity of employment.
        4. The difficulty, or lack thereof, of recruiting and retaining qualified personnel.
      3. The fact-finder(s) shall then determine recommendations based on the comparisons as adjusted above subject to the financial resources of the County to implement them, taking into account:
        1. Other legislatively determined and projected demands on agency resources, and
        2. Assurance of sufficient and sound budgetary reserves, and
        3. Statutory limitations on tax and other revenues and expenditures.
      4. The fact-finder(s) shall make written findings of fact and recommendations for the resolution of the issues in dispute, which shall be presented in terms of the criteria, adjustments, and limitations specified above. Any member of a fact-finding panel shall be accorded the right to file dissenting written finding of fact and recommendations. The fact-finder or chairman of the fact-finding panel shall serve such findings and recommendations on the Employee Relations Officer and the designated representative of the recognized employee organization. If these parties have not resolved the impasse within ten (10) days after service of the findings and recommendations upon them, the fact-finder or the chairman of the fact-finding panel shall make them public by submitting them to the Assistant Clerk of the Board of Supervisors for consideration by the Board of Supervisors in connection with the Board legislative consideration of the issues at impasse.
      5. If the impasse has not been resolved, through fact finding, the impasse shall be submitted to the Board of Supervisors who shall take such action regarding the impasse as it in its discretion deems appropriate as in the public interest. Any legislative action by the Board of Supervisors on the impasse shall be final and binding.

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Section 17. Costs of Impasse Procedures

The costs for the services of a mediator and fact-finder or chairman of a fact-finding panel utilized by the parties, and other mutually incurred costs of mediation and fact-finding, shall be borne equally by the County and the recognized employee organizations. The cost for a fact-finding panel member selected by each part, and other separately incurred costs shall be borne by each party.

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