When departments or units are contemplating changes to the working environment that affect employees, the changes may require notice to the union. When a proposal has reached a stage of being reasonably certain, but no concrete action has been taken yet, the department should reach out to Employee and Labor Relations to determine whether union notice is required.
What is Notice?
Collective bargaining agreements (contracts) and case law requires the University to provide reasonable notice and opportunity to comment to the unions regarding substantial changes in terms and conditions of employment before the change is implemented.
Why do we provide Notice?
Whether to provide notice is outlined in the contracts. Case law issued by the California Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) creates the obligation to notice under HEERA. Failure to provide notice when applicable may be deemed a violation of HEERA and is subject to an Unfair Labor Practice charge.
Employee and Labor Relations assesses whether notice is required based on the information provided by the department. Departments should submit the Notice of Intent to Change Conditions of Employment to provide the necessary information about your proposed change. Employee and Labor Relations will draft and issue the notice if required.
When should Notice be provided?
Collective Bargaining agreements vary related to notice time frames. The lead-in time for notice depends on the action you are considering, and the review period specified in the contract. Generally, the notice period is 30 – 45 days. Additional time should be allotted for meetings and other discussion with the unions. Please note if a contract is in Status Quo timelines may be extended.
Notices of Intent should be written when the proposed change is reasonably certain and before the change is initiated (i.e., purchasing equipment, purchasing software, installing equipment). It is appropriate to have the notice period expire a week or two before your proposed implementation date.
When is Notice not necessary?
Not all actions require notice, such as a change of supervisor. Management has the right to assign duties within an employee’s position description and to assign supervisors. These are management rights and not within the scope of bargaining.
Changes in the hours of a regular shift (such as from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) do not necessarily require notice to the union. CBAs may require varying notice periods be provided to an employee depending on the duration of the schedule change. Courtesy notice may be provided to the union, but it is not required. However, if you are abolishing, establishing, or changing work schedules for all employees in a work area, such change will require union notice.
There are other times when notice may not be necessary. For additional guidance Reach Out to Employee and Labor Relations.