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California Association of Professional Scientists v. Edmund G. Brown

May 16, 2013

CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL SCIENTISTS, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
EDMUND G. BROWN, AS GOVERNOR, ETC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS AND APPELLANTS. DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLANT,
v.
SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION, LOCAL 1000, DEFENDANT AND RESPONDENT. CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF PSYCHIATRIC TECHNICIANS, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
EDMUND G. BROWN, AS GOVERNOR, ETC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS AND APPELLANTS; SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION, LOCAL 1000, INTERVENOR AND RESPONDENT.



(Super. Ct. No. 34200980000358CUWMGDS) (Super. Ct. No. 34200900064854CUMCGDS) (Super. Ct. No. 34200980000356CUWMGDS) APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Sacramento County, Timothy M. Frawley, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Blease , Acting P. J.

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION

Reversed with directions.

The issue in this case is whether members of certain state bargaining units are entitled to two paid holidays -- Lincoln's Birthday and Columbus Day -- which were removed from the list of paid holidays by Government Code*fn1 section 19853, operative February 20, 2009, in response to a fiscal emergency. Section 19853 further provides that a conflicting memorandum of understanding (MOU) executed on or after February 20, 2009, would be controlling. (§ 19853, subd. (g).) The employee organizations that represent members of the affected bargaining units argue that the bargaining units' expired MOU's, which remained in effect by operation of law under the Ralph C. Dills Act (§§ 3512-3524; hereafter Dills Act), supersede section 19853 by virtue of section 3517.6. (§ 3517.8, subd. (a).) We disagree. Section 19853 supersedes the expired MOU's because it is a later enactment, and the MOU's were not executed on or after February 20, 2009. Accordingly, we shall reverse the judgments entered in favor of the employee organizations and remand the cases to the trial court with directions.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

A. The MOU's

Plaintiff California Association of Psychiatric Technicians (CAPT) is the exclusive representative for State Bargaining Unit 18. For the period June 30, 2006 through July 1, 2008, CAPT had an MOU with the state concerning the terms and conditions of employment of its bargaining unit members. That MOU identified Lincoln's Birthday (February 12) and Columbus Day (the second Monday in October) as paid holidays.

Plaintiff California Association of Professional Scientists (CAPS) is the exclusive representative of State Bargaining Unit 10. For the period July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2008, CAPS had an MOU with the state concerning the terms and conditions of employment of its bargaining unit members. That MOU identified Lincoln's Birthday and Columbus Day as paid holidays.

Intervenor Service Employees International Union, Local 1000 (SEIU) is the exclusive representative for approximately 95,000 state workers in nine state bargaining units -- 1, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, and 21. For the period July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2008, each SEIU bargaining unit had an MOU with the state concerning the terms and conditions of employment of its bargaining unit members. Each of those MOU's identified Lincoln's Birthday and Columbus Day as paid holidays. They also contained supersession clauses that read in pertinent part: "if any other provision of this Contract alters or is in conflict with [certain enumerated Government Code sections, including section 19853], the Contract shall be controlling and supersede [section 19853]."

B. The Dills Act

The Dills Act governs the collective bargaining process between certified employee organizations and the state. (Professional Engineers in California Government v. Schwarzenegger (2010) 50 Cal.4th 989, 1016, fn. 16 (Professional Engineers).) Two of its provisions are at issue here: sections 3517.6 and 3517.8. Section 3517.6 was enacted in 1977 (Stats. 1977, ch. 1159, § 4, p. 3755) and states in pertinent part: "In any case where the provisions of [over 100 code sections, including section 19853] are in conflict with the provisions of a memorandum of understanding, the memorandum of understanding shall be controlling without further legislative action." (§ 3517.6, subd. (a)(1).)*fn2 Section 3517.8 was enacted in 2000 (Stats. 2000, ch. 879, § 2, p. 6515) and provides in pertinent part: "If a memorandum of understanding has expired, and the Governor and the recognized employee organization have not agreed to a new memorandum of understanding and have not reached an impasse in negotiations, . . . the parties to the agreement shall continue to give effect to the provisions of the expired memorandum of understanding, including, but not limited to, all provisions that supersede existing law . . . ." (§ 3517.8, subd. (a).)*fn3

C. The Fiscal Crisis and the Legislature's Response

When the Budget Act of 2008 (2008 Budget Act) was enacted in September 2008, the state and national economies were in dire straits. (Professional Engineers, supra, 50 Cal.4th at p. 1001.) Shortly thereafter, the economy further deteriorated, and in November 2008, the Department of Finance reported that the state faced a revenue shortfall of $11.2 billion for the 2008-2009 fiscal year and a much higher budget deficit by the end of the 2009-2010 fiscal year. (Ibid.) The Department of Finance also cautioned that " '[i]f no action is taken to reduce spending, increase revenues, or a combination of both, the state will run out of cash in February and be unable to meet all of its obligations for the rest of the year. [Citation.]' " (Ibid.)

"On February 19, 2009, after extended discussion and negotiation, the Legislature passed, and on February 20, 2009, the Governor signed, Senate Bill No. 2 (2009-2010 3d Ex. Sess.) (Senate Bill 3X 2), which revised the 2008 Budget Act in response to the fiscal emergency. (Stats. 2009, 3d Ex. Sess. 2009-2010, ch. 2 (sometimes hereinafter revised 2008 Budget Act) Section 36 of Senate Bill 3X 2 added section 3.90 to the original 2008 Budget Act (Stats. 2008, ch. 268). Section 3.90, subdivision (a) provides in part: 'Notwithstanding any other provision of this act, each item of appropriation in this act . . . shall be reduced, as appropriate, to reflect a reduction in employee compensation . . . in the total amounts of $385,762,000 from General Fund items and $285,196,000 from items relating to other funds.' [T]he amount of the reduction in appropriations for employee compensation set forth in section 3.90 reflected . . . the reductions that the Governor proposed to achieve through [a] two-day-a-month furlough of state employees [and the elimination of two state holidays and a revision of the method of calculating overtime]. Section 3.90, subdivision (a) also indicated the Legislature's intent to make similar reductions in employee compensation for the 2009-2010 fiscal ...


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