AVC wants court help on work hours

Unfair prac­tice charge was filed af­ter sched­ule al­ter­ation

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Front Page - By JULIE DRAKE Val­ley Press Staff Writer

LAN­CASTER — An­te­lope Val­ley Col­lege will look to the Cal­i­for­nia Supreme Court for re­lief in an on­go­ing is­sue over work­day hours with the An­te­lope Val­ley Col­lege Fed­er­a­tion of Clas­si­fied Em­ploy­ees.

The Fed­er­a­tion filed an unfair prac­tice charge against AV Com­mu­nity Col­lege District with the state Pub­lic Em­ploy­ment Relations Board af­ter the District mod­i­fied its op­er­a­tional sched­ule in Fe­bru­ary 2014 to of­fer ex­tended hours from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon­days through Thurs­days, and from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Fri­days.

The goal was to pro­vide stu­dents greater ac­cess to sup­port ser­vices. At the time, of­fice hours fluc­tu­ated by de­part­ment and season, run­ning from 8 a.m. to 4:30 or 5 p.m. Mon­day through Fri­day.

Full-time clas­si­fied em­ploy­ees worked a typ­i­cal five-day work­week with eight hours each day, 40 hours per week. If they worked more than eight hours in a sin­gle day, they would be eligible for over­time.

The Fed­er­a­tion’s com­plaint al­leged the District vi­o­lated the Ed­u­ca­tional Em­ploy­ment Relations Act by chang­ing the hours of op­er­a­tion, which af­fected clas­si­fied em­ploy­ees’ hours of work, with­out no­tice or op­por­tu­nity to bar­gain.

AVCFCE President Pamela Ford polled Fed­er­a­tion unit mem­bers in Novem­ber 2013 about the pro­posed changes to the col­lege’s oper­at­ing hours. A ma­jor­ity of unit mem­bers voted against the pro­posal.

The mod­i­fied work­week be­gan in Fe­bru­ary 2014.

“If you wanted to work your eight hours, it wasn’t re­ally an op­tion,” Ford said.

Most su­per­vi­sors did not al­low it. If they did, Ford said the em­ploy­ees would have to take their work and move to an­other lo­ca­tion.

The change im­pacted em­ploy­ees who had con­cerns about child­care, and those who cared for el­derly par­ents, Ford said.

The change also made it

dif­fi­cult to sched­ule doc­tor’s ap­point­ments.

“The other great im­pact it had was our sick time or our va­ca­tion time,” Ford said.

Em­ploy­ees used an hour or two over the typ­i­cal eight-hour day if they used a sick day or va­ca­tion day.

A Pub­lic Em­ploy­ment Relations Board Ad­min­is­tra­tive Law Judge is­sued a pro­posed de­ci­sion in August 2016 that ap­plied to only a few Fed­er­a­tion unit mem­bers, giv­ing the District a par­tial win.

The Fed­er­a­tion ap­pealed to the full three-per­son PERB Board, chal­leng­ing the pro­posed de­ci­sion, and asked for a full re­view. The District also filed ex­cep­tions to re­quest clar­i­fi­ca­tions and mod­i­fi­ca­tions of the pro­posed remedy.

The PERB Board is­sued its de­ci­sion in De­cem­ber, re­vers­ing the Ad­min­is­tra­tive Law Judge’s pro­posed de­ci­sion, and rul­ing in fa­vor of the en­tire bar­gain­ing unit.

The rul­ing means the District will be re­quired to pay over­time and back pay, plus in­ter­est, for all af­fected em­ploy­ees. The PERB Board called for the Fed­er­a­tion and the District to ne­go­ti­ate a set­tle­ment.

“I am happy we pre­vailed. We pre­vailed three times,” Ford said. “I think it sends a mes­sage that the union needs to be rec­og­nized and the District and the union needs to work to­gether.”

In re­sponse, the District filed a Writ of Ex­tra­or­di­nary Re­lief with the state Court of Ap­peal.

The court de­nied the District’s pe­ti­tion “on the ground that the pe­ti­tioner has not stated facts, ev­i­dence or le­gal au­thor­i­ties suf­fi­cient to demon­strate en­ti­tle­ment to ex­tra­or­di­nary re­lief,” ac­cord­ing to the court doc­u­ment filed on Aug. 23.

AV Col­lege President Ed Knud­son no­ti­fied AV Col­lege em­ploy­ees about the court’s de­ci­sion in an Aug. 29 email.

“The District has the right to pe­ti­tion for re­view of this mat­ter with the Cal­i­for­nia Supreme Court, which it in­tends to do within the week,” Knud­son wrote.

Knud­son cited the “statewide im­por­tance of con­sid­er­ing whether agen­cies such as PERB may im­pose a remedy that in­cludes over­time com­pen­sa­tion to an overly broad set of em­ploy­ees, where such com­pen­sa­tion is in­con­sis­tent with the Ed­u­ca­tion Code, and whether an award of back pay and in­ter­est should be stayed pend­ing un­rea­son­able de­lay in PERB is­su­ing a de­ci­sion.”

The pe­ti­tion would be filed against the PERB Board since they is­sue the de­ci­sion.

If the Supreme Court does not ac­cept the District’s pe­ti­tion, Knud­son cau­tioned it “will have sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the op­er­a­tions of the District and the District’s abil­ity to of­fer al­ter­na­tive work sched­ules to em­ploy­ees.”

“PERB was very clear. … They re­quired a Fed­er­a­tion-led vote be­fore im­ple­ment­ing any sched­ule changes; they didn’t follow that process and there­fore they vi­o­lated the bar­gain­ing law,” Fed­er­a­tion coun­sel David Con­way an at­tor­ney with the Law Of­fice of Robert J. Beze­mek, said.

Con­way added the PERB Board ex­plained that in its de­ci­sion.

The Court of Ap­peal de­nied the District’s first pe­ti­tion. He an­tic­i­pated the state Supreme Court would as well.

“Peo­ple have fam­i­lies; peo­ple have lives out­side of work. And if you re­quire them to stay for nine or 10 hours in a day, you’re go­ing to miss out on op­por­tu­ni­ties with their chil­dren and fam­i­lies,” Con­way said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.