Judge Rules SCUSD Broke Law in Child Development Layoffs
Judge Christine Bologna of the California Public Employment Relations Board has ruled that the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) “breached its obligation to meet and negotiate over the impacts/effects of its February 21, 2019 decision to layoff C[hild] D[evelopment] D[epartment] certificated and permitted teachers effective at the end of SY 18-19. By this conduct, the District failed to bargain in good faith with SCTA, in violation of section 3543.5, subdivision (c). By the same conduct, the District denied SCTA its right to represent bargaining unit employees, in violation of section 3543.5, subdivision (b), and interfered with the rights of unit teachers to be represented by SCTA in violation of section 3543.5, subdivision (a).”
Judge Bologna’s decision orders the District to “cease and desist” its unlawful actions and “to compensate all affected CDD teachers with an award of reasonable monetary compensation for any losses resulting from the failure to bargain the effects of the layoff decision, plus interest at the annual rate of 7%.” The back pay liability commences when SCTA makes it request to bargain after the decision becomes final in thirty days. SCUSD has the right to appeal the decision.
Judge Bologna’s ruling is the latest decision against the Sacramento City Unified School District. In August, Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey R.A Edwards of PERB ruled that SCUSD violated the law when it offered $500 to scabs during the one-day SCTA strike in April 2019. As part of Judge Edwards’s ruling, SCUSD has been ordered to pay any SCTA member who struck the difference between their regular rate of pay and $500, a ruling that will cost the District approximately $500,000 in back pay to strikers.
Since Jorge Aguilar became Superintendent of SCUSD on July 1, 2017, SCTA has filed 18 unfair labor practice charges against the District. After reviewing the SCTA charge and SCUSD’s answer, PERB has issued a complaint in all 18 cases, which means that PERB’s initial determination is that the SCTA has presented a prima facie case that the District violated the law.
After a complaint issues, the parties attempt to resolve the matter through an informal settlement discussion, mediated by PERB. If no resolution is reached, the complaint moves to a formal hearing before an administrative law judge. After each side has an opportunity to present its case, the judge issue a decision, which either side can appeal to the 5-member Public Employment Relations Board.
Of the eighteen complaints issued by PERB, five issues have gone to hearing with PERB ruling in favor of SCTA in all five cases, including this decision where the District’s conduct resulted in the PERB judge awarding attorney fees to SCTA. SCUSD appealed that ruling to the full PERB board, which resoundingly rejected SCUSD’s appeal in this decision. The other decisions in SCTA’s favor can be viewed here and here.
The parties are awaiting a decision in a sixth case. Four cases are in the process of having hearings scheduled. The remaining eight cases were resolved prior to hearing.
Since Jorge Aguilar became superintendent of SCUSD, PERB has issued more complaints against the Sacramento City Unified School District than any of the other 1037 school districts in the entire state of California.