Governor Signs Bonta Measure To Improve Collective Bargaining Process

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) is proud to announce that Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 537 over the weekend. AB 537 updates the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act, or MMBA, which governs local collective bargaining practices. Assemblymember Bonta made the following statement after the measure was signed into law:

“AB 537 contains modest, common-sense reforms to California’s premier collective bargaining law governing local governments, the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act. Right now, when negotiators from local governments and labor unions exchange offers and reach a tentative agreement, there is no requirement that the agreement be ratified by the parties in a timely fashion. This sometimes results in fully negotiated deals being held up for months and unilaterally reopened, although both parties have agreed to the deal. AB 537 requires those agreements to be ratified or rejected within 30 days, which will improve good-faith collective bargaining across the state,” explained Bonta.

“Additionally, AB 537 will help streamline arbitration actions and reduce court costs by requiring all procedural defenses to arbitration to be directed to and decided by an arbitrator, as opposed to an outside court (which is the case under current law). If an unfair labor practice is charged by either side during arbitration, AB 537 requires the Public Employees Retirement Board to hold off on deciding those charges until arbitration is complete, at which point the issue may have been resolved.

“These modest changes help move our bargaining practices into the twenty-first century and reduce delays that waste taxpayer resources,” concluded Assemblymember Bonta.

Assemblymember Rob Bonta represents the 18th Assembly District, which includes Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro. He is the Chair of the Assembly Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security Committee, and a member of the Assembly Health, Transportation, Banking & Finance, and Elections & Redistricting Committees.