Coronavirus Resources for Schools

COVID-19: Bargaining the Impacts and Effects with Unions

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Page 0 of 5 COVID-19: Bargaining the Impacts and Effects with Your Education Employee Unions ATTORNEYS Peter A. Schaffert Partner 559-225-6700 James Baca Partner 562-653-3200 03.20.2020 With the implementation of Governor Newsom's COVID-19 Executive Orders and the enactment of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act ("FFCRA"), K-12 school districts, community college districts, and county offices of education (referred to collectively as "Education Employers") are responding to a new and never-before faced set of challenges to execute their educational mission. As Education Employers maneuver through this rapidly changing environment, maintaining essential operations, feeding the neediest children, and providing distance learning alternatives to students, shaping the parameters of what must be negotiated is critical. Many exclusive bargaining unit representatives have presented demands to negotiate regarding working conditions during the pandemic and associated closures. This alert provides an update on the collective bargaining issues commonly faced, and currently being faced, by Education Employers. Emergency Responses and Collective Bargaining One initial question Education Employers have is whether they have an obligation to bargain the implementation of emergency measures in response to COVID-19. Under normal circumstances, the Educational Employment Relations Act ("EERA" (Gov. Code § 3540 et seq.)) obligates an Education Employer to meet and negotiate in good faith with representatives of employee organizations concerning matters within the scope of representation. (EERA, § 3543.3.) The scope of representation includes "matters relating to wages, hours of employment, and other terms and conditions of employment." (EERA § 3453.2, subd. (a)(1).) When not coping with a series of emergency decisions, any change to matters within the scope of representation Alerts & Articles

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