Both on the ground and behind the scenes, AFSCME is constantly hard at work fighting for workers’ rights on behalf of our members. Our latest efforts behind the scenes take Council 36 to Sacramento, where we’re working as official sponsors with several LA-area legislators in the State Assembly to pass three different bills into law. Building on existing labor laws, passing these bills will expand the legal rights and protections of public workers, strengthening our hand at the bargaining table.
AB 1603 – Protection for Joint Employees
Assembly Bill 1603 (Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, District 54) would make sure the law protects workers jointly employed by a public agency, recognizing them as “public employees” and granting them the same rights and protections as other public employees. Using the National Labor Relations Board’s M.B. Sturgis ruling as a foundation, petitioners seeking to represent both solely and jointly employed employees are not required to obtain employer consent to bargain collectively in a single bargaining unit.
AB 1017 – Saving Money to Keep Fighting
Existing California law allows only private employers and private unions that win to have their lawyers’ fees paid by the other side. Assembly Bill 1017 (Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, District 53) would apply the law to public sector employers and public unions, so court costs of wins at the State Court level and arbitration awards confirmed by the Judge will be covered by the losing party.
AB 1455 – Protecting Privacy
State agencies can keep certain records, like some plans regarding employee relations, private. Assembly Bill 1455 (Assemblyman Bocanegra, District 39) would ensure that local agencies are allowed the same privacy as state agencies, exempting disclosure of sensitive documents related to collective bargaining proposals or strategy held by local agencies.
To check on the status of the bills or to get updates regarding these pieces of legislation, visit the website for California Legislative Information at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/