Personnel Bd. v. Deptt. of Personnel Admin., No. C032633.

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtBlease
Citation111 Cal.App.4th 839,4 Cal.Rptr.3d 284
PartiesSTATE PERSONNEL BOARD, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATION, et al., Defendants and Respondents. Association of California State Attorneys and Administrative Law Judges, et al., Plaintiffs and Respondents, v. Department of Personnel Administration, et al., Defendants and Appellants. State Personnel Board, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Department of Personnel Administration et al., Defendants and Appellants.
Decision Date27 August 2003
Docket NumberNo. C040263.,No. C034943.,No. C032633.
4 Cal.Rptr.3d 284
111 Cal.App.4th 839
STATE PERSONNEL BOARD, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL ADMINISTRATION, et al., Defendants and Respondents.
Association of California State Attorneys and Administrative Law Judges, et al., Plaintiffs and Respondents,
v.
Department of Personnel Administration, et al., Defendants and Appellants.
State Personnel Board, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
Department of Personnel Administration et al., Defendants and Appellants.
No. C032633.
No. C034943.
No. C040263.
Court of Appeal, Third District.
August 27, 2003.
Review Granted November 12, 2003.

[4 Cal.Rptr.3d 287]

Howard L. Schwartz, Chief Counsel, Marguerite D. Seabourn, Linda Diane Buzzini, Sacramento, for Defendant and Appellant and for Defendant and Respondent

[4 Cal.Rptr.3d 288]

Department of Personnel Administration.

Carroll, Burdick & McDonough, Ronald Yank, Gregg McLean Adam, San Francisco, for Defendant and Appellant Department of Forestry Firefighters.

VanBourg, Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld, Matthew John Gauger, Oakland, for Defendant and Appellant International Union of Operating Engineers.

Bill Lockyer, Attorney General, David S. Chaney, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Damon M. Connolly and Miguel A. Neri, Supervising Deputy Attorneys General, as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Defendant and Appellant Department of Personnel Administration.

Steven B. Bassoff, Eisen & Johnston Law Corporation, Jay-Allen Eisen, Marian M. Johnston, Jay-Allen Eisen Law Corporation and Jay-Allen Eisen, Sacramento, for Plaintiffs and Respondents Association of California State Attorneys and Administrative Law Judges etc.

Elise S. Rose, Chief Counsel, Dorothy Bacskai Egel, Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard and Susan R. Denious, Sacramento, as Amicus Curiae State Personnel Board on behalf of California State Attorneys and Administrative Law Judges.

Anne M. Giese, Sacramento, for Defendant and Appellant California State Employees Association.

VanBourg, Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld, William A. Sokol, Vincent A. Harrington, Matthew John Gauger, Oakland, for Defendant and Appellant International Union of Operating Engineers.

Bill Lockyer, Attorney General, Jacob Appelsmith, Senior Attorney General, Alicia M.B. Fowler, Supervising Attorney General, Michelle Littlewood, Deputy Attorney General, as Amicus Curiae Attorney General of California on behalf of Department of Personnel Administration.

Elise S. Rose, Chief Counsel, Dorothy Bacskai Egel, Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard and Susan R. Denious, Sacramento, for Plaintiff and Respondent State Personnel Board.

Elise S. Rose, Chief Counsel, Dorothy Bacskai Egel, Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard and Susan R. Denious, Sacramento, for Plaintiff and Appellant State Personnel Board.

Carroll, Burdick & McDonough, Ronald Yank and Gregg McLean Adam, San Francisco, for Defendant and Respondent Department of Forestry Firefighters.

Norman Hill, Chief Counsel, Wendy Breckon for Defendant and Respondent Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

OPINION ON REHEARING

BLEASE, Acting P.J.


The California Constitution requires that the California State Personnel Board (SPB) "shall ... review disciplinary actions" taken against state civil service employees. (Cal. Const., art. VII, § 3, subd. (a).)

State civil service employees assigned to State Bargaining Units 8, 11, 12, and 13 (hereafter Units 8, 11, 12, and 13), represented by their unions, negotiated labor contracts with the Department of Personnel Administration (DPA), the governor's representative in labor contract negotiations. The labor contract, known as a "memorandum of understanding" (MOU) (Gov.Code, §§ 3513, subd. (b); 3515.5, 3517.5),1 of each of the bargaining units, provides an alternative dispute resolution

4 Cal.Rptr.3d 289

mechanism for litigating a disciplinary action in a forum other than the SPB.

The SPB and the Association of California State Attorneys and Administrative Law Judges (State Attorneys), and a citizen taxpayer, sought writs of mandate to prohibit implementation of the disciplinary provisions of the MOUs. In SPB v. DPA (C032633), the SPB sought a writ of mandate challenging the provisions of the Unit 8 MOU.2 The trial court denied the SPB's petition because it lacked standing to challenge the constitutionality of the disciplinary provisions of the MOUs. The SPB appeals from the resulting judgment.

In State Attorneys v. DPA (C034943), State Attorneys and Gerald James, appearing as a taxpayer, filed an action in mandate against the DPA and the California Department of Forestry Firefighters (CDFF) to prohibit implementation of the disciplinary provisions of the Unit 8 MOU.3 The trial court granted the writ and defendants appeal from the judgment.4

In SPB v. DPA (C040263), the SPB filed an action in mandate against DPA, Marty Morgenstern, as the Director of DPA, California State Employees Association (CSEA), the union representing employees assigned to Unit 11, and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), the union representing employees in Units 12 and 13, to prohibit implementation of the disciplinary provisions of the MOUs for Units 11, 12, and 13. The trial court granted a writ of mandate and the defendants appeal from the judgment.

In the interests of judicial economy, we consolidated the three appeals to resolve their common issues: (1) whether the SPB has standing to challenge an MOU that restricts its review of disciplinary actions, and (2) whether the disciplinary provisions of the MOUs negotiated by the DPA and Units 8, 11, 12 and 13, and the legislation which sanctions the MOUs, violate the constitutional mandate that the SPB "review disciplinary actions."

We conclude the SPB has standing to challenge an MOU which precludes it from carrying out its constitutionally mandated duty to review disciplinary actions. We also conclude the MOUs violate article VII, section 3, subdivision (a) of the California Constitution because they restrict the SPB's adjudicatory authority to review disciplinary actions taken against state civil service employees. Lastly, we conclude the implementing legislation violates article VII, section 3, subdivision (a), to the extent it sanctions the offending provisions of the MOUs. Nothing we say in the opinion affects the Legislature's authority to determine the adjudicatory procedures by which the SPB conducts its review of disciplinary actions.

We shall affirm the judgments in case number C034943 relating to the Unit 8 MOU, with the exception of the condition attached thereto (see fn. 28), and in case number C040263 relating to the MOUs of Units 11, 12, and 13. Because we affirm the judgment in case number CO34943,

4 Cal.Rptr.3d 290

relating to the Unit 8 MOU, we shall dismiss as moot the appeal in case number C032633.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

A. The Unit 8 MOUs

Two versions of the Unit 8 MOU are at issue in case number C034943, the original and an amended version, adopted by the DPA and the CDFF as a "return" to the peremptory writ of mandate issued by the trial court.

The original Unit 8 MOU provides that an employee charged with major discipline may elect either a direct appeal to the SPB or a grievance and arbitration procedure which transfers the authority to review disciplinary actions from the SPB to a Board of Adjustment (BOA), whose members are selected by the employer and the union. If the BOA does not reach a binding decision the employee or the employee's union may seek arbitration. The original Unit 8 MOU transfers minor disciplinary authority wholly to the BOA. Plaintiffs filed a writ of mandate to prevent implementation of the MOU.

The trial court ruled this procedure and the implementing legislation violated the provisions of article VII, section 3, subdivision (a). It issued a peremptory writ of mandate barring implementation of the Unit 8 MOU "unless and until provisions are made in the procedures for the [SPB]'s ultimate and meaningful review of disputed civil service disciplinary actions resolved by grievance or arbitration pursuant to the procedures."5

By way of a "return" to the peremptory writ of mandate the DPA and CDFF amended the original MOU, effective February 8, 2000, "to comply with the judgment and writ of mandate...."6 The amended MOU provides the "modification shall be temporary (except where expressly noted) and the parties shall return to their original agreement if the Court of Appeal reverses the Superior Court judgment, or meet and confer if needed to modify their original agreement."

The Unit 8 MOUs were adopted pursuant to statutes that govern state employer-employee relations. (§ 3512 ff.) Section 3517 provides the Governor and a recognized employee organization may meet and confer regarding "wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment...." An agreement on these subjects is embodied in a MOU "which shall be presented, when appropriate, to the Legislature for determination." (§ 3517.5.) If a provision of the MOU requires the expenditure of funds or requires legislative action to permit its implementation, the provision is not effective unless approved by the Legislature. (§ 3517.6.)

The Unit 8 MOU was approved by Assembly Bill No. 1291 (Stats.1998, ch. 1024, § 2), and signed by the Governor over the objection of the SPB. It was amended in relevant part by Statutes 2001, chapter 365, principally to provide that if the legislation and a Unit 8 MOU are in conflict the MOU will control unless the MOU requires the expenditure of state funds. (§§ 19574, subd. (c), 19575, subd. (b), 19576.5, subd. (e), 19578, subd. (b), 19582, subd. (h); see also § 3517.6, subds. (a)(3),(b).) In the case of minor discipline, the provisions of an expired MOU will

4 Cal.Rptr.3d 291

continue to apply. (§ 19576.5, subds. (a) & (f).)

The CDFF and the DPA originally entered into a Unit 8 MOU for the period July 1, 1998, through June 30, 1999. A superceding Unit 8 MOU extended...

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1 practice notes
  • People v. Friedman, No. B159149.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 27, 2003
    ...personally participated in the commission of a murder. (Id. at p. 128.) In Friedman, the Second Circuit concluded that the testimony 4 Cal.Rptr.3d 284 "conclusively established that the deaths... resulted from the extortion ... (a `crime of violence'...)" and there was no requirement that t......
1 cases
  • People v. Friedman, No. B159149.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • August 27, 2003
    ...personally participated in the commission of a murder. (Id. at p. 128.) In Friedman, the Second Circuit concluded that the testimony 4 Cal.Rptr.3d 284 "conclusively established that the deaths... resulted from the extortion ... (a `crime of violence'...)" and there was no requirement that t......

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