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CA DOC Must Arbitrate Grievances with Guards

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association (the Union) represents prison guards in conditions-of-employment negotiations with the state Department of Personnel Association (the Department). Even though Government Code section 3529 provides that guards themselves can’t attend such negotiations, the Department agreed to allow a few of them to attend. The Department later refused to allow guards to attend such negotiations and refused to negotiate guards’ grievances concerning that issue. The guards sought to compel arbitration of the matter in state court. The court declined, and the union appealed.

On appeal, the Court of Appeal of the State of California, 1st Appellate District, Div. 1 found that although section 3529 didn’t allow guards to attend such negotiations, the Department had waived its right to exclude them by agreeing to permit their attendance. The Department had also obligated itself to negotiate the guards’ grievances by an earlier agreement. The trial court was therefore reversed. See: CA Correctional Peace Officers Assoc. v. State of California, 142 Cal.App.4th 198, 47 Cal.Rptr.3d 717 (Cal.App. 1 Dist., 2006), review denied.

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Related legal case

CA Correctional Peace Officers Assoc. v. State of California