Labor Relations and Negotiations
Members of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore have successfully negotiated thousands of labor agreements for cities, counties, special districts, the courts, and school and college districts. The negotiations have covered all classes of employees, including a variety of white and blue collar, professional, supervisory and management, and public safety employee bargaining units. Depending on the philosophy and circumstances of an agency, these agreements have run the gamut of relatively brief memorandums of understanding covering primarily benefit items to comprehensive labor agreements that define substantially all negotiable terms of employment, and, through management rights, waiver and "zipper" type clauses, provide protection to management's ability to effectively manage the agency. Members of the Firm are experienced in collaborative/interest based bargaining techniques in addition to the more traditional labor negotiations approach.
In addition to conducting negotiations for public employers, we continually work with agencies that employ staff personnel to do their own negotiations. This arrangement involves all aspects of consultation and related services, including drafting and reviewing bargaining proposals, counter proposals and agreement provisions, providing training and advice concerning negotiating strategies, and giving advice or stepping into the process when particular problems arise.
Our Approach to Negotiations
Negotiating ImpassesServices provided by the members of the Firm have included direct participation, as well as consultation, in hundreds of mediations. Our attorneys have guided many agencies in preparing its case for fact finding and interest arbitration; and have both represented and served as the panel member in a number of interest arbitrations.
Strike ActionsWe have worked with many public sector employers in contingency planning for job actions and assisting them in strike-related activities. A Firm partner co-authored the "Management Strike Handbook," published by the International Personnel Management Association.Contract Administration and Grievance HandlingThe Firm has extensive experience in the area of grievance administration, ranging from the giving of advice at the administrative levels of the grievance process through litigating arbitration cases.
Public Employment Relations Board RepresentationMembers of the firm have had many years of experience representing our clients in all phases of PERB proceedings, from consultation and responses to Unfair Labor Practice claims through PERB hearings and court appeals. A Firm partner served as counsel to the PERB Board's first Chairperson as well as serving as a PERB Administrative Law Judge. Another Firm partner represented the League of California Cities and the California Association of Counties in the legislative and administrative proceedings in connection with the PERB assuming jurisdiction over local agency employment relations.
Employee Relations and Personnel PoliciesLCW has developed a comprehensive sample Employer-Employee Relations Resolution/Ordinance that is widely utilized by California's local agencies. It serves to protect local control over key aspects of employment relations which otherwise would be left to the PERB. We advise or represent agencies in consulting with unions in implementing or revising changes in its Resolution or Ordinance.
The Firm develops, reviews, revises, and, to the extent required, assists in the negotiation of personnel policies and procedures that are in compliance with changing legal requirements and that facilitate effective personnel administration.