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The Sloan Sakai and Management Strategies Group team will be at the CALPELRA Conference in Monterey next week with a series of sessions aimed at the latest issues facing public agencies in California.

Be it labor relations updates, police records disclosure law, essential employees or the Skelly process, our speakers will have the info you need. Keep reading for a full list of topics, session description, times and speakers, and be sure to visit us at Booth #30.

Stop, Think, And Then Negotiate: Structuring Labor Negotiations To Get Better Outcomes, With Views From Both Sides Of The Table

Charles Sakai, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Nicholas Raisch, Manager of Employee Relations and Training, City of Palo Alto

Wednesday, November 20th at 10:20 AM until 11:50 AM in Steinbeck 3

This session’s presenters will walk you through the bargaining process, focusing on some nuances that often get overlooked but can pay huge dividends. The presenters will expand your understanding of not only the bargaining process but of the types of unions you may be dealing with, their typical style or reactions to certain situations, and methods or strategies for each. Do you build into your negotiations timeline opportunities for labor to rally or picket? Have you ever considered different negotiating styles? What factors would help you in making this decision? In this interactive session you’ll learn about strategies, decisions, and discussions to be had prior to starting negotiations, how to navigate the process at the table, and closing the deal. Whether you are a seasoned negotiator, brand new to labor relations, or just looking to refine your skills and abilities at the bargaining table, you’ll learn concrete and easy to follow practices and techniques to improve and streamline your negotiations.

Annual Update of Key Labor Relations Decisions from PERB, the Courts, and the Legislature

Tim Yeung, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Janet Cory Sommer, Chief Executive Officer, CALPELRA

Wednesday, November 20th at 1:35 PM until 3:05 PM in Serra 1

A long-time Conference highlight, this session provides a comprehensive update of the year’s most important PERB cases, court decisions, and key new laws affecting public sector labor relations. You’ll learn about the latest changes in California labor law, with special emphasis on important recent changes in union and employee access and representation rights (e.g., union access to facilities, union representatives in meetings, released time, and right to wear union insignia), discrimination and interference rules, the duty to bargain in good faith, rules governing impasse and strikes, and other key labor relations issues. This session puts the year’s cases and legislation in context and provides practical advice to help you negotiate successfully in the coming year while avoiding unfair labor practices.

SB 1421: Everything You Need To Know About The New Police Records Disclosure Law

Steven Shaw, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Howard Jordan, Consultant, Management Strategies Group

Jim Leal, Consultant, Management Strategies Group

Wednesday, November 20th at 3:30 PM until 5:00 PM in Serra 2

Senate Bill 1421 dramatically altered the ability of the public (and the press) to obtain previously highly confidential police personnel records, broadly allowing the release of records relating to officer use-of-force incidents, sexual assault, and acts of dishonesty. Previously, such records were only available through a Pitchess motion and private review by a judge or arbitrator. Cities, counties, and state agencies have been inundated with SB 1421 Public Records Act requests. To complicate matters, unions and public agencies significantly disagree about the scope of what is covered and whether the law applies to records pre-dating the statute. In this session you’ll learn everything you need to know about the new law, what it covers, how to respond to PRA requests, and how to deal with competing viewpoints regarding interpretation of the statute.

Putting Your Best Case Forward: Advanced Issues in PERB Hearings

Tim Yeung, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Erich Shiners, Public Employment Relations Board Member

Thursday, November 21st at 10:20 AM until 11:50 AM in Colton

This session’s presenters will discuss advanced topics that you’ll need to know about to present your most persuasive case at a PERB hearing, including motions before and during the hearing, disputes over subpoenas and witnesses, pitfalls in presenting evidence, effective closing arguments, and dealing with unalleged violations.

How Far Is Too Far: When Does Public Employee Speech Cross The Line?

Jeff Sloan, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Alison Berry Wilkinson, Principle Attorney, Berry Wilkinson Law Group

Thursday, November 21st at 1:35 PM until 3:05 PM in Serra 2

Due to the public nature of their jobs, public employees face increased scrutiny of their speech and expression. Join this session’s presenters as they discuss the evolution of public employee free speech rights under the First Amendment, and as we explore what is (and is not) protected speech in the modern era from both a management and union perspective under the myriad of cases establishing limitations and protections for employee speech. You’ll learn about employer restrictions on content in an age where social media and texting are pervasive, as well as hot-button controversies surrounding union-related speech, threats, insubordination, speech that mocks or offends, and whistleblower speech, as well as political, symbolic, and unethical speech.

What Happens After The Skelly Meeting?

Jeff Sloan, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Alison Berry Wilkinson, Principle Attorney, Berry Wilkinson Law Group

Thursday, November 21st at 3:30 PM until 5:00 PM in Serra 2

Proper drafting of the Skelly notice and conducting the Skelly meeting are only part of the recipe for success in addressing serious misconduct. The most important test for success comes after the Skelly meeting, where the real rigors of due process and the full evidentiary hearing emerge. This session’s presenters will rocket through a robust outline of the steps. You’ll learn about completing the Skelly process, dealing with procedural gaffes that occurred in the pre-disciplinary process, the nuts and bolts of the pre-hearing and hearing process, and how to anticipate and avoid the costly and challenging “side shows” (PERB and/or court proceedings) that can be part of an employee-side representative’s “deflect and distract” strategy. The presenters will also provide gems on the role of management representatives and witnesses at the hearing, and how you can help them (and yourself) prepare for it.

Avoiding The End Run: Options For Responding To ULP’s Seeking To Circumvent The Impasse/Factfinding Process

Dania Torres Wong, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Allyson Cook, Assistant Director of Human Resource Management, City of Oakland

Friday, November 22nd at 8:30 AM until 10:00 AM in San Carlos 3

Labor organizations are using PERB’s unfair labor practice process to circumvent the bargaining, impasse, and/or factfinding processes. In this Sparks session you’ll hear directly from negotiators about the rise of unfair labor practice charges filed prior to impasse to circumvent the bargaining process, the practical effects this has on the bargaining process, and practice points on the appropriate employer response.

Note: The CALPELRASparks/Labor session includes four short presentations on separate labor topics.

Eureka! I Found An Essential Employee!

Tim Yeung, Partner, Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP

Friday, November 22nd at 8:30 AM until 10:00 AM in San Carlos 3

At the urging of unions, PERB has been making it more and more difficult to prevent “essential” employees from striking. By scrutinizing an employer’s staffing levels, requiring employers to seek temporary replacements, and characterizing many governmental services as non-essential, PERB may make finding an essential employee in California almost as rare as finding a grizzly bear. This Sparks session will highlight the latest theories and strategies PERB uses in evaluating requests for injunctive relief in “essential” employee strikes.

Note: The CALPELRASparks/Labor session includes four short presentations on separate labor topics.

Join us at these sessions, stop by the booth and learn about ways Sloan Sakai can best help you and your organization. See you in Monterey!