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We’re previewing our eight sessions at next week’s CALPELRA conference! Read for details on the topics, times, and locations of our Thursday and Friday sessions, and come see us at Booth 56!

Add this Comprehensive and Entertaining Skelly Session to Your Playlist

Jeff Sloan, Of Counsel
Dania Torres Wong, Partner
Alison Berry Wilkinson, Berry Wilkinson Law Group

Thursday, 10:15 am – 11:45 am
Steinbeck 3, Monterey Conference Center 

Through this session’s lively point/counterpoint exchange between management and union counsel, you’ll learn all there is to know about the pre-disciplinary process you must follow in administering serious disciplinary action. This session begins with a tight video of a Skelly meeting regarding alleged financial wrongdoing and retaliation by a unionized public sector manager. The video and accompanying Skelly notice handout will set the scene for a comprehensive discussion of Skelly’s pre-disciplinary requirements; what went well and not so well in the Skelly meeting; and the high and low points in how the Skelly notice was drafted. You’ll also learn how to both avoid implicit bias and foster DEI in the disciplinary/Skelly process.

Recruiting and Retaining Talent: Tips and Techniques for Competing with the Private Sector for Talent
Martha Artiles, Consultant, Management Strategies Group
Maria Hurtado, Consultant, Management Strategies Group
Maria Elena De Guevara, County of Santa Barbara

Thursday, 1:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Steinbeck 3, Monterey Conference Center 

2022 has presented unique challenges to employers — an employee-led landscape where employees have a wide array of opportunities they can choose from with equally attractive salaries. With an unemployment rate of 5.8% (close to pre-COVID) rates), it is becoming a bidding war for talent — much like the aggressively competitive housing market. Given this scenario, how can the public sector compete with the rich offerings of private sector that often include high hire-on bonuses, extensive vacation time, attractive workplace amenities, and evolving workplace practices in response to COVID? In this session you’ll learn from public sector experts and practitioners about the unique policies and cultures they designed and implemented that have helped them recruit and retain top talent.

Who Calls the Tune, PERB or the Courts? The Home Rule Doctrine and the
MMBA: Conflicts, Co-Existence, and Quo Warranto

Charles Sakai, Partner
Eric Della Santa, Senior Counsel

Thursday, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
San Carlos 4, Monterey Marriott Hotel 

The “Home Rule” Doctrine, which courts historically cited to give much deference to charter cities and counties in governing matters within their authority, has steadily eroded over time. PERB in particular has repeatedly challenged the idea that a charter agency’s right to govern itself or amend its charter can ever supersede its bargaining obligations under the MMBA. But recent court decisions show that there are still situations where the rights of elected officials and of electors must be recognized, and even in cases where PERB declares the MMBA to be the winner, it’s not the end. In this session you’ll learn how the Home Rule Doctrine and a charter agency’s bargaining obligations under the MMBA can still co-exist, and about litigation options that are available even after a charter amendment has been invalidated by PERB, including the uncommon and arcane writ of quo warranto.

Strategies to Embrace for Sustainability in Labor Negotiations and Budgeting Personnel Costing
Dania Torres Wong, Partner
Charlie Francis, City of Sausalito (ret.)

Thursday, 3:50 pm – 4:50 pm
San Carlos 4, Monterey Marriott Hotel 

Public sector agencies spend 60% or more of their budget on labor each year. Focus on total compensation of salaries, retirement benefits, health benefits, special pays, and expenses have become more critical with the steady rising cost of pensions. In this session you’ll learn about the latest methods for managing labor costs through negotiations, personnel budgeting, and effective stakeholder communications.

Striking Differences: A Lively Panel Discussion on How PERB, Employers, and Unions Manage Strikes (And Each Other)
Jeff Sloan, Of Counsel
Madeline E. Miller, Senior Counsel
Felix De La Torre, Public Employment Relations Board
Kerianne Steele, Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld

Friday, 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Ferrantes Bay View , Monterey Marriott Hotel 

There’s everyday evidence of the significant increase in public sector strikes in 2022. What do PERB, unions, management and the courts do when bargaining breaks down and the threat of a strike looms? Even for experienced practitioners, this process is extraordinarily intensive, complex, and challenging — accompanied by extreme risks if there is a misstep. In this session a real-life scenario from a 2021 local agency strike will frame a discussion by a lively panel of experts on the panoply of issues relating to strikes, allowing you to learn about: legality, steps to prepare for a strike and the PERB process, favorite union tactics and management countermoves in efforts to prevail with PERB, employees, elected officials, and the court of public opinion, and how DEI principles come into play in the context of strikes. You’ll also learn about the importance of focusing on solving the labor conflict that precipitates all strikes, and doing so cooperatively.