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Sloan Sakai is pleased to provide a preview of our ten sessions at this month’s upcoming CALPELRA conference. Read for details on the topics, times, and locations of our Wednesday November 17th sessions – more details to come on our Thursday and Friday sessions.

Bargaining Against PERB
Tim Yeung, Partner
Madeline Miller, Senior Counsel

9:45 am – 10:45 am
Sierra 1, Monterey Conference Center

In recent years PERB has been aggressively protecting union rights in bargaining. Public employers often feel as if they are bargaining against both a union and PERB. And any mistake can and will be costly. This session will explore the most common mistakes made by public employers during bargaining and provide strategies for avoiding them. Special attention will be given to getting to impasse and strategies for concession bargaining.

Battle Over Qualified Immunity
Steve Shaw, Partner
Howard Jordan, Consultant, Management Strategies Group
Yuval Miller, Arbitrator/Mediator

1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
San Carlos 1, Marriott Hotel

The concept of “qualified immunity” has been very much present in the news lately. In the wake of numerous high-profile use-of-force incidents and offer-involved shootings, there have been legislative efforts at the state, local, and federal levels to reduce or eliminate this defense which has provided a shield protecting police officers (and other government officials) from being sued individually for violations of Constitutional rights, except where the officer could not “reasonable believe” their conduct was lawful.

This concept is now the subject of much controversy, not just in law enforcement but other areas as well. For instance, while several states and cities have sought to eliminate qualified immunity for police officers, such efforts have also been championed by advocates for free speech and religious freedom on college campuses. This session will explore the basic concepts of qualified immunity, efforts to abolish this defense, and the practical impacts for public employers and police departments.

Public Contract Negotiations:  Is This Coming Next?
Dania Torres Wong, Partner
LaTanya Bellow, Interim Deputy City Manager, City of Berkeley

1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Steinbeck Hybrid, Monterey Conference Center

An employee union asked the City of Berkeley to conduct public negotiations, so that all union members could view the process in the interest of transparency. A lot of questions came up during these public negotiations: We are at meeting number six, does this violate the ground rules? How do we post proposals? During COVID, how do we share the Zoom host privileges? How do we share and show the financials? How do we notice the public about the meetings? Public bargaining could be the coming to your agency next; in this session through the presenters’ real world experience, you’ll learn tips and recommendations to prepare for the process. Join us to learn about the colorful way Berkeley approached public negotiations and successfully landed a contract.

PERB Annual Update
Tim Yeung, Partner
Janet Cory Sommer, CEO, CALPELRA

1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Steinbeck, Monterey Conference Center

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. 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.

Union Speech: Can It Ever Go Too Far?
Tim Yeung, Partner
Madeline Miller, Senior Counsel

3:35 pm – 4:35 pm
Sierra 2, Monterey Conference Center

Union representatives are often trained to be aggressive in their representation of employees. You can expect raised voices and angry rhetoric, but what about yelling, profanity, and threats? How far is too far? This session explores the rules governing union speech and its limits. You’ll learn about PERB and court cases on union speech, as well as strategies for dealing with union representatives who cross the line.