BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   AB 455|
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                                 THIRD READING

          Bill No:  AB 455
          Author:   Campos (D)
          Amended:  3/31/11 in Assembly
          Vote:     21

           SENATE PUBLIC EMPLOY. & RETIRE. COMMITTEE  :  3-2, 5/9/11
          AYES:  Negrete McLeod, Padilla, Vargas
          NOES:  Walters, Gaines 

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  46-25, 4/7/11 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Public employment:  local public employee 

           SOURCE  :     American Federation of State, County and 
                      Employees, AFL-CIO

           DIGEST  :    This bill specifies the composition of local 
          public agency personnel or merit system commissions and the 
          process of appointment of their members and chairperson.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law establishes the 
          Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA), which provides a statutory 
          framework for local government employer-employee relations 
          by providing a reasonable method of resolving disputes 
          regarding wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of 
          employment between local public employers and public 
          employee organizations.



                                                                AB 455

          This bill:

          1.Requires, in public agencies that have established merit 
            or personnel commissions, that the governing board of the 
            public agency appoint one-half of the commission members, 
            and appoint the other one-half as nominated by the 
            recognized employee organization.

          2.Specifies that whenever there are multiple bargaining 
            units represented by different recognized employee 
            organizations, the one representing the largest number of 
            employees will be the one to designate commission 
            members, as specified.

          3.Requires the commission members to jointly elect one 
            additional member of the commission who will act as its 


          Need for the Bill  .  According to the author's office, "Many 
          municipalities and public agencies appoint merit and 
          personnel commissions, which promulgate and administer the 
          rules and regulations relating to employee selection, 
          recruitment, pay, retention, promotion, evaluation, and 
          discipline.  ÝHowever], despite the importance of merit and 
          personnel commissions to employment relations, the MMBA is 
          silent as to how these commissions should be composed.  A 
          requirement that personnel and merit commission 
          appointments be shared by the employer and employee 
          organization would ensure that the commissions will be more 
          balanced and fair."

           What are Merit Systems in Civil Service  ?  A merit system is 
          a personnel system based on the principle of employment and 
          promotion on the basis of merit for the purpose of 
          obtaining the highest efficiency while assuring the 
          selection, retention and promotion of the most qualified 
          individuals in the job.  Many local public agencies have 
          established merit or personnel commissions to promulgate 
          and administer the rules and regulations for operating 
          these systems.

           The Merit System in State Civil Service  .  The merit system 



                                                                AB 455

          for State employees is established in statute and the State 
          Constitution, and is overseen by the State Personnel Board 
          (SPB) which was "constitutionally created in 1934 to 
          administer the civil service system and ensure that state 
          employment is based on merit and free of political 

          The SPB, whose members are appointed by the Governor and 
          approved by the Senate, is charged with enforcing civil 
          service statutes, prescribing probationary periods and job 
          classifications, adopting other rules authorized by 
          statute, and reviewing disciplinary actions.

          Selection of Personnel Commission Members in K-12 
          Education.  Current law provides that a personnel 
          commission established by a school district must have three 
          members - one member appointed by the governing board of 
          the district, one member nominated by the classified 
          employees of the district and appointed by the governing 
          board of the district, and a third member jointly appointed 
          by the two members.

          Current law also defines "classified employees" in this 
          regard as the exclusive representative that represents the 
          largest number of noncertificated employees in a unit or 
          units within the district.  However, if there is no 
          exclusive representative within the district, the governing 
          board must, by written rule, prescribe the method by which 
          the recommendation is to be made by its classified 

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  No   
          Local:  No

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/10/11)

          American Federation of State, County and Municipal 
            Employees, AFL-CIO (source)
          California Labor Federation
          California State Pipe Trades
          Coalition of California Utility Employees
          International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
          International Union of Elevator Constructors
          Service Employees International Union, Local 100



                                                                AB 455

          Western States Council of Sheet Metal Workers
          Utility Workers Union of America

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  5/10/11)

          California State Association of Counties
          Regional Council of Rural Counties
          League of California Cities

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the source, the 
          American Federation of State, County and Municipal 
          Employees, "Currently the MMBA does not specify a 
          requirement for the composition of merit and personnel 
          commissions that are appointed by municipalities and public 
          agencies.  Because these commissions decide on rules and 
          regulations relating to employees, their impact on 
          employees is tremendous.  Allowing the employer to select 
          its members skews the commission unfairly.  ÝThis bill] 
          would prescribe how the membership of public agency merit 
          and personnel commissions must be appointed?and will help 
          protect the rights of public agency employees."

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    In opposition, the League of 
          California Cities states, "AB 455 unnecessarily intrudes 
          into what is fundamentally a local municipal affair over 
          the compensation method of appointment, qualifications, 
          tenure of office, and removal of employees.  Additionally, 
          agencies that no longer have authority to appoint the full 
          board will likely forgo the civil/personnel commission and 
          instead took to an outside hearing officer or binding 
          arbitration.  Either of these options would be more costly 
          to the agency and to employees."

          The California State Association of Counties and the 
          Regional Council of Rural Counties contend, "We do not see 
          any reason why the compositions of personnel commissions 
          should be changed as a matter of state law.  We would 
          encourage the supporters of AB 455 to seek changes in the 
          composition at the local level, and if the need arises, 
          reconstruct each commission on a 
          jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis.  Furthermore, we 
          question the need for changes.  We are unaware of any such 
          abuses when used by counties as a way to address certain 
          employment practices.  Note, that when there are unfair 



                                                                AB 455

          labor practices (alleged or otherwise), current law 
          provides a number of remedies.  Altering the composition of 
          each and every composition appears to be a misguided 
          attempt if there are concenrs about one or more selected 

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  : 
          AYES:  Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Beall, Block, 
            Blumenfield, Bonilla, Bradford, Brownley, Buchanan, 
            Butler, Campos, Carter, Chesbro, Davis, Dickinson, Eng, 
            Feuer, Fong, Fuentes, Galgiani, Gatto, Gordon, Hall, 
            Hayashi, Roger Hernández, Hill, Huber, Hueso, Huffman, 
            Lara, Ma, Mendoza, Monning, Pan, Perea, V. Manuel Pérez, 
            Skinner, Solorio, Swanson, Torres, Wieckowski, Williams, 
            Yamada, John A. Pérez
          NOES:  Bill Berryhill, Conway, Cook, Donnelly, Fletcher, 
            Garrick, Grove, Hagman, Halderman, Harkey, Jeffries, 
            Jones, Knight, Logue, Mansoor, Miller, Morrell, Nestande, 
            Nielsen, Norby, Olsen, Silva, Smyth, Valadao, Wagner
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Achadjian, Charles Calderon, Cedillo, 
            Furutani, Gorell, Bonnie Lowenthal, Mitchell, Portantino, 

          CPM:cm  5/10/11   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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