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Pocket Guide to Factfinding

By M. Carol Stevens, Janae Novotny, and Janet Cory Sommer
2nd edition, 2016

$27 each

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This compact resource explains the statutory requirements, best practices and practical basics for the four public sector labor relations statutes in California that require factfinding...EERA, HEERA, MMBA and IHSSEERA.

CPER's newest guide covers:

  • Impasse and factfinding process
  • Analyzing and presenting factfinding criteria
  • Factfinding and the good faith duty to bargain
  • Scope of bargaining and factfinding
  • Major court cases and decisions
  • Pertinent statutes
  • PERB regulations
  • Resources
  • Factfinding timelines



I. Introduction 1
    A. Statutory Requirements 1
    B. Best Practices 1
    C. Practical Basics 2
II. Impasse and Factfinding Process 3
    A. Statutory Requirements 3
        1. Educational Employment Relations Act and Higher Education
            Employer-Employee Relations Act
        2. Meyers-Milias-Brown Act and In-Home Supportive Services
            Employer-Employee Relations Act
        3. Impact and effects issues are subject to factfinding 13
    B. The Practical Process 15
        1. Purpose 15
        2. Burden of persuasion 16
        3. Hearing procedures 16
        4. Factfinding report 17
III. Analyzing and Presenting Factfinding Criteria 18
    A. Comparison of Wages, Hours, and Conditions of Employment 18
        1. Factfinders view comparability, with ability to pay, as the most
            important factfinding criteria
        2. Factfinders prefer a list of comparable agencies that the public
            agency and the union have agreed on and used for similar
        3. Factfinders favor well-documented rationale for a proposed set
            of comparables, as well as well-documented data from
            a party's selected comparators
        4. The party proposing a change from a historical universe of
            comparable agencies has the burden of demonstrating
            both that the earlier universe is inappropriate and that
            the universe it now proposes is appropriate
        5. When considering the appropriateness of a universe of
            comparison agencies, factfinders generally look
            to certain criteria
    B. Interest and Welfare of the Public and the Financial Ability of
       the Public Agency
        1. Raise ability-to-pay at the outset of negotiations 26
        2. Ability-to-pay involves many factors, not just the immediate crisis 27
        3. The agency budget alone is not persuasive 28
        4. Do not rely solely on an ability-to-pay argument and neglect a
            thorough analysis of other statutory factfinding criteria
        5. If the parties' final offers are close, ability to-pay arguments
            will be minimized
        6. A factfinder may not be persuaded by an ability-to-pay argument
            if the agency appears not to control its own expenditures
            and appears to be making only expenditure priority choices
        7. The accuracy of the agency's budgeting process, including
            projections and assumptions, must be able to withstand
            contrary evidence
        8. The agency's budget accuracy will be tested historically by
            comparing projected versus actual changes in general
            fund balances
        9. The interests and welfare of the public 33
    C. Consumer Price Index (CPI)/Cost of Living 34
        1. Consumer-price-index basics 34
        2. What is the difference between the CPI-U and the CPI-W? 34
        3. Comparison of total compensation and CPI increases 35
        4. Using the appropriate statistical region or report 35
        5. Understanding CPI-related statistical and mathematical
        6. Using 5- or 10-year historical CPI statistics 36
        7. Using trends for the past months to project the CPI prospectively 37
    D. Applicable State and Federal Laws 37
    E. Local Rules (MMBA and IHSS-EERA Only) 38
    F. Overall Compensation 38
    G. Stipulation of Parties 39
    H. Other Factors Traditionally Considered 39
IV. Factfinding and the Good Faith Duty to Bargain 40
    A. Duty to Bargain Includes Impasse and Impasse Procedures 40
    B. Continuation of the Status Quo and the Duty to Bargain After
        Expiration of Contract/MOU
    C. Breaking Impasse and Reviving Negotiations 42
    D. Last, Best, and Final Offer Requirements 44
    E. Unilateral Adoption of a Duration Clause Cannot Waive a Union's Right to Negotiate 45
    F. Strikes and Impasse Procedures 46
V. Scope of Bargaining and Factfinding 47
    A. Insistence to Impasse on Non-Mandatory Subject of Bargaining
        Violates the Duty to Bargain
    B. Party Must Protest the Submission of a Non-Mandatory Subject
        to Factfinding
    C. Factfinding Panel Lacks Jurisdiction to Determine Whether or
        Not a Subject Is Within the Scope of Bargaining
    D. Procedure for Raising a Scope of Bargaining Issue During
VI. Major Court and PERB Decisions 53
    A. Definition of Impasse 53
    B. Declaring and Determining Impasse 53
    C. Breaking Impasse and Reviving Negotiations 54
    D. Duty to Participate in Good Faith in Impasse Procedures 55
    E. Duty to Participate in Good Faith in Impasse to Impasse 56
    F. Post-Impasse 59
VII. Statutes 60
    A. Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA) 61
    B. Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA) 65
    C. Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) 70
    D. In-Home Supportive Services Employer-Employee Relations Act (IHSSEERA) 76
VIII. Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) Regulations 81
    Article 6. Impasse Procedures 81
IX. PERB Resources 88
X. Factfinding Timelines 89
    A. Impasse and Factfinding Timeline: EERA and HEERA 89
    B. Impasse and Factfinding Timeline: MMBA 92
    C. Impasse and Factfinding Timeline: IHSS 95
11. Table of Cases 98