The San Francisco DSA has recently obtained two (2) separate PERB Complaints for unfair labor practices committed by the Sheriff’s Office. The first involves protecting DSA member’s right to continue earning and using CTO to mitigate the excessive amounts of overtime mandated by SF’s refusal to adequately staff the department and the second unfair labor practice involves the departmental managers interference in DSA elections.
Unilateral Limitations on Right to Earn and Burn CTO
The DSA recently prevailed in a heated interest arbitration with the City and County of San Francisco over the terms of a successor contract. The continued ability of the DSA membership to earn and burn CTO was the highest priority issue for both parties. SF wanted to restrict this right in order to reduce overtime costs associated with the department’s chronic under staffing. Despite that the DSA retained the right to earn and burn CTO in the interest arbitration, the department attempted to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to unilaterally eliminate member’s CTO rights.
On March 23, 2020, CCSF announced that it was suspending CTO earn and burn based on the COVID-19 public heath emergency. The “emergency” exceptions to meet and confer requirements are limited. CCSF did not have any financial emergency or staffing shortage that warranted the change. Rather, it was evident CCSF saw another opportunity, citing COVID-19, to accomplish its goal of taking away CTO earn and burn.
On April 28, 2020, SFDSA filed another charge based on CCSF’s unilateral decision to suspend the Compensatory Time Off (CTO) agreement. The CTO agreement allows DSA members to “earn” CTO up to 160 hours and then “burn” the hours before they can accrue again. CCSF has made numerous attempts to take away CTO earn and burn.
On December 2, 2020, PERB issued a complaint alleging CCSF committed an unfair labor practice by failing to provide notice and an opportunity to meet and confer over its unilaterally implemented changes to CTO earn and burn.
The declared COVID-19 “public health emergency” does not give employers free reign to unilaterally implement changes to wages, hours, or working conditions within the scope of representation.