UNFAIR PRACTICE ISSUES; PROTECTED ACTIVITIES – In General
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300.01000 – In General
The right to strike is fundamental to the statutory scheme of collective bargaining between equal partners. In the absence of some means of equalizing the parties’ respective bargaining positions, such as a credible strike threat, both sides are less likely to bargain in good faith, which, in turn, leads to unsatisfactory and acrimonious labor relations and ironically to more and longer strikes. Strikes by public employees are not illegal, unless statutorily prohibited, or unless there has been a clear showing that the strike poses a substantial and imminent threat to public health and safety. “[W]hile not absolute, the right to strike falls within the statutorily-protected right of public-sector employees to participate in union activities.” An employer may not unilaterally impose terms that waive or limit this right. The Board overruled Compton Unified School District (1987) PERB Order No. IR-50 to the extent that it holds there is no statutory right to strike in protest of an employer’s unfair practices.