ALRB seen as ‘out of control’ bureaucracy with ‘ballooning’ budget

ALRB ballooning budgetThe state Agricultural Labor Relations Board is “out of control,” whose “ballooning” budget and staff, is driven by a drive to force Gerawan farmworkers to join the United Farm Workers. That’s what a California state assemblyman and others tell the Fresno Bee in a front-page story about the ALRB’s bias toward the union.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Former ALRB General Counsel Sylvia Torres-Guillen was the prime engine behind a 90% hike in the ALRB budget to go after Gerawan Farming and its farmworkers who sought to de-certify the UFW as their representative.
  • ALRB staff nearly doubled from 33 when Torres-Guillen was appointed general counsel, to more than 63 today. “A good chunk of that is related to the UFW-Gerawan dispute,” the Bee reports.
  • “When bureaucracies get out of control, their budgets explode, and I think we’re seeing that happen here,” says state Assemblymember Jim Patterson of Fresno.
  • ALRB's legal duo behind the attempt to force the UFW contract on the workers.

    ALRB’s legal duo behind the attempt to force the UFW contract on the workers.

    “For several years in the mid- to late 2000s, the ALRB’s staffing hovered between 30 and 40 employees with a budget that never topped $6 million. But a 2013 surge in the number of unfair labor practice charges made by UFW against Gerawan and petitions from Gerawan workers for the decertification election prompted Torres-Guillén to ask for a significant increase in staff and budget to handle the growing caseload. In a March 2014 budget memo, Torres-Guillén sought to boost the budget by more than one-third, from just under $6 million to more than $8.1 million, adding four attorneys and one field examiner to the agency’s staff.”

  • “This year, the agency asked for, and received, an additional 16% increase, boosting the total to almost $9.5 million — more than double what it was before Torres-Guillén was named as general counsel.”

Comments are closed