Labor Relations

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Labor Relations Background

The City of Novato has six (6) recognized labor unions that represent approximately 165 employees. There are 31 employees that are non-representated and constitute two (2) additional groups and there are two (2) employees on employment contracts. The City negotiates compensation and other aspects of employment for the members of these employee groups through the collective bargaining process. This process is governed by State law known as the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act or “MMBA” (California Government Code Section 3500, et seq.) Among other elements of the collective bargaining process, the MMBA sets forth requirements for:

  • the duty to bargain in good faith on matters within the scope of representation;
  • mandatory subjects of bargaining, including wages, hours and other employment terms and conditions;
  • impasse and fact finding to resolve disputes.

This is a legally binding contract on the parties. The terms and conditions of employment and any modifications agreed to by the parties are set forth in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The duration of the MOU is anywhere from one year to several years in length, depending on what has been negotiated.

2019 Labor Negotiations Status

2019 Labor Negotiations Status 
Unit A - Novato Police Managers’ Association Tentative Agreement (June 18, 2019)
Unit B - Novato Police Association  Tentative Agreement (June 24, 2019)
Unit C - SEIU Mid-Managers  In Progress
Unit D - SEIU General Employees   In Progress  
Unit E - Engineers   In Progress
Unit F - Confidential Group   In Progress 
Unit G - Exempt Management Group   In Progress
Unit H - Novato Police Civilian Employees’ Association  Tentative Agreement (July 11, 2019)

The current six (6) MOUs and the resolutions for the two non-union groups are scheduled to expire on June 30, 2019.  The City Labor Negotiations team received authorization from the City Council in April 2019 to initiate labor negotiations with each group to discuss successor MOUs and resolutions.

The chart below identifies the City’s six (6) recognized bargaining units. It also identifies two (2) non-unionized groups of employees whose employment terms and conditions are negotiated through the MMBA process, but without a designated representative. The terms and conditions of their agreement is approved by City Council resolution rather than by a negotiated MOU. A copy of each fully executed MOU and City Council resolutions are available on the City's website, novato.org.

Bargaining Unit  Name Classifications  Status  Number of Members 
A Novato Police Managers' Association  Captains, Lieutenants and Sergeants  Recognized and Represented  14 
B Novato Police Association  Police Officers and Corporals  Recognized and Represented  44 
SEIU Mid-Managers  Division Managers  Recognized and Represented 
SEIU General Employees  Maintenance Workers, Office Assistants, Accounting Assistants, Recreation Supervisors and Coordinators, Planners, Building Inspectors, Code Enforcement Officers and others.  Recognized and Represented  84 
Engineers  Professional Engineers and Public Works Inspectors  Recognized, but not represented 
Confidential Group  Management Analysts, HR Analysts, Executive Assistants Not represented  13 
Exempt Management Group  Department Heads, Division Managers  Not represented  13 
Novato Police Civilian Employees Association  Dispatchers, Records Clerks  Recognized and Represented  17 
Total        193 


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