What's it like to work with F3?
When F3’s school district clients make our team integral to their leadership structures, they know we have one goal in mind: building the lasting relationships that achieve the labor relations outcomes they need. That they also think of us as highly professional, ultra-responsive, always caring, and the lawyers they’re happy to call is a matter of pride for us, too.
What can F3 solve for you?
School districts turn to F3 because we know their challenges top to bottom. Our full range of services includes decades of experience in labor relations, including every phase of union negotiations, board and administration training, and conflict resolution – always with the goal of maintaining the best possible relations among all parties. Few firms in California have our level of knowledge and experience, which is why we’re the labor relations choice of nearly half of all California public school districts.
Top Issues in Labor Relations & Negotiations
“F3 Law provides a comprehensive and proactive approach to managing labor relations in educational institutions, from collective bargaining and contract negotiations to dispute resolution and compliance with state and federal labor laws, while promoting a collaborative and constructive relationship with employees and their representatives.”– Joshua Stevens, Partner
School and community college district employees in California have unique rights and power to negotiate the terms and conditions of their employment. While the politics and the economics differ dramatically from district to district, at bottom, their employees, administrators, and board members want
ing the best education for every student. To achieve this goal, employees want to be well-compensated and work in conditions conducive to a positive learning environment. Administrators and board members broadly share these goals, but their challenge is meeting them while maintaining a balanced budget. This is why collective bargaining is often the most difficult and demanding challenge that school and community college districts face. With such high stakes, and in a landscape dominated by legal and regulatory requirements, having good legal representation and counsel can be critical to staying compliant and achieving good outcomes.
F3 is proud to represent school and community college districts in all facets of labor relations and negotiations. Whether it’s sitting at the bargaining table, strategizing with administrators and boards, representing districts in impasse proceedings, or working with union representatives to resolve disputes, F3’s experience and expertise helps shepherd districts through the most critical union negotiations. Our belief is that the best use of legal resources is to anticipate and avoid costly labor disputes, and to help maintain positive relations with labor representatives. Knowing the state’s regulatory framework for labor relations is key to achieving these goals. If a dispute arises, our attorneys know how to position districts for the best outcomes possible, whether in grievance arbitration, unfair labor practice proceedings before the Public Employment Relations Board, or impasse proceedings. Whatever the challenge, our goal is to help our clients succeed in collective bargaining so they can achieve their mission to provide the best education possible to every student.
Negotiating to support the mission
The school districts and colleges that bring in F3 have one goal: providing excellent and un-disrupted student education at every level. Although union negotiations may seem removed from this goal, negotiating with unions is an especially critical process in which only a handful of law firms are experienced. Our clients benefit from our decades building solid relationships with the California Teachers Association (CTA), California School Employees Association (CSEA), California Federation of Teachers (CFT), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Teamsters, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and other organizations. We understand how to keep the lines of communication open throughout a process that may move rapidly from the sunshining step (presenting an agreement to the public) through collective bargaining, impasse proceedings, factfinding, mediation, and (rarely) a strike. We are one of very few firms to have taken districts through every stage and every possible twist and turn on the road to a successful agreement, working hard to keep negotiations productive..
Advising the Negotiations Team
F3 attorneys know the legal and political environment as it applies to school and community college district labor relations as few others do. Because negotiations and collective bargaining agreements span nearly every issue that districts face, our labor attorneys have to be knowledgeable in nearly every aspect of public education and the laws that govern. Our attorneys also bring expertise in drafting legally enforceable contract language. These skillsets allow us to provide a unique and at times vital role to a negotiations team. To be successful in this role, our approach is to earn the trust and credibility not only of the districts we represent, but also the union representatives on the other side of the table. Even if we may disagree, our goal is that they can appreciate the respect, professionalism and in-depth knowledge that we bring to the table, knowing that we share the mission of providing the best education possible to every student.
When conflict is unavoidable
Our goal is always to avoid litigation, but labor disputes can happen even in the best of circumstances. Whether you’re facing grievance or allegations of an unfair labor practice, or if you’re at an impasse and heading to fact-finding, our team is ready to step in.