Chapter 9-A: MUNICIPAL PUBLIC EMPLOYEES LABOR RELATIONS LAW
§966. Bargaining unit; how determined
1.Bargaining unit standards.
In the event of a dispute between the public employer and an employee or employees
as to the appropriateness of a unit for purposes of collective bargaining or between
the public employer and an employee or employees as to whether a supervisory or other
position is included in the bargaining unit, the executive director or his designee
shall make the determination, except that anyone excepted from the definition of public
employee under section 962 may not be included in a bargaining unit. The executive
director or his designee conducting unit determination proceedings shall have the
power to administer oaths and to require by subpoena the attendance and testimony
of witnesses, the production of books, records and other evidence relative or pertinent
to the issues represented to them. In determining whether a supervisory position should
be excluded from the proposed bargaining unit, the executive director or his designee
shall consider, among other criteria, if the principal functions of the position are
characterized by performing such management control duties as scheduling, assigning,
overseeing and reviewing the work of subordinate employees, or performing such duties
as are distinct and dissimilar from those performed by the employees supervised, or
exercising judgment in adjusting grievances, applying other established personnel
policies and procedures and in enforcing a collective bargaining agreement or establishing
or participating in the establishment of performance standards for subordinate employees
and taking corrective measures to implement those standards. Nothing in this chapter
is intended to require the exclusion of principals, assistant principals, other supervisory
employees from school system bargaining units which include teachers and nurses in
1975, c. 697, §1 (AMD)
2.Bargaining unit compatibility.
The executive director of the board or his designee shall decide in each case whether,
in order to insure to employees the fullest freedom in exercising the rights guaranteed
by this chapter and in order to insure a clear and identifiable community of interest
among employees concerned, the unit appropriate for purposes of collective bargaining
shall be the public employer unit or any subdivision thereof. No unit shall include
both professional and nonprofessional employees unless a majority of such professional
employees vote for inclusion in such unit, except that teachers may be included in
a unit consisting of other certificated employees.
1975, c. 564, §20 (RPR)
Where there is a certified or currently recognized bargaining representative and
where the circumstances surrounding the formation of an existing bargaining unit are
alleged to have changed sufficiently to warrant modification in the composition of
that bargaining unit, any public employer or any recognized or certified bargaining
agent may file a petition for a unit clarification provided that the parties are unable
to agree on appropriate modifications and there is no question concerning representation.
1975, c. 697, §2 (NEW)
4.Unit merger; same bargaining agent.
If there is the same certified or currently recognized bargaining representative
of public employees in multiple bargaining units with the same public employer, the
public employer or certified or recognized bargaining representative may file a petition
with the executive director to merge those bargaining units. Upon the finding of
the executive director or the director's designee that the expanded unit would conform
with the requirements set forth in this subsection, the executive director shall order
an election within each bargaining unit to determine whether a majority of the employees
voting in each bargaining unit wish to be within the expanded unit. The only question
on the ballot in a merger election is approval or disapproval of the proposed merger.
The executive director or the director's designee shall certify the bargaining agent
for an expanded unit consisting of any bargaining units in which a majority of the
employees voting approved the merger.
A. After an expanded unit is certified, the parties shall then bargain over modifications
needed in order to provide for the wages, hours and working conditions or contract
grievance arbitration for the newly included positions in any existing collective
bargaining agreement or any collective bargaining agreement being negotiated.
When there is an unexpired collective bargaining agreement in the merged bargaining
unit with a different expiration date from any other collective bargaining agreement
in the merged bargaining unit, all contracts must be honored to their expiration dates
unless mutually agreed to otherwise by the public employer and the bargaining agent.
Collective bargaining agreements may be bargained on an interim basis in any merged
bargaining unit so that all collective bargaining agreements expire on the same date. [1993, c. 38, §1 (AMD).]
B. If a petition has been filed by a competing organization for decertification of
the current bargaining agent for any of the bargaining units subject to the merger,
then the decertification petition takes precedence over a petition to merge bargaining
units. [1989, c. 236, (NEW).]
C. A public employer or certified or recognized bargaining representative may not file
more than once a year with the executive director to merge or combine bargaining units
for the same bargaining unit. [1989, c. 236, (NEW).]
D. The executive director or the director's designee conducting unit merger proceedings
may administer oaths and may require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses,
the production of books, records and other evidence relating to the issues presented
to the executive director or the director's designee. [1989, c. 236, (NEW).]
E. A bargaining unit composed of a majority of supervisors may not merge under this
subsection with any other bargaining unit. [1989, c. 236, (NEW).]
F. A bargaining unit composed of teachers may not merge under this subsection with
a bargaining unit of nonprofessional employees. [1989, c. 236, (NEW).]
1993, c. 38, §1 (AMD)
1969, c. 424, §1 (NEW).
1969, c. 578, §3 (AMD).
1971, c. 609, §4 (AMD).
1973, c. 458, §9 (AMD).
1975, c. 564, §20 (RPR).
1975, c. 697, §§1,2 (AMD).
1989, c. 236, (AMD).
1993, c. 38, §1 (AMD).
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