§1464. Collective bargaining


Published: 2015

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§1464. Collective bargaining








1. Assumption of obligations, duties, liabilities and rights.  
On the operational date established pursuant to section 1463, subsection 1, the regional
school unit board of directors shall assume all of the obligations, duties, liabilities
and rights of the participating school administrative units for all purposes under
Title 26, chapter 9-A. The regional school unit is considered a single employer.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the responsibilities of the regional school
unit include:





A. Continued recognition of all bargaining agents that represented any bargaining units
of employees who were employed by a participating school administrative unit, pending
completion of merger proceedings described in this section; [2007, c. 240, Pt. XXXX, §13 (NEW).]










B. Assumption and continued observance of all collective bargaining agreements between
such bargaining agents and a participating school administrative unit, which agreements
continue in effect for the remainder of their unexpired terms unless the bargaining
agent and regional school unit mutually agree otherwise; and [2007, c. 240, Pt. XXXX, §13 (NEW).]










C. Collective bargaining for an initial or successor collective bargaining agreement
in any bargaining unit in which a collective bargaining agreement is not in effect
on the operational date and for any interim agreement that may be required to align
expiration dates in a regional school unit-wide bargaining unit, as described in this
section. [2007, c. 240, Pt. XXXX, §13 (NEW).]







[
2007, c. 240, Pt. XXXX, §13 (NEW)
.]








2. Structure of bargaining units.  
As early as possible after reorganization, all bargaining units must be structured
on a regional school unit-wide basis. Bargaining units that existed in the participating
school administrative units shall merge in accordance with the procedures and criteria
in this section. Merger into regional school unit-wide bargaining units is not subject
to approval or disapproval of employees.





A. Merger into regional school unit-wide bargaining units must be completed according
to the schedule contained in this section and, except as required by paragraph H, no later than the latest expiration date of any collective bargaining agreement that
was in effect on the operational date established pursuant to section 1463, subsection
1 that covered any employees in the merged unit. [2007, c. 566, §1 (AMD).]










B. There must be one unit of teachers and, to the extent they are on the effective date
of this section included in bargaining units, other certified professional employees,
excluding principals and other administrators. [2007, c. 240, Pt. XXXX, §13 (NEW).]










C. Any additional bargaining units in a regional school unit must be structured as follows:



(1) In the initial establishment of such units, units must be structured primarily
on the basis of the existing pattern of organization, maintaining the grouping of
employee classifications into bargaining units that existed prior to the creation
of the regional school unit and avoiding conflicts among different bargaining agents
to the extent possible; and




(2) In the event of a dispute regarding the classifications to be included within
a regional school unit-wide bargaining unit, the current bargaining agent or agents
or the regional school unit may petition the Maine Labor Relations Board to determine
the appropriate unit in accordance with this section and Title 26, section 966, subsections
1 and 2. [2007, c. 240, Pt. XXXX, §13 (NEW).]











D. When there is the same bargaining agent in all bargaining units that will be merged
into a regional school unit-wide bargaining unit, the units must be merged as of the
operational date established pursuant to section 1463, subsection 1, and the regional
school unit shall recognize the bargaining agent as the representative of the merged
unit. [2007, c. 240, Pt. XXXX, §13 (NEW).]










E. When all bargaining units that will be merged into a regional school unit-wide bargaining
unit are represented by separate local affiliates of the same state labor organization,
the units must be merged as of the operational date established pursuant to section
1463, subsection 1. The identity of the single affiliate that will be designated
the bargaining agent for the merged unit must be selected by the existing bargaining
agents and the state labor organization. Upon completion of the merger and designation
of the bargaining agent and notification by the state labor organization to the regional
school unit, the regional school unit shall recognize the designated bargaining agent
as the representative of employees in the merged unit. If necessary, the parties will
then execute a written amendment to any collective bargaining agreement then in effect
to change the name of the bargaining agent to reflect the merger.


Prior to the operational date of the regional school unit, the single affiliate that
is designated as the bargaining agent for the merged unit shall take measures necessary
to prepare to meet its obligations as the bargaining agent on and after the operational
date pursuant to Title 26, chapter 9-A, including, but not limited to, the authority
and duty to negotiate a successor collective bargaining agreement that will take effect
on or after the operational date. Until the operational date of the regional school
unit, each existing bargaining agent retains all other authority, duties and obligations
of the bargaining agent of the employees of the school administrative unit pursuant
to Title 26, chapter 9-A. [2009, c. 107, §3 (AMD).]










F. When there are bargaining units that will be merged into a regional school unit-wide
bargaining unit in which there are employees who are not represented by any bargaining
agent and other employees who are represented either by the same bargaining agent
or separate local affiliates of the same state labor organization, the units must
be merged as of the operational date pursuant to section 1463, subsection 1 as long
as a majority of employees who compose the merged unit were represented by the bargaining
agent prior to the merger. The procedures for merger of separate local affiliates
of the same state labor organization described in paragraph E must be followed if
applicable. If prior to the merger a bargaining agent did not represent a majority
of employees who compose the merged unit, a bargaining agent election must be conducted
by the Maine Labor Relations Board pursuant to paragraph H, except that the petition for an election must be filed not more than 90 days prior
to the expiration date of the agreement having the latest expiration date among the
bargaining units that will be merged into the regional school unit-wide bargaining
unit. [2007, c. 566, §2 (AMD).]










G. When there are unexpired collective bargaining agreements with different expiration
dates in the merged bargaining units described in paragraphs D, E and F, 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 must be
bargained on an interim basis in any merged bargaining unit so that all collective
bargaining agreements expire on the same date. [2007, c. 240, Pt. XXXX, §13 (NEW).]










H. When bargaining units with different bargaining agents must be merged into a single
regional school unit-wide bargaining unit pursuant to this section, the bargaining
agent of the merged bargaining unit must be selected in accordance with Title 26,
section 967 except as modified in this section.



(1) A petition for an election to determine the bargaining agent must be filed with
the Maine Labor Relations Board by any of the current bargaining agents or the regional
school unit.




(2) The petition must be filed not more than 90 days prior to the first August 31st occurring after the 3rd anniversary date of the operational
date of the regional school unit established pursuant to section 1463, subsection
1.




(3) The election ballot may contain only the names of the bargaining agents of bargaining
units that will be merged into the regional school unit-wide bargaining unit and the
choice of "no representative," but no other choices. No showing of interest is required
from any such bargaining agent other than its current status as representative.




(4) The obligation to bargain with existing bargaining agents continues from the
operational date established pursuant to section 1463, subsection 1 until the determination
of the bargaining agent of the regional school unit-wide bargaining unit under this
section; but in no event may any collective bargaining agreement that is executed
after the operational date extend beyond the first August 31st occurring after the 3rd anniversary date of the operational
date of the regional school unit.




(5) The Maine Labor Relations Board shall expedite to the extent practicable all
petitions for determination of the bargaining agent in the regional school unit-wide
bargaining unit filed pursuant to this section.




(6) The bargaining units must be merged into a regional school unit-wide bargaining
unit as of the date of certification of the results of the election by the Maine Labor
Relations Board or the expiration of the collective bargaining agreements in the unit,
whichever occurs later.




(7) Until the first August 31st occurring after the 3rd anniversary date of the operational
date of the regional school unit, existing bargaining agents shall continue to represent the bargaining units that
they represented on the day prior to the operational date of the regional school unit.
If necessary, each bargaining agent and the regional school unit must negotiate an
interim collective bargaining agreement to expire on the first August 31st occurring after the 3rd anniversary date of the operational
date of the regional school unit.




(8) When there are 2 or more bargaining units in which there are employees who are
represented either by the same bargaining agent or by separate local affiliates of
the same state labor organization that will be merged into a regional school unit-wide
bargaining unit with one or more other bargaining units pursuant to the election procedures
described in this paragraph, the bargaining units that are represented either by the
same bargaining agent or by separate local affiliates of the same state labor organization
must merge as of the operational date. The procedures for merger of separate local
affiliates of the same state labor organization described in paragraph E must be followed
if applicable. [2009, c. 580, §6 (AMD).]








[
2009, c. 580, §6 (AMD)
.]








3. Agent to engage in collective bargaining.  
After the merger of bargaining units into a regional school unit-wide bargaining unit,
the bargaining agent of a regional school unit-wide bargaining unit and the regional
school unit shall engage in collective bargaining for a collective bargaining agreement
for the regional school unit-wide bargaining unit. In the collective bargaining agreement
for each regional school unit-wide bargaining unit, the employment relations, policies,
practices, salary schedules, hours and working conditions throughout the regional
school unit must be made uniform and consistent as soon as practicable.


In the event that the parties are unable to agree upon an initial regional school
unit-wide collective bargaining agreement, the parties must use the dispute resolution
procedures pursuant to Title 26, section 965 to resolve their differences.


[
2007, c. 240, Pt. XXXX, §13 (NEW)
.]








4. Application of collective bargaining agreements.  
On or after the operational date of a regional school unit established pursuant to
section 1463, subsection 1 but before the completion of negotiations for a single
regional school unit-wide collective bargaining agreement for the regional school
unit-wide bargaining unit as described in subsection 3, the wages, hours and working
conditions of an employee of the regional school unit who is in a bargaining unit
and who is reassigned to a different position that is or, upon the completion of the
merger of bargaining units, will be included in the same regional school unit-wide
bargaining unit are determined by the terms of the existing collective bargaining
agreement that applies to the position to which the employee is reassigned, except
as provided in this subsection.





A. If the application of the existing collective bargaining agreement would cause a reduction
in the employee's wage or salary rate, the employee's wage or salary rate must be
maintained at the rate the employee was paid immediately prior to the reassignment
until the completion of negotiations for a single regional school unit-wide collective
bargaining agreement for the regional school unit-wide bargaining unit as described
in subsection 3 or the applicable collective bargaining agreement or any interim successor
agreement requires a higher wage or salary rate for the employee, whichever occurs
sooner. [2007, c. 668, §6 (NEW).]










B. If the application of the existing collective bargaining agreement would cause a reduction
in the amount that is paid by the regional school unit for premiums for health insurance
for the employee and the employee's dependents, the regional school unit's payment
must be maintained at the amount that was paid immediately prior to the reassignment
until the completion of negotiations for a single regional school unit-wide collective
bargaining agreement for the regional school unit-wide bargaining unit as described
in subsection 3 or the applicable collective bargaining agreement or any interim successor
agreement requires a higher payment, whichever occurs sooner. [2007, c. 668, §6 (NEW).]










C. If the application of the existing collective bargaining agreement provides for coverage
under a different health insurance plan, the employee may elect to retain coverage
under the health insurance plan in which the employee was enrolled immediately prior
to reassignment if the eligibility provisions of the plan permit until the completion
of negotiations for a single regional school unit-wide collective bargaining agreement
for the regional school unit-wide bargaining unit as described in subsection 3. [2007, c. 668, §6 (NEW).]







[
2007, c. 668, §6 (NEW)
.]








5. Bargaining units of employees of school unions.  
For purposes of section 1463, subsection 4 and this subsection, a school union that
employed public employees, within the meaning of Title 26, section 962, subsection
6, who were represented by a bargaining agent on the day prior to the operational
date of a regional school unit board of directors is considered to be a school administrative
unit.


[
2009, c. 580, §7 (NEW)
.]





SECTION HISTORY

2007, c. 240, Pt. XXXX, §13 (NEW).
2007, c. 566, §§1-3 (AMD).
2007, c. 668, §6 (AMD).
2009, c. 107, §§3, 4 (AMD).
2009, c. 580, §§6, 7 (AMD).

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