§965. Obligation to bargain

Link to law: http://legislature.maine.gov/legis/statutes/26/title26sec965.html
Published: 2015

§965. Obligation to bargain








1. Negotiations. 
It is the obligation of the public employer and the bargaining agent to bargain collectively.
"Collective bargaining" means, for the purposes of this chapter, their mutual obligation:






A. To meet at reasonable times; [1969, c. 424, §1 (NEW).]










B. To meet within 10 days after receipt of written notice from the other party requesting
a meeting for collective bargaining purposes, as long as the parties have not otherwise agreed in a prior written contract. This obligation is suspended during the period between a referendum approving a
new regional school unit and the operational date of the regional school unit, as
long as the parties meet at reasonable times during that period; [2009, c. 107, §5 (AMD).]










C. To confer and negotiate in good faith with respect to wages, hours, working conditions
and contract grievance arbitration, except that by such obligation neither party may be compelled to agree to a proposal or be required to make a concession and except
that public employers of teachers shall meet and consult but not negotiate with respect
to educational policies; for the purpose of this paragraph, educational policies may not include wages, hours, working conditions or contract grievance arbitration; [2009, c. 107, §5 (AMD).]










D. To execute in writing any agreements arrived at, the term of any such agreement to
be subject to negotiation but may not exceed 3 years; and [2009, c. 107, §5 (AMD).]










E. To participate in good faith in the mediation, fact-finding and arbitration procedures
required by this section. [1973, c. 788, §119 (AMD).]







Whenever wages, rates of pay or any other matter requiring appropriation of money
by any municipality or county are included as a matter of collective bargaining conducted
pursuant to this chapter, it is the obligation of the bargaining agent to serve written
notice of request for collective bargaining on the public employer at least 120 days
before the conclusion of the current fiscal operating budget, except that this requirement
is waived in the event that a bargaining agent of a newly formed bargaining unit is
recognized or certified during the period not more than 120 days nor less than 30
days prior to the end of the fiscal period. The 120-day notice requirement is also waived with respect to regional school units
formed pursuant to Title 20-A, chapter 103-A, subchapter 2 prior to their first year
of operation.


[
2009, c. 107, §5 (AMD)
.]








2. Mediation. 







A. It is the declared policy of the State to provide full and adequate facilities for
the settlement of disputes between employers and employees or their representatives
and other disputes subject to settlement through mediation. [1975, c. 564, §13 (AMD).]










B. Mediation procedures must be followed whenever either party to a controversy requests
such services prior to arbitration, or, in the case of disputes affecting public employers,
public employees or their respective representatives as defined, whenever requested
by either party prior to arbitration or at any time on motion of the Maine Labor Relations
Board or its executive director. Requests for grievance mediation are handled in
accordance with paragraph F. [2001, c. 92, §1 (AMD).]










C. The Panel of Mediators, consisting of not less than 5 nor more than 10 impartial members,
must be appointed by the Governor from time to time upon the expiration of the terms
of the several members, for terms of 3 years. The Maine Labor Relations Board shall
supply to the Governor nominations for filling vacancies. Vacancies occurring during
a term must be filled for the unexpired term. Members of the panel are entitled to
a fee for services in the amount of $300 for up to 4 hours of mediation services provided and $300 for each consecutive period of up to 4 hours thereafter and also are entitled to
traveling and all other necessary expenses. Notwithstanding the provisions of Title
5, section 12003-A, subsection 9, members of the panel who provide mediation services
in more than one dispute in a given day are entitled to the compensation as provided
in this paragraph in each such case. The necessary expenses incurred by the members
must be allocated to the mediation session that required the costs. The costs for
services rendered and expenses incurred by members of the panel and any state cost
allocation program charges must be shared equally by the parties to the proceedings
and must be paid into a special fund administered by the Maine Labor Relations Board.
Authorization for services rendered and expenditures incurred by members of the panel
is the responsibility of the Executive Director of the Maine Labor Relations Board.
All costs must be paid from that special fund. The executive director may estimate
costs upon receipt of a request for services and collect those costs prior to providing
the services. The executive director shall bill or reimburse the parties, as appropriate,
for any difference between the estimated costs that were collected and the actual
costs of providing the services. Once one party has paid its share of the estimated
cost of providing the service, the mediator is assigned. A party who has not paid
an invoice for the estimated or actual cost of providing services within 60 days of
the date the invoice was issued is, in the absence of good cause shown, liable for
the amount of the invoice together with a penalty in the amount of 25% of the amount
of the invoice. Any penalty amount collected pursuant to this provision remains in
the special fund administered by the Maine Labor Relations Board and that fund does
not lapse. The executive director is authorized to collect any sums due and payable
pursuant to this provision through civil action. In such an action, the court shall
allow litigation costs, including court costs and reasonable attorney's fees, to be
deposited in the General Fund if the executive director is the prevailing party in
the action. [2013, c. 553, §1 (AMD).]










D. The employer, union or employees involved in collective bargaining shall notify the
Executive Director of the Maine Labor Relations Board, in writing, at least 30 days
prior to the expiration of a contract, or 30 days prior to entering into negotiations
for a first contract between the employer and the employees, or whenever a dispute
arises between the parties threatening interruption of work, or under both conditions. [1975, c. 564, §15 (AMD).]










E. The Executive Director of the Maine Labor Relations Board shall serve as Executive
Director of the Panel of Mediators. He shall annually, on or before the first day
of July make a report to the Governor. The Executive Director of the Maine Labor Relations
Board, upon request of one or both of the parties to a dispute between an employer
and its employees, shall, or upon his own motion or motion of the Maine Labor Relations
Board may, proffer the services of one or more members of the panel to be selected
by him, to serve as mediator or mediators in such a dispute. The member or members
so selected shall exert every reasonable effort to encourage the parties to the dispute
to settle their differences by conference or other peaceful means. If the mediator
or mediators are unable to accomplish this objective and to obtain an amicable settlement
of the dispute between the parties, it shall then be the duty of the mediator or mediators
to advise the parties of the services available to assist them in settlement of their
dispute. At this time, the mediator or mediators shall submit a written report to
the executive director stating the action or actions that have been taken and the
results of their endeavors. [1979, c. 541, Pt. A, §170 (AMD).]










F. The services of the Panel of Mediators must be provided for grievance mediation only
when the parties jointly agree to request grievance mediation services. Notwithstanding
this option, neither party is obligated under subsection 1 to bargain over the inclusion
of grievance mediation procedures in a collective bargaining agreement. The services
of the Panel of Mediators are always available as a technique for impasse resolution
in contract negotiations and may be invoked as described in paragraph B. [2001, c. 92, §2 (RPR).]










G. Any information disclosed by either party to a dispute to the panel or any of its
members in the performance of this subsection shall be privileged. [1973, c. 617, §2 (RPR).]







[
2013, c. 553, §1 (AMD)
.]








3. Fact-finding. 







A. If the parties, either with or without the services of a mediator, are unable to
effect a settlement of their controversy, they may jointly agree either to call upon
the Maine Labor Relations Board to arrange for fact-finding services and recommendations
to be provided by the Maine Board of Arbitration and Conciliation, or to pursue some
other mutually acceptable fact-finding procedure, including use of the Federal Mediation
and Conciliation Service or the American Arbitration Association according to their
respective procedures, rules and regulations. [1975, c. 564, §17 (RPR).]










B. If the parties do not jointly agree to call upon the Maine Labor Relations Board
or to pursue some other procedure, either party to the controversy may request the
executive director to assign a fact-finding panel. If so requested, the executive
director shall appoint a fact-finding panel, ordinarily of 3 members, in accordance
with rules and procedures prescribed by the board for making the appointment. The
fact-finding panel shall be appointed from a list maintained by the board and drawn
up after consultation with representatives of state and local government administrators,
agencies with industrial relations and personnel functions and representatives of
employee organizations and of employers. Any person who has actively participated
as the mediator in the immediate proceedings for which fact-finding has been called
may not sit on that fact-finding panel. The panel shall hear the contending parties
to the controversy. The panel may request statistical data and reports on its own
initiative in addition to the data regularly maintained by the Bureau of Labor Standards,
and has 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. The members of the fact-finding panel
shall submit their findings and recommendations only to the parties and to the Executive
Director of the Maine Labor Relations Board. [RR 1995, c. 2, §61 (COR).]










C. The parties shall have a period of 30 days, after the submission of findings and
recommendations from the fact finders, in which to make a good faith effort to resolve
their controversy. If the parties have not resolved their controversy by the end of
said period, either party or the Executive Director of the Maine Labor Relations Board
may, but not until the end of said period unless the parties otherwise jointly agree,
make the fact-finding and recommendations public. [1975, c. 564, §17 (RPR).]










D. If the parties do not agree to follow the fact-finding procedures outlined in paragraph
A, they may jointly apply to the executive director or his designee to waive fact-finding.
The executive director or his designee may accept or refuse to accept the parties'
agreement to waive fact-finding and his decision shall not be reviewable. [1977, c. 696, §204 (AMD).]







[
RR 1995, c. 2, §61 (COR)
.]








4. Arbitration. 
In addition to the 30-day period referred to in subsection 3, the parties shall have
15 more days, making a total period of 45 days from the submission of findings and
recommendations, in which to make a good faith effort to resolve their controversy.


If the parties have not resolved their controversy by the end of said 45-day period,
they may jointly agree to an arbitration procedure which will result in a binding
determination of their controversy. Such determinations will be subject to review
by the Superior Court in the manner specified by section 972.


If they do not jointly agree to such an arbitration procedure within 10 days after
the end of said 45-day period, then either party may, by written notice to the other,
request that their differences be submitted to a board of 3 arbitrators. The bargaining
agent and the public employer shall within 5 days of such request each select and
name one arbitrator and shall immediately thereafter notify each other in writing
of the name and address of the person so selected. The 2 arbitrators so selected and
named shall, within 10 days from such request, agree upon and select and name a neutral
arbitrator. If either party shall not select its arbitrator or if the 2 arbitrators
shall fail to agree upon, select and name a neutral arbitrator within said 10 days,
either party may request the American Arbitration Association to utilize its procedures
for the selection of the neutral arbitrator. As soon as possible after receipt of
such request, the neutral arbitrator will be selected in accordance with rules and
procedures prescribed by the American Arbitration Association for making such selection.
The neutral arbitrator so selected will not, without the consent of both parties,
be the same person who was selected as mediator pursuant to subsection 2 nor any member
of the fact-finding board selected pursuant to subsection 3. As soon as possible
after the selection of the neutral arbitrator, the 3 arbitrators or if either party
shall not have selected its arbitrator, the 2 arbitrators, as the case may be, shall
meet with the parties or their representatives, or both, forthwith, either jointly
or separately, make inquiries and investigations, hold hearings, or take such other
steps as they deem appropriate. If the neutral arbitrator is selected by utilizing
the procedures of the American Arbitration Association, the arbitration proceedings
will be conducted in accordance with the rules and procedures of the American Arbitration
Association. The hearing shall be informal, and the rules of evidence prevailing
in judicial proceedings shall not be binding. Any and all documentary evidence and
other data deemed relevant by the arbitrators may be received in evidence. The arbitrators
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 for determination.


If the controversy is not resolved by the parties themselves, the arbitrators shall
proceed as follows: With respect to a controversy over salaries, pensions and insurance,
the arbitrators will recommend terms of settlement and may make findings of fact;
such recommendations and findings will be advisory only and will be made, if reasonably
possible, within 30 days after the selection of the neutral arbitrator; the arbitrators
may in their discretion, make such recommendations and findings public, and either
party may make such recommendations and findings public if agreement is not reached
with respect to such findings and recommendations within 10 days after their receipt
from the arbitrators; with respect to a controversy over subjects other than salaries,
pensions and insurance, the arbitrators shall make determinations with respect thereto
if reasonably possible within 30 days after the selection of the neutral arbitrator;
such determinations may be made public by the arbitrators or either party; and if
made by a majority of the arbitrators, such determinations will be binding on both
parties and the parties will enter an agreement or take whatever other action that
may be appropriate to carry out and effectuate such binding determinations; and such
determinations will be subject to review by the Superior Court in the manner specified
by section 972. The results of all arbitration proceedings, recommendations and awards
conducted under this section shall be filed with the Maine Labor Relations Board at
the offices of its executive director simultaneously with the submission of the recommendations
and award to the parties. In the event the parties settle their dispute during the
arbitration proceeding, the arbitrator or the chairman of the arbitration panel will
submit a report of his activities to the Executive Director of the Maine Labor Relations
Board not more than 5 days after the arbitration proceeding has terminated.


[
1975, c. 564, §18 (AMD)
.]








5. Costs. 
The costs for the services of the mediator, the members of the fact-finding board
and of the neutral arbitrator including, if any, per diem expenses, and actual and
necessary travel and subsistence expenses and the costs of hiring the premises where
any mediation, fact-finding or arbitration proceedings are conducted, must be shared
equally by the parties to the proceedings. All other costs must be assumed by the
party incurring them.


[
1991, c. 622, Pt. O, §5 (AMD)
.]








6. Arbitration administration. 
The cost for services rendered and expenses incurred by the State Board of Arbitration
and Conciliation, as defined in section 931, and any state cost allocation program
charges must be shared equally by the parties to the proceedings and must be paid
into a special fund administered by the Maine Labor Relations Board. Authorization
for services rendered and expenditures incurred by members of the State Board of Arbitration
and Conciliation is the responsibility of the executive director. All costs must
be paid from that special fund. The executive director may estimate costs upon receipt
of a request for services and collect those costs prior to providing the services.
The executive director shall bill or reimburse the parties, as appropriate, for any
difference between the estimated costs that were collected and the actual costs of
providing the services. Once one party has paid its share of the estimated cost of
providing the service, the matter is scheduled for hearing. A party who has not paid
an invoice for the estimated or actual cost of providing services within 60 days of
the date the invoice was issued is, in the absence of good cause shown, liable for
the amount of the invoice together with a penalty in the amount of 25% of the amount
of the invoice. Any penalty amount collected pursuant to this provision remains in
the special fund administered by the Maine Labor Relations Board and that fund does
not lapse. The executive director is authorized to collect any sums due and payable
pursuant to this provision through civil action. In such an action, the court shall
allow litigation costs, including court costs and reasonable attorney's fees, to be
deposited in the General Fund if the executive director is the prevailing party in
the action.


[
1991, c. 798, §5 (AMD)
.]





SECTION HISTORY

1969, c. 424, §1 (NEW).
1969, c. 578, §§2-A,2-B (AMD).
1971, c. 609, §3 (AMD).
1973, c. 458, §§4-8 (AMD).
1973, c. 617, §2 (AMD).
1973, c. 788, §119 (AMD).
1975, c. 361, §§1,2 (AMD).
1975, c. 564, §§13-19 (AMD).
1975, c. 623, §§37-E (AMD).
1975, c. 717, §6 (AMD).
1975, c. 771, §280 (AMD).
1977, c. 696, §204 (AMD).
1979, c. 541, §A170 (AMD).
1981, c. 137, §2 (AMD).
1985, c. 46, (AMD).
1987, c. 468, §§2,4 (AMD).
1987, c. 786, §19 (AMD).
1989, c. 502, §A108 (AMD).
1991, c. 92, §2 (AMD).
1991, c. 622, §§O4-6 (AMD).
1991, c. 798, §§4,5 (AMD).
RR 1995, c. 2, §61 (COR).
1997, c. 412, §2 (AMD).
2001, c. 92, §§1,2 (AMD).
2009, c. 107, §5 (AMD).
2013, c. 553, §1 (AMD).
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