Collective Bargaining Unit Functions
Collective Bargaining Unit
Administers the Collective Bargaining Act for Public Employees. This Act provides for and protects the rights of employees in self-organization and provides for bargaining duties and rights on the part of the employee and employer and a procedure for guaranteeing that provisions are met by the employee and employer in this process. The Collective Bargaining Unit directly provides the following services to the public sector:
Filed by a labor organization or group of employees requesting representation in collective bargaining matters – petition is accompanied by a 30 percent showing of interest and unless a question arises as to the appropriateness of the unit proceeds to an election and certification of bargaining representative or no representative
Filed by a bargaining representative or the public employer when a question exists as to the composition of the unit – if the issues cannot be resolved by stipulation the case is set for hearing – such decision appealable to the Board
Filed by an employee or by a labor organization seeking removal of an existing bargaining representative or takeover of a new bargaining representative – also accompanied by a 30 percent proof of interest. Also provides for intervention by other unions seeking to be placed on the ballot. Proceeds to an election and certification of bargaining representative or no representative
Filed by an employer alleging that one or more labor organizations has presented a claim to be recognized as the exclusive representative in an appropriate unit. In the case where there is an existing certified representative, the employer must provide facts to prove this representative does not have majority support.
Unfair Labor Practice Charge:
A complaint filed by an employee, group of employees, labor organization or public employer alleging an unfair labor practice by:
public employer (39-31-401 (1) through (5): interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in self–organization rights; dominate, interfere or assist in the formation or administration of any labor organization; discriminate in regard to hire or tenure of employment or any term or condition of employment in order to encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization; discharge or otherwise discriminate against an employee for filing a petition/complaint or testimony; and refusal to bargain collectively in good faith with an exclusive representative.
labor organization (39–31–402 (1) through (3): restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of the self-organization rights or the rights of a public employer in the selection of his representative for the purpose of collective bargaining or adjustment of grievances; refusal to bargain collectively in good faith; use or agency shop fees (dues) for contributions to political candidates.
A Summons is served on the defendant and timelines set for an answer to be filed. Then an investigation is conducted – the charge is either dismissed or a finding of probable merit issued to the parties and the matter is transferred to schedule a hearing.
Interest–Based Bargaining & Interest–Based Problem Solving Training:
The interest–based approach emphasizes communication skills, sharing information, examination of interests rather than positions, applying standards to those options and arriving at a mutual gains solution by consensus. This collaborative process allows the parties to arrive at higher quality technical solutions based on deep understanding of the interests of both parties. Interest based solutions help to build trust between the parties and enhance the on–going labor/management relationship.
Filed by an employee or group of employees, and labor organization or public employer requesting the assistance of an impartial (neutral) in resolving a dispute arising from contract negotiations.
(Same as above – to resolve disputes arising from a contract provision – this is a voluntary effort by the parties to resolve the conflict before proceeding to binding arbitration
Parties using the Interest-Based Bargaining approach can request assistance of a mediator to assess the dynamics of the bargaining teams and re-focus the team's efforts toward those steps in the problem solving process that are causing difficulty in reaching consensus.
Filed by parties in cases where there is no certified bargaining representative to request a hearing officer to conduct a hearing to resolve a grievance.
Filed by an employee or group of employees, a labor organization or public employer requesting the assistance of an impartial (neutral) to act as mediator in resolving a labor dispute
May be filed by either party to a dispute (labor organization or public employer) – matters in disagreement may be more readily settled if the facts involved are determined and publicly known. Upon request a list of five to seven fact finders is jointly sent to the parties, the parties each strike alternate names and the remaining name is designated fact finder. The fact finder is appointed and immediately contacts the parties to set a date of hearing. Upon completion of the hearing – the fact finder is required to furnish the Board a copy of the award. This award is made public 5 days after it is submitted to the parties. The decision is not binding.
Allows agreement by either party to submit any or all issues to final and binding arbitration – if such agreement is reached, arbitration shall supersede the fact finding procedures. A list of 5–7 arbitrators is requested, sent to the parties to strike names and the arbitrator is appointed – the Board is not involved in the cost of arbitration. The arbitrator is appointed by the Board upon selection of the parties and requested to furnish a copy to the Board.
Wage and Classification Appeals:
Appeals filed by employees (or group of employees) covered by the state employee classification and pay plan – accepted at step 3 if proper criteria are met and transferred to schedule a hearing. Decision is appealable to the full Board.
Transportation & Fish, Wildlife & Parks Grievances:
Provides employees of these two state departments an orderly and uniform method to file and process personnel grievances – other departmental grievances are handled according to the MOM manual. Upon filing, an investigation is conducted and a preliminary decision is issued. This preliminary decision is appealable to hearings and that decision is appealable to the full Board.
Training of Fact Finders/Arbitrators:
Mandated by statute to provide a course of education for the training of fact finders and arbitrators. This is accomplished in conjunction with the Montana Arbitration Association by means of our annual conference and also ensured by the selection process allowing submission of names to our list.
A public employee requesting nonassociation with a labor organization because of religious beliefs may request dues or the amount in lieu of dues be paid to a nonreligious nonunion charity designated by the labor organization. Upon receipt of such religious exemption, a committee of three consisting of a clergyman not associated with the sect in question and a labor union official and member if the public at large be appointed - the decision shall be made in writing as to whether the employee qualifies for the right of nonassociation with such labor organization.
Dissemination of Information to Public:
Assistance is given on a continuing basis to the public regarding employer/employee problems – we have no jurisdiction per se, but try to assist in directing them to the proper entity or information regarding their rights/alternatives.
Board of Personnel Appeals:
Provides staff assistance to the Board of Personnel Appeals – administer details such as scheduling and issuance of decisions, liaison between Board members and Division/Department and provide training and necessary information to execute decisions.