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Introduced Version House Bill 2845 History

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hb2845 intr
H. B. 2845


(By Delegates Louisos and Martin)
[Introduced March 2, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]




A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §8-12A-1, §8-12A-2, §8-12A-3, §8-12A-4, §8-12A-5, §8-12A-6, 8-12A-7, §8-12A-8, §8-12A-9, §8-12A-10, §8-12A-11, §8-12A-12, §8-12A-13, §8-12A-14, §8-12A-15, §8-12A-16, §8-12A-17, §8-12A-18, §8-12A-19, §8-12A-20, §8-12A-21 and §8-12A-22, all relating to establishing the West Virginia Municipal Employees Collective Bargaining Act; providing short title; stating purposes; declaring certain public policy; providing definitions; providing exclusions; establishing duties of the Public Employees Relations Board; establishing certain municipal employer rights under certain circumstances; establishing employee rights to collective bargaining; requiring meetings between municipal employers and employee organizations; specifying scope of such meetings; excluding retirement programs from scope of negotiations; providing for negotiations inconsistent with certain laws; requiring grievance resolution procedure in collective bargaining agreement; providing for final and binding arbitration pertaining to certain personnel matters; permitting certain provisions relating to fees and dues; prohibiting deductions of dues under certain circumstances; defining parameter of obligations to negotiate; restricting negotiation; prohibiting certain practices; providing for proceedings upon certain violations; providing for appellate process; construing provisions of article to prior collective bargaining agreements; providing process for determination of an appropriate bargaining unit; providing exception; restricting bargaining units; providing process for certification and decertification of exclusive bargaining representatives; providing for competing request for certain recognition and certification; providing for an election; providing process for secret ballot representation election; limiting period for petitions certifying or decertifying exclusive bargaining representative under certain circumstances; providing treatment of certain employee organization; allowing certain grievance process; providing condition; designating representatives; providing for collective bargaining commencement process; providing exemption from the West Virginia Open Meeting Act; providing negotiation and impasse procedures; providing for submission of request for funds and certain approval to the appropriate governing body; providing for reopening of negotiations; providing for treatment of certain provisions; providing for certain judicial review; prohibiting strikes; providing for injunctive relief; making certain actions unlawful; providing for bargaining and agreement after a violation; providing for legal process; providing liability exemption; providing procedures for certain notice; providing for treatment of conflicting laws, executive orders and rules; providing for codification; and providing an effective date.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §8-12A-1, §8-12A-2, §8-12A-3, §8-12A-4, §8-12A-5, §8-12A-6, 8-12A-7, §8-12A-8, §8-12A-9, §8-12A-10, §8-12A-11, §8-12A-12, §8-12A-13, §8-12A-14, §8-12A-15, §8-12A-16, §8-12A-17, §8-12A-18, §8-12A-19, §8-12A-20, §8-12A-21 and §8-12A-22, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 12A. WEST VIRGINIA MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ACT.

§8-12A-1. Short title.
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "West Virginia Municipal Employee Collective Bargaining Act."
§8-12A-2. Declaration of public policy.
The Legislature of the State of West Virginia declares that it is the public policy of this state and the purpose of the Legislature in the enactment of this article to promote orderly and constructive employment relations between municipal employers and their employees, to increase the efficiency of state and local government throughout the state, and to ensure the health and safety of the citizens of this state. The Legislature has determined that these policies and purposes may best be accomplished by:
(a) Granting to municipal employees the right to associate with others in organizing and choosing representatives for the purpose of collective bargaining;
(b) Requiring municipal employers to recognize, negotiate and bargain with employee organizations representing municipal employees and to enter into written agreements evidencing the result of bargaining; and
(c) Encouraging labor peace through the establishment of standards and procedures which protect the rights of the municipal employer, the municipal employee and the citizens of this state.
§8-12A-3. Definitions.
As used in this article:
(a)"Arbitration" means the procedure whereby the parties involved in an impasse or grievance dispute submit their differences to a third party for a final and binding decision or as otherwise provided in this article;
(b) "Board" means the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) established pursuant to section five of this article;
(c) "Collective bargaining," "bargain collectively" or "negotiate" means to perform the mutual obligations of the municipal employer, by its representatives, and the representatives of its employees to negotiate in good faith at reasonable times and places with respect to wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment and the continuation, modification or deletion of an existing provision of a collective bargaining agreement, with the intention of reaching an agreement, or to resolve questions arising under the agreement. This includes executing a written contract by incorporating the terms of any agreement reached. The obligation to bargain collectively does not mean that either party is compelled to agree to a proposal, nor does it require the making of a concession;
(d) "Confidential employee" means any municipal employee who acts in a confidential capacity to an individual who formulates or effectuates management policies in the field of labor management relations;
(e) "Employee organization" means an organization in which municipal employees participate and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with municipal employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment;
(f) "Exclusive bargaining representative" means an employee organization certified as the exclusive bargaining representative by the Board pursuant to the provisions of this article or recognized as the exclusive bargaining representative by the municipal employer;
(g) "Governing body" means the governing body of a municipality;
(h) "Impasse" means the failure of a municipal employer and the exclusive bargaining representative to reach agreement in the course of negotiations;
(i) "Management official" means an individual employed by a municipal employer in a position the duties and responsibilities of which require or authorize the individual to formulate, determine, or substantially influence the policies of the municipal employer;
(j) "Mediation" means assistance by an impartial third party to reconcile an impasse between the municipal employer and the exclusive bargaining representative regarding wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment through interpretation, suggestion, and advice;
(k) "Municipal employee" means any individual employed by a municipal employer, except individuals exempted under the provisions of section four of this article;
(l) "Municipal employer" means municipalities in this state, as defined with a population greater than thirty-five thousand persons.
(m) "Strike" means, in concerted action with others, an employee's refusal to report to duty, or willful absence from his or her position, or stoppage of work, or abstinence, in whole or in part, from the full, faithful and proper performance of the duties of employment, for the purpose of inducing, influencing, or coercing a change in the conditions, compensation, rights, privileges or obligations of employment; and
(n) "Supervisor" means an employee who devotes a majority of work time to supervisory duties, who customarily and regularly directs the work of two or more other employees and who has the authority, in the interest of the employer, to hire, promote or discipline other employees but does not include individuals who perform merely routine, incidental or clerical duties or who occasionally assume supervisory or directory roles or whose duties are substantially similar to those of their subordinates and does not include lead employees, employees who participate in peer review, employee involvement programs or occasional employee evaluation programs.
§8-12A-4. Exempt employees.
The following public employees shall he excluded from the provisions of this article:
(a) Elected officials and persons appointed to fill vacancies in elected offices, and members of any board or commission;
(b) Representatives of a municipal employer, including the administrative officer, director, or chief executive officer of a municipal employer, or major division thereof, as well as his or her deputy, first assistant, and any nonbargaining unit supervisory employees: Provided, That nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit a municipal employer from bargaining with, and entering into a contract with, a labor organization certified to represent a separate unit comprised solely of supervisors;
(c) Confidential employees;
(d) Temporary employees employed for a period of four months or less in any twelve-month period;
(e) Patients and inmates employed, sentenced or committed to any state or local institution; and
(f) Firefighters and police officers.
§8-12A-5. Public Employees Relations Board.
The Public Employees Relations Board is hereby established to consist of five members, each of whom shall have been a resident of this state for at least five consecutive years prior to his or her appointment. No more than three of the Board members may at any one time belong to the same political party. The Board shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Appointments following the effective date of this section shall be made in such a manner that each congressional district is represented and so that no more than two members of the board reside in any one congressional district. Each member of the Board shall have a degree in government, political science, law or personnel management or like experience and academic training and shall be otherwise competent to perform the duties of his or her office. The members shall be appointed for overlapping terms of six years. Any member qualified under this section is eligible for reappointment. The members of the Board shall devote their full time and attention to their board duties. Any single member of the Board is empowered to hold any hearing provided in this article, where a transcript of the hearing, including exhibits and documentary evidence, and the recommendation of the member holding the hearing is submitted to the Board for decision.
§8-12A-6. Power and duties of Public Employees Relations Board.
The Public Employees Relations Board (PERB)shall:
(a) Administer the provisions of this article;
(b) Maintain, after consulting with exclusive bargaining representatives and municipal employers, a list of qualified persons representative of the public to be available to serve as mediators, and arbitrators and establish their compensation rates;
(c) Hold hearings and administer oaths, examine witnesses and documents, take testimony and receive evidence, issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of records, and delegate such power to a member of the Board, or persons appointed or employed by the Board, including hearing officers for the performances of its functions. In cases of refusal to obey a subpoena issued by the Board, the circuit court of the circuit where the person refusing to obey the subpoena may be found, on application by the Board, may issue an order requiring the person to appear before the board and to testify and produce evidence ordered relating to the matter under investigation, and any failure to obey such order shall be punished by the court as a contempt thereof; and
(d) Adopt rules as it may deem necessary to carry out the purposes of this article.
§8-12A-7. Municipal employer rights.
Unless limited by the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement or by other statutory provisions, a municipal employer may:
(a) Direct the work of, hire, promote, assign, transfer, demote, suspend, discharge or terminate municipal employees;
(b) Determine qualifications for employment and the nature and content of personnel examinations; and
(c) Take actions as may be necessary to carry out the mission of the municipal employer in emergencies.
§8-12A-8. Municipal employee rights.
Municipal employees may:
(a) Organize, or form, join or assist any employee organization;
(b) Negotiate collectively through representatives of their own choosing; and
(c) Engage in other concerted activities for the purposes of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection insofar as any of the activity is not prohibited by this article or any other law of this state.
§8-12A-9. Development of collective bargaining agreement.
(a) The municipal employer and an employee organization which is the exclusive bargaining representative shall meet at reasonable times, including meetings reasonably in advance of the municipality's budget-making process, to negotiate in good faith with respect to wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment exclusive of retirement programs established. The municipal employer shall negotiate only with the exclusive bargaining representative on matters contained in this article. The obligation to negotiate in good faith does not compel either party to agree to a proposal or make a concession. Neither the municipal employer nor the exclusive bargaining representative shall be required to negotiate over any matter that is inconsistent with state law and the parties may negotiate and reach agreement with regard to the matter only if it is understood that the agreement with respect to the matter cannot become effective unless the applicable law is amended by the Legislature.
(b) The collective bargaining agreement negotiated between the employer and the exclusive bargaining representative shall contain a grievance resolution procedure which shall apply to all employees in the bargaining unit and shall provide for final and binding arbitration of grievances pertaining to employment terms and conditions and related personnel matters including questions of arbitration and appeal of disciplinary and other employment actions.
(c) The collective bargaining agreement negotiated between the employer and the exclusive bargaining representative shall also include a provision for the checkoff of initiation fees and dues to the labor organization. During the time that a board certification is in effect for a particular appropriate bargaining unit, the employer shall not deduct dues for any other labor organization.
§8-12A-10. Prohibited practices.
(a) It is a prohibited practice for any municipal employer or exclusive bargaining representative to refuse to negotiate in good faith with respect to the scope of negotiations as defined in section nine of this article;
(b) It is a prohibited practice for a municipal employer, its designated representatives, or its supervisors to:
(1) Interfere with, restrain or coerce municipal employees in the exercise of rights granted by this article;
(2) Dominate or interfere in the administration of any employee organization;
(3) Encourage or discourage membership in any employee organization, committee or association or take a position for or encourage or discourage exclusive representation of employees;
(4) Discharge or discriminate against any employee because he or she has filed an affidavit, petition or complaint or given any information or testimony under this article, or because he or she has formed, joined or chosen to be represented by any exclusive bargaining representative;
(5) Refuse to negotiate collectively with representatives of any employee organization which is an exclusive bargaining representative as required in this article;
(6) Deny the rights accompanying certification or exclusive recognition granted in this article;
(7) Refuse to participate in good faith in any agreed upon impasse procedures or those set forth in this article; and
(8) Refuse to reduce a collective bargaining agreement to writing and sign such agreement.
(c) It is a prohibited practice for an employee organization or its agents willfully to:
(1) Interfere with, restrain or coerce any municipal employee with respect to any of the rights under this article or in order to prevent or discourage his or her exercise of any such right;
(2) To cause or attempt to cause a municipal employer to discriminate against any employee in the exercise by the employee of any right under this article;
(3) Refuse to bargain collectively with the municipal employer as required in this article;
(4) Refuse to participate in good faith in any agreed upon impasse procedures or those set forth in this article; and
(5) Violate the impasse provisions of this article, which hereby are made applicable to municipal employers, municipal employees and exclusive representatives.
§8-12A-11. Violations and enforcement procedures.
(a) Proceedings against a party alleging a violation of section ten of this article may be commenced by filing a charge with the Public Employees Relations Board within six months of the alleged violation, or knowledge thereof, causing a copy of the charge to be served upon the accused party in the manner of an original notice as provided in section twenty-one of this article. The accused party shall have ten days within which to file a written answer to the charge. The Board may conduct a preliminary investigation of the alleged violation, and if the Board determines that the charge has no legal or factual basis, it may dismiss the charge. If it does not dismiss the charge, the Board shall promptly thereafter set a time and place for a hearing in the county where the alleged violation occurred or in the county where the Board maintains its principal office. The parties shall be permitted to be represented by counsel or other designated representative, summon witnesses, and request the Board to subpoena witnesses on the requester's behalf. Compliance with the technical rules of pleading and evidence are not required.
(b) The Board may designate a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The hearing officer shall have such powers as may be exercised by the Board for conducting the hearing and shall follow the procedures adopted by the Board for conducting the hearing. The decision of the hearing officer may be appealed to the Board and the Board may hear the case de novo or upon the record as submitted before the hearing officer.
(c) The Board shall provide for an official written transcript to report the proceedings and the Board shall affix the reasonable amount of compensation for the service, which amount shall be taxed as other costs.
(d) The Board shall file its findings of fact and conclusions of law. If the Board finds that the party accused has committed a prohibited practice, the Board may issue an order directing the party to cease and desist engaging in the prohibited practice and may order other affirmative relief as is necessary to remedy the prohibited practice. The Board may petition the circuit court for enforcement of its orders.
(e) Any party aggrieved by any decision or order of the Board may, within ten days from the date the decision or order is filed, appeal to the circuit court to obtain judicial review of an order of the Board entered under this article in the circuit court of the circuit in which the Board maintains its principal office, the circuit in which the municipal employer maintains its principal office, or the circuit in which the charge arose. The Board and all parties of record in the proceedings before the Board shall be named as parties to the appeal. In any judicial review proceeding, the employee organization may sue or be sued as an entity and on behalf of the employees whom it represents. The service of legal process, summons or subpoena upon an officer or agent of the employee organization in his or her capacity as an officer or agent constitutes service upon the employee organization.
(f) Within thirty days after a notice of appeal is filed with the Board, it shall make, certify and file in the office of the circuit court clerk to which the appeal is taken, a full and complete transcript of all documents in the case, including any depositions and a transcript or certificate of the evidence together with the notice of appeal.
(g) The transcript as certified and filed by the Board shall be the record on which the appeal shall be heard, and no additional evidence shall be heard. In the absence of fraud, the findings of fact made by the Board shall be conclusive if supported by substantial evidence on the record considered as a whole.
(h) Any order or decision of the Board may be modified, reversed, or set aside on one or more of the following grounds and on no other:
(1) If the Board acts without or in excess of its power;
(2) If the order was procured by fraud or is contrary to law;
(3) If the facts found by the Board do not support the order; or
(4) If the order is not supported by substantial evidence on the record considered as a whole.
(i) When the court, on appeal, reverses or sets aside an order or decision of the Board, it may remand the case to the Board for further proceedings in harmony with the holdings of the court, or it may enter the proper judgment, as the case may be. The judgment or decree shall have the same force and effect as if action had been originally brought and tried in such court. The assessment of costs in appeals shall be at the discretion of the court.
§8-12A-12. Determination of an appropriate bargaining unit.
(a) Nothing in this article shall be construed to annul or modify any collective bargaining agreement entered into between an employer and exclusive representative prior to the effective date of this article or impair a recognition of an exclusive bargaining representative in existence prior to the effective date of this article.
(b) The Board determination of an appropriate bargaining unit shall be made upon a petition being filed by an employee organization.
(c) Within thirty days of receipt of a petition the Public Employees Relations Board shall conduct a public hearing, receive written or oral testimony, and promptly thereafter file an order defining the appropriate bargaining unit. In defining the unit, the Board shall take into consideration, along with other relevant factors: The desires of the employees; the community of interest including the existence of clearly identifiable crafts among employees; wages, hours and other working conditions of the municipal employees; the effect of over-fragmentation; the administrative structure of the municipal employer; the recommendation of the parties; and the history of collective bargaining. The Board determination of an appropriate unit shall not be subject to judicial review.
§8-12A-13. Board certification of exclusive bargaining representative.

(a) Board certification of an employee organization as the exclusive bargaining representative of a bargaining unit shall be upon a petition filed with the Public Employees Relations Board by a municipal employee or an employee organization and an election pursuant to section fourteen of this article or upon administratively acceptable evidence that a majority of bargaining unit employees have authorized an employee organization to represent them for the purposes of collective bargaining.
(b) A petition of an employee organization for a representation election shall be accompanied by written evidence that thirty percent of the municipal employees have authorized it to represent them for the purposes of collective bargaining. A petition by an employee organization for certification without an election shall be accompanied by written evidence alleging that a majority of the municipal employees have authorized it to represent them for the purposes of collective bargaining. Upon validating the evidence that a majority of the municipal employees in a bargaining unit have authorized it to represent them for the purposes of collective bargaining, the Board shall certify the employee organization as the exclusive representative of the bargaining unit unless another employee organization submits written evidence within fifteen days of the initial petition that thirty percent of such municipal employees have authorized it to represent them for the purposes of collective bargaining. In the event of a competing request for recognition and certification, the Board shall conduct an election in accordance with section fourteen of this article.
(c) For the purpose of decertification, the petition of a municipal employee or employee organization shall allege that an employee organization which has been certified or recognized as the
exclusive bargaining representative of an appropriate unit does not represent a majority of the municipal employees and that the petitioners do not want to be represented by an employee organization or seek certification of a different employee organization. The petition shall be accompanied by written evidence that fifty percent of the employees do not want to be represented by the exclusive representative employee organization or seek certification of a different employee organization. Upon validation of the fifty percent showing of interest, the Board shall conduct a secret ballot election in accordance with section fourteen of this article.
(d) The Board shall investigate the allegations of any petition and shall give reasonable notice of the receipt of the petition to all municipal employees, employee organizations and municipal employers named or described in such petitions or interested in the representation question. When necessary, the Board shall call an election under section fourteen of this article within thirty days of receipt of a petition unless it finds that less than thirty percent of the municipal employees in the unit appropriate for collective bargaining support the petition for certification, or it finds that less than fifty percent of employees in the unit appropriate for collective bargaining support the petition for decertification, or the appropriate bargaining unit has not been determined pursuant to section twelve of this article.
(e) The hearing and appeal procedures shall be the same as provided in section eleven of this article.
§8-12A-14. Secret ballot representation election.
(a) Whenever a petition for an election is filed by an employee or employee organization containing the signatures of at least thirty percent of the municipal employees in an appropriate bargaining unit, or containing the signatures of at least fifty percent of the municipal employees in an appropriate unit in the case of decertification, the Public Employees Relations Board shall conduct a secret ballot representation election to determine whether the municipal employees in the appropriate bargaining unit wish to be represented by an exclusive bargaining representative. The ballot shall contain the names of the petitioning employee organization, any employee organization submitting, within fifteen days of the initial petition, a petition containing signatures of at least thirty percent of the municipal employees within the appropriate bargaining unit, and any incumbent labor organization. The ballot shall also contain a choice of no representation.
(b) If none of the choices on the ballot receives the vote of a majority of the municipal employees voting, the Board shall, within thirty days, conduct a run-off election among the two choices receiving the greatest number of votes.
(c) Upon written objections filed by any party to the election within ten days after notice of the results of the election, if the Board finds that misconduct or other circumstances prevented the municipal employees eligible to vote from freely expressing their preferences, the Board may invalidate the election and hold a second or subsequent election for the municipal employees.
(d) Upon completion of a valid election in which the majority choice of the bargaining unit employees voting is determined, the Board shall certify the results of the election within fifteen days of the notice of results of the election if no timely written objections are filed or within five days of validating the election upon a finding that filed objections did not prevent the employees eligible to vote from freely expressing their preferences, and shall give reasonable notice to all employee organizations listed on the ballot, the municipal employers and the municipal employees in the appropriate bargaining unit. An employee organization which is the majority choice of the bargaining unit employees voting in a valid election under this section shall be certified by the Board as the exclusive bargaining representative for the bargaining unit employees.
(e) A petition for decertification or certification of an exclusive bargaining representative shall not be considered by the Board for a period of one year from the date of the certification or noncertification of an exclusive bargaining representative or during the duration of a collective bargaining agreement unless the petition for decertification is filed not more than ninety days prior to the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement.
§8-12A-15. Certified organization and bargaining representative.
(a) The employee organization certified as the bargaining representative or recognized by the municipal employer on the first day of January, two thousand six, shall be the exclusive representative of all municipal employees in the bargaining unit and shall represent all municipal employees fairly, except that any individual employee or a group of employees shall have the right at any time to present grievances to their municipal employer and to have such grievances adjusted, without the intervention of the bargaining representative, as long as the adjustment is not inconsistent with the terms of a collective bargaining contract or agreement then in effect and the exclusive bargaining representative has been given the opportunity to be present during the grievance process and at such adjustment.
(b) The employee organization which is an exclusive bargaining representative and the municipal employer may designate any individual or individuals as its representatives to engage in collective bargaining negotiations. Upon demand of either party, collective bargaining between the employer and an exclusive bargaining representative must begin within sixty days of the date of certification of the representative by the Public Employees Relations Board, or in the case of an existing exclusive bargaining representative, within sixty days of the receipt by a party of a demand issued by the other party or in accordance with procedures established in any applicable collective bargaining agreement.
(c) Negotiating sessions, including strategy meetings of municipal employers or exclusive bargaining representatives, mediation and the deliberative process of arbitrators shall be exempt from the West Virginia Open Meeting Act.
§8-12A-16. Negotiations; arbitration.
(a) A request for negotiations shall be filed in writing by an exclusive representative of employees of a municipal employer other than the state in a timely fashion reasonably in advance of that employer's budget-making process.
(b) A municipal employer and the exclusive representative may enter into a written agreement setting forth an impasse resolution procedure. The procedure shall culminate with binding arbitration.
(c) If the municipal employer and the exclusive representative have not agreed to an impasse resolution procedure, negotiation impasses shall be subject to:
(1) At the initiative of either party, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service may be requested to appoint an impartial mediator; or
(2) At the request of either party, all impasses not resolved through mediation shall jointly be submitted to final and binding arbitration. The parties shall jointly select an arbitrator or, if they are unable to agree on an arbitrator, they shall request a list of seven arbitrators from the Public Employees Relations Board. Each party in turn shall strike a name from the list until only one name remains. Negotiations may continue throughout the impasse procedures.
(d) In making any decision under the impasse procedures authorized by this section, the arbitrator shall give weight to the following factors:
(1) The lawful authority of the municipal employer;
(2) Stipulations of the parties;
(3) The interests and welfare of the public;
(4) The financial ability of the employer to meet the costs of any items to be included in the contract;
(5) Comparison of wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment of the employees involved in the arbitration proceedings with the wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment of other persons performing similar services in the public and private sectors;
(6) The average consumer prices for goods and services, commonly known as the cost of living;
(7) The overall compensation presently received by the employees involved in the arbitration including, but not limited to, wages, health and life insurance, vacations, holidays and similar benefits;
(8) Changes in any of the foregoing circumstances during the pendency of the arbitration proceedings; and
(9) Other factors which are normally or traditionally taken into consideration in the determination of wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment through voluntary collective bargaining, mediation, fact finding, arbitration or otherwise between the parties, in the public service or in private employment.
(e) The expenses of the arbitrator shall be borne equally by the parties.
§8-12A-17. Request for funds.
(a) After a negotiated agreement has been agreed to by both parties, or a final and binding arbitration decision has been rendered in accordance with section sixteen of this article, the municipal employer shall submit a request for funds necessary to implement the agreement and for approval of any other matter requiring the approval of the appropriate governing body within fourteen days after the date on which the parties finalize the agreement, or the date on which the arbitration decision is issued, unless otherwise specified in this section. If the appropriate governing body is not in session at the time, then the submission shall be within fourteen days after it next convenes.
(b) If the governing body rejects the submission of the municipal employer, either party may reopen negotiations.
(c) The parties shall specify that those provisions of the agreement not requiring action by a governing body shall be effective and operative in accordance with the terms of the agreement.
§8-12A-18. Municipal employer rights.
The district court for the district in which a dispute arose or in which a majority of the affected employees reside may review an award of the arbitrator or an award of an arbitrator in a grievance arbitration, when the arbitrator was without or exceeded his or her jurisdiction; the order is not supported by competent, material and substantial evidence on the whole record; or the order was procured by fraud, collusion or other similar and unlawful means. The pendency of a proceeding for review shall not automatically stay the order of the arbitrator.
§8-12A-19. Strike prohibited.
(a) It is unlawful for municipal employees to strike. If a strike occurs, the municipal employer may initiate in the circuit court in the circuit where the strike occurs, an action for injunctive relief.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any municipal employer to authorize, consent to or condone any strikes; or to pay or agree to pay a municipal employee for any day in which the employee participates in a strike; or to pay or agree to pay any increase in compensation or benefits to any municipal employee in response to or as a result of any strike or any article which violates this article. It shall be unlawful for any official, director, or representative of any municipal employer to authorize, ratify, or participate in any violation of this section. Nothing in this section shall prevent new or renewed bargaining and agreement within the scope of negotiations as defined by this article, at any time after a violation of this section has ceased.
§8-12A-20. Jurisdiction of circuit courts.
Any employee organization and municipal employer may sue or be sued as an entity under the provisions of this article. Service upon the municipal employer or upon the exclusive bargaining representative shall be made pursuant to the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure for Circuit Courts. For purposes of actions and proceedings by or against exclusive bargaining representatives under this article, a circuit court shall have jurisdiction of an exclusive bargaining representative in the circuit in which the organization maintains its principal office, or in any district in which its duly authorized officers or agents are engaged in representing or acting for employee members. Nothing in this article shall be construed to make any individual or his or her assets liable for any judgment against a municipal employer or an exclusive bargaining representative.
§8-12A-21. Notice.
Any notice required under the provisions of this article shall be in writing, and served in a manner specified by the Public Employees Relations Board.
§8-12A-22. Precedence of article.
Any conflict between the provisions of this article and any other law, executive order or administrative rule, the provisions of this article shall prevail and control.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish the West Virginia Municipal Employees Collective Bargaining Act.

This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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