Senate Bill No. 125
(By Senators Yost and Klempa)
[Introduced January 11, 2012; referred to the Committee on Labor; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §29-6A-1, §29-6A-2, §29-6A-3, §29-6A-4, §29-6A-5, §29-6A-6, §29-6A-7, §29-6A-8, §29-6A-9, §29-6A-10, §29-6A-11, §29-6A-12, §29-6A-13, §29-6A-14, §29-6A-15, §29-6A-16, §29-6A-17, §29-6A-18, §29-6A-19, §29-6A-20, §29-6A-21, §29-6A-22, §29-6A-23, §29-6A-24, §29-6A-25 and §29-6A-26, all relating to promoting orderly and constructive employment relations between the state and its employees; increasing the efficiency of the state; ensuring the health and safety of the citizens of this state; requiring the state to recognize, negotiate and bargain with employee organizations representing state employees and to enter into written agreements evidencing the result of bargaining; and encouraging labor peace through the establishment of standards and procedures which protect the rights of the state, the state’s employees and the citizens of this state.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended be adding thereto a new article, designated §29-6A-1, §29-6A-2, §29-6A-3, §29-6A-4, §29-6A-5, §29-6A-6, §29-6A-7, §29-6A-8, §29-6A-9, §29-6A-10, §29-6A-11, §29-6A-12, §29-6A-13, §29-6A-14, §29-6A-15, §29-6A-16, §29-6A-17, §29-6A-18, §29-6A-19, §29-6A-20, §29-6A-21, §29-6A-22, §29-6A-23, §29-6A-24, §29-6A-25 and §29-6A-26, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 6A. STATE LABOR RELATIONS ACT.
§29-6A-1. Legislative purpose.
The Legislature of the State of West Virginia declares that the trial meet and consult process between state departments and employee representatives has improved organizational efficiency, enhanced the quality of work life, and led to harmonious relations between employees and state managers. In order to build upon this success, 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 the state and its employees; to increase the efficiency of 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: (1) Granting to state employees the right to associate with others in organizing and choosing representatives for the purpose of collective bargaining; (2) requiring the state to recognize, negotiate and bargain with employee organizations representing state employees and to enter into written agreements evidencing the result of bargaining; and (3) encouraging labor peace through the establishment of standards and procedures which protect the rights of the state, the state employee and the citizens of this state.
§29-6A-2. Short title.
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "State Labor Relations Act."
The following words when used in this article have the meaning ascribed to them unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(a) "Appropriate bargaining unit" means the unit of employees appropriate for the purpose of collective bargaining pursuant to section twelve of this article.
(b) "Arbitration" means the procedure by which an impartial third party holds a hearing, takes testimony and renders a decision which is binding upon the parties for the purpose of resolving a dispute between state employees and the state employers including:
(1) "Grievance arbitration" which means arbitration of disputes arising over the interpretation or application of a collective bargaining agreement or any law rule or regulation affecting the working conditions of state employees; and
(2) "Interest arbitration" which means arbitration of disputes arising during the course of contract negotiations resulting in incorporation of the arbitrator's decision into the collective bargaining agreement.
(c) "Board" means the state Labor Relations Board created pursuant to section four of this article.
(d) "Certification" means official designation by the state Labor Relations Board that the employee organization is the exclusive representative for all the employees in an appropriate bargaining unit for the purpose of collective bargaining.
(e) "Collective bargaining" means the performance of the mutual obligations of the state as an employer and the exclusive representative to meet at reasonable times and places, to confer and negotiate in good faith with the intent of reaching agreement, and to execute a written agreement with respect to wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment: Provided, That neither party shall be required to make a concession or compelled to agree to a proposal put forth by the other party except as pursuant to interest arbitration.
(f) "Confidential employee" means an employee who acts in a confidential capacity with respect to an individual who formulates or effectuates management policies in the field of labor-management relations;
(g) "Employee" means, for the purposes of this article, any person employed by the state in an executive department, including agencies and boards, or in an independent agency or department other than supervisors, confidential employees, persons employed by the governing boards of higher education, employees of the State Legislature, employees of the judicial branch and employees responsible for administering this statute.
(h) "Employee organization" means an employee participating organization which exists for the purpose of representing state employees in dealing with the state concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment of state employees.
(I) "Employer" means the State of West Virginia, its executive departments, divisions, institutions, agencies and boards excluding the board of higher education.
(j) "Exclusive representative" means the employee organization which has the right as certified by the board to be the collective bargaining agent of all employees in an appropriate bargaining unit.
(k) "Impasse" means the point in the process of negotiations between exclusive representatives of state employees and state employers at which either party determines that no further progress toward resolving differences and concluding a collective bargaining agreement can be made.
(l) "Mediation" means assistance in the form of interpretation, suggestion or advice by an impartial third party in reconciling an impasse between the state employer and the exclusive representative regarding wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment.
(m) "Representation fee" means the assessment levied upon employees in an appropriate bargaining unit who are not members of the employee organization to help defray the cost of representational services rendered by the exclusive representative on their behalf.
(n) "Supervisory employee" means any individual whose principal activity includes and who spends a preponderance of his or her workday exercising nonroutine and nonclerical authority and who uses independent judgment to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward or discipline other employees or an individual who has the responsibility to assign work, direct other employees, adjust employee grievances, or an individual who recommends any of these employee actions and whose duties are substantially distinct from these other employees.
§29-6A-4. West Virginia State Labor Relations Board created.
There is hereby created a state agency to be known as the West Virginia State Labor Relations Board, or "board," which shall be administratively attached to the Department of Administration: Provided, That the Department of Administration shall not exercise any authority over the policy decisions of the board.
§29-6A-5. Composition of board; terms of members; qualifications of members.
The board shall consist of three members, each of whom shall be appointed by the Governor, and one of whom shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of at least three individuals provided by the largest labor organization in the state. All members shall be citizens of the state, and shall be appointed by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The members shall be appointed for terms of four years, except that one of the original terms shall be for a term of four years, another one of the original terms shall be for a term of three years and the remaining original term shall be for a term of two years.
No person shall be eligible for appointment to membership on the board who is the holder of any public office or public employment under the federal government or under the government of this state or any of its political subdivisions, or an appointee or employee of the board. Not more than two members of the board shall be members of the same political party.
§29-6A-6. Original term of members; vacancies; eligibility for reappointment; oath of office; removal from office.
The Governor shall appoint the three members of the board within sixty days of the effective date of this article. The original terms of office of members begin on July 1, 2012.
The Governor shall appoint a member by and with the advice and consent of the Senate to fill any vacancy among the members of the board. The member appointed to fill the vacancy shall serve for the unexpired term of the vacating member.
All members of the board shall be eligible for reappointment.
Before exercising any authority or performing any duties as a member of the board, each member shall qualify by taking and subscribing to the oath of office prescribed by section five, article IV of the State Constitution.
No member of the board may be removed from office by the Governor except for official misconduct, incompetence, neglect of duty or gross immorality and only in the manner prescribed by law for the removal of state elective officers.
§29-6A-7. Meetings; quorum; per diem and expenses of members.
The board shall hold at least four meetings in every fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending the following June 30. One meeting, known as the annual meeting, shall be held in July, or as soon thereafter as practicable, in the year 2012 and in July of each subsequent year. Annual meetings, as well as the three additional required meetings in each fiscal year, shall be held on dates and at places as the board may prescribe: In addition to the statutorily required meetings, the board may, upon its own resolution or at the call of the chairperson of the board, meet at other times.
Of the three appointed members, two members of the board shall constitute a quorum provided that if there are two vacancies on the board, the remaining member shall be considered as the chair and shall be authorized to conduct the business of the board. A majority vote is necessary to pass upon matters before the board. A vacancy in the board does not impair the authority of the remaining members to exercise all the powers of the board consistent with the existence of a quorum. The Governor may appoint an acting member of the board during the temporary absence from the state or during the illness of any regular member. An acting member, during his or her term of service, shall have the same powers and duties as the regular member and shall meet the same requirements for selection.
The members of the board shall be paid $300 per diem, or such other amount as specified by the Legislature in appropriations, for actual time spent in the performance of duties under this article, and shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incident to the performance of their duties. The foregoing per diem and reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses shall be paid from appropriations made by the Legislature to the board.
§29-6A-8. Organization of board; staff; offices.
At its first annual meeting in July, or as soon thereafter as practicable, in the year 2012, and annually thereafter, the board shall elect a chairperson and other officers from its membership as the board may deem necessary or desirable. The chairperson shall serve for a one-year term commencing on July 1, following the annual meeting and ending on June 30 the following year.
The board shall employ an executive officer and other professional, administrative, clerical and other employees, including, but not limited to, mediators and hearing officers, as may be necessary to assist the board in the performance of its duties and responsibilities and consistent with legislative appropriations. The board shall be represented in any judicial proceedings pursuant to this article by the Attorney General of the State of West Virginia or his or her designee. The board shall prescribe the duties and fix the compensation and emoluments of all employees. Employees of the board shall serve under the direction and control of the board or its designated representatives. The board shall provide suitable offices for the executive officer and his or her staff in or near the state Capitol Complex in Charleston, West Virginia.
The board has authority from time to time to make, amend and rescind rules as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this article. Any rules shall be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State within thirty days of adoption by the board. The provisions of the state Administrative Procedures Act apply to the board.
§29-6A-10. Employee rights.
(a) It is lawful for state employees to organize, form, join or assist in employee organizations and to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid and protection and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own free choice. Employees also have the right to refrain from these activities, except as may be required pursuant to the provisions of this article or pursuant to any maintenance of membership provision or representation fee provision in a collective bargaining agreement.
(b) Nothing in this article shall prevent an employee from presenting a grievance to the employer and having the grievance heard and settled without the intervention of an employee organization: Provided, That the exclusive bargaining representative is afforded the opportunity to be present and to present its views on the matter: Provided, however, That any settlement made shall not be inconsistent with the terms of any agreement in effect between the employer and the exclusive bargaining representative.
§29-6A-11. Exclusive representation.
(a) When a majority of the state employees casting valid ballots in a secret ballot election select a representative for the purpose of bargaining collectively, the representative shall be the exclusive representative of all the employees in the unit for the purpose of collective bargaining.
(b) Labor organizations recognized by the state as the exclusive representative are responsible for representing the interests of all state employees in the bargaining unit. Nothing herein shall be construed to limit an exclusive representative's right to exercise its discretion to refuse to process grievances of employees that are not meritorious.
§29-6A-12. Unit determination.
(a) For the purposes of collective bargaining, all of the eligible employees of a specific executive department or independent agency as defined in article one, chapter five-f of this code shall constitute an appropriate unit. Eligible employees of the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the Auditor, Treasurer, Agriculture and Parkways Authority shall constitute separate appropriate units. Nothing shall prohibit multiunit bargaining between state employers and the exclusive representative or representatives of state employees except that all of the eligible uniformed personnel of the West Virginia State Police shall constitute their own appropriate unit. The board shall resolve all questions of eligibility of an employee to be included in an appropriate unit that are not resolved by a state employer and employee organization through agreement or through operation of agreed upon procedures.
(b) Supervisory employees may not be included in an appropriate unit with any other employees, but supervisors shall be permitted to form their own separate homogeneous units in each executive department.
§29-6A-13. Representation recognition and election; procedures.
(a) When an employee or group of employees, or any individual or employee organization acting on behalf of an employee or group of employees, files a petition with the board alleging that thirty percent of the employees in a unit are members or wish to be represented for collective bargaining by a designated representative, or wish to decertify the existing exclusive representative, the board shall investigate or conduct hearings to determine the validity of the matters contained in the petition before determining whether or not an order should be issued. If the board determines that thirty percent of the employees in an appropriate unit are members of or wish to be represented by a designated employee organization, or wish to decertify a currently certified exclusive representative, the board shall order and conduct a secret ballot election. Within seven days of a request from the board, a state employer shall provide the board a list of all state employees described in the petition for recognition accompanied by notations indicating whether each employee is included or excluded from the bargaining unit. The petitioning employee organization, and any incumbent exclusive representative employee organization, shall be provided with a copy of such list. Representation elections shall be supervised by the board and shall be conducted by secret ballot at times and places selected by the board, subject to the following:
(1) A petition to decertify an existing exclusive representative shall be considered timely and processed only if:
(A) Filed more than one year after the exclusive representative was certified or recertified; and
(B) If a collective bargaining agreement is in effect, within the period commencing ninety days prior and ending sixty days prior to the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement.
(2) Within seven days after the board issues its order directing that an election be conducted, the state employer shall submit to the employee organization or organizations whose name shall appear on the election ballot, the complete names and addresses of those employees who are determined by the board to be eligible to participate in the election;
(3) The election shall be conducted on or near the place of employment at a time convenient to all employees;
(4) The board shall give no less than ten days’ notice of the time and place of the election;
(5) The board shall establish rules concerning the conduct of any election including, but not limited to, regulations which would guarantee the secrecy of the ballot;
(6) In addition to any currently certified or petitioning employee organization, the ballot shall contain the names of any employee organization presenting cards signed by at least twenty percent of the employees in the appropriate unit indicating their wish to be represented for the purpose of collective bargaining by the organization and the ballot shall also contain a provision allowing an employee to mark "no representation";
(7) A representative may not be certified unless it receives a majority of the valid ballots cast;
(8) In an election where none of the choices on the ballot receive a majority of the valid ballots cast, a run-off election shall be conducted within thirty days after the result of the election is certified by the board. The ballot for the run-off election shall include a provision for a selection between only the two choices or parties receiving the highest number of ballots cast in the previous election.
(9) The board shall have the final determination on any controversy concerning the eligibility of an employee to vote;
(10) The board shall certify the results of an election within seven calendar days after the final tally of votes and the board determines, after any challenges are filed, that the challenges are without merit. Any challenge to the conduct of an election must be filed within five calendar days of the final tally of votes.
(b) As an alternative to subsection (a) of this section, an employee organization may petition the board for voluntary recognition without an election. Upon a finding that a majority of eligible employees in the appropriate unit are members or wish to be represented by a designated representative, the board shall certify the employee organization as the exclusive representative without conducting an election: Provided, That the employer agrees to waive the requirement for an election and that there is no rival claim for recognition or petition for an election.
§29-6A-14. Duty to bargaining.
(a) Collective bargaining shall take place between state employers and recognized employee organizations and shall result in execution of a written contract incorporating any agreement reached on wages, hours, working conditions and other terms and conditions of employment.
(b) Matters subject to negotiation shall include payroll withholding of employee organization dues and representation fees including the automatic deduction of such fees from the paychecks of nonmember employees. Where there is an exclusive representative for a bargaining unit, only the exclusive representative shall have the right to payroll withholding of employee organization dues for employees in that bargaining unit.
(c) Where a collective bargaining agreement is terminated, or continues in effect beyond its scheduled expiration date pending the negotiation of a successor agreement or the resolution of an impasse, the employer shall continue to honor and abide by any dues deduction or representation fee clause contained therein until a new agreement is reached including dues deduction or a representation fee clause.
(d) The general adjustment to the employee pay plans, other general adjustments to pay affecting all employees including nonbase building adjustments, and matters relating to health care benefits shall be subject to bargaining between a coalition of all exclusive representatives and a representative designated by the Governor. Each employee organization that is part of the coalition shall exercise authority over decisions of the coalition proportional to the number of employees exclusively represented in the coalition by the employee organization.
§29-6A-15. Written agreements; appropriations; grievance procedure required.
(a) All cost items resulting from coalition bargaining concerning the general adjustments to the employee pay plans and health care benefit agreements that may not be paid from existing appropriations, shall be subject to approval and appropriations by the State Legislature. The Governor shall submit to the Legislature, within ten days of the date on which an agreement is ratified by the exclusive representatives, all cost items contained in the agreement: Provided, That if any cost items require appropriations by the State Legislature while it is not in session, the cost items shall be submitted by the Governor for inclusion in the next operating budget. If the State Legislature rejects any of the cost items submitted to them, all items shall be returned to the parties for further negotiations. Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow the State Legislature to reject cost items in an agreement that it has approved.
(b) Because effective and orderly operation of government is essential to the public, it is declared to be in the public interest that in the course of collective bargaining, the state employer and the exclusive representative shall make every reasonable effort to conclude negotiations, and include provisions for an effective date, a reopening date and an expiration date, at a time to coincide, as nearly as possible, with the period during which appropriate legislative or governing bodies may act upon the operating budget of the employers.
(c) All existing rules adopted by the employer, including civil service and other personnel regulations, which are not contrary to this article or a collective bargaining agreement, shall remain applicable. The duty to bargain collectively shall include an obligation to negotiate over any matter with respect to wages, hours and other conditions of employment, not specifically provided in any other law or not specifically in violation of the provisions of any law. If any other law pertains, in part, to a matter affecting the wages, hours and other conditions of employment, the other law shall not be construed as limiting the duty to bargain collectively and to enter into collective bargaining agreements containing clauses which either supplement, implement or relate to the effect of provisions in other laws. If there is a conflict between the collective bargaining agreement and any rules, the terms of the agreement shall prevail. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, matters described in article five, chapter five, section five, article two, chapter fifteen, sections ten, twenty-four and twenty-six, article six, chapter twenty-nine of this code shall be substantively subject to bargaining at the request of either party.
(d) As an exception to articles two and three of chapter six-c and section six and twenty-one, article two, chapter fifteen of this code, every collective bargaining agreement shall contain a grievance procedure culminating in final and binding arbitration by a neutral third party which shall be the exclusive grievance and disciplinary appeals procedure for employees covered by the agreement. The decision of an arbitrator shall be valid and enforceable when entered into in accordance with the provisions of this article. The grievance procedure may not include matters relating to the classification of any position.
(e) A collective bargaining agreement shall not be in force and effect for a period of more than four years.
§29-6A-16. Impasses; mediation.
Either a state employer or the exclusive representative or coalition of exclusive representatives may declare that an impasse has been reached between the parties in bargaining over the wages, hours, working conditions or other terms and conditions of employment. Upon declaration of impasse by the employer or the representative, a mediator shall be selected by the board. The mediator shall meet immediately with the parties or their representatives, either jointly or separately, and shall take other steps as may be deemed appropriate in order to persuade the parties to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. The mediator shall have the power to control the agenda and require the attendance of parties. All expenses of mediation shall be borne by the board.
§29-6A-17. Impasses; arbitration.
(a) If the mediator is unable to effect settlement of the controversy within thirty days of the beginning of mediation in accordance with the provisions of the preceding section, either party may, by written notification to the other or to the board, submit the remaining differences to interest arbitration. Each party shall submit a final offer on each separate item remaining at impasse to the arbitrator and the other party. The arbitrator, following the procedures prescribed in subsection (b) of this section, shall determine that either the final offer of the employer or the final offer of the exclusive representative on each separate issue shall be incorporated into the final collective bargaining agreement: Provided, That the arbitrator shall not amend the offer of either party on any issue. Unless the parties have mutually agreed to retain the mediator as arbitrator, or have agreed upon another individual, the board shall submit five names of potential arbitrators to the parties. Each party shall alternately strike a name until one arbiter remains. The name of potential arbitrators shall be submitted by the board from lists provided by the American Arbitration Association or the federal mediation and conciliation service.
(b) The arbitrator shall, within ten days of appointment or as mutually agreed, meet with the parties or their representatives, either jointly or separately, and shall make inquiries and investigations, hold hearings, and take other steps as may be deemed appropriate in accordance with procedures prescribed by the board. The arbitrator shall have the power to issue subpoenas requiring the attendance and testimony of the parties, their representatives and other relevant witnesses and the production of any evidence deemed appropriate by the arbitrator in conducting hearings, investigations or inquiries.
(c)In reaching a decision regarding resolution of outstanding disputes, the arbitrator shall take into consideration, in addition to any other relevant factors, the following:
(1) Comparison of the wages, hours and conditions of employment of the employees involved in the arbitration proceeding with the wages, hours and conditions of employment of employees performing similar services or requiring similar skills under similar working conditions and with other employees generally in public and private employment in comparable communities;
(2) Comparison of peculiarities in regard to other trades or professions, including specifically: (A) Hazards of employment; (B) physical qualifications; (C) educational qualifications; (D) mental qualifications; and (E) job training and skills;
(3) The terms of collective agreements negotiated between the parties in the past, or of other previously existing arrangements providing for compensation and fringe benefits, including, but not limited to, provisions for salary, insurance and retirement benefits, medical and hospitalization benefits, paid time off and job security; and
(4) The ability of the state employer to pay for the items to be included in the contract.
(d) Not later than thirty days following appointment or at such other time as mutually agreed, the arbitrator shall transmit a decision to the board and to the parties. The parties shall execute an agreement embodying the decision of the arbitrator as to all issues which had been unresolved as well as those items mutually agreed upon. The decision of the arbitrator on matters requiring an appropriation of funds is subject to approval and appropriation by the Legislature.
(e) The expenses of arbitration shall be borne by the board.
§29-6A-18. Strikes prohibited.
Strikes by state employees are prohibited at any time.
§29-6A-19. Remedies for prohibited strikes.
If a strike of state employees occurs which would be prohibited under the provisions of section eighteen of this article, the state Attorney General may institute an action in the circuit court of the jurisdiction where the strike occurs, or in the Supreme Court of Appeals, for appropriate equitable relief.
§29-6A-20. Prohibited practices.
(a) It shall be a prohibited practice for a state employer or its representative to willfully:
(1) Interfere, restrain or coerce any employee in the exercise of any right guaranteed under this article;
(2) Dominate, interfere or assist in the formation, existence or administration of any employee organization, or to give monetary or other support to the organization other than to furnish, upon request, customary and routine services and facilities;
(3) Discriminate in regard to hiring, tenure, term or condition of employment to encourage or discourage membership in any employee organization except as pursuant to implementation to a valid agreement for representation fees;
(4) Discharge or otherwise discriminate against an employee because he or she has signed or 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 employee organization;
(5) Refuse to bargain collectively in good faith with the exclusive representative as required in this article;
(6) Refuse to participate in good faith in the mediation and arbitration procedures set forth in sections sixteen and seventeen of this article;
(7) Refuse or fail to comply with any provision of this article; or
(8) Refuse to supply to any exclusive representative budgetary information regarding the receipts and disbursements of the state or refuse to supply any other information necessary to the preparation and conduct of negotiations or the processing of grievances.
(b) It shall be prohibited practice for a state employee organization or its designated agent to willfully:
(1) Refuse to bargain collectively in good faith with the state employer if it is an exclusive representative, as required in this article;
(2) Refuse to participate in good faith in the mediation and arbitration procedures set forth in sections sixteen and seventeen of this article; or
(3) Refuse to fairly represent employees for whom it serves as the exclusive representative.
§29-6A-21. Prohibited practices; hearings and remedies.
(a) A state employer, employee, employee organization or exclusive representative may file a written complaint with the board. The complaint shall state that a prohibited practice as defined in section twenty of this article has been committed and that relief from the prohibited practice is requested. Upon receipt of a written complaint the board or its agent shall:
(1) Cause to be served, upon the person or entity alleged to have committed the prohibited practice, a copy of the complaint;
(2) Investigate the complaint to determine if a hearing on the prohibited practice allegation is warranted. If the investigation reveals, that no issue of fact or law exists, the board may either grant the relief or dismiss the complaint;
(3) If the investigation reveals that an issue of fact or law exists, a board hearing on the matter shall be held within twenty days after a notice of the complaint has been received by the charged party.
(b) In conducting the hearing, the board or its agent, is authorized to:
(1) Subpoena witnesses and documents in accordance with section one, article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code;
(2) Administer oaths and affirmations;
(3) Hold conferences for the settlement or simplification of the issues by consent of the parties;
(4) Regulate the course of the hearing;
(5) Exclude immaterial, irrelevant or repetitious evidence; and
(6) Sequester witnesses.
(c) Where the board finds that any person or entity charged in the complaint has engaged in or is engaging in prohibited practices charged in the complaint, the board shall:
(1) State its findings and conclusions in writing;
(2) Issue and cause to be served on the person or entity engaged in prohibited practices an order to cease and desist from the prohibited practice;
(3) Award representative costs, as determined by the board, to the prevailing party; and
(4) Take affirmative action, including, but not limited to, the reinstatement of employees with pay, as is deemed fair and equitable in accordance with the provisions of this article.
(d) Where the board finds that the person or entity charged in the complaint has not engaged or is not engaging in a prohibited practice the board shall issue an order dismissing the complaint.
(e) The decision of the board shall be final upon the parties and shall be enforceable in circuit court by any of them. In addition, the board may petition the circuit court of the county in which the prohibited practice occurred to enforce its orders and to grant it other relief including, but not limited to, an injunction.
§29-6A-22. Payroll deductions.
(a) The employer, upon receiving from the exclusive representative a written statement which certifies the amount of initiation fees and periodic dues, shall deduct the fees and dues from the wages due to the employees from the employer. In accordance with the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, the deductions may apply to all employees of the bargaining unit, whether as dues for members of the applicable exclusive bargaining representative or as a representation fee payment for nonmembers. Membership in the exclusive representative is not required of any bargaining unit employee.
(b) Deductions, authorized by members of the exclusive representative, or representation fee payments required to be deducted from the wages of nonmembers pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, shall be made at times mutually agreed upon by the employer and the exclusive representative in amounts prorated in equal installments. The amounts so deducted shall be forwarded by the employer to the exclusive representative. Nothing in the foregoing shall be construed to prevent the parties from agreeing to allow for lump sum payment of dues or agreeing to another arrangement.
(c) The wage deduction permitted by this section shall be paid to the employee organization chosen as the exclusive representative of an appropriate bargaining unit. Payments terminate when an employee organization ceases to function as the exclusive representative of the appropriate bargaining unit.
(d) In addition to any deduction made and forwarded to the exclusive representative under subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the employer shall, upon written authorization by an employee, deduct from the payroll of the amount of group insurance premiums, and other charges for employee organization benefits, funds and plans administered by the exclusive representative and shall remit the amount designated by the employee to the exclusive representative.
(e) The employer shall continue all payroll assignments authorized by an employee prior to the effective date of this article and all assignments authorized under subsection (d) of this section until the employee notifies the employer to discontinue his or her assignments in accordance with any applicable collective bargaining agreement or until the employee organization ceases to be the exclusive representative of the appropriate bargaining unit.
§29-6A-23. Financial reports to employees.
Every employee organization shall keep an adequate record of its financial transactions and shall make available annually to the employees who are members of the organization, within ninety days after the end of its fiscal year, a detailed written financial report in the form of a balance sheet and an operating statement, certified as to accuracy by a certified public accountant. In the event of failure of compliance with this section, any employee within a bargaining unit exclusively represented by the organization may petition the state Labor Relations Board for an order compelling compliance. The board may enforce its order by instituting suit in the circuit court having jurisdiction in this matter. An employee organization seeking to become an exclusive representative must file with the board a copy of its most recent financial report and Constitution and by-laws.
§29-6A-24. Public records and proceedings.
The complaints, orders and testimony relating to a proceeding instituted by the state Labor Relations Board are public records and shall be made available for inspection or copying.
If any provision of this article or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held unconstitutional or invalid, such unconstitutionality or invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the chapter, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are declared to be severable.
§29-6A-26. Effective Date.
This article is effective July 1, 2012.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to promote orderly and constructive employment relations between the state and its employees; to increase the efficiency of 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: Granting to state employees the right to associate with others in organizing and choosing representatives for the purpose of collective bargaining; requiring the state to recognize, negotiate and bargain with employee organizations representing state employees and to enter into written agreements evidencing the result of bargaining; and encouraging labor peace through the establishment of standards and procedures which protect the rights of the state, the state employee and the citizens of this state.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.