Section: Outlines, analyses and headnotes not part of statutes
(a) Upon its own motion, in an existing, imminent or threatened labor dispute in private employment, the board, through the Division of Private Employment Dispute Settlement, may, and, upon the request of the parties or either party to the dispute, must take such steps as it may deem expedient to effect a voluntary, amicable and expeditious adjustment and settlement of the differences and issues between employer and employees which have precipitated or culminated in or threaten to precipitate or culminate in such labor dispute.
(b) Whenever negotiations between a public employer and an exclusive representative concerning the terms and conditions of employment shall reach an impasse, the commission, through the Division of Public Employment Relations shall, upon the request of either party, take such steps as it may deem expedient to effect a voluntary resolution of the impasse. In the event of a failure to resolve the impasse by mediation the Division of Public Employment Relations is empowered to recommend or invoke factfinding with recommendation for settlement, the cost of which shall be borne by the commission.
(c) The board in private employment, through the Division of Private Employment Dispute Settlement, and the commission in public employment, through the Division of Public Employment Relations, shall take the following steps to avoid or terminate labor disputes: (1) to arrange for, hold, adjourn or reconvene a conference or conferences between the disputants or one or more of their representatives or any of them; (2) to invite the disputants or their representatives or any of them to attend such conference and submit, either orally or in writing, the grievances of and differences between the disputants; (3) to discuss such grievances and differences with the disputants and their representatives; and (4) to assist in negotiating and drafting agreements for the adjustment in settlement of such grievances and differences and for the termination or avoidance, as the case may be, of the existing or threatened labor dispute.
(d) The commission, through the Division of Public Employment Relations, is hereby empowered to resolve questions concerning representation of public employees by conducting a secret ballot election or utilizing any other appropriate and suitable method designed to ascertain the free choice of the employees. The division shall decide in each instance which unit of employees is appropriate for collective negotiation, provided that, except where dictated by established practice, prior agreement, or special circumstances, no unit shall be appropriate which includes (1) both supervisors and nonsupervisors, (2) both professional and nonprofessional employees unless a majority of such professional employees vote for inclusion in such unit or, (3) both craft and noncraft employees unless a majority of such craft employees vote for inclusion in such unit. All of the powers and duties conferred or imposed upon the division that are necessary for the administration of this subdivision, and not inconsistent with it, are to that extent hereby made applicable. Should formal hearings be required, in the opinion of said division to determine the appropriate unit, it shall have the power to issue subpenas as described below, and shall determine the rules and regulations for the conduct of such hearing or hearings.
(e) For the purposes of this section the Division of Public Employment Relations shall have the authority and power to hold hearings, subpena witnesses, compel their attendance, administer oaths, take the testimony or deposition of any person under oath, and in connection therewith, to issue subpenas duces tecum, and to require the production and examination of any governmental or other books or papers relating to any matter described above.
(f) In carrying out any of its work under this act, the board may designate one of its members, or an officer of the board to act in its behalf and may delegate to such designee one or more of its duties hereunder and, for such purpose, such designee shall have all the powers hereby conferred upon the board in connection with the discharge of the duty or duties so delegated. In carrying out any of its work under this act, the commission may designate one of its members or an officer of the commission to act on its behalf and may delegate to such designee one or more of its duties hereunder and, for such purpose, such designee shall have all of the powers hereby conferred upon the commission in connection with the discharge of the duty or duties so delegated.
(g) The board and commission may also appoint and designate other persons or groups of persons to act for and on its behalf and may delegate to such persons or groups of persons any and all of the powers conferred upon it by this act so far as it is reasonably necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act. Such persons shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for any necessary expenses.
(h) The personnel of the Division of Public Employment Relations shall include only individuals familiar with the field of public employee-management relations. The commission's determination that a person is familiar in this field shall not be reviewable by any other body.
L.1941, c. 100, p. 230, s. 6. Amended by L.1968, c. 303, s. 8, eff. July 1, 1968; L.1974, c. 123, s. 5.
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