Wicomico County, MD
 
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Council of Wicomico County 12-18-2001 by Res. No. 534;[1] amended in its entirety 10-5-2010 by Bill No. 2010-11. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Personnel — See County Charter, Article VI.
County Council — See Ch. 22.
Ethical standards — See Ch. 37.
Substance abuse policy — See Ch. 88.
[1]
Editor's Note: This resolution also superseded former Ch. 59, Personnel Rules, adopted 8-3-1965 by Res. No. 19.
Under and by virtue of the authority contained in Article VI of the Wicomico County Charter and the sections set forth therein, the rules, regulations and provisions set forth in the "Manual of Personnel Policies and Procedures October 2003 Edition" and on file with the Director of Human Resources are enacted, adopted and established with respect to the administration of the County personnel system.
It is the public policy of this county, pursuant to Charter Section 601.1, enacted as a result of citizen initiative, and the purpose of this article is to promote a harmonious, peaceful and cooperative relationship between the county government and its law enforcement employees and to protect the public by assuring, at all times, the responsive, orderly and efficient operation of the Sheriff's office. Since unresolved disputes in the Sheriff's office are injurious to the public and to law enforcement personnel as well, adequate means should be provided for preventing such unresolved disputes and for resolving them when they occur. To that end, it is in the public interest that law enforcement employees have the opportunity to bargain collectively over wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment through a representative of their choice or to refrain therefrom; and that any collective bargaining between the county government and a representative of the law enforcement employees be done in good faith with no interference with the orderly process of government and furthermore, that the agreements reached through collective bargaining be concluded with due regard for, and subject to, the provisions of applicable laws and the Charter provisions governing public employment and fiscal procedures in the county.
In this title, the following words have the meanings indicated.
ADMINISTRATION
The County Executive and officers and agents under the County Executive's supervision.
APPROPRIATE REPRESENTATION UNIT
A group of positions in the Sheriff's Office that under the provisions of this article has been found to be an appropriate group for the purpose of collective negotiations.
ARBITRATION
A procedure by which parties who are unable to agree on a solution to a problem indicate their willingness to be bound by the decision of a third party.
EMPLOYEE
Shall include a person employed by the Sheriff's Office who is classified as a sworn law enforcement officer and who has completed his/her initial entrance level training for certification as a law enforcement officer, and holds a rank below that of Lieutenant. This shall in no way serve to modify any personnel policy of the employer relative to a probationary period or the law enforcement officers' bill of rights.
EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATION
A lawful association, labor organization, federation, council or brotherhood, the primary purpose of which is to represent employees concerning terms and conditions of employment and having a local constitution or bylaws and a roster of officers elected in accordance with the constitution or bylaws, but the term does not include an organization that advocates the overthrow of the constitutional form of government in the United States or that discriminates with regard to the terms or conditions of membership because of race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, or political affiliation.
EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE
An employee organization that has been certified as the collective negotiating agent for an appropriate representation unit for the purpose of representing all officers in the unit, regardless of employee organization membership.
IMPASSE
When the administration and exclusive representative are unable to agree on the wages, hours, working conditions, or other terms and conditions of employment to create a memorandum of agreement after a reasonable period of negotiations.
INTERVENER EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATION
An employee organization that has complied with the provisions of this article that permit it to be included with the petitioning employee organization as one of the choices on the ballot in a representation election.
A. 
County Executive or County Executive's representative; or
B. 
Exclusive representative for Wicomico County Sheriff's deputies.
PORTION OF A SUBJECT AREA OF BARGAINING
Specific areas within the subject area of bargaining.
STRIKE; WORK STOPPAGE
A concerted failure to report for duty, the willful absence from one's position, the stoppage or slowdown of work, or the abstinence in whole or in part from the full, faithful, and proper performance of the duties of employment, or deviation from normal or proper work duties or activities, for the purpose of inducing, influencing, or coercing the employer in the determination, implementation, interpretation, or administration of terms or conditions of employment or of the rights, privileges, or obligations of employment or of the status, recognition or authority of the employee or an employee organization.
SUBJECT AREA OF BARGAINING
A subject matter area, such as wages, hours, or terms and conditions of employment, overtime, call back, shift differential, leave, grievance procedures, and safety procedures. Health benefits, pension and other retirement benefits are not subject to binding arbitration for Fiscal Year 2011.
A. 
Employees shall have the right of self-organization, to form, join, or assist employee organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing on terms and conditions of employment, and shall also have the right to refrain from any or all such activities.
B. 
No employee, employee organization or other employee or employer shall retaliate against any employee for their exercise of the rights set forth herein, or for participating in any proceeding established pursuant to this labor code.
C. 
Nothing in this labor code shall prohibit an employee from presenting, discussing or resolving any grievance directly with the employer and without participation of the employee organization that represents the employee.
A. 
Notwithstanding any provisions of this article to the contrary, it is the exclusive right of the county to:
(1) 
Determine the purposes and objectives of each of its constituent offices and departments;
(2) 
Set standards of services to be offered to the public;
(3) 
Determine the methods, means, personnel, and other resources by which the county's operations are to be conducted;
(4) 
Exercise control and discretion over its organization and operations;
(5) 
Determine the budget of the Wicomico County Sheriff's Department, including all financial obligations and expenditures, and to exercise its taxing authority;
(6) 
Determine the ways and amounts of funds it allocates to its various departments and projects;
(7) 
Direct its employees and adopt reasonable rules and regulations pertaining to its purpose, operation, techniques, efficiency and management;
(8) 
Determine staffing of the Wicomico County Sheriff's Department, including, but not limited to, the hiring, promotion, transfer, assignment, and retention of employees, the use of full- and part-time police officers, seasonal police officers, police officer trainees, cadets, or reserve police, and the number of such staff;
(9) 
Suspend, demote, discharge or take disciplinary action against employees with just cause, relieve employees from duty because of lack of work or other legitimate reasons, and in the case of Sheriff's officers, subject to the provisions of the law enforcement officers' bill of rights or any amendment or successor thereto.
B. 
The county shall not enter into or become bound by any collective bargaining agreement pursuant to this labor code that contains terms which infringe upon or limit the rights set forth in this section. Neither an impasse panel nor an arbitrator determining a grievance under a collective bargaining agreement shall have the authority to add to, alter, amend, delete, modify or infringe upon any of the rights set forth in this section.
C. 
This section is part of each memorandum of agreement executed between the county and a certified employee organization.
D. 
If the county and an employee organization execute a memorandum of agreement that removes class titles from or adds class titles to a certified bargaining unit, the Personnel Officer shall have the authority to effect the agreed upon changes to the certified bargaining unit as of the effective date of agreement.
A. 
The full-time sworn Deputy Sheriffs of the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office shall constitute an appropriate bargaining unit for the purposes of collective bargaining, but excluding officers at the Lieutenant level and above.
B. 
An employee organization which seeks formal recognition for purposes of collective bargaining as an exclusive representative of the appropriate bargaining unit of the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office shall file a petition for certification with the Director of Human Resources containing the following information and documentation:
(1) 
A certified copy of the organization's constitution and bylaws along with a roster of officers duly elected in accordance with such constitution and bylaws, and a delineation of all interorganizational affiliations.
(2) 
A statement that the employee organization has as a purpose the representation of employees in their employment relations with the county.
(3) 
A statement that the employee organization has no terms or conditions of membership which discriminate with regard to race, color, creed, sex, age, political affiliation, or national origin.
(4) 
A request that the county recognize the employee organization as the exclusive representative of the employees in the unit claimed to be appropriate.
(5) 
A written list containing each job title to be included in the proposed representation unit.
(6) 
A statement that the employee organization has in its possession written proof dated within six months of the date upon which the petition is filed, to establish that at least 30% of the employees in the unit claimed to be appropriate have designated the employee organization to represent them for purposes of collective bargaining with the county. Said showing of interest shall be verified by the Director of Human Resources.
C. 
Such a petition may be received by the Director of Human Resources only during the month of September.
D. 
Upon receipt of such petition, the Director of Human Resources shall give adequate and timely notice of the filing to the County Executive, Wicomico County Sheriff, and to the employees in the proposed unit, and shall, within 20 days of the filing date of the petition, determine, with appropriate input from the County Executive and/or the Wicomico County Sheriff, that the proposed unit is an appropriate bargaining unit, or determine that an alternative unit is the appropriate bargaining unit, consistent at all times with § 59-6A of this labor code, and so notify the County Executive, the Wicomico County Sheriff, the petitioning employee organization, and the employees in the proposed unit.
E. 
In the event that the Director of Human Resources and the petitioning employee organization are in disagreement as to the determination of the appropriate bargaining unit, the issue shall be submitted to the County Personnel Board at the request of the County Executive and/or the Wicomico County Sheriff, or the petitioning employee organization. Any party aggrieved by the decision of the County Personnel Board may appeal to the Circuit Court for Wicomico County. The costs of litigation shall be borne equally by the parties involved.
F. 
When an appropriate bargaining unit has been determined, the Director of Human Resources shall give adequate and timely notice of the determination to the County Executive, the Sheriff, the petitioning employee organization, and to all employees within the appropriate bargaining unit by posting at the work site, and shall arrange for a secret ballot certification election to be conducted by the Wicomico County Personnel Board, in which the employees in such unit shall be offered a choice between exclusive representation by the petitioning employee organization or of no exclusive representation. The secret ballot election shall be conducted at the employees' work site, and held on an appropriate non-weekend day approximately 35 days after the appropriate bargaining unit has been determined; provided, however, that if an intervener employee organization certifies within 10 days of the filing date of the petition that at least 10% of the employees in the unit have designated it to represent them for purposes of collective bargaining with the county and if such organization complies with the requirements of § 59-6B(1) through (3) inclusive, then the ballot shall offer a choice among the petitioning employee organization, any intervener employee organization, or of no exclusive representation.
G. 
An employee organization shall be certified as exclusive representative for purposes of collective bargaining following an election or run-off election if the employee organization has received the vote of a numerical majority of all the eligible employees in the unit in which the election or run-off election is held. In an election involving three or more choices, where none of the choices receives a majority of the votes cast, a run-off election shall be conducted between the two choices receiving the largest number of votes cast.
H. 
No election shall be conducted in any representation unit in which an election has been conducted within the preceding two years.
I. 
The Director of Human Resources shall promulgate the results of all elections.
A. 
When an employee organization has been thus certified, the employee organization shall have the right and duty, through appropriate officials and representatives, to negotiate collectively with the county administration in matters related to wages, hours, working conditions and other terms of employment of all employees in the bargaining unit consistent at all times with the provisions of this article, without discrimination and without regard to any employee organization membership.
B. 
Deduction of membership dues. Pursuant to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, an employee organization certified as the exclusive representative of employees in the Sheriff's Department in an appropriate bargaining unit may be granted the right, upon the presentation of dues deduction authorization cards duly executed by individual employees in said unit, to have such employees' membership dues deducted from their paychecks and remitted to the designated employee organization; such authorization shall be irrevocable for a period of one year, and automatically renewable from year to year thereafter, unless written notice of termination by the employee is given to the county at least 30 days prior to the anniversary date.
C. 
No agreement between the employer and an employee organization that authorizes the deduction of dues and/or service fees from the pay of employees shall be valid and enforceable unless it contains a provision whereby the employee organization agrees to indemnify the employer for any and all claims arising out of the deduction of dues and/or fees pursuant to this section.
D. 
No agreement between the employer and an employee organization shall compel any employee to become and remain a member of the employee organization and/or pay dues.
A. 
A decertification petition alleging that a certified employee organization is no longer the choice of a majority of employees in an appropriate bargaining unit may be filed with the Director of Human Resources by an employee, a group of employees or their representative, or an employee organization. Such petition must be accompanied by written proof, dated within six months of the date on which the petition is filed, of employee approval of a successor certified employee organization equal to at least 30% of the employees within the representation unit.
B. 
Such a petition may be received by the Director of Human Resources only during the month of September of each year following the first full year of exclusive representation, and no decertification petition for the same representation unit shall be received more frequently than every two years. If there is an existing collective bargaining agreement. No decertification petition shall be received except in the month of September immediately preceding the expiration date of said collective bargaining agreement. The Director of Human Resources shall arrange for verification of the thirty-percent employee approval and a secret ballot election to be conducted by the Wicomico County Personnel Board, in which the employees in such bargaining unit shall be offered a choice between exclusive representation by the certified employee organization, intervening organization or no exclusive representation; provided, however, that if an intervener employee organization or organizations comply fully with the requirements set forth in this article, then the ballot shall offer a choice among the certified employee organization, any intervener employee organization, or of no exclusive representation.
A. 
A memorandum of understanding executed between the employer and employee organization certified as the exclusive representative of employees in a designated unit may contain a provision whereby 1) all new employees who do not elect to join or remain members of the employee organization certified in their respective bargaining unit, or 2) all present employees who previously have executed membership or dues authorization cards as members of said certified employee organization, but, hereafter, elect to terminate said membership and/or revoke said authorization cards, shall be required, as a condition of employment, to pay a service fee to the certified employee organization during the period that said employee organization retains its certification, in an amount not to exceed 75% of the then current union or employee organization dues in order to defray the costs incurred by the said certified employee organization in the negotiation, administration and implementation of the terms of the memorandum of understanding, and all modifications and amendments thereto, including related proceedings before an impasse panel or arbitrators; in the processing of grievances; in the conduct of disciplinary proceedings and in the appeal thereof; in the protection and improvement of civil service rights; and in any and all other proceedings and matters for which the employee organization is the employees' exclusive representative as a result of its certification.
B. 
The service fee provision as outlined herein shall apply if the employee organization that is certified as the exclusive representative demonstrates that 10% or more of the total employees eligible to be included within an appropriate unit decline to authorize dues deductions imposed by said employee organization.
A. 
The County Executive and the exclusive representative shall meet at reasonable times, including meetings in advance of the County's budget-making process, and shall negotiate in good faith with respect to wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment which are subject to negotiation under this article and which are to be embodied in a written agreement, or any question arising thereunder; but such obligation shall not compel either the County or the exclusive representative to agree to a proposal or require the making of a concession. The County Executive, or his designated authorized representative(s), shall represent the employer in collective bargaining.
[Amended 3-5-2014 by Bill No. 2014-03]
B. 
Because effective and orderly operations of government are essential to the public, it is declared to be in the public interest that in the course of collective bargaining, the county and the exclusive representative shall make every reasonable effort to conclude negotiations no later than March 1 of each year, and shall include provisions in the agreement for an effective date and an expiration date. With respect to matters requiring the appropriation of funds, the effective date of an agreement shall coincide with the county's fiscal year.
C. 
An agreement may contain a grievance procedure culminating in final and binding arbitration of grievances and disputed interpretations of such agreement to the extent that such procedure is not inconsistent with the statutory authority of the County Personnel Board. The grievance procedure shall set forth requirements for an election of remedies where other avenues of appeal may be equally available. The county is authorized to agree to binding arbitration with respect to grievances governed by the statutory authority of the County Director of Human Resources.
D. 
Any agreement reached by the negotiators shall be reduced to writing and shall be executed by both parties. Such agreement shall be valid and enforced subject to the provisions of this article and the County Charter.
E. 
A budgetary request for funds necessary to implement such written agreement and a legislative request for approval of any provision of the agreement which is in conflict with any county law, ordinance, rule or regulation, including those adopted by its agents, such as the Personnel Board, or other action adopted by the county with the force of law, shall be submitted to the County Council by the County Executive within the time specified in § 59-11I. The County Council may approve or reject such request as a whole or in part. If any part of the submission is rejected, the County Council shall proceed in accordance with § 59-11J.
[Amended 3-5-2014 by Bill No. 2014-03]
F. 
If upon approval of the County Council there is a conflict between the collective bargaining agreement and any rule or regulation adopted by the county, including merit system or other personnel regulations, the terms of such agreement shall prevail, except where specifically precluded by the Charter or state law.
G. 
If the provisions of the constitution or bylaws of the exclusive representative require ratification of a collective bargaining agreement by its membership, only those members who belong to the bargaining unit involved shall be entitled to vote on such ratification notwithstanding such provisions.
H. 
Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, pension and retirement benefits will not be subject to binding arbitration for Fiscal Year 2011.
A. 
If the County Executive and the exclusive representative are unable to reach an agreement on wages, hours, or terms and conditions of employment by February 1, an impasse may be declared in the negotiations by either party by sending written notice to the other party.
B. 
Arbitrator selection process.
(1) 
Within five days of the request for arbitration, the county and certified employee organization shall agree on an arbitrator.
(2) 
If both parties are unable to agree on an arbitrator, then:
(a) 
A list of five neutral arbitrators shall be submitted by the American Arbitration Association.
(b) 
After three working days following receipt of a list, if an arbitrator has not been agreed on, then the parties shall strike one name from the list alternately until one remains. The party striking first shall be determined by a coin toss.
(c) 
The remaining person shall be the duly selected arbitrator.
(d) 
If the arbitrator is unwilling or unable to serve as the arbitrator, the last previous strike from the arbitration panel shall be selected as the arbitrator.
(e) 
Until an arbitrator has been selected and the arbitrator is willing and able to serve, the procedure set forth in this subsection shall be followed.
C. 
Except as provided in § 59-11F(3) of this article, the parties involved in the dispute shall share equally the costs of arbitration.
D. 
Submission of list of subject area of bargaining.
(1) 
Within six calendar days after the selection of the arbitrator, each party shall submit to the arbitrator and the other party:
(a) 
A list of subject areas of bargaining or a portion of a subject area of bargaining where the parties have reached an agreement, including the cost of what has been agreed to; and
(b) 
A list of subject areas of bargaining or a portion of a subject area of bargaining where the parties have not reached an agreement and the party's position in regard to the subject area of bargaining or a portion of a subject area of bargaining.
E. 
Submission of final position.
(1) 
Within seven calendar days after receipt of the submissions provided for in Subsection D of this section, the County Executive and the exclusive representative shall submit in writing to the arbitrator and the other party their position in regard to any portion of each subject area of bargaining as to which the parties have not reached agreement.
(2) 
This position shall be referred to as the party's "final position" and need not be the same as the position set forth in the list submitted under Subsection D of this section.
F. 
Arbitration hearing.
(1) 
The arbitrator shall schedule a hearing in Wicomico County to begin as soon as possible, but in no event more than 14 calendar days after the date of the submission of the parties' final position as provided for in Subsection E of this section.
(2) 
The arbitration hearing shall not be open to the public and shall be conducted consistent with the rules and regulations of the American Arbitration Association.
(3) 
Each party shall be responsible for the costs of their own attorney and expert witnesses.
G. 
Role of the arbitrator.
(1) 
The arbitrator shall:
(a) 
Be responsible for conducting the proceedings provided for under this section;
(b) 
Review the final positions of the parties;
(c) 
No later than the last business day of March, issue a written decision that:
[1] 
Includes the arbitrator's decision as to any subject area of bargaining or any portion of a subject area that is in dispute; and
[2] 
Adopts in their entirety all of the final positions of either the County Executive or the exclusive representative; and
[3] 
Shall direct the County Executive and the exclusive representative or their designees to prepare a proposed memorandum of understanding which incorporates the written decision under this subsection.
(2) 
If necessary, the arbitrator shall, in the written decision, decide any dispute concerning the negotiability of any subject area of bargaining or any portion of a subject area of bargaining.
(3) 
Within 30 calendar days after receipt of the arbitrator's report pursuant to Subsection G(1)(c), above, the county or the exclusive representative may file a complaint in the Circuit Court for Wicomico County challenging said decision, or any part thereof. The filing of such complaint shall not stay the implementation of the decision, or any part thereof. The Court shall affirm the decision unless the challenging party makes a clear and convincing showing that its rights or interests have been prejudiced because the decision, or any part thereof, is:
(a) 
In violation of a constitutional or statutory provision;
(b) 
In excess of the authority conferred upon the arbitrator by this section.
(4) 
The Court, upon notice and hearing, may vacate the arbitrator's decision, or any part thereof, for one or more of the above reasons and remand the matter to the AAA for further proceedings, provided that if the AAA returns the matter to arbitration, the person designated as the arbitrator shall not, without the consent of the county and the exclusive representative, be the same person who served as arbitrator previously. If any provision of the arbitrator's decision shall be vacated by the Court, such action shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provisions of the arbitrator's decision. The Court shall have no power to enjoin the implementation of any part of the decision that has not been vacated, or to itself modify the decision, or any part thereof.
H. 
Factors to consider.
(1) 
In making the decision under Subsection G of this section, the arbitrator shall take into consideration:
(a) 
The existing terms and conditions of employment of the employees of the representation unit, including the precollective bargaining history of the employees' wages, hours, working conditions, and benefits;
(b) 
The wages, hours, or terms and conditions of employment of other employees of Wicomico County;
(c) 
The wages, hours, or terms and conditions of employment of other employees performing similar services in comparable departments in other Maryland Eastern Shore counties, whether or not established by a collective bargaining agreement, taking into consideration the cost of living index for the area in which any such comparable department is located;
(d) 
Increases or decreases in the cost of living for Wicomico County and surrounding counties, and the State of Maryland as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, using for reference the same Consumer Price Index used by Wicomico County for cost of living comparisons for its other employees;
(e) 
The cost associated with any subject areas of bargaining or portions of a subject area of bargaining for which the parties reached an agreement;
(f) 
The special nature of the work performed by the employees of the representation unit including:
[1] 
Hazards of employment;
[2] 
Physical requirements of employment;
[3] 
Educational qualifications;
[4] 
Job training and job skills;
[5] 
Shift assignments; and
[6] 
The demands placed on the employees compared to the demands placed on other Wicomico County employees.
(g) 
State- and county-mandated expenditures;
(h) 
The availability of funds, including financial resources;
(i) 
The value of other benefits available to or received by employees of the representation unit; and
(j) 
The interest and welfare of the public.
(2) 
In considering the availability of funds, the arbitrator:
(a) 
Shall only consider the general fund revenues for the upcoming fiscal year;
(b) 
Shall not consider reserve funds or funds for capital improvements or surplus contingency or reserve funds; and
(c) 
Shall not provide for salaries and other benefits, which exceed the county's ability to pay or fund.
I. 
Executive action.
(1) 
The decision of the arbitrator shall be binding on the County Executive, the exclusive representative, and individual employees in the representation unit.
(2) 
In each proposed annual operating budget, the County Executive shall describe any collective bargaining agreement or amendment to an agreement that is scheduled to take effect in the next fiscal year and estimate the cost of implementing that agreement. Any term or condition of a collective bargaining agreement which requires an appropriation of funds or enactment, repeal or modification of a county law shall be timely submitted to the County Council by the County Executive by April 1, unless extenuating circumstances require a later date. If a later submission is necessary, the County Executive shall specify the submission date and the reasons for delay to the Council President by April 1. The County Executive shall make a good-faith effort to have such term or condition implemented by Council action. Each submission to the Council shall include:
(a) 
All proposed legislation and regulations necessary to implement the collective bargaining agreement;
(b) 
All changes from the previous collective bargaining agreement, indicated by brackets and underlines or a similar notation system; and
(c) 
All side letters or other extraneous documents that are binding on the parties.
J. 
Council action.
[Amended 3-5-2014 by Bill No. 2014-03]
(1) 
On or before May 1, the County Council shall indicate by resolution its intention to appropriate funds for or otherwise implement the agreement or its intention not to do so, and shall state its reasons for any intent to reject any part of the agreement. The Council, by majority vote taken on or before May 1, may defer the May 1 deadline to any date not later than May 15. If the Council intends to reject any part of the agreement, it shall designate a representative to meet with the parties and present the Council's views in their further negotiations. This representative shall also participate fully in stating the Council's position in any ensuing impasse procedure. The parties shall thereafter meet as promptly as possible and attempt to negotiate an agreement acceptable to the Council. Either of the parties may initiate the impasse procedure set forth in § 59-11. The results of the negotiation or impasse procedure shall be submitted to the Council on or before May 10. If the Council has deferred the May 1 deadline, that action automatically postpones the May 10 deadline by the same number of days.
(2) 
The decision of the arbitrator and the proposed memorandum of understanding shall be binding on the County Council, exclusive representative and individual employees in the representation unit subject to Subsection G(3) above.
K. 
A resolution of a dispute reached in accordance with this section shall be for one fiscal year.
L. 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the arbitrator from acting as a mediator and attempting to mediate a dispute at any time before the final resolution of the arbitration as provided for in this section.
M. 
Continuing negotiations.
(1) 
The parties are strongly encouraged to reach an agreement on all issues whenever possible.
(2) 
This section may not be construed to interfere with any efforts the parties may undertake to reach an agreement concerning any disputes at any time.
N. 
This section shall be the exclusive procedure for resolving disputes between the parties unless the parties, by mutual agreement, determine to use another or additional dispute resolution procedure during any period of negotiations.
O. 
If a memorandum of understanding covering the Sheriff's Deputies expires after the exclusive representative has given notice of its desire to enter into collective bargaining for a successor memorandum of understanding but before the successor memorandum of understanding becomes effective, the county may not, without the written approval of the exclusive representative, make any changes in the wages, hours, or terms and conditions of employment of the employees in the bargaining unit between the expiration of the current memorandum of understanding and the effective date of the successor memorandum of understanding.
A. 
Employer unfair labor practices. It shall be an unfair labor practice for an employer by and through its officers, agents and representatives to engage in the following conduct:
(1) 
Interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights guaranteed under this labor code.
(2) 
Discriminate in regard to hire or tenure of employment or any term or condition of employment to encourage or discourage membership in any employee organization, provided that nothing in this article shall preclude the employer from including in a memorandum of understanding with an employee organization certified as the exclusive representative of employees, a service fee provision pursuant to § 59-9 herein.
(3) 
Directly or indirectly, cause, instigate, encourage, condone, initiate, sponsor, support, direct or engage in any lockout.
(4) 
Failure or refusal to negotiate in good faith with a certified employee organization, including but not limited to the insistence that the certified employee organization negotiate and agree upon a subject of bargaining not enumerated in § 59-3 of this labor code.
(5) 
Retaliate against an employee because of that employee's exercise of rights guaranteed under this labor code.
(6) 
Controlling or dominating an employee organization or contributing financial or other support to it.
B. 
Employee organizations unfair labor practices. It shall be an unfair labor practice for an employee organization by and through its officers, agents and representatives to engage in the following conduct:
(1) 
Interfere with, restrain or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights guaranteed under this labor code;
(2) 
Induce an employer or its representatives to commit any unfair labor practice;
(3) 
Directly or indirectly, cause, instigate, encourage, condone, initiate, sponsor, support, direct or engage in any strike;
(4) 
Failure or refusal to negotiate in good faith with the employer, including but not limited to the insistence that the employer negotiate and agree upon a subject of bargaining not enumerated in § 59-3 of this labor code.
(5) 
Retaliate against an employee because of that employee's exercise of rights guaranteed under this labor code.
C. 
Procedures.
(1) 
Charge and evidentiary hearing.
(a) 
In the event that a claim is made that an unfair labor practice has been committed by either the employer or the employee organization, the complaining party shall file with the Director of Human Resources a verified complaint setting forth a detailed statement of the alleged unfair labor practice. The party complained of shall have the right to file an answer to the complaint within five days after service thereof. After investigation, the Director may issue an order dismissing the complaint, or may order a further investigation or a hearing thereon before the County Personnel Board at a designated time and place. Any such hearing shall be conducted without regard for the strict rules of evidence, and a transcript of testimony shall be taken.
(b) 
If, upon all testimony, the Board determines that an unfair labor practice has been committed, it shall state its findings of fact and shall issue and cause to be served upon the party committing the unfair labor practice an order requiring it or him/her to cease and desist from such practice within a specified period, and shall take such further affirmative action as will comply with provisions of this labor code. If upon review of the testimony, the agency determines that a prohibited practice has not been or is not being committed, it shall state its finding of fact and shall issue an order dismissing the complaint.
(2) 
Procedure in the event of a strike or lockout. Nothing in this labor code shall prohibit or impede Wicomico County or a certified employee organization from using all available lawful means to end a strike or lockout, including the initiation of legal proceedings to enjoin the strike or lockout.
D. 
Mediation. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the Director of Human Resources from attempting to resolve unfair labor practice issues through mediation.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for an employee or an employee organization to engage in, initiate, sponsor, support or direct a strike involving employees of the Wicomico County Sheriff's Department. If an employee or employee organization shall violate the provisions of this section, the County Executive may take any or all of the following actions he deems necessary in the public interest:
(1) 
Pursuant to the provisions of this article, imposition of disciplinary action, including removal from county service, of employees engaged in such illegal conduct, without recourse to the grievance procedure contained in this labor code or the applicable collective bargaining agreement, and consistent with the law enforcement officers bill of rights.
(2) 
Termination of an employee organization's dues deduction privilege, if any;
(3) 
Revocation of exclusive representation certification and disqualification from participation in representation elections for a period up to a maximum of five years;
(4) 
Pursue legal and equitable remedies in the appropriate courts in the event of a strike by employees and/or an employee organization.
B. 
The county administration shall not, under any circumstance, engage in, initiate, or direct a lockout of employees of the Wicomico County Sheriff's Department.
A. 
This article shall take precedence over those portions of all conflicting county laws concerning this subject matter.
B. 
If any provision of this article or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of this article or the application thereof to persons or circumstances other than those as to which it is held invalid shall not be affected thereby; and to this end, all the provisions of this article are hereby declared to be severable.
C. 
The parties may waive the time limits and dates established in this article by mutual written agreement.
[Added 4-7-2015 by Bill No. 2015-01]
A. 
Eligibility. The County employees employed by the Wicomico County Sheriff's Department eligible to receive an accidental disability benefit are those County Sheriff members, as defined in the retirement plan for employees of Wicomico County and the Board of Education of Wicomico County, who have been at work on any date occurring on or after July 1, 2014, in a designated job classification of:
(1) 
A sworn law enforcement officer of the rank of First Sergeant and below and whose terms and conditions of employment are governed by an applicable collective bargaining agreement (taking into account any exclusions from coverage therein); or
(2) 
Sheriff, or sworn member of the Sheriff's command staff.
B. 
Qualification. A County Sheriff member shall qualify for an accidental disability benefit in accordance with this section if:
(1) 
Such member is certified by the Medical Advisory Board and the Trustee's subcommittee to be totally and permanently incapacitated, either mentally or physically, for duty arising out of or in the course of the actual performance of duty without willful negligence by such member;
(2) 
The events, conditions, causation, and all other applicable relevant factors contributing to, arising out of or related to the disabling condition occurred solely on or after July 1, 2014; and
C. 
Accidental disability payment. Subject to the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement, the amount of each monthly accidental disability payment will equal the amount determined in Subsection C(1) reduced by any amount received by the member in Subsection C(2) and (3) below:
(1) 
Sixty-six and two-thirds percent of the member's final average earnings, as defined in the retirement plan for employees of Wicomico County and the Board of Education of Wicomico County.
(2) 
Any related workers' compensation benefits, and any other income replacement benefits funded in whole or in part by the employer, such as sickness and accident payment benefits, short-term disability, long-term disability, sick pay or salary continuation benefits paid or payable after the effective date of the certified accidental disability benefit determination by the Medical Advisory Board and the Trustee's subcommittee, provided that such benefits:
(a) 
Are paid or payable while an accidental disability benefit is paid or payable; and
(b) 
Are for personal injury or illness arising out of and in the course of the member's employment with the employer.
(c) 
An amount equivalent to net earnings received from secondary employment (after taking into account deductions for applicable taxes) up to a maximum of $15,000 during any calendar year. The member shall account to the County Department of Human Resources for all sources of secondary employment income.