[HISTORY: Adopted and amended as indicated in text.]
Article I County Employee Relations
[Adopted as Ch. 36, Art. I, of the 1984 Code]
[1974, ch. 19, sec. 1(A)]
The County Commissioners shall adopt rules and regulations setting forth a program of employee relations and providing for:
[1974, ch. 19, sec. 1(B)]
The County Commissioners shall also negotiate and enter into collective negotiation agreements with respect to wages, hours and working conditions with employee organizations representing employees of the County.
[Added 7-28-2005 by Bill No. 3-04, effective 9-11-2005]
This subsection shall provide for the procedure for resolving any impasse between the Board of County Commissioners or its representatives and any recognized employee group concerning negotiation of any contract or any part thereof.
If, after a reasonable period of negotiation over the terms of an agreement, a dispute exists between the County and a recognized bargaining group with whom it is negotiating, the parties may mutually agree that an impasse has been reached. If a renewal or an extension of a contract has not been accomplished by the expiration date of said contract, an impasse shall automatically be considered to have been reached.
Whenever an impasse has been reached, the dispute shall be submitted to mediation.
If the parties are unable to agree on the mediator, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service shall be requested to provide a mediator.
The parties shall engage in mediation for a period of at least 30 working days unless they mutually agree to termination of the mediation or to an extension of the mediation.
At the conclusion of mediation, the mediator shall issue a report to the County Commissioners, with a copy to the bargaining unit, stating whether the matter has been resolved by way of mediation or whether an impasse continues.
Arbitration and fact finding.
If an impasse is not resolved through mediation as provided for herein, an arbitration panel/fact finding panel shall be selected.
Membership and selection.
All persons selected to serve on the arbitration/fact finding panel shall be adult residents of Allegany County registered to vote in Allegany County. No member may be employed by the County or by the bargaining unit, nor shall any member be at that time employed by any entity as a professional negotiator involved in labor relation matters, nor be employed by any labor organization.
The County shall select a member to the panel. The bargaining unit shall select a member to the panel. Each side shall advise the other of the identity of their selection within 10 days of the report of the mediator. Within 20 days of the date of the report of the mediator, the two selected members shall select a third. If they are unable to select a third within said time limit, a request shall be made to the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court for Allegany County who shall select the third member who shall meet all of the qualifications of a member as provided for herein [see Subsection D(2)(a)].
In the event that any party shall fail to identify its selection within the time frame provided in Subsection D(2)(b), the other party may request the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court to select a member on behalf of the defaulting party, which member shall meet all of the qualifications of the members as provided for herein.
The third member chosen for the panel shall serve as the Chairman and shall call a meeting of the panel for the purpose of organization, and not for the purpose of a hearing, within 10 days of the Chairman's appointment.
Within 15 days of the organizational meeting, the panel shall meet with the parties to receive information and, in the discretion of the panel, to hear witnesses. The Chairman shall have the power to subpoena witnesses and administer oaths, and each side shall be given an opportunity to present witnesses and information in order to fully apprise the panel of the party's position concerning matters that are at impasse.
Within 15 days of concluding the meeting, unless the parties mutually agree to an extension of time, the panel shall issue its report to the parties.
The report of the panel shall be made public by the County Commissioners at its next public meeting and the panel Chairman shall be given an opportunity to present, in public, the findings of the panel.
In making findings of fact and recommendations, the panel shall take into consideration pertinent factors, including the following:
Wages, benefits, hours and other working conditions of other local government employees, both in the County and other state political jurisdictions.
Wages, benefits, hours and other working conditions of employees of private employers in the County.
The value of other benefits available to, or received by, County employees as compared with private sector employees in the County.
Cost of living information.
The availability of funds.
The fiscal health and well-being of the County government.
In making a decision concerning wages, the panel may not recommend an increase or a reduction in wages that exceeds the percentage of any increase or the percentage of any decrease in wages which the County may have granted or imposed as a general increase or reduction in wages for any other employee group. Further, the panel may not recommend, nor is the County bound by any recommendation for, an increase or reduction in wages that is retroactive to any date prior to the date of the panel's report.
Effect of report.
The decision of the panel shall be binding on the parties on the issues of wages, benefits, hours, seniority and safety only; provided, however, that any decision on these issues shall not mandate additional personnel or staffing levels.
[Amended 9-8-2005 by Bill No. 6-05, effective 10-23-2005]
The panel shall make findings of fact and recommendations on all other issues that are in dispute and are at impasse between the parties. These findings of fact and recommendations are advisory only.
Cost and expenses. Both parties shall be responsible for 1/2 of the fees charged by the mediator and the arbitrators, as well as all reimbursable expenses incurred by the mediator and the arbitrators.
The procedures provided for herein shall apply to negotiations for any contract which shall expire subsequent to July 1, 2004.
Any impasse pending as of July 1, 2004, which has not been resolved by a final order of an arbitration panel appointed pursuant to the prior § 36-3 (repealed by this Act) shall be withdrawn from the current arbitration panel as constituted under the prior and repealed law, and if the matter has not been resolved, then an impasse shall be determined and the parties shall proceed with mediation, arbitration, and fact finding, as provided for herein.
Editor's Note: This bill also repealed former § 36-3, Arbitration panel, adopted 1974, ch. 19, Sec. I(c).
[1974, ch. 19, sec. 1(D)]
Employee organizations are prohibited from calling or directing a strike.