2017 ORS 243.682¹
Representation questions
  • investigation and hearings on petitions
  • certification without election
  • rules
  • elections

(1) If a question of representation exists, the Employment Relations Board shall:

(a) Upon application of a public employer, a public employee or a labor organization, designate the appropriate bargaining unit, and in making its determination shall consider such factors as community of interest, wages, hours and other working conditions of the employees involved, the history of collective bargaining, and the desires of the employees. The board may determine a unit to be the appropriate unit in a particular case even though some other unit might also be appropriate. Unless a labor organization and a public employer agree otherwise, the board may not designate as appropriate a bargaining unit that includes:

(A) A faculty member described in ORS 243.650 (Definitions for ORS 243.650 to 243.782) (23)(c)(C) who supervises one or more other faculty members; and

(B) Any faculty member who is supervised by a faculty member described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.

(b) Investigate and conduct a hearing on a petition that has been filed by:

(A) A labor organization alleging that 30 percent of the employees in an appropriate bargaining unit desire to be represented for collective bargaining by an exclusive representative;

(B) A labor organization alleging that 30 percent of the employees in an appropriate bargaining unit assert that the designated exclusive representative is no longer the representative of the majority of the employees in the unit;

(C) A public employer alleging that one or more labor organizations has presented a claim to the public employer requesting recognition as the exclusive representative in an appropriate bargaining unit; or

(D) An employee or group of employees alleging that 30 percent of the employees assert that the designated exclusive representative is no longer the representative of the majority of employees in the unit.

(2)(a) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, when an employee, group of employees or labor organization acting on behalf of the employees files a petition alleging that a majority of employees in a unit appropriate for the purpose of collective bargaining wish to be represented by a labor organization for that purpose, or when a labor organization files a petition alleging that the majority in a group of unrepresented employees seek to be added to an existing bargaining unit, the board shall investigate the petition. If the board finds that a majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for bargaining or a majority of employees in a group of unrepresented employees that is appropriate to add to an existing bargaining unit have signed authorizations designating the labor organization specified in the petition as the employees’ bargaining representative and that no other labor organization is currently certified or recognized as the exclusive representative of any of the employees in the unit or in the group of unrepresented employees seeking to be added to an existing bargaining unit, the board may not conduct an election but shall certify the labor organization as the exclusive representative unless a petition for a representation election is filed as provided in subsection (3) of this section.

(b) The board by rule shall develop guidelines and procedures for the designation by employees of a bargaining representative in the manner described in paragraph (a) of this subsection. The guidelines and procedures must include:

(A) Model collective bargaining authorization language that may be used for purposes of making the designations described in paragraph (a) of this subsection;

(B) Procedures to be used by the board to establish the authenticity of signed authorizations designating bargaining representatives;

(C) Procedures to be used by the board to notify affected employees of the filing of a petition requesting certification under subsection (3) of this section;

(D) Procedures for filing a petition to request a representation election, including a timeline of not more than 14 days after notice has been delivered to the affected employees of a petition filed under paragraph (a) of this subsection; and

(E) Procedures for expedited resolution of any dispute about the scope of the appropriate bargaining unit. The resolution of the dispute may occur after an election is conducted.

(c) Solicitation and rescission of a signed authorization designating bargaining representatives are subject to the provisions of ORS 243.672 (Unfair labor practices).

(3)(a) Notwithstanding subsection (2) of this section, when a petition requesting certification has been filed under subsection (2) of this section, an employee or a group of employees in the unit designated by the petition, or one or more of the unrepresented employees seeking to be added to an existing bargaining unit, may file a petition with the board to request that a representation election be conducted.

(b) The petition requesting a representation election must be supported by at least 30 percent of the employees in the bargaining unit designated by the petition, or 30 percent of the unrepresented employees seeking to be added to an existing bargaining unit.

(c) The representation election shall be conducted on-site or by mail not later than 45 days after the date on which the petition was filed.

(4) Except as provided in ORS 243.692 (Limitation on successive representation elections), if the board finds in a hearing conducted pursuant to subsection (1)(b) of this section that a question of representation exists, the board shall conduct an election by secret ballot, at a time and place convenient for the employees of the jurisdiction and also within a reasonable period of time after the filing has taken place, and certify the results of the election. [1973 c.536 §7; 2007 c.833 §1; 2013 c.663 §8; 2017 c.496 §3; 2017 c.553 §2]

See also annota­tions under ORS 342.460 in permanent edi­tion.

Notes of Decisions

Designa­tion by the Public Employe Rela­tions Board of an appropriate bargaining unit is not a “final order” so as to be subject to ap­peal. Klamath County v. Laborers Intl. Union of No. Am., 21 Or App 281, 534 P2d 1169 (1975)

Employ­ment Rela­tions Board findings, that substitute teachers were paid uniform rate and showed desire for representa­tion and community of interest, provided ra­tional basis for conclusion that they were appropriate bargaining unit. Eugene School District v. Substitute Teacher Organiza­tion, 31 Or App 1255, 572 P2d 650 (1977)

Employ­ment Rela­tions Board order under this sec­tion, determining that proposed bargaining unit was inappropriate, was not unlawful in pro­ce­dure or substance in its conclusion as to frag­menta­tion of work force and was supported by evidence. OSEA v. Deschutes County, 40 Or App 371, 595 P2d 501 (1979)

Dictum in pre­vi­ous agency decision did not qualify as officially stated agency posi­tion or prior agency practice. Associa­tion of Engineering Employes v. Depart­ment of Transporta­tion, 72 Or App 371, 695 P2d 961 (1985)

Employ­ment Rela­tions Board preference for certifying largest possible bargaining unit does not deny employees right to choose representative labor organiza­tion. University of Oregon Chapter, AFT v. University of Oregon, 92 Or App 614, 759 P2d 1112 (1988)

Under this sec­tion, Employ­ment Rela­tions Board must con­duct hearing when ques­tion of representa­tion exists unless parties expressly con­sent to elec­tion. OACE v. Eagle Point School Dist. No. 9, 99 Or App 347, 782 P2d 432 (1989)

Nothing in this statute precludes Employ­ment Rela­tions Board from con­ducting elec­tion with separate balloting by currently recognized bargaining units. Welches School Dist. v. Welches Educa­tion Assn., 116 Or App 564, 842 P2d 437 (1992), Sup Ct review denied

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Insuring dependents of school employes as a subject for board-employe consulta­tion, (1971) Vol 35, p 979

Law Review Cita­tions

51 OLR 181 (1971)

See also annota­tions under ORS 243.711 to 243.760 in permanent edi­tion.

Notes of Decisions

Savings clause in chapter 536, Oregon Laws 1973, did not prevent applica­tion of expanded bargaining rights to collective bargaining agree­ment then in force. Redmond Sch. Dist. No. 2J v. Pub. Employe Rela­tions Bd., 19 Or App 212, 527 P2d 143 (1974)

The board had authority to review, sec­tion by sec­tion, a city ordinance governing labor rela­tions between the city and its employes and to hold invalid those pro­vi­sions purporting to govern matters of predominantly state-wide concern and which were in conflict with the 1973 Act. City of Beaverton v. Intl. Assn. of Fire Fighters, 20 Or App 293, 531 P2d 730 (1975), Sup Ct review denied

Board order, defining appropriate bargaining unit and ordering representa­tion elec­tion, was interlocutory in nature and was not “final order” subject to judicial review within meaning of ORS 183.480 (Judicial review of agency orders). City of Hermiston v. Employ­ment Rela­tions Board, 280 Or 291, 570 P2d 663 (1977)

Employ­ment Rela­tions Board’s policy of adhering to arbitra­tion decisions in sub­se­quent related pro­ceed­ings advances legislative purpose, and is proper exercise of authority to administer this act. Siegel v. Gresham Grade Teachers Associa­tion, 32 Or App 541, 574 P2d 692 (1978)

Public Employes’ Collective Bargaining Law did not bar state agency from using state time and funds to campaign against labor organiza­tion in representa­tion elec­tion. OSEA v. Depart­ment of Commerce, 34 Or App 727, 579 P2d 872 (1978)

Juvenile counselor appointed pursuant to [former] ORS 419.604 did not acquire collective bargaining rights granted by these sec­tions where there was no showing that juvenile court judge had expressly authorized employer representatives to bargain on counselor’s behalf concerning terms and condi­tions of his employ­ment. Schmidt v. Jackson County Juv. Dept., 49 Or App 349, 619 P2d 1307 (1980)

Employ­ment Rela­tions Board employed scope of review contrary to Public Employe Rela­tions Act when it reviewed merits of arbitra­tion award rather than only its repugnancy to Public Employe Rela­tions Act. Willamina Ed. Assoc. v. Willamina Sch. Dist. 30J, 50 Or App 195, 623 P2d 658 (1981)

Since Public Employe Collective Bargaining Act is general law addressed primarily to substantive social, economic and other regulatory objectives of this state which do not affect freedom of local community to choose its own po­lit­i­cal form, it does not mandate structural and organiza­tional arrange­ments of local govern­ments contrary to Oregon Constitu­tion, Article XI, sec­tion 2. City of Roseburg v. Roseburg City Firefighters, 292 Or 266, 639 P2d 90 (1981)

State’s decision to enact Public Employe Collective Bargaining Act supersedes city’s power to allow its voters to arbitrate unresolved labor disputes and grant of power by Oregon Constitu­tion, Article IV, sec­tion 1 to legislate by popular vote does not affect state’s power in this area. City of Roseburg v. Roseburg City Firefighters, 292 Or 266, 639 P2d 90 (1981)

Arbitrator’s failure to conclude that school district violated collective bargaining agree­ment by violating statutory require­ments incorporated into agree­ment was not sufficiently egregious to be reversible as being “repugnant” to act. Eugene Educ. Assoc. v. Eugene School Dist 4J, 58 Or App 140, 648 P2d 60 (1982)

Employ­ment Rela­tions Board formula­tion of test for review of arbitra­tion awards in en­force­­ment pro­ceed­ings which would permit en­force­­ment of arbitrator’s award unless (1) parties did not, in a written contract, agree to accept such an award as final and binding or (2) en­force­­ment of the award would be contrary to public policy, was consistent with policies of Public Employe Collective Bargaining Act. Willamina Sch. Dist. 30J v. Willamina Ed. Assn., 60 Or App 629, 655 P2d 189 (1982)

Public Employe Collective Bargaining Act require­ment that juvenile court judge bargain in good faith with representatives of juvenile counselors and refrain from es­tab­lishing terms and condi­tions of counselors’ employ­ment in viola­tion of applicable contractual pro­vi­sions did not constitute an undue burden or in­ter­fer­ence with his judicial func­tions under [former] ORS 419.604 or the separa­tion of powers pro­vi­sion contained in Article III, sec­tion 1 of the Oregon Constitu­tion. Circuit Court v. AFSCME, 61 Or App 311, 657 P2d 1237 (1983), aff’d 295 Or 542, 669 P2d 314 (1983)

Public Employe Collective Bargaining Act applies to the Judicial Depart­ment and is not inconsistent with ORS 1.002 (Supreme Court) or 1.008 (Personnel plan, fiscal plan and property plan). Lent v. ERB, 63 Or App 400, 664 P2d 1110 (1983), Sup Ct review denied

Employ­ment Rela­tions Board did not exceed statutory authority under Public Employes Collective Bargaining Act in designating appropriate bargaining unit which consists of police dispatchers who are employes who can strike and police of­fi­cers who are forbidden from striking. City of Canby v. Canby Police Associa­tion, 68 Or App 317, 680 P2d 1033 (1984), Sup Ct review denied

Statutory purpose to provide uniform basis for employe organizing and bargaining would be subverted by holding that statute authorizing county civil service system supersedes collective bargaining re­quired by this Act. AFSCME v. Clackamas County, 69 Or App 488, 687 P2d 1102 (1984)

Board had authority to order restitu­tion where union collected “fair share” pay­ments from nonunion public employees without complying with safeguards instituted to protect employees’ rights of free speech and associa­tion. Elvin v. OPEU, 313 Or 165, 832 P2d 36 (1992)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

School law on media­tion as an exclusive pro­ce­dure, (1971) Vol 35, p 961; seniority as a related economic issue, (1972) Vol 35, p 1134; legality of binding arbitra­tion in public employ­ment collective bargaining, (1972) Vol 36, p 18; validity of collective bargaining agree­ments between county intermediate educa­tion district and local educa­tion associa­tion on transfer of sick leave, (1975) Vol 37, p 328; authority of teachers to strike during contract year in absence of collective bargaining agree­ments, and to engage in picketing, (1975) Vol 37, p 732

Law Review Cita­tions

51 OLR 7-69 (1971); 54 OLR 337-371 (1975); 56 OLR 457 (1977); 21 WLR 454 (1985); 70 OLR 969 (1991); 28 WLR 259 (1992); 32 WLR 69, 707 (1996)

Chapter 243

Notes of Decisions

Effect of Public Employe Rela­tions Act is to modify authority of Personnel Division so that, while division retains responsibility for es­tab­lishing general job salary grades and classifica­tions, specific salary within each range which is paid to employe in public employe bargaining unit is subject to negotia­tion or arbitra­tion under terms of this chapter. AFSCME v. Executive Dept., 52 Or App 457, 628 P2d 1228 (1981), Sup Ct review denied

Provision of collective bargaining agree­ment giving present employes lateral transfer rights was valid under ORS 240.321 (Collective bargaining) and fact that its imple­menta­tion resulted in male succeeding female employe did not violate state af­firm­a­tive ac­tion statutes. State Executive Dept. v. OPEU, 91 Or App 124, 754 P2d 582 (1988)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

State agencies paying carpooling employes’ parking fees, (1974) Vol 36, p 1015

Law Review Cita­tions

51 OLR 23, 44 (1971)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 243—Public Employee Rights and Benefits, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors243.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 243, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano243.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.