ORS 243.726¹
Public employee strikes
  • equitable relief against certain strikes
  • effect of unfair labor practice charge on prohibited strike

(1) Participation in a strike shall be unlawful for any public employee who is not included in an appropriate bargaining unit for which an exclusive representative has been certified by the Employment Relations Board or recognized by the employer; or is included in an appropriate bargaining unit that provides for resolution of a labor dispute by petition to final and binding arbitration; or when the strike is not made lawful under ORS 240.060 (Employment Relations Board), 240.065 (Appointment), 240.080 (Chairperson appointed by Governor), 240.123 (Board personnel), 243.650 (Definitions for ORS 243.650 to 243.806) to 243.806 (Agreement authorizing public employer to make deductions from salary or wages of public employee) and 341.290 (General powers).

(2) It shall be lawful for a public employee who is not prohibited from striking under subsection (1) of this section and who is in the appropriate bargaining unit involved in a labor dispute to participate in a strike over mandatory subjects of bargaining provided:

(a) The requirements of ORS 243.712 (Mediation upon failure to agree after 150-day period) and 243.722 (Fact-finding procedure) relating to the resolution of labor disputes have been complied with in good faith;

(b) Thirty days have elapsed since the board has made public the fact finder’s findings of fact and recommendations or the mediator has made public the parties’ final offers;

(c) The exclusive representative has given 10 days’ notice by certified mail of its intent to strike and stating the reasons for its intent to strike to the board and the public employer;

(d) The collective bargaining agreement has expired, or the labor dispute arises pursuant to a reopener provision in a collective bargaining agreement or renegotiation under ORS 243.702 (Renegotiation of invalid provisions in agreements) (1) or renegotiation under ORS 243.698 (Expedited bargaining process); and

(e) The union’s strike does not include unconventional strike activity not protected under the National Labor Relations Act on June 6, 1995, and does not constitute an unfair labor practice under ORS 243.672 (Unfair labor practices) (3).

(3)(a) Where the strike occurring or is about to occur creates a clear and present danger or threat to the health, safety or welfare of the public, the public employer concerned may petition the circuit court of the county in which the strike has taken place or is to take place for equitable relief including but not limited to appropriate injunctive relief.

(b) If the strike is a strike of state employees the petition shall be filed in the Circuit Court of Marion County.

(c) If, after hearing, the court finds that the strike creates a clear and present danger or threat to the health, safety or welfare of the public, it shall grant appropriate relief. Such relief shall include an order that the labor dispute be submitted to final and binding arbitration within 10 days of the court’s order pursuant to procedures in ORS 243.746 (Selection of arbitrator).

(4)(a) A labor organization may not declare or authorize a strike of public employees that is or would be in violation of this section. When it is alleged in good faith by the public employer that a labor organization has declared or authorized a strike of public employees that is or would be in violation of this section, the employer may petition the board for a declaration that the strike is or would be unlawful. The board, after conducting an investigation and hearing, may make such declaration if it finds that such declaration or authorization of a strike is or would be unlawful.

(b) When a labor organization or individual disobeys an order of the appropriate circuit court issued pursuant to enforcing an order of the board involving this section and ORS 243.736 (Strikes by deputy district attorneys, assistant attorneys general and certain emergency and public safety personnel) or 243.738 (Strikes by employees of mass transit districts, transportation districts and municipal bus systems), they shall be punished according to the provisions of ORS 33.015 (Definitions for ORS 33.015 to 33.155) to 33.155 (Applicability), except that the amount of the fine shall be at the discretion of the court.

(5) An unfair labor practice by a public employer shall not be a defense to a prohibited strike. The board upon the filing of an unfair labor charge alleging that a public employer has committed an unfair labor practice during or arising out of the collective bargaining procedures set forth in ORS 243.712 (Mediation upon failure to agree after 150-day period) and 243.722 (Fact-finding procedure), shall take immediate action on such charge and if required, petition the court of competent jurisdiction for appropriate relief or a restraining order.

(6) As used in this section, “danger or threat to the health, safety or welfare of the public” does not include an economic or financial inconvenience to the public or to the public employer that is normally incident to a strike by public employees. [1973 c.536 §16; 1979 c.257 §1; 1989 c.1089 §1; 1991 c.724 §28; 1995 c.286 §8; 2017 c.496 §5; 2019 c.429 §13; 2019 c.439 §3]

Notes of Decisions

Where collective bargaining contract between union and county contained mandatory grievance pro­ce­dures, ERB, after determining that strike was not in viola­tion of this sec­tion, lacked authority to proceed to interpret contract without requiring parties to arbitrate matter. AFSCME v. Lane County Commissioners, 45 Or App 161, 607 P2d 1212 (1980), Sup Ct review denied, on reconsidera­tion46 Or App 645, 612 P2d 759 (1980)

When some members of certified bargaining unit were prohibited by law from striking and re­quired by law to resort to compulsory arbitra­tion, all members of bargaining unit were subject to compulsory arbitra­tion so arbitrator’s award was applicable to all members of bargaining unit. AFSCME v. Executive Dept., 52 Or App 457, 628 P2d 1228 (1981), Sup Ct review denied

Atty. Gen. Opinions

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

68 OLR 149 (1989); 28 WLR 259 (1992); 32 WLR 707 (1996)

Law Review Cita­tions

56 OLR 254 (1977)

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)

Where public employees brought ac­tion for neg­li­gent misrepresenta­tion and unjust enrich­ment against county employer, claims were not within jurisdic­tion of Employ­ment Rela­tions Board because claims were common law issues rather than public labor dispute. Black v. Coos County, 288 Or App 25, 405 P3d 178 (2017)

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 (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 243, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano243.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
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. Currency Information