(1) A petition for clarification of bargaining unit may be filed with the board by an exclusive representative of the bargaining unit in question or by the public employer only if:

(a) there is no question concerning representation;

(b) the parties to the agreement are neither engaged in negotiations nor within 120 days of the expiration date of the agreement, unless there is mutual agreement by the parties to permit the petition;

(c) a petition for clarification has not been filed with the board concerning substantially the same unit within the past 12 months immediately preceding the filing of the petition; and

(d) no election has been held in substantially the same unit within the past 12 months immediately preceding the filing of the petition.

(2) A copy of the petition shall be served by the board upon the bargaining representative if filed by a public employer and upon the employer if filed by a bargaining representative.

(3) A petition for clarification of an existing bargaining unit shall contain the following:

(a) the name and address of the bargaining representative involved;

(b) the name and address of the public employer involved;

(c) the identification and description of the existing bargaining unit;

(d) a description of the proposed clarification of the unit;

(e) the job classification(s) of employees as to whom the clarification issue is raised, and the number of employees on each such classification;

(f) a statement setting forth the reason why petitioner desires a clarification of the unit;

(g) a statement that no other employee organization is certified to represent any of the employees who would be directly affected by the proposed clarification;

(h) a brief and concise statement of any other relevant facts; and

(i) the name, affiliation, if any, and the address of petitioner.

(4) Should an agent of the board determine that the petition is defective in time or form as set forth in ARM 24.26.630(1) and (2), the agent may issue a recommended order that the petition be dismissed. The recommended order is subject to review by the board provided an appeal is timely filed within ten business days of the date the recommended order is mailed. If no appeal is taken, the recommended order is the final order of the board.

(5) A party shall have 20 days after the date the board mailed the petition to file a response with the board. Absent an agreed upon stipulation of the parties to extend the response time, failure to respond will result in the agent of the board issuing a recommended order granting the relief requested by the petitioner. The recommended order is subject to board review if appealed within ten days. If not appealed, the recommended order is the final board order.

(a) If upon investigation it is determined that no question of fact exists and if the parties stipulate to a modification of the existing unit, the board agent shall issue a recommended order consistent with the agreement of the parties.

(6) Upon a determination that a question of fact exists, the parties will mediate the dispute before an agency mediator within a time frame and mediation method determined by the mediator and the parties. Mediation will be concluded within 45 days of assignment unless the parties mutually agree to an extension. If the parties are unable to mediate the dispute, the board shall set the matter for hearing. Upon completion of the hearing the board may:

(a) grant the petitioned-for clarification in whole or in part; or

(b) deny the petitioned-for clarification in whole or in part.


History: 39-31-104, MCA; IMP, 39-31-207, MCA; NEW, 1978 MAR p. 513, Eff. 4/25/78; AMD, 1993 MAR p. 3026, Eff. 1/1/94; AMD, 2001 MAR p. 446, Eff. 3/23/01; AMD, 2010 MAR p. 2841, Eff. 12/10/10.