[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Amherst 9-5-1967 by L.L. No. 2-1967; amended in its entirety 1-29-1968 by L.L. No. 1-1968 and 4-17-1968 by L.L. No. 2-1968. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board of the Town of Amherst in Erie County, New York, hereby finds and declares that it is in the best interests of the citizens of said Town and the employees of the Town of Amherst government to provide for the effective implementation of the requirements of the Public Employees' Fair Employment Act, as set forth in Article 14 of the Civil Service Law as added by Chapter 392 of the Laws of 1967, by establishing local provisions and procedures with respect to the determination of the representation status of employees' organizations and the resolution of disputes in the course of collective negotiations with such organizations. It is the purpose of said Act and the local provisions and procedures herein established to promote a harmonious and cooperative relationship between the Town government and its employees and to protect the public by assuring, at all times, the orderly and uninterrupted operations and functions of Town government. With this end in view, this Board also creates, as hereinafter provided, a local public employment board and establishes herein further procedures relating to the prohibition against strikes by public employees as provided in said Act.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER
- The Town Attorney.
- EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATION
- An organization of any kind having as its primary purpose the improvement of terms and conditions of employment of public employees, except that such terms shall not include an organization: membership in which is prohibited by § 105 of the Civil Service Law of the State of New York; which discriminates with regard to the terms or conditions of membership because of race, color, creed or national origin; or which, in the case of public employees who hold positions by appointment or employment in the service of the Board and who are excluded from the application of this chapter by rules and regulations of the Board, admits to membership or is affiliated directly or indirectly with an organization which admits to membership persons not in the service of the Board, for purposes of any provision of this chapter other than §§ 16-9 and 16-10.
- GOVERNMENT or PUBLIC EMPLOYER
- The Town of Amherst.
- MEMBERSHIP DUES DEDUCTION
- The obligation or practice of the Town to deduct from the salary of a public employee, with his consent, an amount for the payment of his membership dues in an employee organization and transmitting the sums so deducted to an employee organization.
- PUBLIC EMPLOYEE
- Any person holding a position by appointment or employment in the service of the Town of Amherst.
- Any strike or other concerted stoppage of work or slowdowns by public employees.
- TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
- Salaries, wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment.
Employees of the Town of Amherst shall have the right to form, join and participate in, or to refrain from forming, joining or participating in, any employee organization of their own choosing. The term "employees" as used herein shall mean those persons holding a position by appointment or employment in the service of the Town of Amherst.
Such employees shall have the right to be represented by employee organizations to negotiate collectively with the Town in the determination of their terms and conditions of employment and the administration of grievances arising thereunder. The terms "employee organization" and "terms and conditions of employment," as used in this section, shall have such meaning as is defined in § 201 of Article 14 of the Civil Service Law as added by Chapter 392 of the Laws of 1967.
There is hereby created a board to be known as the "Public Employment Relations Board of the Town of Amherst." Said Board shall consist of three members to be appointed by the Supervisor, upon the advice and consent of the Town Board, from persons representative of the public. Not more than two members of the Board shall be members of the same political party. Said members shall be appointed for a term of six years, except that of the members first appointed, one shall be appointed for a term of two years, one for a term of four years and one for a term of six years. The aforesaid Board shall choose a Chairman from among its members. A vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment for the unexpired term.
Members of the Board shall hold no other Town of Amherst office or be employed by the Town of Amherst in any other capacity.
The members of such Board shall receive such compensation as may be provided by the Town Board. Nothing herein shall be construed to require the Town Board to provide compensation for such members, however. Said Board shall appoint such officers and employees as may be provided by the Town Board, except as hereinafter provided.
In addition to the powers and functions as may be provided by law or elsewhere in this chapter, said Board shall have the following powers and functions:
To establish procedures to resolve disputes concerning the representation status of employee organizations after consultation with interested parties.
To resolve, pursuant to such procedures, disputes concerning the representation status of employee organizations of employees of the Town of Amherst upon request of any employee organization or the Town of Amherst.
To conduct studies of problems involved in representation and negotiation, including, but not limited to:
To establish, after consulting representatives of employee organizations, the Town Attorney and the Town Board, panels of qualified persons broadly representative of the community and, as far as practicable, who are versed in the field of labor relations, to be available to serve as mediators or members of fact-finding boards.
To hold such hearings and make such inquiries as it deems necessary for the Board to properly carry out its functions and powers.
For the purpose of such hearings and inquiries, the members of such Board shall have the power to administer oaths and affirmations and to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and papers.
To make, amend and rescind, from time to time, such rules and regulations, including but not limited to those governing its internal organization and conduct of its affairs, and to exercise such other powers as may be appropriate to effectuate the purposes and provisions of this chapter.
The members of the Board shall be free of supervision, direction or control by any officer, board, department or agency of the Town of Amherst.
For purposes of resolving disputes concerning representation status, the Public Employment Relations Board of the Town of Amherst shall:
Define the appropriate employer-employee negotiating unit, taking into account the following standards:
The definition of the unit shall correspond to a community of interest among the employees to be included in the unit.
The departmental officials at the level of the unit shall have the power to make effective recommendations to their departmental heads or, in the case of a departmental head, to the Town Board of the Town of Amherst, with respect to the terms and conditions of employment upon which the employees desire to negotiate.
The unit shall be compatible with the joint responsibilities of the Town and its employees to serve the interests of the public.
Ascertain the Town employees' choice of employee organization as their representative in those cases where agreement has not been reached on the means to ascertain the choice, on the basis of dues deduction authorization and other evidences or, if necessary, by conducting an election.
Certify an employee organization upon:
The determination that such organization represents that group of Town employees it claims to represent; and
As provided in § 207, Subdivision 3(b), of the Civil Service Law, the affirmation by such organization that it does not assert the right to strike against any government, to assist or participate in any such strike or to impose an obligation to conduct, assist or participate in such a strike.
The Town of Amherst shall extend to an employee organization certified or recognized pursuant to this chapter, the following rights:
To represent the employees in negotiations and in the settlement of grievances.
To membership dues deduction, upon presentation of dues deduction authorization cards signed by individual employees.
To unchallenged representation status until the next succeeding budget submission date and thereafter for an additional period of either 12 months or, if the parties so agree, not less than 12 months nor more than 24 months, which period shall commence 120 days prior to such next succeeding budget submission date. The term "budget submission date" as used herein shall be the date for the filing of the Town budget by the Town Board.
For purposes of this section, an impasse may be deemed to exist if the parties fail to achieve agreement at least 60 days prior to the aforesaid budget submission date.
The Town may enter into written agreements with recognized or certified employee organizations setting forth procedures to be invoked in the event of disputes which reach an impasse in the course of collective negotiations. In the event that such procedures fail to solve the impasse or in the event that no such written agreement is entered into, either the Town or the organization, or both, may request the Public Employment Relations Board of the Town of Amherst to render assistance, or the Board may render such assistance on its own motion, as hereinafter provided.
On request of either party, or upon its own motion as provided herein, and in the event that said Board determines that an impasse exists in collective negotiations between such employee organization and the Town as to the conditions of employment, the Board shall render assistance as follows:
To assist the parties to effect a voluntary resolution of the dispute, the Board shall appoint a mediator or mediators representative of the public from the list of qualified persons maintained by the Board.
If the impasse continues, the Board shall appoint a fact-finding board of not more than three members, each representative of the public, from the list of qualified persons maintained by the Board, which fact-finding board shall have, in addition to the powers delegated to it by the Board, the power to make public recommendations for the resolution of the dispute.
If the dispute is not resolved at least 15 days prior to the budget submission date, the fact-finding board, acting by a majority of its members, shall immediately transmit its findings of fact and recommendations for resolution of the dispute to the Town Board and to the employee organization involved and shall simultaneously make public such findings and recommendations.
In the event that the findings of fact and recommendations are made public by a fact-finding board established pursuant to procedures agreed upon by the parties and the impasse continues, the Public Employment Relations Board shall have the power to take whatever steps it deems appropriate to resolve the dispute, including the making of recommendations after giving due consideration to the findings of fact and recommendations of such fact-finding board, but no further fact-finding board shall be appointed.
In the event that either the Town or the employee organization does not accept in whole or part the recommendations of the fact-finding board, the Supervisor shall, within five days after receipt of the findings of fact and recommendations of the fact-finding board, submit to the Town Board a copy of the findings of fact and recommendations of the fact-finding board, together with his recommendations for settling the dispute, and the employee organization may also submit to the Town Board its recommendations for settling the dispute.
No employee of the Town of Amherst or employee organization shall engage in a strike, and no employee organization shall cause, instigate, encourage or condone a strike.
Any employee of the Town who violates the aforesaid provision of this section shall be subject to the disciplinary penalties provided by law for misconduct, in accordance with procedures established by law.
Actions upon violation.
Any employee organization which is determined by the Public Employment Relations Board of the Town of Amherst to have violated the provisions of Subsection A of this section shall, in accordance with the provisions of this section, lose the rights granted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
In the event of a violation of Subsection A of this section, it shall be the duty of the Supervisor forthwith to so notify the Public Employment Relations Board of the Town of Amherst and the Town Attorney and to provide said Board and the Town Attorney with such facilities, assistance and data as will enable said Board and the Town Attorney to carry out their duties.
In the event of a violation of Subsection A of this section, the Town Attorney, or the Public Employment Relations Board of the Town of Amherst on its own motion, shall forthwith institute proceedings before the Public Employment Relations Board of the Town of Amherst to determine whether such employee organization has violated the provisions of Subsection A of this section.
Proceedings against an employee organization under this section shall be commenced by service upon it of a written notice, together with a copy of the charges. A copy of such notice and charges shall also be served, for its information, upon the Town Board of the Town of Amherst. The employee organization shall have eight days within which to serve its written answer to such charges. The hearing of the Public Employment Relations Board of the Town of Amherst shall be held promptly thereafter, and at such hearing the parties shall be permitted to be represented by counsel and to summon witnesses in their behalf. Compliance with the technical rules of evidence shall not be required.
In determining whether an employee organization has violated Subsection A of this section, said Board shall consider whether the employee organization called the strike or tried to prevent it, whether the employee organization made or was making good faith efforts to terminate the strike and whether, if so alleged by the employee organization, the Town or its representative engaged in such acts of extreme provocation as to detract from the responsibility of the employee organization for the strike.
If said Board determines that an employee organization has violated the provisions of Subsection A of this section, said Board shall order forfeiture of the rights granted pursuant to the provisions of § 16-7B of this chapter for a specified period of time as the Board shall determine, but in no event to exceed 18 months; provided, however, that where a fine imposed on an employee organization pursuant to Subdivision 2 of § 751 of the Judiciary Law remains wholly or partly unpaid after the exhaustion of the cash and securities of the employee organization, said Board shall direct that, notwithstanding such forfeiture, such membership dues deduction shall be continued to the extent necessary to pay such fine, and the Town of Amherst shall transmit such moneys to the court.
The Town Board of the Town of Amherst may terminate the provisions of this chapter by a local law, ordinance or resolution which shall become effective no sooner than 60 days after filing with the New York State Public Employment Relations Board a certified copy of such local law, ordinance or resolution or on the date specified in the local law, ordinance or resolution, whichever is later. The Town Board shall give public notice of the termination at least 45 days prior to the effective date thereof by posting on the bulletin board maintained by the Town of Amherst and at such other location as may be designated by the Town Board for not less than five working days and publication in the official newspaper of the Town of Amherst for not less than one day.
The Town Board of the Town of Amherst may amend this chapter as provided by law, which amendment shall not become effective until the New York State Public Employment Relations Board finds that the provisions and procedures as amended are substantially equivalent to the provisions as set forth in Article 14 of the Civil Service Law and the Rules of the New York State Public Employment Relations Board as amended from time to time.
This chapter shall become effective 20 days after adoption.