Funding for the League’s Labor Relations Service program comes, in part, from the 38 cities in the state that each paid a registration fee to make this program possible. This funding allows OML staff to provide particularized attention and information to unionized municipalities. This includes assistance in a member city’s union activities through OML participation via inquiries from municipal officials, labor roundtables, training opportunities and providing specialized labor and employment law information through monthly Labor Bulletins.
Activity impacting the employment/labor arena is multi-faceted. A significant impact on municipal operations is the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB). Since PERB received unfair labor practice (ULP) authority we have seen hundreds of unfair labor practice charges filed with PERB. As these complaints are decided, they impact all unionized communities. As a result, PERB activity in the labor law area has the potential to grow significantly in the next few years.
In addition, we can expect ongoing attempts at legislative activity at both the state and federal level impacting employment/labor relations. We must remain vigilant against one-size-fits-all legislation. On the revenue side, attempts have been made to strip municipalities of the ability to recoup fire costs from insurance companies.
As indicated on the Outline of Services, we do intend to continue the labor program. We invite you to consider participating in these benefits specially geared to unionized municipalities.
As an example of services provided through membership in the Labor Relations Service Program, labor roundtables are scheduled throughout the bargaining season where participants share information on negotiation issues, on-going employment problems and solutions. In addition, an intensive all-day seminar is being planned for July 19, 2013. Finally, throughout the year, Labor Bulletins are published providing information on new state and federal laws, arbitration opinions, PERB awards and current labor events in Oklahoma communities.
As with almost any service program, our contacts and activity with a given city may run from frequent and direct to infrequent and indirect. We are advised quite often, however, that it is extremely important to all officials involved in collective bargaining that the League’s consulting and information service is available when needed. For this reason, we maintain sample municipal labor contracts, arbitration awards, unfair labor practice decisions, court cases, PERB actions, personnel rules and regulations, etc. With these materials and the availability of an attorney to concentrate on employee relations, we are in a good position to respond to your needs when required.
You may be interested to know that current Labor Program members are: