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Collective Bargaining

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Collective Bargaining

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    1. Collective Bargaining Created by Nicholas S. Kimble

    2. Introduction Collective bargaining occurs when employee representatives and employers formally discuss terms of employment such as working conditions, salaries, and fringe benefits. The Missouri Constitution states, “Employees shall have the right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing.” Mo. Const. art. I § 29. Surprisingly, Missouri has not applied collective bargaining to public sector employees, only to private sector employees. It has been this way ever since the Missouri Constitution was enacted in 1945.

    3. Introduction (Cont.) That changed in the summer of 2007. The Missouri Supreme Court handed down Independence-NEA v. Independence Sch. Dist., 223 S.W.3d 131 (Mo. 2007). The Court in Independence stated that all employees, not just private, have the right to bargain collectively with their employers.

    4. Why is this Interesting? To most people, collective bargaining is not really all that interesting. However, this is interesting to education attorneys, or individuals who want to become education attorneys, because they will be encountering collective bargaining for the first time in the very near future.

    5. Missouri Case Law City of Springfield v. Clouse, 206 S.W.2d 539 (Mo. 1947). The Court held that only private sector employees would be allowed to bargain collectively. The Court further stated that allowing public employees to bargain would be delegating away legislative powers. Missey v. City of Cabool, 441 S.W.2d 35 (Mo. 1969). This case centered on whether there is a duty for employers to “meet and confer” with their employees. The Court held that there is a duty to “meet and confer” under the Missouri Constitution.

    6. Missouri Case Law (Cont.) Sumpter v. City of Moberly, 645 S.W.2d 359 (Mo. 1982). This case centered on whether agreed to provisions during a “meet and confer” negotiation were binding on the employer. The Court held that employers may reject, modify or adopt the provisions. Independence-NEA v. Independence Sch. Dist., 223 S.W.3d 131 (Mo. 2007). The Court held that all employees have the right to bargain collectively. Employers do not have to agree to any provision. However, once they do, the provision will be binding. Based the opinion on the plain language of Article I § 29 of the Missouri Constitution. Overruled Clouse and Sumpter.

    7. Missouri v. Illinois Statutes The Missouri legislature has yet to give guidance for how collective bargaining will operate in Missouri. Illinois statutes are much more definitive for collective bargaining and are therefore being used to compare and contrast with Missouri statutes.

    8. Missouri Statutes As previously stated, there has not been any new guidance on how collective bargaining will operate in Missouri. The discussed statutes will more than likely be modified. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 105.510 – States that employees can collectively bargain, however, it lists that teachers are not allowed to bargain collectively. Mo. Rev. Stat. 105.520 – States that public bodies shall meet and confer with labor organizations. Mo. Rev. Stat. 105.525 – States that certain issues which arise during negotiations will go to the Board of Mediation. Mo. Rev. Stat. 105.530 – States there is no right to strike.

    9. Illinois Statutes Illinois is a more labor intensive state. The statutes below are just a few key statutes that Illinois uses for collective bargaining. 115 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/8 – Describes the election process for an exclusive bargaining representative. 115 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/10 – States what issues can be negotiated in a collective bargaining agreement (e.g., wages, hours, etc.) 115 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12 – States that if there is an impasse, either party may petition for mediation. If that does not settle the issue then it go to fact-finding. 115 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13 – States that there is no right to strike.

    10. Prospective Bills in Missouri In the 2008 legislative session, two bills were put forth but neither was enacted. It is unknown why they did not pass. H.R. 2030 – Key provisions in the bill: No right to strike One exclusive bargaining unit Impasse procedures start with mediation then move to what appears to be non-binding arbitration. S. 1115 – Much the same as H.R. 2030

    11. Educational Organizations Missouri State Teacher’s Association (MSTA) MSTA was against collective bargaining, now they are in favor. MSTA wants a group of representatives, not just an exclusive representative. (Biggest teacher organization in Missouri) Missouri National Education Association (MNEA) MNEA is for collective bargaining. They want exclusive representation and binding arbitration. Missouri American Federation of Teachers (Missouri-AFT) Missouri-AFT is for collective bargaining. They want exclusive representation and binding arbitration. Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA) MASA is against collective bargaining. They would like a process that does not exclude any teacher organization for negotiations. Missouri School Boards Association (MSBA) MSBA is opposed to collective bargaining because they believe it is taking away local control. They are against exclusive representation and binding arbitration.

    12. Conclusion There is more to come. Obviously, legislation is needed to establish parameters for collective bargaining in Missouri. More than likely, Missouri will learn from other states, such as Illinois, on how to implement collective bargaining.

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