When a public employer recognizes a collective bargaining representative as the agent representing the employees in a defined bargaining unit, PERA grants exclusive recognition to that agent to act for those employees in issues involving wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment.[47] In addition to including such recognition, more than 500 contracts contain a separate provision by which the school board agrees not to negotiate with any other teacher organization.

In other words, if a school board wished to contract with a math, science or professional teacher organization for the purposes of professional development for its staff members (a term of employment), it would first require the union’s permission. School boards should remove exclusive bargaining representative clauses that require such permission before employees can explore opportunities with other professional organizations.