Definitions:

(A) “Independent bargaining” or “to bargain independently” means to bargain between a public employer and a public employee with respect to rates of pay, wages, hours of employment, adjustment of grievances or other terms and conditions of employment without the intervention of an employee organization, bargaining agent, or exclusive bargaining representative.

(i) Independent bargaining does not grant any greater or lesser rights or privileges to public employees who have chosen to represent themselves in a unit with an exclusive representative than those public employees in a unit without an exclusive bargaining representative.

(ii) Independent bargaining does not grant any greater or lesser duties or obligations for a public employer to public employees who have chosen to represent themselves in a unit with an exclusive bargaining representative than those duties or obligations the public employer owe to public employees in a unit without an exclusive bargaining representative.

(B) “Employee organization” means any association or organization of employees, and any agency, employee representation committee, or plan in which employees participate that exists, in whole or in part, to advocate on behalf of employees about grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment or conditions of work.

(C) “Public employee” means a person holding a position by appointment or employment in the government of this State, or any of its political subdivisions, including, but not limited to, public schools, and any authority, commission or board, or in any other branch of public service.

(D) “Public employer” means any state or local government, government agency, government instrumentality, special district, joint powers authority, public school board or special purpose organization that employs one or more persons in any capacity.

(E) “Collective bargaining” means the performance of the mutual obligation of the representatives of the public employer and the employee organization designated as an exclusive bargaining representative to meet and bargain in good faith in an effort to reach written agreement with respect to wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment.

(F) “Exclusive bargaining representative” means any employee organization that has been certified or designated by the [state agency] pursuant to the provisions of [insert applicable state labor law] as the representative of the employees in an appropriate collective bargaining unit to represent the employees in their employment relations with employers.

Public employee choice guaranteed.

(A) Public employees shall have the right to independently bargain in their relations with the public employer.

(B) No provision of any agreement between an employee organization and a public employer, or any other public policy, shall impose representation by an employee organization on public employees who are not members of that organization and have chosen to bargain independently. Nothing in any collective bargaining agreement shall limit a public employee’s ability to negotiate with his public employer or adjust his grievances directly with his public employer, nor shall a resolution of any such negotiation or grievance be controlled or limited by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.

(C) There shall be not more than one exclusive bargaining representative designated by the [state agency] pursuant to the provisions of [state labor law] as the representative of the public employees in an appropriate collective bargaining unit.

(D) No provision of any agreement between an employee organization and a public employer, or any other public policy, shall impose any wages or conditions of employment for members of an employee organization which are linked or contingent upon wages or conditions of employment to public employees who are not members of an employee organization.


* The language of this model legislation has been previously published by the author.