Oregon Statutes - Chapter 243 - Public Employee Rights and Benefits - Section 243.726 - Public employee strikes; equitable relief against certain strikes; effect of unfair labor practice charge on prohibited strike.

(1) Participation in a strike shall be unlawful for any public employee who is not included in an appropriate bargaining unit for which an exclusive representative has been certified by the Employment Relations Board or recognized by the employer; or is included in an appropriate bargaining unit that provides for resolution of a labor dispute by petition to final and binding arbitration; or when the strike is not made lawful under ORS 240.060, 240.065, 240.080, 240.123, 243.650 to 243.782, 292.055 and 341.290.

(2) It shall be lawful for a public employee who is not prohibited from striking under subsection (1) of this section and who is in the appropriate bargaining unit involved in a labor dispute to participate in a strike over mandatory subjects of bargaining provided:

(a) The requirements of ORS 243.712 and 243.722 relating to the resolution of labor disputes have been complied with in good faith;

(b) Thirty days have elapsed since the board has made public the fact finderís findings of fact and recommendations or the mediator has made public the partiesí final offers;

(c) The exclusive representative has given 10 daysí notice by certified mail of its intent to strike and stating the reasons for its intent to strike to the board and the public employer;

(d) The collective bargaining agreement has expired, or the labor dispute arises pursuant to a reopener provision in a collective bargaining agreement or renegotiation under ORS 243.702 (1) or renegotiation under ORS 243.698; and

(e) The unionís strike does not include unconventional strike activity not protected under the National Labor Relations Act on June 6, 1995, and does not constitute an unfair labor practice under ORS 243.672 (2)(f).

(3)(a) Where the strike occurring or is about to occur creates a clear and present danger or threat to the health, safety or welfare of the public, the public employer concerned may petition the circuit court of the county in which the strike has taken place or is to take place for equitable relief including but not limited to appropriate injunctive relief.

(b) If the strike is a strike of state employees the petition shall be filed in the Circuit Court of Marion County.

(c) If, after hearing, the court finds that the strike creates a clear and present danger or threat to the health, safety or welfare of the public, it shall grant appropriate relief. Such relief shall include an order that the labor dispute be submitted to final and binding arbitration within 10 days of the courtís order pursuant to procedures in ORS 243.746.

(4)(a) No labor organization shall declare or authorize a strike of public employees that is or would be in violation of this section. When it is alleged in good faith by the public employer that a labor organization has declared or authorized a strike of public employees that is or would be in violation of this section, the employer may petition the board for a declaration that the strike is or would be unlawful. The board, after conducting an investigation and hearing, may make such declaration if it finds that such declaration or authorization of a strike is or would be unlawful.

(b) When a labor organization or individual disobeys an order of the appropriate circuit court issued pursuant to enforcing an order of the board involving this section and ORS 243.736, they shall be punished according to the provisions of ORS 33.015 to 33.155, except that the amount of the fine shall be at the discretion of the court.

(5) An unfair labor practice by a public employer shall not be a defense to a prohibited strike. The board upon the filing of an unfair labor charge alleging that a public employer has committed an unfair labor practice during or arising out of the collective bargaining procedures set forth in ORS 243.712 and 243.722, shall take immediate action on such charge and if required, petition the court of competent jurisdiction for appropriate relief or a restraining order.

(6) As used in this section, ďdanger or threat to the health, safety or welfare of the publicĒ does not include an economic or financial inconvenience to the public or to the public employer that is normally incident to a strike by public employees. [1973 c.536 §16; 1979 c.257 §1; 1989 c.1089 §1; 1991 c.724 §28; 1995 c.286 §8]

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Last modified: August 7, 2008