McNees Minute: Public Sector Unions

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Most of you are familiar with private sector unions but are you aware that public sector unions in Pennsylvania are governed by a separate law and are subject to separate jurisdiction than those in the private sector. In 1970, the Legislature enacted the Public Employee Relations Act which extended collective bargaining obligations to the public sector.

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board has jurisdiction over alleged violations of the PLRA. The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board can determine the appropriateness of the public collective bargaining units and can certify unions after an election. The board can also adjudicate allegations of unfair labor practices and in some cases, can help to resolve impasses in bargaining. 

Public sector unions work to support members rights, but public employers have their own rights, the exercise of which can benefit the public at large. Contact your counsel to know more.

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