About the Maine Labor Relations Board

Purpose and Functions

Purpose: The purpose of the Maine Labor Relations Board and its affiliated organizations, the Panel of Mediators and the State Board of Arbitration and Conciliation, is to foster and improve the relationship between public employers and their employees.

The Board's jurisdiction includes employees of the State, municipalities, school departments, counties, the University of Maine, the Maine Community Colleges, Maine Maritime Academy and the Judicial Branch.

Functions: The Board has three primary responsibilities, each of which is comprised of several distinct components.

  1. Representation Cases:   Facilitate agreement on creation or modification of bargaining units; in the absence of agreement, conduct evidentiary hearings to fashion or alter the composition of appropriate bargaining units; and conduct secret ballot elections through which bargaining unit employees may opt to be represented by a bargaining agent, choose to change bargaining agents, or decide to decertify their bargaining agent.
  2. Prohibited Practices Cases:   Through a formal, quasi-judicial hearing process: enforce statutory employee rights to engage in collective bargaining activity free from employer interference, restraint, coercion, or discrimination; enforce the statutory obligation of employers and employees to engage in collective bargaining in good faith; enforce the statutory prohibition against public sector strikes, slowdowns, and work stoppages; protect employee organizations from employer domination; and protect the right of employees to choose their own representative for purposes of collective bargaining.
  3. Dispute Resolution Services:   Assist parties to reach accord on initial and successor collective bargaining agreements by providing direct mediation and fact-finding services through the Panel of Mediators and private fact-finders, and to resolve contract grievance disputes by providing direct conciliation and arbitration services through the Board of Arbitration and Conciliation.