STATE OF MAINE                                  MAINE LABOR RELATIONS BOARD
                                                MLRB No. 76-IR-02

NO. 33                             )
     The Maine Labor Relations Board received a request for an Interpretative
Ruling dated January 15, 1976, from Joel R. Leblanc, Esquire, Attorney for the
Board of Directors of Maine School Administrative District No. 33.  Pursuant to
the authority granted to the Board under [Section] 968, Paragraph 3, of the Public
Employees Labor Relations Act, we have addressed ourselves to the following

                Does the refusal of public employees to accept
                voluntary extra-curricular duties constitute a
                work stoppage, slowdown or strike as defined by
                26 M.R.S.A. [Section] 964(2)(c)?

     The Municipal Public Employees Labor Relations Act provides in [Section] 964(2)(c)
as follows:

          2.  Public employee prohibitions. Public employee, public
     employee organizations, their agents, members and bargaining agents
     are prohibited from:

          C.  Engaging in:

              (1)  A work stoppage;
              (2)  A slowdown;
              (3)  A strike; or
              (4)  The blacklisting of any public employer for
                   the purpose of preventing it from filling
                   employee vacancies.

     The provisions of the Act we are concerned with in this question are work
stoppage, slowdown and strike.  Each term connotes a concerted effort on behalf
of or by employees.  If one of the employees refused to accept a voluntary extra-
curricular duty, the element of concerted activity would be absent and a pro-
hibited practice charge alleging a violation of 26 M.R.S.A. [Section] 964(2)(c) would

     If the element of concerted activity was present, then a violation of the
Act would depend on the presence of such other factors either together or individ-
ually as (1) whether the extra-curricular duty is set forth in a contract provision,
(2) whether the duty was otherwise negotiated, (3) whether a past practice exists
of accepting the duty or (4) whether the duty has been or may be performed by
workers outside the bargaining unit.


     The above factors would have to be examined and viewed in light of a specific
fact situation, such as a pattern of events including a provocation of an extreme
nature by the public employer or his agents.

     This opinion is advisory only, since binding determinations by the Board
are restricted by statute to actual cases presented to it.

Dated at Augusta, Maine, this 9th day of December 1976.

                                        Walter E. Corey, Chairman

                                        Robert D. Curley, Employer Representative

                                        Michael Schoonjans, Employee Representative