STATE OF MAINE MAINE LABOR RELATIONS BOARD Case No. 90-13 Issued: December 3, 1990 ___________________________________________ ) TEAMSTERS LOCAL UNION NO. 340, ) ) Complainant, ) v. ) DECISION AND ORDER ) PORTLAND HOUSING AUTHORITY, ) Respondent. ) ___________________________________________) On February 28, 1990, Teamsters Local Union No. 340 ("Union") filed a pro- hibited practice complaint with the Maine Labor Relations Board ("Board") alleging that the Portland Housing Authority ("Authority") had violated the Municipal Public Employees Labor Relations Law ("MPELRL"), 26 M.R.S.A. 964(1)(A), (C) and (E) (1988). More specifically, the Union alleges that by instructing employees to discontinue discussing union business during working hours and by posting and distributing a memo threatening discipline up to and including discharge for certain activities, the Authority has violated section 964(1)(A) and (C) of the MPELRL. It alleges that the Authority violated section 964(1)(E) by failing to give its negotiator sufficient authority to reach a tentative agreement, and by going through the motions of negotiation with no intention of reaching an agreement. The Authority denies all of the allegations. On April 11, 1990, Board Alternate Chair Jessie B. Gunther convened a pre- hearing conference in this matter. Her May 4, 1990 Prehearing Conference Memorandum and Order is incorporated in and made a part of this decision and order. Chair Peter T. Dawson presided at the evidentiary hearing on September 6, -1- 1990,1 accompanied by Employer Representative Thacher E. Turner and Employee Representative George W. Lambertson. Harvard Brassbridge represented the Union, and Annalee Z. Rosenblatt represented the Authority. The parties were given full opportunity to examine and cross-examine witnesses, to introduce documentary evidence and to make oral argument. The parties filed simultaneous post-hearing briefs, which were received on October 2, 1990; the Board deliberated this matter on October 24, 1990. JURISDICTION The Union is the bargaining agent, within the meaning of 26 M.R.S.A. 962(2) (1988), for the administrative and clerical bargaining unit. The Authority is the public employer of the employees in that unit, within the meaning of 26 M.R.S.A. 962(7) (Supp. 1989). The jurisdiction of the Board to hear this case and to render a decision and order lies in 26 M.R.S.A. 968(5) (1988). FINDINGS OF FACT Upon review of the entire record, the Board finds: 1. The collective bargaining agreement for the administrative and clerical bargaining unit, which contains 23 unit members, expired on September 30, 1989. Negotiations for a successor agreement began on September 12, 1989, with additional meetings between the parties occurring on September 14th or 15th, September 26th and October 3rd. Mediation sessions occurred on November 13th, November 20th and January 23, 1990; a post-mediation negotiating session took place on February 6, 1990. 2. Bruce Loring, Deputy Executive Director of the Authority, has been negotiating contracts for the administrative and clerical unit, on behalf of the Authority, since 1982. On behalf of the Union, Harvard Brassbridge acted as chief negotiator for the first time in the negotiations that are the subject of __________________________ 1The delay in the hearing was due to a request by the parties. -2- this prohibited practice case. The shop steward, Linda Herbert, has par- ticipated in the last three rounds of negotiations (that is, for the last three contracts). She perceived no difference between Loring's bargaining authority in the current round and his authority in the two previous rounds in which she participated. For this round of negotiations, the only ground rule between the parties was an agreement that both negotiators had authority to negotiate a final tentative agreement, subject to ratification by unit employees and by the Authority's Board of Commissioners. 3. The Union's initial bargaining proposals, provided to the Authority by letter dated July 25, 1989, included an immediate wage adjustment of 8.04% to offset the loss of income that had occurred when the Authority, under a previous agreement, phased in a market-based wage study adjustment over three years instead of implementing it all at once (which it had done with other bargaining units); a general wage increase of 7.5% for each of the next two years; eye, dental and prescription drug coverage; an increase in the monthly auto allowance from $80 to $150 and an increase in the mileage rate from 18c to 25c per mile; reimbursement for the cost of books for employees receiving an A grade average in approved training courses; and deletion of the maternity leave provi- sion so that pregnancy would be treated in the same manner as any illness (as required by the Maine Human Rights Act). 4. In its first response, offered at the second negotiating session, the Authority proposed a smaller increase in wages (a cost-of-living adjustment, or "COLA," of approximately 4%); agreed to the change in maternity leave and the book reimbursement; proposed a smaller increase in mileage reimbursement ($105 for the monthly allowance and 20c per mile for the mileage rate); and proposed one decrease in benefits -- a reduction in the employer contribution toward insurance premiums from 100% to 85%. 5. Yearly budget increases for the Authority from the federal government are based on COLA; approximately 95% of the Authority's costs are fixed. 6. In its second response to the Union, at the fourth negotiating session, the Authority increased its monthly mileage allowance proposal (which affects two unit members) to $110; the remainder of its proposals were unchanged. Throughout the remaining negotiating and mediation sessions, the Authority neither offered nor agreed to any changes in its bargaining position. -3- 7. As negotiations progressed, the Union reduced its demands on such items as wages and transfer of unused sick leave to vacation leave. 8. The employer's proposal to decrease its share of insurance premiums was a major point of contention throughout the negotiations. During face-to- face negotiations, discussions occurred regarding a possible change in the insurance carrier (suggested by the Union); in mediation, suggestions to the mediator included reliance on spousal insurance (suggested by the Union) and a decrease in the employer's share of insurance premiums in exchange for dental insurance (suggested by the Authority). At the time the prohibited practice complaint was filed, no agreement had been reached on the issue of insurance. 9. There are three other bargaining units at the Authority, as well as a group of non-unionized management employees. In the last round of negotiations for each of the three bargaining units, the last of which was completed before negotiations began for the administrative and clerical unit, the Authority agreed to provide employees with dental insurance while continuing to provide fully paid health insurance. Each unit also received a COLA wage increase. Non-unionized management employees receive both dental and health insurance, and are on a merit pay system in which an employee may receive no increase, COLA, or COLA plus 2%. This merit system was most recently utilized to give some employees raises of COLA plus 2% in July of 1990. 10. During negotiations for a successor agreement, the Union began an effort to recruit new union members within the administrative and clerical bargaining unit. The Authority agreed, when asked, to provide the Union with a list of all unit employees. The Union contacted said employees, and told them to contact the shop steward if they wished to join. The shop steward was also designated to approach employees one-on-one during work time for recruitment purposes. On one or two occasions the shop steward, Linda Herbert, spoke to Charlotte Brown, a unit member, about joining. Until January 10, 1990, the Authority made no attempt to stop such recruiting. 11. Deputy Executive Director Bruce Loring informed employees of the following, by memo dated January 10, 1990 (the memo was posted and each employee in the unit was given a copy): It has been brought to my attention that some employees have been exerting pressure on their peers to join the union. -4- In this regard be advised that conducting such union business during working hours is a violation of the contract and is not permitted. Be further advised that membership in the union is not mandatory for employment at the Housing Authority, and that individuals are free to join or not join entirely according to their own wishes. Consequently, any intimidation, harassment, or disparate treatment of employees based on their membership status will not be tolerated. Individuals found to be engaging in this type of discriminatory activity will be subject to discipline up to and including discharge. 12. Prior to distribution of the memo, supervisor Mary Bostwick was told by four employees that they had been pressured to join the Union by other employees in the unit. One of the four, Charlotte Brown, told Bostwick that when she refused to join, the employees who had pressured her began to ignore her socially. Brown told Bostwick that as a result of these events, she was think- ing about resigning from her job. When Bostwick brought that fact to the atten- tion of Bruce Loring, he drafted the January 10th memo. 13. Both the shop steward and the assistant shop steward, as well as other employees who contacted them about the January 10th memo, felt threatened by it. 14. By the employer's own admission, employees were also advised, through supervisor Mary Bostwick, that "union business was not to be discussed during working hours." Until then, conversations about union matters during work time were a common occurrence among employees, including supervisor Mary Bostwick. 15. During this period of time, the Authority was concerned about the fact that employees were congregating as they arrived for work in the morning and not beginning work promptly. However, the Authority has not promulgated and noti- fied employees of either a general no-solicitation rule or a general no-talk rule to be applied during work time. 16. Article 3 of the contract that expired on September 30, 1989, reads as follows: ARTICLE 3. NO DISCRIMINATION BY PARTIES: Employees covered by this Agreement shall have the rights afforded under Section 963 of Chapter 9-A, Title 26, MRSA. No employee shall be favored or discriminated against by either the Employer or the Union because of his membership or non-membership in the Union. -5- The parties to this Agreement agree that they shall not discriminate against any employee because of creed, race, color, sex or age. 17. Article 4 of the expired contract reads as follows: ARTICLE 4. TIME OFF WHILE PERFORMING UNION DUTIES: The Union Steward shall be allowed time off with pay for meeting with the Employer concerning Union business, provided in the judgment of the Employer said time off does not interfere with workflow requirements. The Steward shall not leave regu- larly assigned work in order to investigate a grievance without first obtaining approval. The Steward shall be allowed time off with pay during a regular work day for investigating grievances up to a maximum of one-half (1/2) hour per grievance, but not to exceed a total of three (3) hours per week except with permission of of the Executive Director or his designee. The Employer agrees to meet once a month with a Union Committee to discuss matters pertaining to nongrievable items not covered by this Agreement, provided the Union Committee submits a written agenda of items for discussion at least three (3) working days prior to the meeting date. Such meetings shall be held at mutually convenient times. Whenever such meetings are held during normal working hours, the Union Committee shall be composed of no more than two (2) repre- sentatives. The name of the employee selected as Steward and the names of other Union representatives who may represent employees shall be certified in writing to the Employer by the Local Union and individuals so certified shall constitute the Union Grievance Committee. 18. When Mary Bostwick spoke to union members about the effects of their pressuring and their ostracism of Charlotte Brown, it was her impression that they had not understood what the effect of their actions would be and were sorry that the incident had happened. Since then, union members have changed their behavior, and in Bostwick's words, "Everyone's getting along fine." When Bruce Loring drafted the January 10th memo, he had no information to indicate that the Union members intended the consequences of their activities. -6- DISCUSSION Refusal to bargain The Board has outlined the factors relevant to a determination of whether parties have bargained in good faith pursuant to section 965(1)(C) of the MPELRL. (Failure to do so is a violation under section 964(1)(E)). "Among such indicators of good faith bargaining are whether the parties have: met and nego- tiated at reasonable times, observed the negotiating ground rules, offered coun- terproposals, made compromises, accepted the other party's positions, explained and provided justification for their own positions, reduced tentative agree- ments to writing, and participated in the dispute resolution procedures." Auburn Firefighters Assoc. v. Valente, No. 87-19, slip op. at 10, 10 NPER ME-18017 (Me.L.R.B. Sept. 11, 1987), citinq Waterville Teachers Assoc. v. Waterville Bd. of Educ., No. 82-11, slip op. at 4, 4 NPER 20-13011 (Me.L.R.B. Feb. 4, 1982); and Sanford Highway Unit v. Town of Sanford, No. 79-50, slip op. at 10-11, 1 NPER 20-10012 (Apr. 5, 1979), aff'd, 411 A.2d 1010 (Me. 1980). Lack of authority to bargain The Union alleges that the Authority has violated section 964(1)(E) of the MPELRL, 26 M.R.S.A. 964(1)(E) (1988), by failing to give its negotiator the authority to reach a tentative agreement, contrary to the ground rule between the parties stating that both parties would have such authority. The complaint more specifically alleges that Loring, during mediation, indicated that his failure to respond to the mediator's recommendation for settlement was caused by the fact that the "Executive Director and the Commissioner" were in Florida on travel. The Union elicited no testimony from any of its negotiating team members, including chief negotiator Harvard Brassbridge, regarding the allegation related to the mediator's recommended settlement. In addition, Deputy Executive Director Bruce Loring has been negotiating contracts for the administrative and clerical unit, on behalf of the Authority, since 1982. No evidence was pre- sented to indicate that his authority was any different than it had been in pre- vious years, and in fact one of the members of the Union's negotiating team testified that she had seen no difference. Under these circumstances, the Board concludes that Loring had the authority to reach a tentative agreement, in -7- accordance with the parties' ground rule. Refusal to compromise; no intention of reaching an agreement The Union's second basis for a 964(1)(E) violation is the Authority's alleged failure to compromise during negotiations for a successor contract. More specifically, the Union asserts that the Authority's refusal to move from its initial bargaining position, other than to increase its mileage proposal slightly, amounts to a refusal to bargain. (The mileage allowance affects two people in the 23-member bargaining unit.) While the Board finds that in fact the mileage allowance increase was the only compromise made by the Authority over the period of negotiations and mediation sessions that occurred up until the Union filed its complaint, we do not believe that the Authority's lack of movement rises to the level of a failure to bargain. The basis for our finding lies in large measure in the nature of the Authority's initial bargaining position, which was in response to the Union's original package of bargaining proposals. While the Authority's first response came nowhere near granting the Union's requests, it did represent a change from the status quo. It included a COLA wage increase of approximately 4%. It also included increases in the mileage rate and allowance, and textbook reimburse- ment for approved training courses in which employees receive an A grade average.2 The nature of the dispute between the parties is also relevant. The biggest source of disagreement was the Authority's proposal to decrease its share of health insurance premiums. As the Authority points out, health insurance has increasingly become a sticking point in public sector negotiations, because pre- miums have increased so dramatically over the past few years. While we can understand the reluctance of the Union to agree to any givebacks, we do not believe that the Authority's position is any less reasonable, given its funding _______________________ 2The Authority also agreed to treat maternity leave as sick leave, but as the Union pointed out, that change is required by the Maine Human Rights Act. -8- source. While the Board does not pretend to have a solution for this very tough problem, we do not believe the solution lies in finding a violation of the requirement that the parties bargain in good faith. The Authority, while bargaining tough, negotiated at reasonable times, observed the negotiation ground rule, provided justification for its own position, and participated in dispute resolution procedures. Accordingly, the Union's charge of a refusal to bargain is dismissed. Domination/interference with formation, existence or administration of the Union The alleged violation of section 964(1)(C) of the MPELRL warrants only brief mention. As the Board has stated on numerous occasions, "This section of the Act is directed at the evil of too much financial or other support of, encouraging the formation of, or actually participating in, the affairs of the union and thereby potentially dominating it." Teamsters Local 48 v. City of Calais, No. 80-29, slip op. at 5, 2 NPER 20-11018 (Me.L.R.B. May 13, 1980). Since there is no evidence to support the Union's allegation, it is dismissed. Interference, restraint, coercion Section 964(1)(A) of the MPELRL prohibits employers from interfering with, restraining or coercing employees in the exercise of their section 963 rights. The Union alleges two grounds for finding a violation of section 964(1)(A) -- the posting and distribution of a memo threatening discipline up to and including discharge for certain union-related activities, and an oral admonition to employees not to discuss union business during working hours. These allega- tions will be addressed separately. Memo The memo that was posted and distributed to employees addresses two types of activity: pressuring non-union employees to join the Union, and disparate treatment of employees who decided not to join. Regarding putting pressure on unit members to join, the memo states that "conducting such business during working hours is a violation of the contract." In its brief, the Authority asserts that Article 4 of the collective bargaining agreement in effect bars such activity, because it specifies what types of activities are permissible during work time. We disagree. Nowhere in Article 4 is there an explicit prohibition either against pressuring employees to join the Union or against more formal union solicitation -9- by the shop steward. We refuse to infer that such activities are barred simply because they are not mentioned in that article, particularly in light of the employer's admitted past permissiveness in this regard. The subject of Article 4 is "TIME OFF WHILE PERFORMING UNION DUTIES." Such a provision typically addresses activities in connection with administration of the contract. In the Board's experience, it would be highly unusual for any employer to specifically agree to paid time off for union membership solicitation during work time (that is, during times other than breaks, lunch periods and after work). Some employers do permit such activities, if they do not unreasonably interfere with production; they do so simply by not promulgating rules against such activity, not by listing them as permitted activities in the contract. Even if we were willing to make the inference that the Authority wishes us to make, we would not infer the no-solicitation rule contemplated by the Authority in its January 10th memo. While employers are entitled to establish no-solicitation rules, there must be limits on that authority. National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") case law on this point is instructive. First, the NLRB has found that a no-solicitation rule must clearly apply only to solicita- tion during actual work time -- solicitation during breaks, lunch and before and after working hours cannot be banned. The Authority's use of the term "working hours" fails that test, because the term "connotes periods from the beginning to the end of workshifts, periods that include the employees' own time." Our Way, Inc., 268 N.L.R.B. 394, 395 (1983); Essex International, Inc., 211 N.L.R.B. 749 (1974). More importantly, a valid no-solicitation rule cannot be applied or enforced in a discriminatory manner -- that is, it cannot prohibit union solici- tation while permitting other types of solicitation to occur during work time. C.O.W. Industries, Inc., 276 N.L.R.B. 960 (1985). We find the reasoning behind both restrictions persuasive. Furthermore, we note that according to her testimony, shop steward Linda Herbert only approached Charlotte Brown once or twice to solicit her membership in the Union. Although Ms. Brown was present throughout the evidentiary hearing, she did not testify; consequently, no evidence was presented to indi- cate that either Herbert's solicitation or the pressure exerted by other Union members constituted such intimidation or harassment as to justify the Authority's otherwise illegal response to these activities. -10- The January 10th memo was directed to union activities only, during working hours, for obvious reasons. The purpose of the memo was not to stop employees from wasting time; rather, it was to stop union-related activities that the Authority believed were causing personnel problems. While we understand the Authority's concern, we cannot condone the method it chose to address that concern. The second aspect of the memo -- directed toward disparate treatment of employees who chose not to join the Union -- is equally troubling. Here, the Authority points to Article 3 of the collective bargaining agreement, which by its terms addresses discrimination by the employer and the Union. No evi- dence was presented, and in fact no suggestion was even made, that the employees who pressured Charlotte Brown to join did so at the behest of the Union itself; no evidence was presented to suggest that the Union even knew what was going on, until the memo appeared. In addition, we see no reason to read into the union-membership portion of Article 3 anything other than the usual meaning for non-discrimination articles; in connection with the collective bargaining agent, the provision is the con- tractual equivalent of the statutory duty of fair representation, which requires the agent to administer the contract fairly with respect to all unit members. We find in that duty no requirement that members of the Union exchange social pleasantries with non-union members. It is worth pointing out that the Authority did have other options available to it. It could have contacted the Union about the problem; it could have suggested that Brown file a grievance, since it believed the contract was being violated; or it could have simply contacted Union members (orally or in writing) in an unthreatening way, to let them know what effect their actions were having on non-union unit members. In fact, when supervisor Mary Bostwick eventually did so, members of the Union were sorry about what had occurred, and in Bostwick's words, now "everyone's getting along fine." In finding that a violation occurred, we note that the Authority's memo resembles communications by employers in a series of NLRB cases, in which those employers, through a personnel rule, a letter or orally, indicated that employees did not have to put up with pressure to join the union, and that the -11- employer would stop the activity if employees informed the employer that it was occurring. In Bank of St. Louis, 191 N.L.R.B. 669 (1971), an employer letter ended with the following statement: Further, if you are threatened in any way or subjected to constant badgering by union proponents to sign these cards, please report these matters to your Department Head immediately. In Lutheran Hospital of Milwaukee, Inc., 224 N.L.R.B. 176 (1976), an employer letter stated, in part: TO ALL EMPLOYEES: A number of employees have reported that they are being pressured to sign Union cards . . . . . . . You don't have to put up with pestering or pressure to join. Please let me know if you are bothered. I will do my best to see that the law is observed. In Sunnyland Packing Company, 227 N.L.R.B. 590 (1976), an employee handbook con- tained the following language: . . .If you should be caused any trouble, or be put under any pressure to support a union, you should report the matter to your supervisor. The employer in J.H. Block & Co., 247 N.L.R.B. 262 (1980), posted a notice on its bulletin board advising employees that: If anyone is caused trouble in the plant, or put under pressure to join the union, you should let the Company know, and we will see that it is stopped. The following statement appeared in an employee handbook in C.O.W. Industries: . . . Also if anybody causes you any trouble at work or puts you under any sort of pressure to join a union you should let the Company know and we will see that this is stopped. No person will be allowed to solicit or carry [on] union organizing activities on the job. Any- body who does so and who thereby neglects his own work or interferes with the work of others will be subject to discharge. -12- In each case, the NLRB found that the employer had discouraged union members in their protected organizational activities, in violation of 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act; that provision prohibits interference, restraint or coercion of employees in the exercise of their organizational rights. Once again, we find the NLRB's reasoning persuasive. We accept the Authority's position that the purpose of the memo in the case before us was not to discourage union membership itself, but rather was meant to address a perceived personnel problem. However, "[a] finding of inter- ference, restraint, or coercion does not turn on the employer's motive or on whether the coercion succeeded or failed . . . . but is based on 'whether the employer engaged in conduct which, it may reasonably be said, tends to interfere with the free exercise of employee rights under the Act."' MSEA v. Dept. of Human Services, No. 81-35, slip op. at 4-5, 4 NPER 20-12026, citing N.L.R.B. v. Ford, 170 F.2d 735, 738 (6th Cir. 1948); and Teamsters Local 48 v.Town of Oakland, No. 78-30, slip op. at 3 (Me.L.R.B. Aug. 24, 1978). The shop steward, the alternate shop steward and other employees who contacted the stewards about the memo were intimidated by it; under the circumstances, we find their reaction to the memo entirely reasonable. Accordingly, we find that the Authority has interfered with, restrained and coerced members of the Union in the exercise of their organizational rights, in violation of 26 M.R.S.A. 954(1)(A). We will order such relief as will effectuate the policies of the MPELRL. 26 M.R.S.A. 968(5)(C) (1988). Oral admonition By the employer's own admission in its answer to the complaint, at the time the memo was distributed employees were also advised orally that "union business was not to be discussed during working hours." Most analogous to the case before us are two cases related to workplace telephone messages. In MSAD #45 v. MSAD #45 Teachers Association, No. 82-10 (Me.L.R.B. Jan. 12, 1982) (Interim Order), aff'd, Nos. CV-82-34 and CV-82-71 (Me. Super. Ct., Ken. Cty., June 9, 1982), the Board found that not allowing a union president to receive telephone messages regarding union activities, contrary to past practice, constituted illegal interference. The employer in Teamsters Local Union No. 48 v. Rumford/ Mexico Sewerage District, No. 84-08, 6 NPER 20-15008 (Me.L.R.B. Mar. 12, 1984, violated section 964(1)(A) of the MPELRL when it did not forward a phone call -13- from a union representative to the shop steward during working time, since until that incident, the employer's practice had been to permit employees to take phone calls during work. In the matter before us, testimony by the supervisor who made the admonition indicated that the Authority was concerned about the fact that employees were congregating as they arrived for work in the morning and not beginning work promptly; we view this as a legitimate business concern which an employer is entitled to address. However, it is unlikely that the oral admonition was meant to address the morning congregation problem, since it was directed to discussion of union business only, and not to discussion of other topics. More likely, the admonition was intended, in combination with the memo, to address the ongoing personnel problem; if employees were forbidden to discuss union mat- ters at all, they would be less likely to engage in the activities that were the subject of the memo itself. Once again, the motive of the employer makes no difference; we find that a ban on discussion that is directed only to union mat- ters inherently interferes with, restrains and coerces employees in the exercise of their statutory rights. Accordingly, we find that the Authority's oral admo- nition violates 26 M.R.S.A. 964(1)(A), and we will order such relief as will effectuate the policies of the MPELRL. Relief The Authority and its representatives and agents will be ordered to cease and desist from prohibiting union solicitation, or threatening employees with discipline for violating no-solicitation rules that may be promulgated, without making clear to employees when they may lawfully engage in such activities. It will also be ordered to cease and desist from issuing rules that discrimina- torily prohibit either union solicitation or the discussion of union business. Finally, the Authority will be ordered to cease and desist from inviting or encouraging employees to report to the Authority if they are solicited or pressured to join the Union. We will also order the Authority to sign, date, post and distribute to indi- vidual employees the attached "Notice." Because the Authority's January 10th memo was distributed by hand to each unit employee, distribution of the Notice shall be by hand, to each employee in the administrative and clerical unit, within 10 calendar days of the issuance of this decision and order, or if the -14- 10th day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, on the next regularly scheduled work day for unit employees. The Notice also shall be posted, at the time it is indivi- dually distributed, in all places where the Authority's January 10th memo was posted, and shall remain posted for 30 calendar days thereafter. Within five days after distribution and posting of the Notice, the Authority shall notify the Executive Director, in writing, of the steps that have been taken to comply with our order. ORDER On the basis of the foregoing findings of fact and discussion, and by virtue of and pursuant to the powers granted to the Maine Labor Relations Board by the provisions of 26 M.R.S.A. 968(5) (1988), it is hereby ORDERED: 1. That the Respondent Portland Housing Authority and its representative and agents shall: a. Cease and desist from prohibiting union solicitation, or threatening employees with discipline for violating no- solicitation rules that may be promulgated, without making clear to employees when they may lawfully engage in such activities; b. Cease and desist from issuing rules that discriminatorily prohibit union solicitation; c. Cease and desist from inviting or encouraging employees to report to the Authority if they are pressured or solicited to join the Union; d. Cease and desist from issuing rules that discriminatorily prohibit the discussion of union business; e. Sign, date, post and distribute the attached "Notice" to each employee in the administrative and clerical unit. Distribution shall be by hand, within 10 calendar days of the date of issuance of this decision and order, or if the 10th day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, on the next regularly scheduled work day for unit employees. The "Notice" also shall be posted, at the time it is indivi- dually distributed, in all places where the Authority's January 10th memo was posted, and shall remain posted for 30 calendar days thereafter; f. Take such reasonable steps as may be necessary to ensure that said posted notices are not altered, defaced or covered while they are posted pursuant to this order; -15- g. Notify the Executive Director, in writing, within five days after distribution and posting of the "Notice," of the steps that have been taken to comply with this order. 2. That the Union's allegations of refusal to bargain in violation of 26 M.R.S.A. 964(1)(E) (1988), and domination or interference with the Union in violation of 26 M.R.S.A. 964(1)(C), are dismissed. 3. That the Authority's request for costs is denied. Dated at Augusta, Maine, this 3rd day of December, 1990. MAINE LABOR RELATIONS BOARD /s/__________________________ Peter T. Dawson Chair /s/__________________________ Thacher E. Turner Employer Representative /s/__________________________ George W. Lambertson Employee Representative The parties are advised of their right pursuant to 26 M.R.S.A. 968(5)(F) (1988) to seek review of this decision and order by the Superior Court, by filing a complaint in accordance with Rule 80C of the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure within 15 days of the date of issuance of this decision. -16- STATE OF MAINE MAINE LABOR RELATIONS BOARD Augusta, Maine 04333 NOTICE _______________________________________________________________________ NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE AND CLERICAL UNIT Pursuant to a Decision and Order of the MAINE LABOR RELATIONS BOARD and in order to effectuate the policies of the MAINE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES LABOR RELATIONS LAW you are hereby notified that: 1. THE HOUSING AUTHORITY WILL NOT prohibit union solicitation, or threaten employees with discipline for violating no-solicitation rules that may be promulgated, without making clear to employees when they may lawfully engage in such activities. 2. THE HOUSING AUTHORITY WILL NOT issue rules that discriminatorily prohibit union solicitation. 3. THE HOUSING AUTHORITY WILL NOT invite or encourage employees to report to the Authority if they are pressured or solicited to join the Union. 4. THE HOUSING AUTHORITY WILL NOT issue rules that discriminatorily prohibit the discussion of union business. 5. THE HOUSING AUTHORITY WILL, within five calendar days of the distri- bution and posting of this Notice, notify the Maine Labor Relations Board, in writing, at its offices in Augusta, Maine, of the steps that have been taken to comply with the Board's order. PORTLAND HOUSING AUTHORITY Dated: __________________________________________ Bruce R. Loring, Deputy Executive Director If employees have questions concerning this Notice or compliance with its provisions, they may communicate directly with the offices of the Maine Labor Relations Board, State House Station 90, Augusta, Maine 04333. Telephone 289-2015.