Dismissal of UC petition 78-UC-01. 

STATE OF MAINE                                   MAINE LABOR RELATIONS BOARD
                                                 [MLRB No. 78-A-03]
                                                 [Issued:  December 14, 1977]
(Mount Vernon Teachers)    ) 
                           )              REPORT OF APPELLATE REVIEW OF
  and                      )                UNIT CLARIFICATION HEARING
     This case originally came to the Executive Director of the Maine Labor Relations
Board for hearing on a Unit Clarification petition dated July 18, 1977, and filed on
July 25, 1977, by F. Stewart Kinley, UniServ Director for the Maine Teachers Associa-
tion, and legal representative of thc Lakes Teachers Association (Mount Vernon Teachers),
hereinafter referred to as "Association."  On September 17, 1977, a Unit Clarification
hearing was held at the Mount Vernon Elementary School, Mount Vernon, Maine, as provided
by Section 966 of the Municipal Public Employees Labor Relations Act.  The job cate-
gories under consideration in the original report, the contents of which are incorpora-
ted herein by reference, were Learning Disabilities Specialist (Special Education
Teacher), Speech Therapist, Music Teacher, and Kindergarten Teacher.  That hearing
resulted in a Unit Clarification report issued by the hearing examiner of the Maine
Labor Relations Board on October 17, 1977.
     This case comes before the Maine Labor Relations Board by way of a letter of
appeal forwarded to the Board by Millard D. Harrison, Superintendent of Schools,
Community School District #10, dated October 27, 1977, and filed with the Board on
October 28, 1977.  This case was heard on appeal by the Maine Labor Relations Board
on, November 29, 1977, in the Bureau of Labor Conference Room, Augusta, Maine. Present
for the Board at that hearing were Walter E. Corey, Chairman; Robert D. Curley, Em-
ployer Representative; and Michael Schoonjans, Employee Representative.
     Present thereat for the appellants were:

          Peter Dawson, Esquire              Attorney for Community School
                                             District No. 10

          Millard D. Harrison                Superintendent of Schools
                                             Community School District No. 10
     Present for the Association was:

          F. Stewart Kinley                  Director, UniServ District No. 6
     At the commencement of the hearing, the appellant challenged the appropriateness
of the petition for Unit Clarification since it allegedly violated 26 M.R.S.A. Section
967(2) which states in part ("where there is a valid collective bargaining agreement
in effect, no question concerning unit or representation may be raised except during
the period of not more then 90 nor less than 60 days prior to the expiration date of
the agreement.")  A Unit Clarification request is a request which raises a "question
concerning unit" and may only be raised during the prescribed statutory period.  Based
on the testimony and evidence submitted at the Unit Clarification proceeding and the

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Unit Clarification appellate proceeding, we find that:

     1.  The petition for a Unit Clarification was filed with the Maine
         Labor Relations Board on July 25, 1977.
     2.  At the time the Unit Clarification petition was filed, a valid
         collective bargaining agreement was in effect covering the unit
         for which the petition was filed and the agreement, by its terms,
         was in effect until August 31, 1977.
     3.  The filing date of the petition for Unit Clarification of July 25,
         1977, is not within the statutorily prescribed 90 to 60 day period
         prior to the expiration of the contract on August 31, 1977.
     As a result of the foregoing findings, we conclude that the Petition for Unit
Clarification was not filed in a timely manner consistent with the provisions of
26 M.R.S.A. Section 967(2).
     We are aware of the fact that the contract has expired and a subsequent contract
has not been executed.  Consequently, a timely Unit Clarification petition may be filed
at any time prior to the execution of a subsequent agreement and not violate the time
restrictions in 26 M.R.S.A. Section 967(2).
     If the petition for a Unit Clarification had been filed in a timely manner, we
would remand this case to the hearings examiner for the purpose of conducting further
proceedings and making findings of Fact with respect to the community of interests of
the employees in question and the employees in the present bargaining unit.  One of the
purposes of the Municipal Public Employees Labor Relations Act is to protect the right
of "public employees in the free exercise of their rights . . . voluntarily to join,
form and participate in the activities of organizations . . . " (26 M.R.S.A.  963)
If a community of interest exists among the employees, we see nothing in the Municipal
Public Employees Labor Relations Act to exclude part-time employees or employees who
share their working time with more than one employer from the provisions of the Act.
In this case, employees are contracting with and working for several employers who
divide the time of the employees according to their respective needs, and a similar
multi-employer coalition may be necessary to promote meaningful and effective collective
     Since the petition for Unit Clarification was not filed in a timely manner, con-
sistent with 26 M.R.S.A. Section 967(2), it should be and hereby is dismissed.
Dated at Augusta, Maine, this 14th day of December, 1977.
                                         MAINE LABOR RELATIONS BOARD

                                         Walter E. Corey, Chairman

                                         Robert D. Curley, Employer Representative

                                         Michael Schoonjans, Employee Representative