Representation Election Campaign Activities

Bureau of Employee Relations
Telephone (207) 287-4447
FAX (207) 287-4452 TDD (207) 287-4537

No.: OSER-16

Date: February 2, 1977

Subject: Representation Election Campaign Activities

To: All Department and Agency Heads

From: Lanning S. Mosher, Director

The Maine Labor Relations Board has determined that the representation election amongst employees in the State Police Services Unit will be conducted by mail balloting. The ballots will be mailed on March 4, 1977, and will be collected and counted on March 28, 1977.

Elections in at least some of the remaining six collective bargaining units will be conducted in a similar fashion shortly thereafter. This memorandum reiterates the State's policy of assuring impartial treatment of all employee organizations competing for bargaining agent status as previously set forth in OSER-5, dated October 23, 1974.


The State's position is to be completely neutral in the organizing and election process. Managerial/confidential employees and supervisory employees are cautioned not to use their official position to help or hinder any employee organization, election campaign, or to permit any employees under their direction to use their official position to help or hinder any employee election campaign. Employees must not be harassed, coerced or promised special treatment in an effort to influence their vote. Managerial/confidential employees and supervisory employees are not to distribute material or any information for any employee organization, or to ask any employee how he or she has voted.

It is expected that campaign activities will be conducted by competing employee organizations so as not to harass any employee or to interfere with State operations. Appropriate action will be taken to prevent any violations of these guidelines by any person acting on behalf of an employee organization.

1. Access to Employee Organization Representatives.

Access to employees by employee organization representatives for campaign purposes may be permitted during non-working time in non-working areas, such as parking lots and entrances to buildings, so long as such access does not unreasonably interfere with movement of people and vehicles. Employee organization representatives may not solicit or distribute literature during working time or in work areas. (See OSER-5, paragraphs 2 and 3.)

2. Distribution of Campaign Materials.

Employee organization representatives may distribute campaign materials in non-work areas during employees' non-work time. Manned tables may be permitted in lobbies, cafeterias, employee lounges or in non-patient or non-work areas. No materials are to be distributed either in work areas or during work time.

Under no circumstances should the distribution of campaign materials be permitted to interfere with State employees' performance of their duties or the right of the public and employees to free entrance and egress from State facilities. The manner of distribution should be regulated to ensure compliance with these guidelines and to prevent harassment of State employees.

Distribution of leaflets on cars in parking lots should be permitted only if arrangements have been made in advance by the employee organization to dispose of any litter caused thereby, or to defray the cost of cleaning the area.

3. Requests for Lists of Names and Addresses of Employees.

Each of the competing employee organizations will be furnished with an eligibility list in the bargaining units in which it will appear on the ballot. No other information may be furnished to a competing employee organization except by OSER. Any requests for names and addresses of employees should be referred to this office.

4. Use of State Facilities for Meetings.

Where there is appropriate available meeting space in buildings owned or leased by the State, such a space may be made available to competing employee organizations for campaign or other purposes provided that (a) such space is made available on the same basis as to other employee organizations and civic or other groups which request it, (b) the organization agrees to reimburse the State for any additional expense incurred in the furnishing of such space, and (c) requests for the use of such space are made in advance with the appropriate agency or institution head.

State employees may attend such meetings only during periods when they are not on duty and should not be released from regular duties for such purposes.

5. Use of Bulletin Boards.

Competing employee organizations may post informational notices on bulletin boards provided for such purposes, having first obtained approval from the agency concerned. Such materials may not be hung upon, posted or otherwise affixed to the walls, doors, windows or other appurtenances of facilities in buildings owned or operated by the State.

Campaign material or material which is defamatory or derogatory to the State or its representatives shall not be posted on any bulletin board by any employee organization. Campaign material is distinguished from permissible informational notices in that it advocates or characterizes a particular position, viewpoint or set of circumstances. If such materials are found on bulletin boards their prompt removal should be requested and, if not promptly removed, the material should be removed by the agency and returned to the employee organization. A copy should be preserved and forwarded to this office.

6. Use of State Mail Service.

The State's mail, messenger, reproduction and related facilities shall not be used for the distribution of any employee organization materials.

7. Office Space.

Office space should not be provided to any employee organization.

8. Leave for Campaign Activities.

Employees may utilize accrued vacation or other credits, or take leaves of absence without pay from work, for the purpose of soliciting organizational membership, provided, within the judgment of the department head or his designee, the employee can be spared without interfering with State operations. Requests from all employee organizations must be treated equally.

9. Distribution of These Guidelines.

Every reasonable effort should be made to bring these guidelines, in the manner most appropriate to each department or agency, to the attention of the employees in collective bargaining units. Appropriate action should be taken to prevent violation of these guidelines.

Any questions concerning these guidelines may be directed to Jack Sears, Staff Counsel, at 289-3941. Inquiries from institution and field facilities should be directed to central agency administrative staff, who will consult with this office as necessary.

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