Case No. 11-02
Issued: March 29, 2011







	  The Maine Employees United/Saco Public Works Association/
Saco Workers Alliance (the "Union" or "Association") filed a
prohibited practice complaint on August 25, 2010, in which it
alleged that the City of Saco violated section 964(1)(A) and (E)
of the Municipal Public Employees Labor Relations Law, Title 26,
961 et seq. (the "Act"), by failing to deduct union dues and
service fees from the paychecks of members of the bargaining
unit.  Following the receipt of the City's response to the
complaint, the Executive Director suggested to the parties that
the complaint was suitable for hearing and resolution on the
basis of a stipulated record.  The parties agreed and established
a briefing schedule.  
  The stipulated record was filed with the Board, with
exhibits, on December 20, 2010.  The parties' briefs were
received on January 5, 2011, and reply briefs were received by
January 18, 2011.  Throughout this proceeding, the Union was
represented by Daniel R. Felkel, Esq., and the City was
represented by Linda D. McGill, Esq.  The Board met on 
February 7, 2011, to consider the arguments and deliberate on
this matter.

[end of page 1]                 

     The Maine Employees United/Saco Public Works Association/
Saco Workers Alliance is the bargaining agent for various
employees in the public works bargaining unit at the City of
Saco.  The Association is the bargaining agent within the meaning
of 26 M.R.S.A. 962(2), and the City of Saco is the public
employer within the meaning of 26 M.R.S.A.  962(7).  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)(A)-(C). 

                         STIPULATED FACTS
     1.     Until April 26, 2010, AFSCME was the exclusive
     bargaining representative for a unit of employees in the
     Saco Public Works Department (the "Unit").  AFSCME and the
     City were parties to a collective bargaining agreement
     covering the Unit which commenced on July 1, 2006 and
     expired on June 30, 2009.  (Exhibit 1).

     2.     On March 11, 2010, the Saco Public Works Association/
     Saco Workers Alliance, (the "Association") through James
     Beaulieu/Maine Employees United, LLC, filed a MLRB Form 2A
     Decertification/Bargaining Election Petition with the Maine
     Labor Relations Board relative to the Unit and AFSCME.

     3.     On April 26, 2010, in an election supervised by the
     Maine Labor Relations Board, the Unit decertified AFSCME as
     the bargaining agent.

     4.     On April 26, 2010, in the same election, the Unit
     elected the Association as its new bargaining agent.
     5.     On May 14, 2010, the Association filed with the State
     of Maine its Articles of Incorporation, and on May 20, 2010
     received confirmation of its filing and existence from the
     Maine Secretary of State's office. 
     6.     The City and the Association have been and are
     negotiating a collective bargaining agreement to cover the
     Unit, but no agreement has been concluded.
[end of page 2]

  7.   In early May 2010, the Association distributed
  dues deduction cards to all employees in the Unit. 

     8.     On May 14, 2010, the Association, through Officers Kyle
     Coreau and Terence Garrity, presented Fran Beaulieu, senior
     payroll accountant for the City of Saco, authorizations for
     payroll deduction per union dues cards from 19 of the
     employees in the Unit.  Mr. Coreau and Mr. Garrity requested
     that the City of Saco begin withholding dues for those
     employees to be forwarded to the Association.  (Exhibit 2). 

     9.     On May 14, 2010, the City of Saco posted a memo at the
     Public Works Garage to all Public Works Employees from its
     Personnel Office - Tammy Lambert, Personnel Officer -
     regarding public works dues withholding.  The Memo stated: 
     "At this time there is no contract between the City and the
     Saco Public Works Association.  The City will not implement
     ANY withholding for dues - full or fair share amounts.  This
     is NOT a condition required for employment with the City of
     Saco.  If you have any questions or concerns please contact
     the personnel office at 710-5003.  Thank you."  (Exhibit 3).

     10.    On May 26, 2010, Richard Michaud, City Administrator
     for the City of Saco received correspondence from the
     Association notifying him and the City that the Maine
     Employees United, LLC business agent, James H. Beaulieu,
     would represent the Unit in all matters.  Mr. Michaud was
     further notified of the Unit Officers/Board of Directors. 
     (Exhibit 4).

     11.    On June 8, 2010, in a letter from the Saco Workers
     Alliance Board of Directors and Executive Board to Richard
     Michaud and the City of Saco, the Association formally
     requested that the City direct senior payroll accountant
     Fran Beaulieu to withhold dues for all employees covered by
     the Saco Public Works/Parks and Rec CBA.  (Exhibit 5).

     12.    Also on June 8, 2010, the Association requested that in
     addition to withholding and forwarding full dues from those
     employees who voluntarily signed deduction forms, the City
     withhold and forward "fair share" from all others in the

[end of page 3]

     13.    Also on or about June 8, 2010, the Association provided
     Mr. Michaud/the City with a copy of its State Authorized
     Articles of Incorporation, signed dues cards, the Unit's
     Credit Union name, its Tax identification number, and
     checking account routing number.

     14.    On June 9, 2010, the City of Saco advised the
     Association and its business agent James H. Beaulieu that it
     would not withhold and forward dues deductions nor deduct
     fair share from the Unit members in the absence of an
     agreement between the Association and the City which
     provided for such withholding and forwarding. 

     15.    On July 19, 2010, the City formally stated its position
     on the issue of withholding the dues/fair share in a letter
     to the Unit's representative.  (Exhibit 6).

     16.    The City of Saco continues to recognize status quo
     conditions of employment for employees in the Unit such as
     Boot Allowance, Pay Step Increases, Vacation accrual
     increases and others.
  The exhibits submitted by the parties were the 2006-2009
Collective Bargaining Agreement between the City of Saco and
AFSCME for the Public Works Department, 19 signed dues deduction
authorization forms, and the 4 memos referred to above in
stipulations #9, 10, 11 and 14. 

  The issue in this case is whether the City of Saco made an
unlawful unilateral change in a mandatory subject of bargaining
when, after the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement
that had been entered into with the predecessor union, the City
ceased deducting union dues and service fees from the paychecks
of unit employees and refused to honor new dues checkoff author-
izations.  The Complainant, the successor union certified by the
MLRB after the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement,
argues that dues checkoff is a mandatory subject of bargaining 

[end of page 4]

and that any change in the status quo without bargaining is
prohibited.  The City argues that the legal obligation to deduct
dues expired when the collective bargaining agreement expired,
and that, in any event, the obligation would not extend to a
union that was not a party to the expired agreement. 
  The specific question of an employer's obligation to
continue dues deduction after the expiration of a collective
bargaining agreement has never been addressed by this Board.  The
underlying principles, however, are well-established.  There is
no dispute that dues deduction is a mandatory subject of
bargaining under Maine's collective bargaining statutes, as the
convenience of regular dues deductions is a benefit to employees.
In addition, when a dues checkoff is tied to a union security
provision, it is a condition of employment.  See, e.g., City of
Bangor v. Bangor Fire Fighters Association, No. 83-06 at 18- 19
(Aug. 2, 1983) citing Council 74, AFSCME v. City of Bangor, MLRB
No. 80-50 at 5 (Sept. 22, 1980)(holding that "fair share"
proposals, like other union security provisions, are mandatory
subjects of bargaining) and Easton Teachers Assoc. v. Easton
School Committee, No. 79-14 (March 13, 1979)(listing dues
checkoff as one of many mandatory subjects that the employer
changed unilaterally).  Dues checkoff provisions are also a
mandatory subject of bargaining under the National Labor
Relations Act.  See, Bethlehem Steel, 136 NLRB 1500, 1502 (1962),
citing, e.g., United States Gypsum, 94 NLRB 112, 113, fn. 7
(1951).  There is also no dispute that under both Maine law and
federal law a unilateral change in a mandatory subject of
bargaining while negotiations are underway is considered a
refusal to bargain.  See, e.g., Lane v. Board of Directors of
MSAD No. 8, 447 A.2d 806, 809-10 (Me. 1982), Easton Teachers
Association v. Easton School Committee, MLRB No. 79-14 at 3-5
(March 13, 1979), and NLRB v. Katz, 369 U.S. 736, 742-743 (1962). 

[end of page 5]

Finally, there is no dispute that since the Bethlehem Steel
decision in 1962, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and
the federal courts have interpreted the National Labor Relations
Act to create an exception to the unilateral change prohibition
for union security and dues checkoff provisions.  See Bethlehem
Steel, 136 NLRB 1500, 1502 (1962).[fn]1  That exception enables
employers to cease implementing these provisions after the
expiration of the collective bargaining agreement.  The question
before this Board is whether it is appropriate to create a
comparable dues-checkoff exception to the prohibition against
making unilateral changes after the expiration of the collective
bargaining agreement.      
  The Maine Labor Relations Board and the Law Court often turn
to the federal courts' construction of the National Labor
Relations Act for guidance when interpreting comparable sections
of Maine's collective bargaining statutes.  State of Maine and
Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages v. MLRB and MSEA, 413 A.2d 510 (Me.
1980), affirming, MLRB No. 78-23.  In establishing the principle
that making a unilateral change in a mandatory subject of
bargaining is a violation of Maine law, the Board considered
persuasive the interpretation of the analogous provisions of the
federal law by the NLRB and the federal courts.  Lane v. Board of
Directors of MSAD No. 8, 447 A.2d 806, 809-10 (Me. 1982), citing
NLRB v. Katz, 369 U.S. 736, 743 (1962).  The Board recently
summarized this prohibition against unilateral changes with the
  1  As the Complainant points out, there is currently a rift in
the NLRB regarding the validity of this exception, but the NLRB has
not overturned the exception.  See Hacienda Hotel Inc., 331 NLRB 665
(July 7, 2000)(Hacienda I) and Hacienda Hotel Inc., 355 NLRB 1 (August
27, 2010)(Hacienda III).  The parties do not dispute, however, that
the exception has been applied repeatedly since the NLRB's Bethlehem
Steel decision in 1962, as noted in Hacienda I at 666-67.

[end of page 6]       
  The statutory duty to bargain requires the employer and
  the bargaining agent "to confer and negotiate in good
  faith with respect to wages, hours, working conditions
  and contract grievance arbitration."  26 M.R.S.A.
  965(1)(C).  It is a well-established principle of
  labor law that the duty to bargain includes a
  prohibition against making unilateral changes in a
  mandatory subject of bargaining, as a unilateral change
  is essentially a refusal to bargain.  See, e.g.,
  Teamsters v. Town of Jay, No. 80-02 at 3 (Dec. 26,
  1980) (citing NLRB v. Katz, 369 U.S. 736, 743 (1962)),
  and Lane v. Board of Directors of MSAD No. 8, 447 A.2d  
  806, 809-10 (Me. 1982).  The prohibition against making
  unilateral changes means that the parties must maintain
  the status quo following the expiration of a contract. 
  Univ. of Maine System v. COLT, 659 A.2d 842, 843 (May,
  1995) citing Lane v. MSAD No. 8, 447 A.2d at 810.  In
  cases involving allegations of unilateral changes after
  the expiration of an agreement, the terms of the
  expired agreement are evidence of the status quo that
  must be maintained. See, e.g., MSEA v. School Committee
  of City of Lewiston, No. 90-12 (Aug. 21, 1990) at 16.

MSEA v. Lewiston School Dept., No. 09-05 at 6-7 (Jan. 15, 2009),
aff'd AP-09-001, Androscoggin Sup. Court, Delahanty, J.(Oct. 7,
  With respect to making a unilateral change in dues checkoff
after the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, the
City urges this Board to consider the long-standing position of
the NLRB in our analysis.  In 1962, the NLRB held in Bethlehem
Steel that an employer is not obligated to continue a union
security provision[fn]2 or dues checkoff after the expiration of
the collective bargaining agreement because the specific language
of 8(a)(3) authorizing such a provision makes it a contractual
obligation.  Bethlehem Steel, 136 NLRB 1500, 1502, remanded on 
  2  For reasons unrelated to Bethlehem Steel, the law has evolved
that a 8(a)(3) union security agreement can not require full
membership but may require only that employees pay the fees and dues
necessary to support the union activities germane to collective
bargaining. See Marquez v. Screen Actors Guild, Inc., 525 U.S. 33
(1998) and cases cited therein.  

[end of page 7]

other grounds sub nom. Marine & Shipbuilding Workers v. NLRB, 320
F.2d 615 (3d. Cir. 1963).  The NLRB explained, 

  . . . The acquisition and maintenance of union
  membership cannot be made a condition of employment
  except under a contract which conforms with the proviso
  to Section 8(a)(3). . . However, upon the termination
  of a union-security contract, the union-security
  provisions become inoperative and no justification
  remains for either party to the contract thereafter to
  impose union security requirements. . .

       Similar considerations prevail with respect to
  Respondent's refusal to continue to check off dues
  after the end of the contracts.  The check off
  provisions in Respondent's contracts with the Union
  implemented the union-security provisions.  The Union's
  right to such checkoffs in its favor, like its right to
  the imposition of union security, was created by the
  contracts and became a contractual right that continued
  to exist so long as the contracts remained in force.

Bethlehem Steel, 136 NLRB at 1502.  The proviso to 8(a)(3)
allows an employer to make a union security agreement with a
union that requires union membership as a condition of employment
if certain standards are met.  The standards require that the
agreement may not impose the membership requirement in the first
30 days of employment or the effective date of the agreement,
whichever is later, and that the union is the representative of
the employees in accordance with the law and is not an employer-
dominated union.  In addition, the employer cannot make such an
agreement if within the past year the employees have voted in an
NLRB-conducted election under 9(e) to rescind their
authorization for a union security agreement.[fn]3
  3  The 8(a)(3) proviso also states that the employer is not
allowed to enforce a union security agreement if the employer has
reasonable grounds for believing that membership was denied or
terminated for any reason other than failure to pay dues. 
[end of page 8]

  Unlike the federal law, there is nothing in the Municipal
Public Employee Labor Relations Law stating or even suggesting
that an employer's obligation to deduct union dues expires upon
the expiration of the agreement establishing that obligation. 
The National Labor Relations Board's interpretation of the law it
enforces is influenced by three statutory provisions that, in
effect, create a more regulated context than exists in Maine. 
The first, discussed above, is the 8(a)(3) proviso.  The second
is 302(C)(4) of the Taft-Hartley Act, which authorizes dues
checkoff agreements if written authorization is received from the
employee and the employee is allowed to revoke it during an
annual escape period or after the expiration date "of the
applicable collective bargaining agreement."  29 U.S.C.
186(C)(4).  The third provision is the 9(e) union security
deauthorization election previously mentioned. 29 U.S.C. 159(e).
  Maine has nothing comparable to these three federal
statutory provisions.  The City contends that Maine's statute
prohibiting "unfair agreements" requires that a dues checkoff
obligation be part of a collective bargaining agreement, thereby
creating a contractual requirement similar to Bethlehem Steel. 
The City's reliance on 26 M.R.S.A.  629(4)(A) in support of its
position, however, is over-broad.  That subsection states:
  4.  Deduction of service fees.  Public employers may
  deduct service fees owed by an employee to a collective
  bargaining agent from the employee's pay, without
  signed authorization from the employee, and remit those
  fees to the bargaining agent, as long as:

       A. The fee obligation arises from a lawfully
       executed and implemented collective bargaining
       agreement; and

       B. In the event a fee payor owes any arrears on
       the payor's fee obligations, the deduction
       authorized under this subsection may include an
       installment on a payment plan to reimburse all 

[end of page 9]

       arrears, but may not exceed in each pay period 10%
       of the gross pay owed.

26 M.R.S.A. 629, sub-4 (2007).  This provision has no bearing
on dues deductions, it simply permits the deduction of union
service fees as long as the fee obligation arises from a lawfully
executed and implemented collective bargaining agreement.  
  Similarly, the City goes too far in saying that Maine's wage
laws, specifically 629[fn]4, "prohibit employers from deducting
any amounts from an employee's wages", including union dues. 
Section 629 prohibits payroll deductions that are returned to the
employer "for any reason other than for the payment of a loan,
debt or advance" or insurance premiums, not where the funds are
remitted to a different entity, such as a union.  Honoring an
individual employee's written authorization for union dues
deduction is no more illegal than honoring an employee's
authorization for a payroll deduction for the United Way.  See
Beckwith v. United Parcel Service, 889 F.2d 344, 33 (1st. Cir.
1989) (noting that 629(1) relates to either working without
compensation or when wages are "returned to the employer".)
  After comparing the federal statutory basis for excluding
dues checkoff provisions from the unilateral change rule with the
absence of any similar statutory language in the Maine statutes,
we conclude that it is inappropriate to be guided by the
decisions of the NLRB and federal courts on this matter.  The
statutes are simply not analogous.  See State and Bureau of
Alcoholic Beverages v. MLRB and MSEA, 413 A.2d 510 at 514 (Me.
1980)(Where statutes are analogous, interpretation of National
Labor Relations Act by federal courts can be "persuasive".)  We 
  4  Section 629 (entitled "Unfair agreements"), is part of Title
26, Chapter 7 ("Employment Practices"), Subchapter 2 ("Wages and
Medium of Payment").

[end of page 10]

hold that under Maine law, the employer's obligation to make dues
deductions does not automatically expire with the expiration of
the collective bargaining agreement that established that
obligation.  Dues checkoff and union service fees should be
treated like any other mandatory subject of bargaining:  If the
allegation is that a unilateral change was made after the
expiration of an agreement, the terms of the expired agreement
are evidence of the status quo that must be maintained. See,
e.g., MSEA v. Lewiston School Dept., No. 09-05 at 6-7.
  Furthermore, we note that there are no MLRB decisions that
support the City's position that the expiration of the collective
bargaining agreement terminates the obligation to continue dues
checkoff.  The one decision this Board has issued dealing with
dues checkoff provisions addressed the revocation of checkoff
authorizations when a decertification election was pending. 
Teamsters Local Union No. 48 v. Biddeford Police Department, No.
78-31 (March 27, 1979).  The Board looked at the terms of the
unexpired collective bargaining agreement to determine whether
the authorizations were validly revoked.  The Board noted, "when
employees validly revoke their dues checkoff authorizations, a
public employer who continues deducting dues violates Section
964(1)(A)."  Id. at 5 (concluding that the attempted revocations
were not valid).  The Board also noted that even though there is
no statutory language comparable to the federal law regarding
checkoff authorizations[fn]5, "[W]e do agree . . . that
employees may revoke their checkoff authorizations at will when
there is no collective bargaining agreement in effect."  Id. at
7.  The Board noted that the employer was correct to continue the
dues deductions in accordance with the collective bargaining
agreement until the union was decertified. Id.  
  5  That is, 302(C)(4) of the Taft-Hartley Act.

[end of page 11]

  In the case at hand, the analysis of the limits and
parameters of the status quo doctrine with respect to payroll
deduction of both the dues deduction and the "fair share
fee"[fn]6 must begin with the language of the provisions of the
collective bargaining agreement that initially established the
obligation.  Article 3 Union Security and Article 4 of the
bargaining agreement between the City and AFSCME, Council 93
  Article 3 - UNION SECURITY
  A. All employees shall have the right to join the
  Union, except as otherwise provided herein, or refrain
  from doing so.  No employee shall be favored or
  discriminated against by the City or the Union because
  of his/her membership in the Union.  The Union
  recognizes its responsibilities as the bargaining agent
  and agrees to represent all employees in the bargaining
  unit without discrimination, interference, restraint,
  or coercion.

  Those employees who choose not to join the Union must,
  as a condition of continuing employment, sign a written
  payroll authorization deduction in the amount of eight-
  five (sic)(85%) percent of the present cost of Union
  dues to defray the costs of Agreement Administration.
  The Union shall have the exclusive right to dues
  deductions for employees included within the applicable
  bargaining unit.  The City agrees to deduct the Union's
  weekly membership dues, fair share fees, and benefit
  premiums from the pay of those employees who
  individually request in writing that such deductions be
  made.  The amounts to be deducted shall be certified to
  the City by Council No. 93, and the aggregate
  deductions of all employees shall be submitted together
  with a list of employees having deductions made and the
  total amounts deducted for each of those employees to
  the Union by the fifteenth (15th) day of the succeeding
  month, after such deductions are made.  The amounted
  deducted for the Union dues and fair share fees shall 
  6  The service fees are referred to as "fair share fees" in the
complaint and in Article 3 of the expired agreement.

[end of page 12]

  be submitted in one (1) check and the amount deducted
  for benefit premiums shall be submitted by a separate
  check along with separate lists showing the amount
  deducted in each category.

  The written authorization for payroll deduction of
  Union membership dues shall be irrevocable during the
  term of this Agreement, except that an employee may
  revoke authorization, effective upon the expiration
  date of this Agreement, provided the employee notifies
  the City and Council 93, in writing, at least thirty
  (30) days but not more than sixty (60) days prior to
  the expiration of this Agreement.

  The authorization for deduction of benefit fund
  contributions may be stopped at any time provided the
  employee submits in writing to the City and the Union a
  sixty (60) day notice of such intent.

  At the outset, there is no dispute that payroll deduction
for union dues and for "fair share" fees (union service fees)
have equal status as mandatory subjects of bargaining.[fn]7  The
record of stipulation shows that the respondent steadfastly
refuses to maintain the status quo on this issue by continuing
either of these types of payroll deductions while bargaining for
a successor agreement.  The obligation to deduct union service
fees arose under a lawfully executed collective bargaining
agreement, as required by 26 M.R.S.A. 629(4), and the City's
obligation to continue to fully respect and honor that provision
during good faith negotiations arises by operation of the status
quo doctrine.  The collective bargaining agreement also serves as
evidence of the status quo that must be maintained with respect
to the dues deduction obligation.  The provisions of the contract
do not create an exception to the status quo doctrine with 
  7  We note that despite the language of Art. 3(B) of the
contract, 26 MRSA 964(1)(H) now prohibits an employer from
discharging or disciplining an employee for failure to pay dues or
fees. P.L. 2007, ch. 415. That change does not affect the status of
service fees as a mandatory subject of bargaining which may not be
changed unilaterally.

[end of page 13]

respect to the continuation of the checkoff obligation for either
union dues or union security fees.  The requirements of 26
M.R.S.A. 629(4) have been met and the obligation to maintain the
status quo continues for both the union service fee and the dues
  As a final matter, the City argues that, "with AFSCME's
decertification, the collective bargaining agreement between the
City and AFSCME ceased to have any legal force and effect." Brief
at 6.  This argument is just another way of saying that the dues
checkoff obligation expires with the expiration of the collective
bargaining agreement, which is not the proper analysis.  The
legal obligation is to maintain the status quo, and the status
quo exists independent of who the bargaining agent was at the
time the dues checkoff provision was negotiated.  We note that
the obligation to maintain the status quo does not require either
party to adopt any aspect of the status quo as part of their
successor agreement.  The duty to bargain established in
965(1)(C) states explicitly "neither party may compelled to
agree to a proposal or be required to make a concession."
  In summary, Maine's law is well established that dues
checkoff is a mandatory subject of bargaining.  In the case
before us, the expired collective bargaining agreement required
the City to deduct union dues or fair share fees from employees
and remit them to the Union.  There is no suggestion in the
record that this provision was ignored by either party while the
contract was in effect.  Consequently, the expired collective
bargaining agreement is evidence of the status quo that the City
is obligated to maintain while the parties are negotiating a new
collective bargaining agreement.  The fact that the agreement was 
  8  There do not appear to be any issues of enforcing the service
fee payment obligations during negotiations.

[end of page 14]

made with a different union is irrelevant as the obligation is
not a contractual obligation but one based on the duty to bargain
and the correlative duty to maintain the status quo.  
  We hold that the City was obligated to maintain the status
quo by continuing dues deductions and deduction of union service
fees and its failure to do so constitutes a refusal to bargain in
violation of 964(1)(E).  We also conclude that the City's
conduct constitutes interference, restraint and coercion in
violation of 964(1)(A), independent of a violation of the duty
to bargain, as an unlawful unilateral change interferes with the
free exercise of the right of employees to engage in collective
bargaining.  See, e.g., Teamsters v. Aroostook County Sheriff's
Dept., No. 92-28 at 21 (Nov. 5, 1992); Lane v. M.S.A.D. No. 8,
447 A.2d at 810.  
  Having concluded that the City of Saco has engaged in a
prohibited practice, we are directed by 968(5)(C) to order that
party "to cease and desist from such prohibited practice and to
take such affirmative action, . . . as will effectuate the
policies of this chapter."  In most situations, a remedial order
should seek to restore the situation, as nearly as possible, to
that which would have existed, but for the prohibited practice. 
Caribou School Dept. v. Caribou Teachers Association, 402 A.2d 
1279, 1284 (Me. 1979).  The only remedy we can order in this case
is one for prospective relief.[fn]9  We order the City of Saco
to cease and desist in its refusal to honor the employees' dues
deduction authorizations and to commence deducting the
Association dues and the fair share fees and remitting the funds 
  9  When a party is found to have violated established law, it is
customary for this Board to order the party to post a notice issued by
the Board describing the violation.  We do not consider a notice to be
appropriate in this case, as there was no Board precedent and the
City's reliance on federal law was not unreasonable.

[end of page 15]

to the Association.  The City shall  comply with this order as
long as the duty to maintain the status quo continues.  

     On the basis of the foregoing findings of facts 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, it is hereby ORDERED:

Respondent City of Saco and its representatives and agents shall:

  1.  Cease and desist in the refusal to honor the City
  of Saco Public Works Bargaining Unit employees' written
  checkoff authorizations and to commence deducting the
  Saco Public Works Association/Saco Workers Alliance
  dues and fair share fees and remitting them to the

  2.  Continue to comply with this order as long as the
  duty to maintain the status quo continues.

Dated at Augusta, Maine, this 29th day of March, 2011.



The parties are advised of their right pursuant to 26 M.R.S.A. §968(5)(F) (Supp. 2009) to seek a review of this decision and order by the Superior Court. To initiate such a review, an appealing party must file a complaint with the Superior Court within fifteen (15) days of the date of issuance of this decision and order, and otherwise comply with the requirements of Rule 80(C) of the Rules of Civil Procedure.


Peter T. Dawson

Karl Dornish, Jr.
Employer Representative

Carol B. Gilmore
Employee Representative

[end of page 16]