Minot Education Assoc. v. Minot School Committee, No. 96-27; aff'd sub nom. 
Minot School Committee v. MLRB and Minot Education Assoc., AP-97-52;
Law Court affirmed in part, modified in part 1998 ME 211, Aug. 14, 1998.

                                     Case No. 96-27
                                     Issued:  June 30, 1997
                Complainant, )
             v.              )             DECISION AND ORDER
                Respondent.  )

     The question presented in this prohibited practice case is
whether the Minot School Committee (hereinafter "the Committee")
violated 26 M.R.S.A.  964(1)(E), as elaborated in Sections 965
(1)(C) & (E) and 965(4), by:  engaging in surface bargaining
throughout contract negotiations; failing to participate in good
faith in impasse resolution procedures; and unlawfully imple-
menting its last, best offer after the issuance of an arbitration

     We conclude that the Minot School Committee failed to nego-
tiate in good faith and will, therefore, fashion an appropriate
remedy to redress this violation and effectuate the policies of
the Municipal Public Employees Labor Relations Law ("the Act").
26 M.R.S.A. ch. 9-A.

     This complaint was filed by the Minot Education Association
("the Association") on June 13, 1996, amended on August 27, 1996,
and further amended at the hearing on January 23, 1997.  A pre-
hearing conference was conducted by Board Chair Peter T. Dawson
on September 26, 1996.  The parties entered into several
stipulations at the conference which appear in the Prehearing
Conference Memorandum and Order issued on October 2, 1996; the
Memorandum and order is incorporated herein and made a part of
this Decision and order.


     An evidentiary hearing was conducted on January 23, 1997, by
Chair Dawson, Employee Representative Gwendolyn Gatcomb, and
Employer Representative Edwin S. Hamm.  The Association was
represented by J. Donald Belleville, Maine Education Association
UniServ Director.  The Committee was represented by Daniel C.
Stockford, Esq.  The parties were provided full opportunity to
examine and cross-examine witnesses, introduce documentary
evidence and make argument.  Both parties filed post-hearing
briefs which have been considered by the Board.


     The jurisdiction of the Board to hear this case and to issue
a decision and order lies in 26 M.R.S.A.  968(5)(C) (1988),
Neither party has raised an objection to the Board's jurisdiction.

                         FINDINGS OF FACT

     Upon review of the entire record the Maine Labor Relations
Board finds the following facts:

     1.  The Minot Education Association is a "bargaining agent"
and the Minot School Committee is a "public employer," as these
terms are defined in the Act, 26 M.R.S.A.  962(2) and (7),
respectively, for a bargaining unit consisting of teachers.

     2.  At the time of the filing of this complaint the parties
had been without a collective bargaining agreement for
approximately one year.  The expired contract was a one-year
contract covering the 1994-1995 school year.

     3.  The Association and the Committee began negotiations for
a successor contract in December, 1994.  Karen Nichols (chief
negotiator), Suzanne Reny and Sandra Ferland, all teachers at the
Minot Consolidated School, were the negotiators for the
Association.  The Committee's negotiating team originally
included the superintendent of School Union 29, Robert Wall, and
two School Committee members, George Buker (chief negotiator) and
Jackie Rybeck.  Ms. Rybeck was replaced in March, 1996, by Becky


Gould, a newly-appointed member of the School Committee.

     4.  The parties did not establish ground rules and, with the
exception of one tentative agreement reached early on in the
process, the parties failed to reach any tentative agreements.
Ms. Gould testified that members of the Committee's negotiating
team were given authority to make tentative agreements at the
bargaining table.  Ms. Nichols testified that her negotiating
team was never informed as to the authority of the Committee's
team to reach tentative agreements. Ms. Nichols states:

     No.  They never told us that they could--we never made
     decisions at the table.  Nothing was ever decided at
     the table.  It was always taken back to the School
     Committee and the five made a decision and they brought
     them in [to negotiation sessions].  They were
     messengers between the school board and us.

     5.  The Committee presented its first proposal in January,
1995.  It is unclear from the record whether the Committee's
proposal addressed anything other than salary.  The Committee's
proposal was for a one-year contract and it offered $23,052 for
salary increases.  The Association's opening position proposed
salary increases totalling approximately $59,000.

     6.  The Committee presented a second proposal in February,
1995, for a two-year contract offering $18,435 in the first year
and $15,437 in the second year; shortly thereafter it went back
to its original offer of a one-year contract for $23,052.  The
Association countered with an offer of approximately $35,000.

     7.  The Association made proposals on "language" issues
during negotiation sessions held in March, 1995.  The Committee's
team did not explain their objections to the Association's
proposals or offer "language" counter-proposals.  Neither party
had budged on salary.

     8.  In April, 1995, the Association requested the Maine
Labor Relations Board to provide mediation services.  During the


course of several mediation sessions which were conducted through
August, 1995, the following issues were addressed, none of which
were  resolved:

     - notification for ensuing year;
     - just cause provision;
     - bereavement leave;
     - sick leave;
     - family medical leave;
     - retirement benefits;
     - health insurance;
     - salary;
     - contract duration.

     9.  The parties exchanged salary proposals during August,
September and October, 1995.

    10.  In November, 1995, the Association filed a request for
fact-finding and a fact-finding hearing was conducted on
December 11, 1995.  The issues presented at fact-finding and the
positions taken by the parties were identical to those presented
in mediation.

    11.  After the close of the fact-finding hearing, the
Association's chief negotiator approached the Committee's
negotiating team, at the suggestion of the employee repre-
sentative on the fact-finding panel, and attempted to discuss
resolution of an issue.  Ms. Nichols asked if the Committee's
team could agree to increase bereavement leave from three to five
days.  The Committee's team caucused and returned with the
response that they were not able to agree to anything then and

    12.  The fact-finding report was issued on January 8, 1996,
with  the following recommendations:

     - notification for ensuing year (adopted Committee's
     - just cause provision (adopted Committee's position);
     - bereavement leave (recommended compromise);
     - sick leave (recommended compromise).
     - family medical leave (adopted Committee's position);


     - retirement benefits (adopted Committee's position);
     - health insurance (recommended compromise);
     - salary (recommended compromise);
     - contract duration (recommended compromise).

    13.  The Association notified the Committee that its
membership would accept all of the recommendations in the fact-
finding report.  In a session held in February, 1996, the
Committee proposed a salary scale different from that recommended
by the fact-finding panel; it made no proposal on "language"
issues.  The Committee's offer reduced the off-scale amounts by
$100 and indicated that the scale was "retro - to the 7th
payroll."  The superintendent testified that the intent was to
make the proposed pay scale effective on the 7th payroll check of
the 1995-1996 school year.

    14.  The Association's team believed that "retro - to the 7th
payroll" meant the Committee's proposed pay scale would take
effect on the date the contract was ratified and apply to the
seven (7) paychecks immediately preceding ratification.  Their
belief was fortified by comments made by Committee members in
February, and again in March, that the longer the Association
waited to accept the offer, the less money they would have

    15.  A negotiation session was held on March 4, 1996.  It is
unclear from the record whether the parties were presenting
proposals different from those discussed in February.  This was
Ms. Gould's first session as a member of the Committee's
negotiating team so some time was spent bringing her up-to-date
on the negotiations.  At this session Ms. Gould stated that the
Association should have settled before and that the Committee was
really only required to give each teacher a $500 raise.'

     1 Ms.  Gould testified that she was given a manual when she became
a School Committee member and it was her understanding from the manual
that the Committee was obligated by state law to offer a raise of at
least $500 for each teacher.  Ms. Gould did not explain her rationale
for mentioning this at this negotiation session, except to say that it


Mr. Buker stated that the Committee would make no further offers
and the longer the Association waited the smaller the "retro"
check would be.  It was also mentioned that the costs of
mediation and arbitration would be coming directly from the
teachers' salary line of the budget.

    16.  The parties jointly filed for arbitration in March, 1996.

    17.  At the May 18, 1996, Minot town meeting, there was much
discussion about the school budget and the failure of the parties
to ratify a contract.  After numerous motions were made to
appropriate differing amounts for the school budget, including
two by Becky Gould, the residents of Minot voted to appropriate
$46,000 more than the School Committee's recommended budget.  The
monies were earmarked:  $20,000 to settle the contract with the
teachers, and $26,000 to hire an additional teacher.

    18.  On May 20, 1996, George Buker, the Committee's chief
negotiator, sent the following letter to Karen Nichols:

     At this time, the Minot School Committee requests that the
     Minot Teacher Association submit to our negotiators the

          1.  A fully articulated contract proposal that
              the members of the association will support
              for ratification.
          2.  A written request for a meeting to review
              the proposal.

     Following our meeting with you, we will bring that proposal
     to the full school committee for discussion.  A written
     response will be given to you following that process.

    19.  The Association prepared the complete contract proposal
requested by the School Committee.  The proposal adopted the
"language" recommendations in the fact-finding report, and
factored in the $20,000 raised at the town meeting to meet salary
demands.  A negotiation session was held on May 24, 1996.

was not presented as a proposal.


Members of both negotiating teams worked from budget sheets
provided by the Committee's team to discuss the salary scale and,
according to Mr. Buker, the parties "made some corrections on
wording and things . . . dates that were mistakes in the thing."

    20.  According to Ms. Nichols, this May 24 session was:

     . . . the most productive meeting we had ever had. We
     got budget sheets out and we talked numbers and we were
     figuring things from both sides of the table.  And
     that's the day we got right down to, so, if we hire a
     new teacher and we use this 20,000 for teachers' raises
     at the recommendation of the fact-finding report, we
     are $133 away from each other . . . I really thought we
     were just very, very close to settling . . . .

Ms. Nichols jokingly suggested to Mr. Buker that he should take
$133 out of his own pocket to settle the contract.  Toward the
end of the session, Ms. Nichols asked Mr. Buker whether he
thought they had a deal.  Mr. Buker refused to give an opinion
about the likelihood of a deal; he said he would have to get back
to the full committee and  had no idea whether the proposal would
be acceptable to the full Committee.

    21.  On May 29, 1996, George Buker sent the following letter
to Karen Nichols:

          Upon review of the Minot Education Association
     contract proposal submitted to School Committee
     Negotiators on Friday, May 24, 1996, the School
     Committee requested that I write this reply.

          The Minot School Committee agrees with many
     provisions submitted.  However, there are aspects of
     the proposal that are not acceptable.

          Since the proposal was submitted for a "full
     package" decision, the School Committee cannot accept
     it as a package.  We remain willing to meet with you at
     any time to continue efforts to come to a final

          Please send me a written request for a meeting if
     you wish to get back together.


    22.  At about this time the School Committee voted to accept
the $46,000 upward adjustment of the school budget raised at the
May 18 town meeting, rather than ask for reconsideration of this

    23.  At the June 3, 1996, Minot town meeting, Mr. Buker
presented a petition he had drafted which requested, among other
things, that a special town meeting be held:

     to see if the Town wishes to rescind its vote on
     Article #19 of the May 18, 1996 Town Meeting and
     authorize the School Committee to expend $628,773 from
     the state - local allocation-and other revenue for
     Regular Program Elementary Instruction.

The effect of this article, if passed, would be to return the
additional $46,000 appropriated to the school budget at the
May 18 town meeting.  Four of the five members of the Minot
School Committee, including Mr. Buker and Ms. Gould, signed this

    24.  The Association requested a meeting as a result of the
letter mentioned in #21 above, and the parties met on June 5,
1996.  At this meeting, the Committee's negotiating team refused
to discuss particulars; it did not indicate which parts of the
Association's May 24 proposal were acceptable, nor did it
specifically indicate items which were unacceptable.  The
Association's team was not informed as to which proposal was
presented to the full Committee (their original one, or the one
which resulted from the May 24 negotiation session where
Ms. Nichols believed the parties were $133 apart) . The Committee
only indicated that they were not authorized to accept the
complete package.  Mr. Buker stated he was not to give out too
much information since the parties were headed to arbitration.
This was the last negotiation session scheduled to be held prior
to arbitration and, despite the Association's repeated attempts
to negotiate, nothing was accomplished at this meeting.

    25.  An arbitration hearing was conducted on June 12, 1996.


The parties informed the panel of the May 18 appropriation to the
school budget and Buker's June 3 petition to schedule a special
town meeting to rescind this appropriation.

    26.  At about this time, a counter-petition was circulated
throughout the town of Minot which reads:

     We the citizens of the Town of Minot support the
     May 18, 1996, Special Town Meeting vote on the K-8
     School Budget in the amount of $674,773.00.  Included
     in the approved school budget was authorization for
     $20,000 for teacher salaries and $26,000.00 for one
     additional teacher to the Minot School Staff.  We the
     citizens of the Town of Minot DO NOT support ANOTHER
     SPECIAL TOWN MEETING. (emphasis in the original)

    27.  The petitioned-for special town meeting was held on
June 18, 1996.  The original vote to appropriate $46,000
additional monies to the school budget was upheld and an
additional $3,400 was appropriated to cover the Committee's legal
fees incurred in negotiations.  This information was not
presented to the arbitration panel prior to the issuance of its
decision on July 12, 1996.

    28.  The arbitration decision and award adopts the
Committee's proposed salary scale.  The Committee's proposed
scale is the same one it had proposed in October, 1995, and at
fact-finding in December, 1995.  In addition, the arbitrators
adopted the recommendations of the fact-finding panel in the
first six issues listed in #12 above.

    29.  On July 22, 1996, the Committee submitted a proposal to
the Association which incorporated all of the recommendations in
the arbitration decision.  The Association responded that it
would not accept the salary scale proposed by the Committee and
recommended in the decision.

    30.  On August 5, 1996, the parties met again at which time
the Association presented a salary scale counter-proposal to the
Committee.  The Committee indicated that it would not accept the


counter-proposal but was prepared to agree to a contract that
fully incorporated the arbitration decision.

    31.  On August 6, 1996, the Committee notified the
Association in writing that it was prepared to implement the
arbitrators' findings and recommendations in full, and that the
recommendations in the decision represented the last, best
proposal of the Committee.  The Committee indicated that it was
prepared to meet again to attempt to settle the contract, even
though it appeared that the parties were "deadlocked."

    32.  On August 13, 1996, the parties met again.  The
Committee did not budge from its offer to implement the arbi-
tration decision in its entirety.  The Association indicated that
it rejected the offer as to salary and insurance, but was
interested in entering into a contract which would include every
article, as recommended by the arbitrators, except for those
related to salary and insurance.  The Committee did not agree to
enter into such a contract.

    33.  On August 20, 1996, the School Committee held a meeting
at which it voted to implement the recommendations of the panel
of arbitrators.  By letter dated August 21, 1996, the Committee
gave the Association written notice of the School Committee's
decision to implement.  This letter reads, in part:

     It is clear that the parties have reached an impasse.
     With no prospects for reaching an agreement as the new
     school year is about to begin, the School Committee
     reluctantly has voted to implement the arbitrators'
     decision effective as of September 1, 1996.  Consistent
     with the arbitrators' decision, the recommendations of
     the arbitrators will be implemented retroactive to
     September 1, 1995.


     The Association has charged the Committee with violations of
the duty to bargain in good faith.  The Association's original
complaint addresses the Committee's course of conduct prior to


interest arbitration and the two amendments address post-
arbitration conduct.[fn]2  Our decision focuses on the conduct of the
Committee prior to arbitration, between the months of February
and June, 1996.[fn]3

     The crux of the Association's complaint is that the
Committee engaged in surface bargaining, never intending to budge
from its salary proposal of October, 1995.  We agree with the
Association that the employer engaged in surface bargaining and,
even worse, took steps to avert a likely settlement of the

     We have delineated many times the factors relevant to a
determination of whether the parties have engaged in good faith

     Among such indicators of good faith bargaining are
     whether the parties have:  met and negotiated at
     reasonable times, observed the negotiating ground
     rules, offered counterproposals, made compromises,
     accepted the other party's positions, explained and
     provided justification for their own positions, reduced
     tentative agreements to writing, and participated in
     the dispute resolution procedures.

Bangor Firefighters Association v. Robert W. Farrar and City of

     2 We will not address an allegation raised for the first time in
the Association's brief, that the committee violated Section 964(1)(A)
by making statements which tend to interfere with the free exercise of
rights, although some of the alleged statements play a part in our
finding of bad faith bargaining.

     3 We admitted evidence pertaining to events which occurred prior
to the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of this
complaint "to shed light on the true character of matters occurring
within the limitations period."  See Teamsters Local 48 v. City of
Waterville, No. 80-14, slip op. at 2-3, 2 NPER 20-11017 (Me.L.R.B.
April 23, 1980).

     4 Although the Association's complaint alleges that the Committee
made a regressive proposal on March 4, 1996, and that the Committee's
proposals were "erratic generally becoming more regressive as
negotiations continued," it is not clear from the record that this was
the case.  In any event, we find that the Committee failed to
participate in any meaningful negotiations after February, 1996.


Bangor, No. 94-45, slip op. at 10-11 (Me.L.R.B. February 15,
1995) (quoting Auburn Firefighters Association v. Valente,
No. 87-19, slip op. at 10, 10 NPER ME-18017 (Me.L.R.B. Sept. 11,

     Surface bargaining is the antithesis of good faith
bargaining.  We have used this term to describe those instances
"when a party goes through the motions of collective bargaining
with no intention of reaching agreement on the matters under
discussion."  Teamsters Local Union No. 48 v. Town of Bar Harbor,
No. 82-35, slip op. at 11, 5 NPER 20-14004 (Me.L.R.B. November 2,
1982) (quoting MSAD No. 22 Board of Directors v. Tri-22 Teachers
Association, No. 82-33, slip op. at 6, 5 NPER 20-14003 (Me.L.R.B.
October 5, 1982)).

     In this case, the Minot School Committee went through the
motions of sending two of its members back and forth to meetings
with the Association's negotiating team.  What happened at those
meetings is a far cry from what we expect from parties engaged in
good faith collective bargaining.  While it is true that the duty
to negotiate does not require either party to make a concession
on any specific issue or to adopt any particular position, "the
parties are obliged to make some reasonable effort in some
direction to [compromise]. . . ,' if the [duty to bargain] is to
be read as imposing any substantial obligation at all."  Auburn
Firefighters, slip op. at 10-11 (quoting N.L.R.B. v. Reed &
Prince Mfg. Co., 205 F. 2d 131, 135 (1st Cir. 1953) (emphasis in
original), cert. denied, 346 U.S. 887 (1953)).

     Aside from the session on May 24, 1996, which we will
further discuss below, there is no evidence that the Committee's
team "bargained" at the table in the traditional sense of working
from a proposal, explaining a proposal,[fn]5 striking language,

     5 For example, it was obvious at the hearing that the Association
did not understand the "retro to 7th payroll" offer when it was made,
but easily understood it once Superintendent Wall provided his
explanation during the course of the hearing before us.  We believe


making compromises back and forth, and providing justification
for its position on various issues.  Not one decision was made at
the table beyond the single "t.a." reached early on, and this
failure to reach tentative agreements cannot be attributed to the
Association.  Either the Committee's negotiating team did not
have the authority to reach tentative agreements or they chose
not to exercise the authority they had.  In either event, their
failure to tentatively agree in these circumstances constitutes
bad faith bargaining.  Auburn Firefighters, slip op. at 11.

     The Association attempted to bargain and made concessions:
(i) it came down in its salary demand from $59,000 to $35,000
between December, 1994, and February, 1995; (ii) it proposed
language on issues other than salary and insurance in March,
1995, and received no reaction whatsoever to its proposals; (iii)
it tried to negotiate the single issue of bereavement leave on
the advice of a member of the fact-finding panel and was turned
away; (iv) it agreed to adopt every recommendation in the fact-
finding report, five of which were compromise proposals (the
other four being the proposals put forward by the Committee);
(v) at the Committee's request, it presented a complete contract
proposal only to have it rejected in its entirety, despite vague
references to agreement on some issues; (vi) it dickered over
this proposal and made changes to language at the suggestion of
the Committee's team; (vii) it expressed its willingness and
ability to enter into tentative agreements and encouraged the
Committee's team to do the same to no avail; (viii) it attempted
to negotiate at the June 5, 1996, meeting and was turned down.

     The May 24 session was different from all of the others.
We credit Ms. Nichols' testimony that the parties were finally
making progress by "crunching numbers" and working on "wording"

the Association's confusion about this offer must have been as
apparent to the Committee's team as it was to us.  No attempt was made
to clear up the confusion either because the Committee's team did not
itself understand the proposal, or because they did not care to
clarify it.


(to quote Mr. Buker).  We believe that, after some dickering,
Ms. Nichols thought the parties were $133 apart, and that she
made the comment to Mr. Buker about taking this money out of his
pocket to finally settle the contract.  The Committee contends
that its May 20, 1996, letter to Ms. Nichols was fair warning to
the Association that no actual negotiating would take place at
this meeting.[fn]6  The Committee representatives' actions at this
meeting indicated otherwise; this was either good faith
bargaining or a ruse.  The Association's team certainly believed
it was the former and that settlement was imminent.  The
Committee's refusal to tentatively agree to any of the terms
(several of which they had proposed), or to even give an opinion
as to the likelihood of a deal on that night, constitutes
bargaining in bad faith.  Auburn Firefighters, slip op. at 11.
Likewise, the May 29, 1996, letter from the Committee vaguely
rejecting the Association's "full" proposal and failing to put
forth a counter-proposal violated the duty to bargain in good
faith as well.  M.S.A.D. No. 22 Board of Directors v. Tri-22
Teachers Association, No. 82-33, 5 NPER 20-14003 (Me.L.R.B.
October 5, 1982) (The duty to bargain in good faith includes the
requirement that parties justify positions taken by reasoned

     We turn now to the issue of Mr. Buker's June 3, 1996,
petition.  The Committee contends that, in drafting the petition,
Mr. Buker was acting as an individual rather than a member of the
School Committee; further, that he and the other members of the
Committee who signed the petition have a right protected by state
law and state and federal constitutions to petition their

     6 This letter specifically requests a complete contract proposal
in writing and indicates that the Committee's response would be in
writing.  It seems the full Committee decided to change the manner of
negotiations and, possibly, the authority of its negotiators, without
discussing this with the Association.  We do not condone this manner
of dealing and, once again, emphasize the value of written ground
rules to govern the conduct of negotiations.  Westbrook Police Unit v.
City of Westbrook and Robert Curley, et al., No. 78-25 (Me.L.R.B.
September 5, 1978).


government in this fashion.  Of course we do not disagree that
citizens have a right to petition their government; however, the
fact that four out of five School Committee members chose to
exercise that right in these circumstances is another matter, and
that is the issue before this Board.

     In complaints alleging bad faith bargaining, we examine the
totality of the charged party's conduct to determine whether
their actions during negotiations indicate "a present intention
to find a basis for agreement."  M.S.A.D. No. 22 Board of
Directors, slip op. at 5 (quoting Waterville Teachers Association
v. Waterville Board of Education, No. 82-11, slip op. at 4,
4 NPER 20-13011 (Me.L.R.B. February 4, 1982)).  We find that this
effort on the part of the members of the Minot School Committee
to return funds which were earmarked to settle this contract was,
at best, indicative of their state of mind throughout these
negotiations and, at worst, a bold-faced attempt to avert an

     The Committee took an "official" vote to accept this
appropriation.  Its negotiating team attended the May 24 session
and learned that the Association was willing to accept all of the
recommendations of the fact-finding report related to "language"
issues (including four of the Committee's own proposals);
moreover, they had arrived at a solution to the salary issue (as
far as the Association was concerned) using the funds raised at
the town meeting.  There is no doubt that rescinding the
appropriation would have quashed this proposal.

     Finally, the Committee's refusal to bargain at the June 5,
1996, session clearly violated the Act.  The Committee had just
rejected the Association's "full" proposal, vaguely referenced
some areas of agreement, indicated that it was willing to meet to
continue efforts to come to an agreement, and invited the
Association to request a meeting if it "wish[ed) to get back
together."  The Association did request a meeting, yet the
Committee failed to make any counter-proposals or suggest those


areas where they could tentatively agree.  In this case, we know
several tentative agreements were possible since the Association
was willing to adopt some of the Committee's fact-finding
proposals.  The Committee's failure to negotiate at this June 5,
1996, meeting constitutes bad faith bargaining.

     We find that any one of these events and, most certainly,
that this-course of conduct, colored by the petition and
culminating in the refusal to bargain on June 5, constitutes
bargaining in bad faith.  This bad faith bargaining forced the
negotiations into arbitration when, in actuality, the parties had
not reached a bona fide impasse:[fn]7

     The words 'bona fide impasse' constitute a term of art
     which describes 'a state of facts in which the parties,
     despite the best of faith, are simply deadlocked.'
     (citations omitted).  In order for a bona fide impasse
     to develop, the parties must first satisfy the
     obligation created by  965(1)(C) in the Act that they
     'negotiate in good faith with respect to' the mandatory
     subjects of bargaining.

Auburn Firefighters, slip op. at 9-10.  The parties in this case
were not deadlocked "despite the best of faith"; they were
deadlocked because the Committee negotiated in bad faith.  The
arbitration decision recommended implementation of the
Committee's proposed salary scale, and eventually the Committee
unilaterally implemented that proposed scale.  This unilateral
change in wages, absent bona fide impasse, violated the Act.
Mountain Valley Education Association v. M.S.A.D. No. 43, 655
A.2d 348, 352 (Me. 1995).

     Having concluded that the Committee's pre-arbitration
conduct violated 26 M.R.S.A.  964(1)(E), we will provide

     7 While it is true that the Association enter into a joint request
for arbitration, it was still ready and willing to negotiate on May 24
and June 5, 1996.


appropriate remedies to effectuate the policies of the Act.[fn]8  In
exercising our remedial authority, we seek "a restoration of the
situation, as nearly as possible, to that which would have
obtained" but for the violations of the Act.  Maine State
Employees Association v. School Committee of the City of
Lewiston, No. 90-12, slip op. at 23, 13 NPER ME-21009 (Me.L.R.B.
August 21, 1990).  In this case, complete reinstatement of the
status cruo ante on June 5, 1996, would benefit the Committee, and
damage the Association's status in the eyes of these bargaining
unit members.[fn]9  We will not permit the Committee to profit from
its violation of the Act, but will follow the course we have
taken in previous cases where employees are "innocent
beneficiaries" of unlawful conduct.  See Maine State Employees
Association v. Committee of the City of Lewiston, Id.; Lake
Teachers Association v. Mount Vernon School Committee, No. 78-15,
slip op. at 3 (Me.L.R.B. May 3, 1978); Local 1458 of Council 74
AFSCME v. The City Council of Augusta, et al., No. 74-09 and 74-
14 (April 22, 1974) (All unbargained-for wage increases as the
result of unilateral action are incorporated into collective
bargaining agreement, unless parties reach a subsequent agreement
which incorporates a higher wage rate.).

     As remedies for the violations established, we will vacate
the arbitration decision and order the Committee to:  (i) cease
and desist from refusing to bargain in good faith; (ii) reinstate
the status quo ante as of June 5, 1996, as to all terms of
employment except for wages; (iii) within thirty days return to

     8 In light of our determination that the Minot School Committee
violated the Act in its pre-arbitration course of conduct and
considering the terms of our Order which follow, we decline to address
the allegations set forth in the amendments to the original complaint
related to post-arbitration conduct.

     9 The employees received a salary increase, albeit not as much of
an increase as the Association had attempted to negotiate, when the
Committee implemented its proposed scale.  Reinstatement of the status
quo ante would require the employees to reimburse the Committee for
raises received as a result of this unilateral change in wages and
reduce their pay rate.


the bargaining table with members of the Association's
negotiating team; (iv) within thirty days reimburse the
Association for all reasonable costs related to its participation
in arbitration; and (v) within thirty days notify the Maine Labor
Relations Board in writing of the steps they have taken to comply
with this 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 & Supp. 1994), it is hereby ORDERED:

     1.  That the decision and award of the Board of
     Arbitration and Conciliation be vacated;

     2.  That the Minot School Committee and its agents and
     representatives shall:

         (a)  Cease and desist from refusing to bargain
         in good faith;

         (b)  Reinstate the status cruo ante as of June 5,
         1996, as to all terms of employment except for

         (c)  Within thirty days of the date of this Order,
         return to the bargaining table with members of the
         Minot Education Association's negotiating team to
         confer and negotiate consistent with this decision;

         (d)  Within thirty days of the date of this order,
         reimburse the Association for all reasonable
         costs related to its participation in arbitration;

         (e)  Within thirty days of the date of this order,
         notify the Maine Labor Relations Board in writing
         of the steps they have taken to comply with this

     3.  If the parties have not agreed, within thirty days of
         the date of this Order, on the amount of arbitration
         costs or as to what constitutes the status duo ante
         as of June 5, 1996, the Association may file with
         the Executive Director and serve on the Minot School
         Committee its computation of reasonable costs and/or
         its understanding of the status duo ante.  The


         Committee will have fifteen days from such filing to
         respond with documents and/or affidavits bearing on
         each disputed item.  The Board will thereafter issue
         a supplemental order or conduct such further proceedings
         as are necessary to supplement this Order.

Dated at Augusta, Maine, this 30th day of June, 1997.

                                   MAINE LABOR RELATIONS BOARD

The parties are advised of
their right, pursuant to 26        /s/___________________________
M.R.S.A.  968(5)(F) (Supp.        Peter T. Dawson
1996), to seek review of this      Chair
decision and order by the
Superior Court.  To initiate
such a review, an appealing
party must file a complaint        /s/___________________________
with the Superior Court within     Gwendolyn Gatcomb
fifteen (15) days of the date      Employee Representative
of issuance of this decision
and order, and otherwise
comply with the requirements
of Rule 80C of the Maine Rules     /s/___________________________
of Civil Procedure.                Edwin S. Hamm
                                   Employer Representative