STATE OF MAINE                                  MAINE LABOR RELATIONS BOARD
                                                Case No. 92-UC-02
                                                Issued:  November 17, 1992
                   Petitioner,  )
          and                   )        UNIT CLARIFICATION REPORT
             Bargaining Agent.  )
     This proceeding was initiated on April 30, 1992, when the Lincoln
Sanitary District (hereinafter referred to as "Employer") filed a petition
for unit clarification pursuant to section 966(3) of the Municipal Public
Employees Labor Relations Law ("Act"), 26 M.R.S.A.  966(3) (1988), seeking
to exclude tne secretary-bookkeeper from the existing Lincoln Sanitary
District bargaining unit.  Teamsters Union Local 340 ("Union"), the
bargaining agent for that unit, opposes the exclusion of this position.
     The bargaining unit in question consists of "[a]ll Lincoln Sanitary
District Operators, Equipment Operators, Machine Operators and Secretary-
Bookkeepers."  The Employer seeks exclusion of the secretary-bookkeeper on
the grounds that the incumbent in this single-employee classification is a
confidential employee within the definition of 26 M.R.S.A.  962(6) (C).
The Union argues that the Employer is estopped from seeking the exclusion
and that the secretary-bookkeeper is not a confidential employee.
     Evidentiary hearings on the case were held on July 23 and August 27,
1992, in Room 714 of the State Office Building, Augusta, Maine.  Labor
Relations Consultant John R. Perry appeared on behalf of the Employer and
Business Agent Carl Guignard appeared on behalf of the Union.  No one
requested to intervene in the proceeding or otherwise requested partici-
pation as an interested party.  The jurisdiction of the executive director
to hear this matter and to make a unit clarification decision herein lies
in 26 M.R.S.A.  966(3) (1988).

                                  - 1 - 
     At the hearing the parties were afforded the opportunity to present
evidence and argument and to cross-examine witnesses.  Upon completion of
the hearing, both parties waived oral argument and decided to file written
briefs, the last of which was received on September 17, 1992.  Neither
party opted to file a reply brief.
     Prior to commencement of the formal hearing, the parties met with the
executive director in an informal conference.  The stipulations reached by
the parties at that time have been incorporated herein.  Participating as
resource persons during the informal conference and appearing as witnesses
at the hearing, in addition to the representatives of record, were:
     on behalf of the Employer:
          Darold Wooley, Superintendent
     on behalf of the Union:
          Darla Osgood, Secretary-Bookkeeper
          Milton Ouellette, Operator
The following documents were admitted into the record:
     Joint-1     Letter from John R. Perry to Judith Dorsey and William
                 Turkewitz, dated January 10, 1991, with Lincoln Sanitary
                 District voter list attached
     Joint-2     Maine Labor Relations Board certification of Teamsters
                 Union Local 340 as the bargaining agent of the Lincoln
                 Sanitary District Employees' Bargaining Unit, dated
                 February 20, 1991
     Joint-3     Position description for the secretary-bookkeeper classi-
                 fication, dated May 9, 1983, stipulated by the parties as
                 being the current job description for the position
     Joint-4     Union's initial proposal for a comprehensive collective
                 bargaining agreement for the unit at issue
     Joint-5     Employer's initial response to the Union's initial pro-
                 posal, sent by mail to the Union on September 19, 1991
     Joint-6     Memorandum from J. Perry on behalf of Employer to Carl
                 Guignard concerning tentative agreements, hand-delivered
                 on September 26, 1991
     Joint-7     Working copy of Employer proposals with tentative
                 agreements noted thereon
                                  - 2 -
     Joint-8     Working copy of Union proposals with tentative agreements
                 noted thereon
                 Caveats:  1.  The next-to-last paragraph on page 6 is
                                still open
                           2.  The last paragraph on page 15 was inadver-
                               tently crossed out
     Joint-9     Unattested agendas and minutes of meetings of Lincoln
                 Sanitary District Board of Trustees of August 13 and
                 October 8, and minutes of meeting of November 19, 1991
     Joint-10    Agendas and attested copies of minutes of meetings of
                 Lincoln Sanitary District Board of Trustees as follows:
                    1)  Lincoln Sanitary District Board of Trustees
                        ("LSDBT") agenda for meeting of August 13,
                    2)  Attested copy of minutes of LSDBT meeting of
                        August 13, 1991;
                    3)  LSDBT agenda for meeting of November 19, 1991;
                    4)  Attested copy of minutes of LSDBT meeting of
                        November 19, 1991;
                    5)  Attested copy of minutes of LSDBT meeting of
                        December 11, 1990;
                    6)  LSDBT agenda for meeting of October 8, 1991;
                    7)  Attested copy of minutes of LSDBT meeting of
                        October 8, 1991.
                 Note: Item 1 was included in Joint exhibit 9; however,
                 the latter had handwriting on it.  Item 2 was included in
                 Joint exhibit 9; however, only the first page was so
                 included and that copy had handwriting on it and item 2 is
                 attested.  Item 3 was not included in Joint exhibit 9.  An
                 unattested copy of Item 4 was included in Joint exhibit 9.
                 Item 5 was not included in Joint exhibit 9; however, the
                 Union did request a copy of this document during the first
                 day of hearing on the case.  A copy of Item 6 with
                 handwriting on it was included in Joint exhibit 9.  An
                 unattested copy of Item 7 without handwriting on it was
                 included in Joint exhibit 9.
     Employer-1  Employer's bargaining strategy, prepared after receipt of
                 the Union's initial proposal for a comprehensive collec-
                 tive bargaining agreement
                 Note:  This document was tendered to the executive direc-
                 tor with the representation that it was the Employer's
                 bargaining strategy and, since it had been typed by the
                 secretary-bookkeeper, it warranted excluding that classi-
                 fication from the bargaining unit.  The document was
                 received over the objection of the Union and was reviewed

                                  - 3 - 
                 and compared with Joint exhibits 5 and 8 in camera.  That
                 review led the executive director to conclude that, at the
                 time that it was prepared, this document constituted a
                 substantial part of the Employer's bargaining strategy.
                 Because of the contents of the document, it remains confi-
                 dential and may not be examined by the Union although it
                 has been admitted in the record.
     During prehearing discussion, the parties reached the following factual
and legal stipulations:
     1.  The Petitioner, the Lincoln Sanitary District, is a public
employer within the meaning of 26 M.R.S.A.  962(7)(A)(2) (Supp. 1991).
     2.  The Respondent, Teamsters Union Local 340, is the certified
bargaining agent, within the meaning of 26 M.R.S.A.  962(2) (1988), for a
unit composed of "[a]ll Lincoln Sanitary District Operators, Equipment
Operators, Machine Operators and Secretary-Bookkeepers."
     3.  The parties are unable to agree on the modification being sought
through the petition.
     4.  There is no pending question concerning representation to operate
as a bar to the petition pursuant to 26 M.R.S.A.  966(3) (1988).
     5.  On November 26, 1990, the Union filed a unit determination peti-
tion with the Maine Labor Relations Board ("Board"), seeking to create the
bargaining unit at issue in this proceeding.
     6.  In response to the petition mentioned in the preceding paragraph,
the Board wrote a letter to the Union and the Employer on November 30,
1990, which advised the parties that the Union's unit determination peti-
tion had been filed on November 26, 1990, and which went on to state:
     In accordance with Board Rule 1.08(F), the employer must file a
     response to the petition within ten working days of the date of
     the filing of the petition.
     7.  Both parties received the letter mentioned in the preceding
     8.  On December 18, 1990, Employer representative Perry sent a letter

                                 - 4 -
to Union Business Agent William Turkewitz, which stated:

     To confirm my conversation with you on December 13, 1990, I have
     been appointed by the Lincon Sanitary Board of Trustees to repre-
     sent the District in labor relations matters.
     I cannot sign the agreement on the appropriate bargaining unit.
     It is the position of the District that the secretary/bookkeeper
     should not be part of the unit. If that issue can be resolved
     before the hearing scheduled for January 4, 1991, please give me
     a call.
     I must also advise you that the District does not voluntarily
     recognize the Teamsters as the bargaining agent for the District
     If you have any questions, please give me a call. I can usually
     be reached at my home, 942-4746 or most mornings at City Hall,
     Bangor, 945-4400.
     9.  On December 18, 1990, the Board sent a letter, which was received
by both parties, that stated, in part, as follows:
     By certified letter dated November 30, 1990, the Lincoln Sanitary
     District received notice of the above-referenced petition, and
     of the requirement that the Sanitary District file a response to
     the petition within ten working days of the date the petition was
     filed (November 26, 1990).
     Since this office has received no response, the Sanitary District
     is hereby deemed to have agreed to the appropriateness of the
     unit as proposed by Teamsters Local 340, pursuant to Rule 1.08(F)
     of the Board's Unit Determination Rules:
          INCLUDED:  All Lincoln Sanitary District Operators,
                     Equipment Operators, Machine Operators and
          EXCLUDED:  All other employees of the Lincoln Sanitary
     There no longer being a need for a hearing on this matter, the
     hearing set for Friday, January 4, 1990, (sic) is cancelled.
     Enclosed are notices informing employees of the appropriateness
     of the unit and of the cancellation of the hearing.  These notices
     must be posted within forty-eight (48) hours of receipt and must
     remain posted for at least seven (7) calendar days at all work
     locations where notices are customarily posted for the benefit of
     Lincoln Sanitary District employees.  The employer shall ensure
     that these notices are not altered, covered or defaced and that
     they are not removed during the required posting period.

                                  - 5 -
    10.  The Union received the letter quoted in paragraph 8 and the Board
received a copy thereof on December 19, 1990.
    11.  The Employer did not appeal the unit determination announced by
the Board's December 18, 1990, letter.
    12.  In response to a letter from the Board dated January 4, 1991, the
Employer supplied an "alphabetical list of employees in the bargaining unit
that are eligible to vote pursuant to MLRB letter dated January 4, 1991."
The attached voter list included the name of the incumbent employee in the
secretary-bookkeeper classification.
    13.  The Board conducted a bargaining agent election for the employees
in the bargaining unit at issue by mail ballot, between February 1, 1991,
and February 20, 1991.
    14.  The ballots cast in the above election were counted by a Board
agent on February 20, 1991, and the results were as follows: all four unit
employees who were eligible to vote cast ballots and all four opted for the
Union to become the exclusive bargaining agent for the unit at issue.
    15.  As a consequence of the election results noted above, the Board
election agent certified the Union as the exclusive bargaining agent for
the unit at issue on February 20, 1991.
    16.  Prior to February 20, 1991, none of the employees of the Lincoln
Sanitary District had been represented by a bargaining agent.
    17.  At some time subsequent to February 20, 1991, the parties began
negotiations for an initial collective bargaining agreement for the unit at
    18.  The parties' first bargaining session was held on or about July 19,
1991.  The meeting lasted approximately one-half hour and consisted of the
Employer presenting negotiating ground rules which the Union refused to
sign and the Union presenting its initial proposal for a comprehensive
collective bargaining agreement.
    19.  On or about September 19, 1991, the Employer wrote a letter to the
Union and included two copies of its response to the Union's initial
bargaining proposal.

                                  - 6 -
    20.  The parties' second bargaining session was held on or about
September 26, 1991.  At the outset of the meeting, the Employer reviewed
and clarified its response and gave the Union a letter stating that ten-
tative agreements reached by the Employer's bargaining team were not final,
but were subject to ratification by the Employer's Board of Trustees.
The Union team then caucused and discussed the Employer's response, as
    21.  When the parties' second bargaining session reconvened, the
Employer agreed to provide a seniority list to the Union and the parties
reached tentative agreement on several collective bargaining agreement
articles, including those concerning strikes and lockouts, shop stewards,
jury duty, emergency leave, military leave, and the duration of the
prospective agreement.
    22.  Additional bargaining sessions were held on October 16, 1991, and
January 7 and 21, 1992.
    23.  Joint exhibits 4 through 8 are the only documents that have been
exchanged between the parties during their negotiations.
    24.  The parties' negotiations were ongoing at the time of the hearings
in this matter.          
                             FINDINGS OF FACT
     Upon review of the entire record, the executive director makes these
additional findings:
     1.  The entire work force of the Lincoln Sanitary District consists of
the Superintendent and the four employees whose classifications are
included in the bargaining unit at issue.
     2.  The primary duties and responsibilities of the secretary-
bookkeeper are as follows:
        Bookkeeping:  Sends out bills to District's customers
                      Accepts payments from drop-in customers
                      Records all payments
                      Pays bills
                      Balances the general ledger

                                  - 7 - 
        Clerical:     Typing
        Receptionist: Greets all visitors
        Dispatching:  Uses radio transceiver to direct employees to
                      job sites and to perform safety checks on
                      employees working alone in the field
     3.  The Lincoln Sanitary District's office consists of at least two
separate rooms.  The secretary-bookkeeper works in space that is configured
as follows:  upon entering the room, one sees the customer service counter,
behind which the District's computer is situated; the secretary-bookkeeper's
desk is located along the wall opposite the counter and a typewriter is
situated on or near the desk; and the room also contains another desk, a
photocopier and several file cabinets.
     4.  All of the bargaining unit employees have access to the secretary-
bookkeeper's work area.
     5.  The Superintendent's office is located across the hall from the
room described in the preceding paragraph and contains, at a minimum, the
Superintendent's desk and a locking file cabinet.
     6.  Three software programs have been loaded onto the Sanitary
District's computer:  a billing program, a word processor, and a graphics
     7.  Both the Superintendent and the secretary-bookkeeper attended a
training program in the operation of the computer run by the computer manu-
facturer.  Despite receiving generalized training in operating the com-
puter, the secretary-bookkeeper only knows how to run the billing program
on the computer.
     8.  Only the Superintendent knows the access code for, and knows how
to run, the word processing software on the computer.
     9.  During or shortly before the month of September of each year prior
to the certification of the Union as the bargaining agent for the unit at
issue, the District's four non-supervisory employees would get together and
formulate their proposals for improved wages, benefits, and working con-

                                  - 8 -
ditions for the coming year.             
    10.  The process referred to in the preceding paragraph progressed as
follows:  first, the employees presented their proposals to the Board of
Trustees in a written memo that accompanied the agenda for the meeting
during which the proposals would be discussed.  All the employees would
then explain each of their positions orally at a Trustees' meeting.
    11.  Once the employees had presented their positions orally, the
Trustees would meet with the Superintendent in executive session and the
latter would present the management response to the employees' proposals.
The Board of Trustees would then determine the employees' wage and benefit
package for the coming year and communicate their decision to the employees
through the Superintendent.
    12.  All four employees, whose classifications constitute the
bargaining unit at issue, participated in the process described in
paragraphs 9, 10 and 11 together as a group and the Employer never
attempted to separate the secretary-bookkeeper from the other three posi-
tions but, rather, always dealt with all four positions together.
    13.  Evidence was introduced concerning nine of the 11 community-of-
interest criteria set forth in Board Rule 1.11(F).  That testimony
established, and the Employer did not contest, that the secretary-
bookkeeper shares a clear and identifiable community of interest with the
other bargaining unit employees, within the meaning of 26 M.R.S.A.
 966(2) (1988).
    14.  Prior to the advent of collective bargaining between the parties,
none of the bargaining unit employees performed work that would warrant a
confidential exclusion within the meaning of 26 M.R.S.A.  962(6) (C).
    15.  Whenever he wished to prepare documents and keep them confidential
from the other employees prior to July 1991, the Superintendent would either
write them by hand or draft and print them using the computer as a word pro-
    16.  The Superintendent stores documents which he intends to keep con-
fidential either in his desk or in the locking file cabinet in his office.
Only the Superintendent has the keys for his desk and for the aforementioned

                                  - 9 -
file cabinet.
    17.  Among the documents to which the Superintendent retains exclusive
access are his personal logs and copies of the agendas and minutes of Board
of Trustees meetings with his handwritten notations thereon.
    18.  On or shortly before July 22, 1991, the Superintendent assigned
the secretary-bookkeeper the task of typing the Employer's bargaining
strategy--Employer exhibit 1.  Each numbered section of this four-page
document was keyed to an article in the Union's initial proposed comprehen-
sive collective bargaining agreement and discusses the Employer's desired
outcome for that topic.
    19.  Contemporaneous with making the work assignment noted in the pre-
ceding paragraph, the Superintendent told the secretary-bookkeeper that if
she failed to keep the contents of the document confidential she could lose
her job.
    20.  On a separate, subsequent occasion, Labor Relations Consultant
Perry told the secretary-bookkeeper that the requirement that she keep cer-
tain information confidential was "nothing against [her] personally," but
the Employer was concerned about her position.
    21.  On other occasions, the secretary-bookkeeper typed Employer
bargaining proposals that were delivered by the Employer to the Union
shortly after they were prepared.
     The Union's initial position is that the Employer's petition is
untimely and should be dismissed.  The gist of the Union's argument is that
the Employer had ample opportunity to contest the unit status of the
secretary-bookkeeper classification during the unit determination process
and that, having failed to do so at that time, the Employer should be
precluded from attempting to have the position excluded from the unit at
this juncture.  The Employer did not file a response to the unit deter-
mination petition that resulted in the creation of the bargaining unit at
issue herein.  Through its failure to file such a response, the Employer
was "deemed to have agreed to the appropriateness of the unit as proposed

                                  - 10 -

by the petition."  Board Rule 1.08(F).
     Decisions concerning the appropriateness of including a particular
classification in a bargaining unit are based on the actual or past cir-
cumstances attendant to that position.  Auburn Firefighters Association and
City of Auburn, No. 83-A-07, 6 NPER 20-15003, slip op. at 7 (Me.L.R.B.
Dec. 5, 1983).  At all times relevant hereto, all of the positions now
included in the bargaining unit have and continue to share a clear and
identifiable community of interest.  At the time that the unit deter-
mination petition was filed and until the commencement of collective
bargaining between the parties, none of the unit employees performed work
which would warrant their exclusion as "confidential" employees within the
meaning of  962(6)(C) of the Act.  A response to the petition for unit
determination, alleging that the secretary-bookkeeper should be excluded
from the bargaining unit being proposed on the grounds that the employee in
the classification was "confidential," could only have been based on the
Employer's intention to assign "confidential" work to the secretary-
bookkeeper at some future time.  The Board has stated:
     In determining confidential employee status, we consider the
     duties currently being performed by the alleged confidential
     employee.  We cannot base a finding of confidentiality upon
     testimony which projects what an employee's duties may be in the
     future.  In the event that a public employee's duties change so
     as to imply a confidential relationship under Section 962(6), the
     correct procedure is for the public employer to file a Petition
     for Unit Clarification pursuant to 26 M.R.S.A.  966(3) and in
     accordance with . . . the Board's Rules and Procedures.
Waterville Police Department and Teamsters Local Union No. 48, No. 78-A-06,
slip op. at 4 (Me.L.R.B. Oct. 4, 1978).  The Board has also pointed out
that employer testimony concerning intended future job duties is too spec-
ulative to serve as the basis for unit decisions.  Auburn Firefighters
Association, supra, slip op. at 7.  The evidence in the instant case
established that the secretary-bookkeeper performed the allegedly
"confidential" work only after the Union was certified as the bargaining
agent.  In the circumstances, the Employer's failure to contest the
secretary-bookkeeper's unit status at the time of the creation of the
bargaining unit does not preclude its prosecution of the instant petition.

                                  - 11 -
     Section 966(3) of the Act sets forth, as a threshhold inquiry in every
unit clarification proceeding, whether "the circumstances surrounding the
formation of an existing bargaining unit are alleged to have changed suf-
ficiently to warrant modification in the composition of that bargaining
unit . . . ."  The petitioner bears the burden of alleging the requisite
change and of establishing its occurrence.  State of Maine and Maine State
Employees Association, No. 82-A-02, 6 NPER 20-14027, slip op. at 16,
Interim Order (Me.L.R.B. June 2, 1983).  The evidence in the record
established that prior to certification of the Union as the bargaining
agent, none of the unit employees performed any "confidential" duties.
As part of the collective bargaining process, the Employer required the
secretary-bookkeeper to type the Employer's negotiating strategy.  Since
the actual performance of confidential duties is a prerequisite to deter-
mining that the employee discharging such responsibilities is
"confidential" within the meaning of  962(6)(C) of the Act, undertaking
such duties for the first time is a substantial change within the meaning
of  966(3).
     I will now turn to the merits of the case.  The Employer's argument
is based on the portion of the Act which excludes from the definition of
employees eligible to be represented for purposes of collective bargaining
those "[w]hose duties as deputy, administrative assistant or secretary
necessarily imply a confidential relationship to the executive head, body,
department head or division head . . . ."  26 M.R.S.A.  962(6)(C) (1988).
The legislative purpose embodied in this exclusion is to avoid situations
where employees would be confronted by substantial conflicts of loyalty
between that owed to their employer and that owed to their bargaining
agent.  Employees potentially facing such conflicts of loyalty are those
who, as an inherent part of their job duties, have access to the public
employer's collective bargaining positions and policies.  Disclosure of
such information to the bargaining agent outside of the collective
bargaining process could provide the bargaining agent with unfair leverage
or advantage over the public employer and jeopardize the latter's
bargaining position.  Town of Fairfield and Teamsters Local Union No. 48,
No. 78-A-08, slip op. at 3 (Me.L.R.B. Nov. 27, 1978).

                                  - 12 -  
     In the instant case, the Employer argues that the secretary-bookkeeper
must be excluded from the bargaining unit and from the coverage of the Act
because the employee in that classification typed the Employer's bargaining
strategy.[fn]1  Discussing the provision of the State Employees Labor Relations
Act which is parallel to  962(6)(C), the Board stated:
     The critical language of Section 979-A(6)(C) provides that State
     employees "whose duties necessarily imply a confidential rela-
     tionship" with the State as the public employer are excluded from
     collective bargaining.  The language cited clearly justifies and
     mandates that a hearing examiner, weighing whether an employee is
     "confidential," inquire as to whether the allegedly confidential
     aspects of the employee's work are an inherent portion thereof.
     Such an inquiry is contemplated by the Act and is required to
     effect the legislative intent embodied in Section 979-A(6)(C).
State of Maine, supra, slip op. at 19.  A determination that a particular
employee is "confidential" must be based upon two factors:  (1) the person
performs confidential work and (2) performance of such work in inherent in
the individual's job duties and responsibilities.
     It is uncontroverted that the secretary-bookkeeper typed Employer
exhibit 1.  The in camera review and comparison of this document with those
exchanged by the parties in the course of negotiations resulted in the
finding that, at the time that it was prepared, Employer exhibit 1 consti-
tuted a significant portion of the Employer's collective bargaining strat-
egy.  This document was and remains confidential within the scope of the
above discussion.  By typing Employer exhibit 1 the secretary-bookkeeper
performed confidential work in satisfaction of the first tine of the con-

     1 The Superintendent testified that, in addition to typing the Employer's
bargaining strategy, Employer exhibit 1, the secretary-bookkeeper also
typed the proposals which the Employer delivered to the Union during
bargaining (Transcript, at 14) and typed proposals which the Employer kept
in readiness for possible delivery to the Union, depending on the Union's
response to particular positions taken by the Employer (Transcript, at 28).
Documents delivered directly to the bargaining agent shortly after being
prepared are not "confidential."  Town of Fairfield, supra, slip op. at 5.
Documents reflecting the Employer's contingency positions would probably be
"confidential"; however, the record was left open for over a month to
afford the Employer the opportunity to produce any allegedly "confidential"
documents prepared by the secretary-bookkeeper for in camera inspection
(Transcript, at 30-35).  No such documents were produced.

                                  - 13 -  
fidential employee test. 
     Several facts are relevant to the second confidentiality determination
criterion.  The Employer's entire work force consists of five individuals:
the Superintendent and the four bargaining unit employees.  A significant
degree of cross-training and performance of the work of other classsifica-
tions is typical in small commercial or governmental organizations.
Persons who work in small organizations often perform work which would not
normally be performed by their counterparts in larger establishments.  At
the Lincoln Sanitary District, the Superintendent often performs his own
clerical work, drafting documents on the District's computer.  In fact, the
Superintendent is the only District employee who knows how to access and
use the word processing software on the District's computer.  Whenever he
wishes to keep matters private from the other employees, the Superintendent
prepares the documents relating to such matters himself.  Unlike in most
larger organizations, the Superintendent maintains exclusive access to the
District's confidential files.  Such files are kept in a locked cabinet
located in the Superintendent's private office and they include the only
copies of the Employer's collective bargaining positions and strategy as
well as hand-annotated copies of minutes of Board of Trustees meetings
attended by the Superintendent.
     Of necessity, the work relationship between a governmental manager and
the person who provides clerical and/or administrative support to the
manager involves a greater degree of confidentiality than does the manager's
relationship with the other subordinate employees.  With the advent of
collective bargaining and the involvement of the manager in negotiations on
behalf of the public employer, the manager's clerical assistant is exposed
to the employer's confidential collective bargaining information and is,
therefore, excluded from the coverage of the Act pursuant to  962(6)(C).
As described above, the Superintendent has not had a confidential work
relationship with the secretary-bookkeeper.  In these circumstances, the
executive director concludes that preparation of a single four-page docu-
ment was not inherent in the secretary-bookkeeper's job responsibilities;
therefore, the secretary-bookkeeper is not a confidential employee within

                                  - 14 -        
the meaning of the Act.[fn]2

     The Employer made several secondary arguments in support of its posi-
tion, none of which was persuasive.  Although the secretary-bookkeeper does
maintain the Employer's financial records, there was no allegation that
such records were anything but public records subject to public inspection
and copying pursuant to 1 M.R.S.A.  408.  The Employer's next argument is
that the Superintendent is not being employed or compensated to do clerical
work.  While this statement is correct, the fact remains that the Superin-
tendent has been performing clerical work, particularly if the subject of
such work was something which the Superintendent wanted to keep private
from the other employees.  The holding in this case merely reflects this
practice.  This argument would be much more compelling if a substantial
confidential labor relations workload was involved.  Here, only a single
confidential document was produced in over a year of negotiations.  Since
he is already performing a good deal of his other clerical work himself,
requiring that one more document be produced by the higher paid manager is
not onerous.
     The Employer then cites the State of Maine case quoted above in sup-
port of its position.  In that case, the Board stated:
     We believe that in many if not most cases, "confidential" super-
     visory employees need access to at least one "confidential"
     2 This holding obviates the need to consider the issue of employer
intent in this case.  Discussing the assignment of confidential duties to a
school principal, the Board stated:
       So long as such assignments are inherently related to the
       employees' work duties and the decision to involve them is not
       made with the subjective intent to, thereby, deprive employees of
       collective bargaining coverage, the assignments are permitted
       under the Act.
M.S.A.D. No. 14 and East Grand Teachers Association, No. 83-A-09, 6 NPER
20-14036 (Me.L.R.B. Aug. 24, 1983).  The circumstances surrounding the
assignment to type the Employer's bargaining strategy together with
Mr. Perry's statement to the secretary-bookkeeper concerning the Employer's
"interest" in her position could lead one to conclude that the assignment
was made with the intent to effect the exclusion of the secretary-
bookkeeper classification from the bargaining unit in violation of
 964(1) (A).

                                  - 15 -  
     clerical employee, in order to carry out their "confidential"
The Superintendent's past practice of preparing his own confidential non-
labor-relations documents is one illustration representing the minority of
instances alluded to by the Board where a confidential manager does not
need access to a confidential clerical employee to carry out his duties.
     The Employer's final argument is that, during interviews which may
result in the imposition of discipline the employee being interviewed has
the right to be accompanied by a union representative, the employer needs
at least two confidential employees so that one can conduct the interview
and the other can be the first's witness.  The fact that the Employer will
have only one confidential employee (the Superintendent) at disciplinary
interviews does not place the Employer at a disadvantage in managing its
operation.  Employees have access to union representation in such
situations because, in most instances, the employee is unschooled in labor
relations and is unfamiliar with the intricacies of the collective
bargaining agreement.  The role of the union representative is to help
develop all of the relevant facts and considerations and to assist in
resolving the problem.  As in many other aspects of the labor-management
relationship, management has the natural advantage in the disciplinary
interview.  The manager knows the scope and purpose of the interview before
it is even held, and labor relations is an important part of the manager's
job.  (This is not true for the employee being interviewed.)   If the
Superintendent felt that he needed a witness in such a setting, he could
bring Mr. Perry with him or he could otherwise memorialize the meeting
either electronically or in writing.
     The Employer's final point was that if the secretary-bookkeeper
remains in the bargaining unit the Union would gain an unfair advantage in
the negotiating process because of the secretary-bookkeeper's knowledge of
the contents of Employer exhibit 1.  In the first instance, the secretary-
bookkeeper typed Employer exhibit 1 almost sixteen months ago and probably
has little if any recollection of its contents.  Second, the Employer can
remind the secretary-bookkeeper that the contents of the document are con-
fidential and that non-disclosure of such information to the Union or to

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anyone else is a condition of continued employment.  East Grand Teachers
Association, supra, slip op. at 10.
     On the basis of the foregoing stipulations, findings of fact and
discussion and pursuant to the provisions of 26 M.R.S.A.  966(3) (1988),
it is hereby ORDERED that the Petition for Unit Clarification filed by the
Lincoln Sanitary District in Case No. 92-UC-02, on April 30, 1992, is
hereby dismissed.  The classification of secretary-bookkeeper shall remain
in the Lincoln Sanitary District Employees Bargaining Unit.
Dated at Augusta, Maine, this 17th day of November, 1992.
                                     MAINE LABOR RELATIONS BOARD

                                     Marc P. Ayotte
                                     Executive Director
The parties are hereby advised of their right, pursuant to 26 M.R.S.A. 
 968(4) (Supp. 1991), to appeal this report to the Maine Labor Relations
Board.  To initiate such an appeal, the party seeking appellate review must
file a notice of appeal with the Board within fifteen (15) days of the date
of the issuance of this report.  See Board Rules 1.12 and 7.03 for full

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