4117.02 State employment relations board.

(A) There is hereby created the state employment relations board, consisting of three members to be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. Members shall be knowledgeable about labor relations or personnel practices. No more than two of the three members shall belong to the same political party. A member of the state employment relations board during the member's period of service shall hold no other public office or public or private employment and shall allow no other responsibilities to interfere or conflict with the member's duties as a full-time state employment relations board member. Of the initial appointments made to the state employment relations board, one shall be for a term ending October 6, 1984, one shall be for a term ending October 6, 1985, and one shall be for a term ending October 6, 1986. Thereafter, terms of office shall be for six years, each term ending on the same day of the same month of the year as did the term that it succeeds. Each member shall hold office from the date of the member's appointment until the end of the term for which the member is appointed. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which the member's predecessor was appointed shall hold office for the remainder of the term. Any member shall continue in office subsequent to the expiration of the member's term until the member's successor takes office or until a period of sixty days has elapsed, whichever occurs first. The governor may remove any member of the state employment relations board, upon notice and public hearing, for neglect of duty or malfeasance in office, but for no other cause.

(B)

(1) The governor shall designate one member of the state employment relations board to serve as chairperson of the state employment relations board. The chairperson is the head of the state employment relations board and its chief executive officer.

(2) The chairperson shall exercise all administrative powers and duties conferred upon the state employment relations board under this chapter and shall do all of the following:

(a) Employ, promote, supervise, and remove all employees of the state employment relations board, and establish, change, or abolish positions and assign or reassign the duties of those employees as the chairperson determines necessary to achieve the most efficient performance of the duties of the state employment relations board under this chapter;

(b) Determine the utilization by the state personnel board of review of employees of the state employment relations board as necessary for the state personnel board of review to exercise the powers and perform the duties ofthe state personnel board of review.

(c) Maintain the office of the state employment relations board in Columbus and manage the office's daily operations, including securing offices, facilities, equipment, and supplies necessary to house the state employment relations board, employees of the state employment relations board, the state personnel board of review, and files and records under the control of the state employment relations board and under the control of the state personnel board of review;

(d) Prepare and submit to the office of budget and management a budget for each biennium according to section 107.03 of the Revised Code, and include in the budget the costs of the state employment relations board and its staff and the costs of the state employment relations board in discharging any duty imposed by law upon the state employment relations board, the chairperson, or any of the employees or agents of the state employment relations board, and the costs of the state personnel board of review in discharging any duty imposed by law on the state personnel board of review or an agent of the state personnel board of review.

(C) The vacancy on the state employment relations board does not impair the right of the remaining members to exercise all the powers of the state employment relations board, and two members of the state employment relations board, at all times, constitute a quorum. The state employment relations board shall have an official seal of which courts shall take judicial notice.

(D) The state employment relations board shall make an annual report in writing to the governor and to the general assembly, stating in detail the work it has done.

(E) Compensation of the chairperson and members shall be in accordance with division (J) of section 124.15 of the Revised Code. The chairperson and the members are eligible for reappointment. In addition to such compensation, all members shall be reimbursed for their necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their work as members.

(F)

(1) The chairperson, after consulting with the other state employment relations board members and receiving the consent of at least one other board member, shall appoint an executive director. The chairperson also shall appoint attorneys and shall appoint an assistant executive director who shall be an attorney admitted to practice law in this state and who shall serve as a liaison to the attorney general on legal matters before the state employment relations board.

(2) The state employment relations board shall appoint members of fact-finding panels and shall prescribe their job duties.

(G)

(1) The executive director shall serve at the pleasure of the chairperson. The executive director, under the direction of the chairperson, shall do all of the following:

(a) Act as chief administrative officer for the state employment relations board;

(b) Ensure that all employees of the state employment relations board comply with the rules of the state employment relations board;

(c) Do all things necessary for the efficient and effective implementation of the duties of the state employment relations board.

(2) The duties of the executive director described in division (G)(1) of this section do not relieve the chairperson from final responsibility for the proper performance of the duties described in that division.

(H) The attorney general shall be the legal adviser of the state employment relations board and shall appear for and represent the state employment relations board and its agents in all legal proceedings. The state employment relations board may utilize regional, local, or other agencies, and utilize voluntary and uncompensated services as needed. The state employment relations board may contract with the federal mediation and conciliation service for the assistance of mediators, arbitrators, and other personnel the service makes available. The chairperson shall appoint all employees on the basis of training, practical experience, education, and character, notwithstanding the requirements established by section 119.09 of the Revised Code. The chairperson shall give special regard to the practical training and experience that employees have for the particular position involved. The executive director, assistant executive director, administrative law judges, employees holding a fiduciary or administrative relation to the state employment relations board as described in division (A)(9) of section 124.11 of the Revised Code, and the personal secretaries and assistants of the state employment relations board members are in the unclassified service. All other full-time employees of the state employment relations board are in the classified service. All employees of the state employment relations board shall be paid in accordance with Chapter 124. of the Revised Code.

(I) The chairperson shall select and assign administrative law judges and other agents whose functions are to conduct hearings with due regard to their impartiality, judicial temperament, and knowledge. If in any proceeding under this chapter, any party prior to five days before the hearing thereto files with the state employment relations board a sworn statement charging that the administrative law judge or other agent designated to conduct the hearing is biased or partial in the proceeding, the state employment relations board may disqualify the person and designate another administrative law judge or agent to conduct the proceeding. At least ten days before any hearing, the state employment relations board shall notify all parties to a proceeding of the name of the administrative law judge or agent designated to conduct the hearing.

(J) The principal office of the state employment relations board is in Columbus, but it may meet and exercise any or all of its powers at any other place within the state. The state employment relations board may, by one or more of its employees, or any agents or agencies it designates, conduct in any part of this state any proceeding, hearing, investigation, inquiry, or election necessary to the performance of its functions; provided, that no person so designated may later sit in determination of an appeal of the decision of that cause or matter.

(K) In addition to the powers and functions provided in other sections of this chapter, the state employment relations board shall do all of the following:

(1) Create a bureau of mediation within the state employment relations board, to perform the functions provided in section 4117.14 of the Revised Code. This bureau shall also establish, after consulting representatives of employee organizations and public employers, panels of qualified persons to be available to serve as members of fact-finding panels and arbitrators.

(2) Conduct studies of problems involved in representation and negotiation and make recommendations for legislation;

(3) Hold hearings pursuant to this chapter and, for the purpose of the hearings and inquiries, administer oaths and affirmations, examine witnesses and documents, take testimony and receive evidence, compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents by the issuance of subpoenas, and delegate these powers to any members of the state employment relations board or any administrative law judge employed by the state employment relations board for the performance of its functions;

(4) Train representatives of employee organizations and public employers in the rules and techniques of collective bargaining procedures;

(5) Make studies and analyses of, and act as a clearinghouse of information relating to, conditions of employment of public employees throughout the state and request assistance, services, and data from any public employee organization, public employer, or governmental unit. Public employee organizations, public employers, and governmental units shall provide such assistance, services, and data as will enable the state employment relations board to carry out its functions and powers.

(6) Make available to employee organizations, public employers, mediators, fact-finding panels, arbitrators, and joint study committees statistical data relating to wages, benefits, and employment practices in public and private employment applicable to various localities and occupations to assist them to resolve issues in negotiations;

(7) Notwithstanding section 119.13 of the Revised Code, establish standards of persons who practice before it;

(8) Adopt, amend, and rescind rules and procedures and exercise other powers appropriate to carry out this chapter. Before the adoption, amendment, or rescission of rules and procedures under this section, the state employment relations board shall do all of the following:

(a) Maintain a list of interested public employers and employee organizations and mail notice to such groups of any proposed rule or procedure, amendment thereto, or rescission thereof at least thirty days before any public hearing thereon;

(b) Mail a copy of each proposed rule or procedure, amendment thereto, or rescission thereof to any person who requests a copy within five days after receipt of the request therefor;

(c) Consult with appropriate statewide organizations representing public employers or employees who would be affected by the proposed rule or procedure.

Although the state employment relations board is expected to discharge these duties diligently, failure to mail any notice or copy, or to so consult with any person, is not jurisdictional and shall not be construed to invalidate any proceeding or action of the state employment relations board.

(L) In case of neglect or refusal to obey a subpoena issued to any person, the court of common pleas of the county in which the investigation or the public hearing occurs, upon application by the state employment relations board, may issue an order requiring the person to appear before the state employment relations board and give testimony about the matter under investigation. The court may punish a failure to obey the order as contempt.

(M) Any subpoena, notice of hearing, or other process or notice of the state employment relations board issued under this section may be served personally, by certified mail, or by leaving a copy at the principal office or personal residence of the respondent required to be served. A return, made and verified by the individual making the service and setting forth the manner of service, is proof of service, and a return post office receipt, when certified mail is used, is proof of service. All process in any court to which application is made under this chapter may be served in the county wherein the persons required to be served reside or are found.

(N) All expenses of the state employment relations board, including all necessary traveling and subsistence expenses incurred by the members or employees of the state employment relations board under its orders, shall be paid pursuant to itemized vouchers approved by the chairperson of the state employment relations board, the executive director, or both, or such other person as the chairperson designates for that purpose.

(O) Whenever the state employment relations board determines that a substantial controversy exists with respect to the application or interpretation of this chapter and the matter is of public or great general interest, the state employment relations board shall certify its final order directly to the court of appeals having jurisdiction over the area in which the principal office of the public employer directly affected by the application or interpretation is located. The chairperson shall file with the clerk of the court a certified copy of the transcript of the proceedings before the state employment relations board pertaining to the final order. If upon hearing and consideration the court decides that the final order of the state employment relations board is unlawful or is not supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole, the court shall reverse and vacate the final order or modify it and enter final judgment in accordance with the modification; otherwise, the court shall affirm the final order. The notice of the final order of the state employment relations board to the interested parties shall contain a certification by the chairperson of the state employment relations board that the final order is of public or great general interest and that a certified transcript of the record of the proceedings before the state employment relations board had been filed with the clerk of the court as an appeal to the court. For the purposes of this division, the state employment relations board has standing to bring its final order properly before the court of appeals.

(P) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this section, the state employment relations board is subject to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, including the procedure for submission of proposed rules to the general assembly for legislative review under division (H) of section 119.03 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 7/17/2009.

Effective Date: 09-26-2003

The amendment to this section by 129th General AssemblyFile No.10, SB 5, §1 was rejected by voters in the November, 2011 election.