PUBLIC EMPLOYEE LABOR RELATIONS
273-A:3 Obligation to Bargain.
I. It is the obligation of the public employer and the employee organization certified by the board as the exclusive representative of the bargaining unit to negotiate in good faith. "Good faith" negotiation involves meeting at reasonable times and places in an effort to reach agreement on the terms of employment, and to cooperate in mediation and fact-finding required by this chapter, but the obligation to negotiate in good faith shall not compel either party to agree to a proposal or to make a concession.
II. (a) Any party desiring to bargain shall serve written notice of its intention on the other party at least 120 days before the budget submission date; provided, however, that bargaining with state employees shall commence not later than 120 days before the deadline for submission of the governor's proposed operating budget.
(b) Only cost items shall be submitted to the legislative body of the public employer for approval at the next annual meeting of the legislative body, unless there is an emergency as defined in RSA 31:5 or RSA 197:3. If the legislative body rejects any part of the submission, or while accepting the submission takes any action which would result in a modification of the terms of the cost item submitted to it, either party may reopen negotiations on all or part of the entire agreement.
(c) If the public employer is a local political subdivision with a city or town council form of government cost items shall be submitted within 30 days to the city council or aldermen or to the town council for approval. Within 30 days of the receipt of the submission, the city council, aldermen, or the town council shall vote to accept or reject the cost items. If the city council or aldermen or the town council rejects the submission, or while accepting the submission takes any action which would result in a modification of the terms of the cost item submitted to it, either party may reopen negotiations on all or part of the entire agreement. No cost item agreed to by the public employer and the employee organization shall be modified by the legislative body of such public employer.
III. Matters regarding the policies and practice of any merit system established by statute, charter or ordinance relating to recruitment, examination, appointment and advancement under conditions of political neutrality and based upon principles of merit and competence shall not be subjects of bargaining under the provisions of this chapter. Nothing herein shall be construed to diminish the authority of the state personnel commission or any board or agency established by statute, charter or ordinance to conduct and grade merit examinations from which appointments or promotions may be made.
IV. Each public employer shall record its budget submission date with the board.
Source. 1975, 490:2. 1977, 437:2. 1979, 374:3. 1985, 39:1, eff. June 8, 1985. 1998, 205:1, eff. Aug. 17, 1998. 2013, 244:1, eff. Sept 22, 2013.