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About the Board > Agency Overview

Overview of the PELRB:

Since 1976, the PELRB has administered RSA 273-A, the state’s public sector employee collective bargaining law.  The PELRB oversees the process of collective bargaining for state, county, city and municipal employees, including unit formation and modification, unit representation, and unfair labor practice proceedings.  The PELRB’s staff includes a director, a staff attorney, and administrative support positions.   Management, labor, and the public interest are represented on the PELRB board.

Administrative and Adjudicatory functions:

Bargaining Units.

Upon the filing of a certification petition supported by the requisite number of confidential authorization cards, the PELRB determines the composition (positions to be included in) the proposed bargaining unit and conducts any related election to establish the bargaining unit’s exclusive representative (bargaining agent), if any.  The PELRB also makes changes to the positions included within an existing bargaining through the processing of modification petitions.  PELRB proceedings involving proposed new bargaining units or proposed changes to the positions included within an existing bargaining unit may involve contested hearings.

Representation challenges.

Decertification petitions and challenge certification are used to request  a representation election to resolve  questions of  unit representation, including whether  unit employees wish to continue with statutory collective bargaining. Contested hearings may be necessary.


The PELRB conducts representation elections at the workplace or by mail.

Unfair Labor Practice Charges.

Unfair Labor Practice complaints must be based upon alleged violations of RSA 273-A:5, I or II. Pre-hearing conferences and contested hearings are typically required.

Declaratory Rulings.

Petitions for a declaratory ruling are processed under Pub 206.01 and are limited to the specific applicability of any statute within the jurisdiction of the board to enforce, or any rule or order of the board.


The PELRB holds hearings as necessary to resolve pending cases.  Such hearings usually involve evidence submitted through witnesses and exhibits, as well as written and oral argument.  In some cases the parties waive hearing and instead submit the case for decision on stipulated facts and exhibits together with written briefs.


The PELRB issues written decisions in contested cases following the submission of evidence (at hearing or by stipulation) and briefs.   Decisions typically include a summary of the case, specific findings of fact, and a statement of the decision with a discussion of the reasoning and basis for the decision.  Hearing officer decisions are subject to review under Pub 205.01, and board decisions are subject to motions for rehearing under Pub 205.02 and RSA 541:3.  Appeals to the state supreme court may be filed under RSA 541:6 and Pub 205.03.


The PELRB files rulemaking petitions as necessary to implement the provisions of RSA 273-A. This involves the conduct of related public hearings and proceedings, and the presentation of proposed rule changes to the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR).

Mediator, Fact-Finder, and Arbitrator Appointments.

The board maintains a list of neutrals per RSA 273-A:2, V available for employment by the public employers and exclusive representatives/unions in areas such as collective bargaining mediation and fact finding as well as arbitration.

Collective Bargaining Agreements.

Parties to collective bargaining agreements are required to file their contracts with the PELRB. These agreements may be viewed or downloaded at the PELRB web site.

RSA 273-C.

Under RSA 273-C the PELRB administers laws governing the right of employees of licensed dog or horse racing track owners to form bargaining units and engage in collective bargaining.

Electronic Filing and Docket Maintenance.

Except where exceptions apply, all filings with the PELRB must be submitted via email to pelrb@nh.gov. The PELRB uses an electronic filing and case management system to facilitate the processing of filings, the issuance of decisions, and internal management of case files, docket material, and general operations.


New Hampshire Public Employee Labor Relations Board
2½ Beacon Street, Suite 200 | Concord, NH 03301
Telephone: (603) 271-2587 | E-mail: pelrb@nh.gov
The materials presented on this website are provided for informational purposes only. No information, data or statements should be considered as personal or specific legal counsel to any visitor to this site. If you have a specific question requiring a legal opinion you should contact your own union representative or your own attorney.