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Petition for Certification – New Bargaining Unit must be filed with the PELRB describing the proposed bargaining unit. Authorization Cards, signed by at least 30% of the employees in the proposed bargaining unit, must be filed as well.  Note: The cards must be signed and dated within six months of the date the petition is filed.  Probationary employees may not sign Authorization Cards. 

Bargaining units are limited to “public employees,” which means anyone employed by a public employer except those: 1) elected by popular vote; 2) appointed to office by the chief executive or legislative body of the public employer; 3) whose duties imply a confidential relationship to the public employer; or 4) in a probationary (12 month maximum for purposes of RSA 273-A) or temporary status, or employed seasonally, irregularly or on call.

A minimum of ten employees (probationary employees count toward the ten employee minimum) in the proposed unit is required, and a proposed new bargaining unit should consist of employee positions that are appropriate to group together for the purpose of collective bargaining based upon criteria specified in RSA 273-A and PELRB rules. 

A sufficient "community of interest" among employees in the proposed unit is required. The PELRB will consider whether employees have the same conditions of employment, a history of workable and acceptable collective negotiations, are in the same historic craft or profession, and are functioning within the same organizational unit.  The PELRB will also consider whether there is a common geographic location of the proposed unit, the presence of common work rules and personnel practices, the presence of common salary and fringe benefit structures, and the self-felt community of interest among employees.  The PELRB will also consider: (1) the effect of forming any particular unit on the efficiency of government operations within the parameters of the "Terms and conditions of employment" clause within the statute (RSA 273-A:1, XI) which actually addresses management rights considerations; and (2) the potential for creating a division of loyalties between the public employer and the employees' exclusive representative.

Certain positions will be excluded from the proposed unit, such as, for example, "[p]ersons exercising supervisory authority involving the significant exercise of discretion [who] may not belong to the same bargaining unit as the employees they supervise."  Another exclusion are “confidential” employees, who are individuals "whose duties imply a confidential relationship to the public employer" in the area of labor relations.  

The employer must file a list of employees holding positions in the proposed bargaining unit immediately after the Petition for Certification – New Bargaining Unit is filed.  PELRB staff uses the employee list to check the Authorization Cards and issue a card report. 

The petitioner is required to request, but not obtain, the employer’s agreement to the composition of the proposed bargaining unit before the Petition for Certification – New Bargaining Unit is filed with the PELRB. However, any such agreement is without prejudice to the rights of an intervenor who does not participate in such discussions and the agreement is not binding on the PELRB.

Objections and Exceptions are due within fifteen days of the date the petition is filed with the PELRB.

Petitions to Intervene must be filed within 15 days of the date the original petition was filed and must be supported by Authorization Cards signed by at least 20% of the employees in the proposed bargaining unit.  If appropriate, and in cases where the PELRB orders an election, the intervenor will appear on the election ballot.

The PELRB will hold a hearing as necessary and issue a written decision on the petition.  If appropriate, the PELRB will also issue an Order for Election, schedule a pre-election conference, and conduct an on-site or mail ballot election to determine the approved bargaining unit’s exclusive representative, if any.

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.