UNFAIR PRACTICE ISSUES; STRIKES, SLOWDOWNS AND WORK STOPPAGES – Post-Impasse
Single Topic for Decision 2480M
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301.03000 – Post-Impasse
Because bargaining impasse was not broken, the bargaining obligation was not revived and the exclusive representative did not violate its duty to bargain in good faith by going out on strike; impasse suspends the parties’ obligation to bargain only until “changed circumstances” demonstrate that an agreement may be possible; the making of “concessions” is key to finding a change in circumstances sufficient to revive the duty to bargain; a handful of non-substantive e-mail exchanges exploring the parties’ interest in and availability for a meeting did not rise to the level of changed circumstances sufficient to revive the bargaining obligation, as there was no evidence that either party made a substantial concession from an earlier position and was genuinely committed to a new bargaining position; because the parties were at impasse, the employer had the option to refuse the exclusive representative’s request to meet, to respond to the request with a concession substantial enough to revive the bargaining obligation or to unilaterally impose its last, best and final offer; by instead insisting that the duty to bargain was revived, the employer foreclosed all its options.