The duty of public employers and labor organizations to bargain in good faith under the Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act (PECBA), ORS 243.650–243.782, includes the duty to provide information, if the information requested is “of probable or potential relevance to a grievance or other contract administration issue” or is “reasonably necessary to allow meaningful bargaining on a contract proposal.”
The basic idea behind the PECBA duty to provide information in this context is to allow a union to evaluate the merits of an actual or potential grievance, or to allow for meaningful bargaining on a contract proposal. The duty to provide information under PECBA is independent from a public employer’s duty to provide information under the Oregon Public Records Law and from a union or public employer’s discovery requirements associated with civil litigation.
To make an information request, please email email@example.com
Other Types of Requests
If you are making a public records request or received what you believe might be a public records request or would like more information on public records requests, please contact the Office of Public Records.
If you are making a discovery request or have received what you believe might be a discovery request or subpoena, please contact the Office of the General Counsel.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can the union request information for?
The union may request information to:
- Investigate an existing grievance
- Investigate a matter in order to determine whether or not to bring a grievance
- Allow for meaningful bargaining on a contract proposal
Are there limits to what the Union can request?
The information the union is requesting must have some probable or potential relevance to a grievance or other contractual matter.
- Contains useful information
- Could lead to relevant information
- PECBA requires that the requesting party must assert in its information request that the requested information is or may be relevant to a particular contract matter (e.g., a grievance or allegation that the employer has violated a term of the CBA) and that party has the legal burden of explaining the relevance of the particular request.
Is there information that is always relevant?
Yes; Information presumed relevant includes information pertaining to the wages hours and working conditions of individuals represented by the requesting union.
- Unless management has a good reason for not disclosing it or can prove that it is in fact irrelevant, it must be provided to the union upon request. Please also note that the relevance threshold is low.
What if the request itself is unclear or the relevance of the documents is unclear?
Ask union in writing for clarification in writing as to the nature of the request and the relevance of the requested documents.
- Under PECBA, the party responding to the request has the right to ask for clarification of a request for information, and the requesting party has a duty to explain the relevance of the request.
What if there is a confidentiality interest in the records?
The duty to provide information under PECBA does not include the obligation to produce certain information that presents “legitimate and substantial” confidentiality issues. The party asserting confidentiality has the burden of establishing it and the responsibility to propose an accommodation that would address the confidentiality concern.
- The University will work with the union in good faith to accommodate the request while also protecting the confidentiality interest.
How long does the employer have to respond to a request for this information?
The employer has a duty to respond to an information request within a timely manner.
- Can depend on the situation and reason
- This includes, but is not limited to, the accessibility of the data, the amount of data, time necessary to collect and produce it, and the workload priorities of the responding party.
- Apply a rule of reason to difficult requests
- Examples: Archived information, voluminous information, information requiring the involvement of others
Can the university charge the union for the costs associated with responding to an information requests?
Yes; a public entity may charge the union the actual cost of producing the information. The responding party must also notify the requesting party of its intention to charge those costs.