Public Employee Rights and Benefits

ORS 243.670
Prohibition of actions by public employer to assist, promote or deter union organizing

  • rules


As used in this section:


“Assist, promote or deter union organizing” means any attempt by a public employer to influence the decision of any or all of its employees or the employees of its subcontractors regarding:


Whether to support or oppose a labor organization that represents or seeks to represent those employees; or


Whether to become a member of any labor organization.


“Public funds” means moneys drawn from the State Treasury or any special or trust fund of the state government, including any moneys appropriated by the state government and transferred to any public body, as defined in ORS 174.109 (“Public body” defined), and any other moneys under the control of a public official by virtue of office.


“Public property” means any real property or facility owned or leased by a public employer.


A public employer may not:


Use public funds to support actions to assist, promote or deter union organizing; or


Discharge, demote, harass or otherwise take adverse action against any individual because the individual seeks to enforce this section or testifies, assists or participates in any manner in an investigation, hearing or other proceeding to enforce this section.


If an employee requests the opinion of the employee’s employer or supervisor about union organizing, nothing in this section prohibits the employer or supervisor from responding to the request of the employee.


This section does not apply to an activity performed, or to an expense incurred, in connection with:


Addressing a grievance or negotiating or administering a collective bargaining agreement.


Allowing a labor organization or its representatives access to the public employer’s facilities or property.


Performing an activity required by federal or state law or by a collective bargaining agreement.


Negotiating, entering into or carrying out an agreement with a labor organization.


Paying wages to a represented employee while the employee is performing duties if the payment is permitted under a collective bargaining agreement.


(a) This section shall be enforced by the Employment Relations Board, which shall adopt rules necessary to implement and administer compliance. A resident of this state may intervene as a plaintiff in any action brought under this section.


Nothing in this section prohibits a public employer from spending public funds for the purpose of:


Representing the public employer in a proceeding before the board or in a judicial review of that proceeding;


Granting paid release time under ORS 243.802 (Written agreements regarding grant of period of release time for public employees to serve as designated representatives); or


Providing paid excused time to public employees who engage in the activities described under ORS 243.798 (Reasonable time granted to designated representatives to engage in certain activities during work hours). [2013 c.663 §4; 2019 c.429 §10]
Note: 243.670 (Prohibition of actions by public employer to assist, promote or deter union organizing) was added to and made a part of 243.650 (Definitions for ORS 243.650 to 243.806) to 243.806 (Agreement authorizing public employer to make deductions from salary or wages of public employee) by legislative action but was not added to any smaller series therein. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.
§§ 243.650 to 243.782

See also annotations under ORS 243.711 to 243.760 in permanent edition.

Notes of Decisions

Savings clause in chapter 536, Oregon Laws 1973, did not prevent application of expanded bargaining rights to collective bargaining agreement then in force. Redmond Sch. Dist. No. 2J v. Pub. Employe Relations Bd., 19 Or App 212, 527 P2d 143 (1974)

The board had authority to review, section by section, a city ordinance governing labor relations between the city and its employes and to hold invalid those provisions purporting to govern matters of predominantly state-wide concern and which were in conflict with the 1973 Act. City of Beaverton v. Intl. Assn. of Fire Fighters, 20 Or App 293, 531 P2d 730 (1975), Sup Ct review denied

Board order, defining appropriate bargaining unit and ordering representation election, was interlocutory in nature and was not "final order" subject to judicial review within meaning of ORS 183.480. City of Hermiston v. Employment Relations Board, 280 Or 291, 570 P2d 663 (1977)

Employment Relations Board's policy of adhering to arbitration decisions in subsequent related proceedings advances legislative purpose, and is proper exercise of authority to administer this act. Siegel v. Gresham Grade Teachers Association, 32 Or App 541, 574 P2d 692 (1978)

Public Employes' Collective Bargaining Law did not bar state agency from using state time and funds to campaign against labor organization in representation election. OSEA v. Department of Commerce, 34 Or App 727, 579 P2d 872 (1978)

Juvenile counselor appointed pursuant to [former] ORS 419.604 did not acquire collective bargaining rights granted by these sections where there was no showing that juvenile court judge had expressly authorized employer representatives to bargain on counselor's behalf concerning terms and conditions of his employment. Schmidt v. Jackson County Juv. Dept., 49 Or App 349, 619 P2d 1307 (1980)

Employment Relations Board employed scope of review contrary to Public Employe Relations Act when it reviewed merits of arbitration award rather than only its repugnancy to Public Employe Relations Act. Willamina Ed. Assoc. v. Willamina Sch. Dist. 30J, 50 Or App 195, 623 P2d 658 (1981)

Since Public Employe Collective Bargaining Act is general law addressed primarily to substantive social, economic and other regulatory objectives of this state which do not affect freedom of local community to choose its own political form, it does not mandate structural and organizational arrangements of local governments contrary to Oregon Constitution, Article XI, section 2. City of Roseburg v. Roseburg City Firefighters, 292 Or 266, 639 P2d 90 (1981)

State's decision to enact Public Employe Collective Bargaining Act supersedes city's power to allow its voters to arbitrate unresolved labor disputes and grant of power by Oregon Constitution, Article IV, section 1 to legislate by popular vote does not affect state's power in this area. City of Roseburg v. Roseburg City Firefighters, 292 Or 266, 639 P2d 90 (1981)

Arbitrator's failure to conclude that school district violated collective bargaining agreement by violating statutory requirements incorporated into agreement was not sufficiently egregious to be reversible as being "repugnant" to act. Eugene Educ. Assoc. v. Eugene School Dist 4J, 58 Or App 140, 648 P2d 60 (1982)

Employment Relations Board formulation of test for review of arbitration awards in enforcement proceedings which would permit enforcement of arbitrator's award unless (1) parties did not, in a written contract, agree to accept such an award as final and binding or (2) enforcement of the award would be contrary to public policy, was consistent with policies of Public Employe Collective Bargaining Act. Willamina Sch. Dist. 30J v. Willamina Ed. Assn., 60 Or App 629, 655 P2d 189 (1982)

Public Employe Collective Bargaining Act requirement that juvenile court judge bargain in good faith with representatives of juvenile counselors and refrain from establishing terms and conditions of counselors' employment in violation of applicable contractual provisions did not constitute an undue burden or interference with his judicial functions under [former] ORS 419.604 or the separation of powers provision contained in Article III, section 1 of the Oregon Constitution. Circuit Court v. AFSCME, 61 Or App 311, 657 P2d 1237 (1983), aff'd 295 Or 542, 669 P2d 314 (1983)

Public Employe Collective Bargaining Act applies to the Judicial Department and is not inconsistent with ORS 1.002 or 1.008. Lent v. ERB, 63 Or App 400, 664 P2d 1110 (1983), Sup Ct review denied

Employment Relations Board did not exceed statutory authority under Public Employes Collective Bargaining Act in designating appropriate bargaining unit which consists of police dispatchers who are employes who can strike and police officers who are forbidden from striking. City of Canby v. Canby Police Association, 68 Or App 317, 680 P2d 1033 (1984), Sup Ct review denied

Statutory purpose to provide uniform basis for employe organizing and bargaining would be subverted by holding that statute authorizing county civil service system supersedes collective bargaining required by this Act. AFSCME v. Clackamas County, 69 Or App 488, 687 P2d 1102 (1984)

Board had authority to order restitution where union collected "fair share" payments from nonunion public employees without complying with safeguards instituted to protect employees' rights of free speech and association. Elvin v. OPEU, 313 Or 165, 832 P2d 36 (1992)

Where public employees brought action for negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment against county employer, claims were not within jurisdiction of Employment Relations Board because claims were common law issues rather than public labor dispute. Black v. Coos County, 288 Or App 25, 405 P3d 178 (2017)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

School law on mediation as an exclusive procedure, (1971) Vol 35, p 961; seniority as a related economic issue, (1972) Vol 35, p 1134; legality of binding arbitration in public employment collective bargaining, (1972) Vol 36, p 18; validity of collective bargaining agreements between county intermediate education district and local education association on transfer of sick leave, (1975) Vol 37, p 328; authority of teachers to strike during contract year in absence of collective bargaining agreements, and to engage in picketing, (1975) Vol 37, p 732

Law Review Citations

51 OLR 7-69 (1971); 54 OLR 337-371 (1975); 56 OLR 457 (1977); 21 WLR 454 (1985); 70 OLR 969 (1991); 28 WLR 259 (1992); 32 WLR 69, 707 (1996)

Chapter 243

Notes of Decisions

Effect of Public Employe Relations Act is to modify authority of Personnel Division so that, while division retains responsibility for establishing general job salary grades and classifications, specific salary within each range which is paid to employe in public employe bargaining unit is subject to negotiation or arbitration under terms of this chapter. AFSCME v. Executive Dept., 52 Or App 457, 628 P2d 1228 (1981), Sup Ct review denied

Provision of collective bargaining agreement giving present employes lateral transfer rights was valid under ORS 240.321 and fact that its implementation resulted in male succeeding female employe did not violate state affirmative action statutes. State Executive Dept. v. OPEU, 91 Or App 124, 754 P2d 582 (1988)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

State agencies paying carpooling employes' parking fees, (1974) Vol 36, p 1015

Law Review Citations

51 OLR 23, 44 (1971)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021