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75-4321. Declaration of policy and objectives; election by public employer to be bound by act; termination. (a) The legislature hereby finds and declares that:

(1) The people of this state have a fundamental interest in the development of harmonious and cooperative relationships between government and its employees;

(2) the denial by some public employers of the right of public employees to organize and the refusal by some to accept the principle and procedure of full communication between public employers and public employee organizations can lead to various forms of strife and unrest;

(3) the state has a basic obligation to protect the public by assuring, at all times, the orderly and uninterrupted operations and functions of government;

(4) there neither is, nor can be, an analogy of statuses between public employees and private employees, in fact or law, because of inherent differences in the employment relationship arising out of the unique fact that the public employer was established by and is run for the benefit of all the people and its authority derives not from contract nor the profit motive inherent in the principle of free private enterprise, but from the constitution, statutes, civil service rules, regulations and resolutions; and

(5) the difference between public and private employment is further reflected in the constraints that bar any abdication or bargaining away by public employers of their continuing legislative discretion and in the fact that constitutional provisions as to contract, property, and due process do not apply to the public employer and employee relationship.

(b) Subject to the provisions of subsection (c), it is the purpose of this act to obligate public agencies, public employees and their representatives to enter into discussions with affirmative willingness to resolve grievances and disputes relating to conditions of employment, acting within the framework of law. It is also the purpose of this act to promote the improvement of employer-employee relations within the various public agencies of the state and its political subdivisions by providing a uniform basis for recognizing the right of public employees to join organizations of their own choice, or to refrain from joining, and be represented by such organizations in their employment relations and dealings with public agencies.

(c) The governing body of any public employer, other than the state and its agencies, by a majority vote of all the members may elect to bring such public employer under the provisions of this act, and upon such election the public employer and its employees shall be bound by its provisions from the date of such election. Once an election has been made to bring the public employer under the provisions of this act it continues in effect unless rescinded by a majority vote of all members of the governing body. No vote to rescind shall take effect until the termination of the next complete budget year following such vote.

History: L. 1971, ch. 264, § 1; March 1, 1972.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"The New Kansas Public Employer-Employee Law," W. Stanley Churchill, 41 J.B.A.K. 13 (1972).

Collective Negotiations Act, 18 W.L.J. 11, 12 (1978).

"The Kansas Public Employer-Employee Relations Law," Raymond Goetz, 28 K.L.R. 243, 246 (1980).

"Labor Law—Mandatory Subjects of Bargaining Under the Kansas Public Employer-Employee Relations Act—Kansas Board of Regents v. Pittsburg State University Chapter of Kansas-National Education Association," Diana Dietrich, 32 K.L.R. 697 (1984).

Attorney General's Opinions:

Kansas city board of public utilities; protection afforded fire district employees. 81-93.

Public employer-employee relations; collective bargaining with sheriff's employees. 81-276.

Agreement between employee organization and city; implementation. 82-211.

State provided housing, food service or other employee maintenance. 87-36.

County commissioners; employment termination of county employees. 88-11.

Sheriff has power to hire and fire sheriff's employees; not bound by memorandum of agreement executed by board of county commissioners. 2004-13.


1. Act discussed in determining school board required to negotiate with previously recognized representative under K.S.A. 72-5413 et seq. Liberal NEA v. Board of Education, 211 Kan. 219, 225, 228, 505 P.2d 651.

2. District court order setting aside board's order substantively arbitrary and capricious. Coggins v. Public Employee Relations Board, 2 Kan. App. 2d 416, 421, 581 P.2d 817.

3. Cited in determining that employees' due process rights can be waived by memorandum of agreement if the agreement provides for protection and enforcement of employees' rights. Gorham v. City of Kansas City, 225 Kan. 369, 370, 376, 590 P.2d 1051.

4. Act cited in upholding the limited scope of district court review provided for in K.S.A. 75-4334. Behrmann v. Public Employee Relations Board, 225 Kan. 435, 437, 591 P.2d 173.

5. Purpose of act considered; parties required to meet, and to confer and negotiate in good faith, with affirmative willingness to resolve differences and reach agreement. Kansas Bd. of Regents v. Pittsburg State Univ. Chap. of K-NEA, 233 Kan. 801, 667 P.2d 306 (1983).

6. Public employers failing to come under PERA are subject to anti-injunction provisions of K.S.A. 60-904(c). City of Kansas City v. Carpenters Dist. Council of Kansas City, 237 Kan. 295, 301, 699 P.2d 493 (1985).

7. No positive obligation on city to refrain from discharging without cause; ordinance requiring city residence not contrary to act. Kansas City, Kan. Frat. v. City of Kansas City, 620 F. Supp. 752, 759, 760 (1984).

8. Cited; effect of memorandum of understanding and remedies therein regarding meal periods and work schedules of sheriff's deputies examined. Atteberry v. Ritchie, 243 Kan. 277, 284, 756 P.2d 424 (1988).

9. Judicial branch employees are not covered by PEERA. Kansas Ass'n of Public Employees v. Public Employees Relations Bd., 13 Kan. App. 2d 657, 778 P.2d 377 (1989).

10. Agreement with firefighters' union resulting from city resolution opting out from KPEERA determined as binding contract. International Ass'n of Firefighters v. City of Lawrence, 14 Kan. App. 2d 788, 790, 798 P.2d 960 (1990).

11. Court not precluded in hearing challenge to provision of Kansas public employer-employee relations act based on unconstitutionality of statute. Slifer v. Public Employee Relations Bd., 737 F.Supp. 1149, 1150 (1990).

12. Neither PERB nor employees' union subject to limitations of open records act (K.S.A. 45-215 et seq.) when acting under sanctioned activities of PEERA. State Dept. of SRS v. Public Employee Relations Board, 249 Kan. 163, 169, 170, 815 P.2d 66 (1991).

13. Whether PEERA (K.S.A. 75-4321 et seq.) agreements covering conditions of employment take precedence over conflicting civil service regulations examined. State Dept. of Administration v. Public Employees Relations Bd., 257 Kan. 275, 292, 894 P.2d 777 (1995).

14. Under facts, city exerted sufficient control over airport employees to be considered their employer for PEERA purposes. City of Wichita v. Public Employee Relations Bd., 259 Kan. 628, 633, 913 P.2d 137 (1995).

15. Court must affirm an arbitration award as long as arbitrator is acting within scope of authority. City of Coffeyville v. IBEW Local No. 1523, 270 Kan. 322, 14 P.3d 1 (2000).

16. Cited; PERB acted beyond its authority in awarding monetary damages. Ft. Hays St. Univ. v. University Ch., Am. Ass'n of Univ. Profs., 40 Kan. App. 2d 714, 715, 718, 195 P.3d 259 (2008).

17. A city's vote to opt out of the public employer-employee relations act may not take effect until the termination of the next complete budget year. Wing v. City of Edwardsville, 51 Kan. App. 2d 58, 63, 341 P.3d 607 (2014).

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