A Practical Guide to the Municipal Employee Relations Act (MERA)

Municipal Training Wethersfield Town Hall

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Practical Guide to the Municipal Employee Relations Act (MERA)

Wethersfield Town Hall
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Registration beings at 8:30 a.m.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW back to top

This program will address key areas of public sector labor law that municipal elected officials and managers need to know in order to effectively work with public sector employees and their union representatives. 

The basic principles of The Municipal Employee Relations Act (MERA) will be reviewed, with a focus on:

  • Jurisdiction of the SBMA v. the SBLR
  • Mandatory, Permissive, & Illegal Subjects of Bargaining
  • Duty to Bargain in Good Faith
  • Elections -- Procedure and Issues to Consider

The recently revised MERA Manual will be utilized as an important tool for municipal management to understand and effectively deal with its collective bargaining obligations.

Also discussed will be important tips and tricks for winning cases in Wethersfield before the State Board of Labor Relations (prohibited practice complaints) and the State Board of Mediation and Arbitration (grievance and interest arbitration). The best defense is often a good offense!

The session is designed to be as interactive as possible, so come prepared with your questions and comments.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES back to top

  • Tips & Tricks for Mediation and Arbitration
  • Hear a summary of the collective bargaining and interest arbitration process.
  • Learn the powers and jurisdiction of the board of labor relations and the state board of mediation and arbitration.
  • Receive an overview of the parties covered by MERA: the types of employees - department heads, supervisors, etc.
  • Learn the duty and process of collective bargaining - to meet, make proposals, ground rules, direct dealing, past practice, duty to share information.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND back to top

  • First Selectmen, Mayors, Town/City Managers 
  • Human Resource Managers and Personnel
  • Finance Directors & Personnel
  • Municipal Labor Attorneys
  • Municipal Labor Negotiators
  • Municipal Labor Analysts

CCM PRESENTER back to top

Lisa Lazarek, Attorney at Law

Metzger Lazarek & Plumb LLC, Hartford, CT 

Attorney Lisa S. Lazarek focuses her practice on labor relations, contract negotiation and administration, interest and grievance arbitration, and defense of claims before state and federal administrative tribunals such as the Connecticut SBMA and SBLR, and the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. She counsels employers on compliance with labor and employment laws and regulations, with particular emphasis on resolving conflicting obligations between collective bargaining and anti-discrimination statutes.

Ms. Lazarek served as the Assistant General Counsel to the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations for five years, developing a unique "insider's" understanding of the State's labor laws and how they are applied. She recently worked with staff at CCM to update and revamp the MERA Manual, its first substantial revision in many years.

COST back to top

  • Non-Members - $120 per attendee, (see registration info below)
  • FREE to CCM-Members, (see registration info below)

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