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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Chapter 179A

Section 179A.03


Recent History

    Subdivision 1. General. For the purposes of sections 179A.01 to 179A.25, the terms defined
in this section have the meanings given them unless otherwise stated.
    Subd. 2. Appropriate unit. "Appropriate unit" or "unit" means a unit of employees
determined under sections 179A.09 to 179A.11. For school districts, the term means all the
teachers in the district.
    Subd. 3. Bureau. "Bureau" means the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services.
    Subd. 4. Confidential employee. "Confidential employee" means an employee who as
part of the employee's job duties:
(1) has access to labor relations information as that term is defined in section 13.37,
subdivision 1
, paragraph (c); or
(2) actively participates in the meeting and negotiating on behalf of the public employer.
    Subd. 5. Commissioner. "Commissioner of the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services" or
"commissioner" means the commissioner of the Bureau of Mediation Services.
    Subd. 6. Employee organization. "Employee organization" means any union or organization
of public employees whose purpose is, in whole or in part, to deal with public employers
concerning grievances and terms and conditions of employment.
    Subd. 7. Essential employee. "Essential employee" means firefighters, peace officers
subject to licensure under sections 626.84 to 626.863, 911 system and police and fire department
public safety dispatchers, guards at correctional facilities, confidential employees, supervisory
employees, assistant county attorneys, assistant city attorneys, principals, and assistant principals.
However, for state employees, "essential employee" means all employees in law enforcement,
public safety radio communications operators, health care professionals, correctional guards,
professional engineering, and supervisory collective bargaining units, irrespective of severance,
and no other employees. For University of Minnesota employees, "essential employee" means
all employees in law enforcement, nursing professional and supervisory units, irrespective of
severance, and no other employees. "Firefighters" means salaried employees of a fire department
whose duties include, directly or indirectly, controlling, extinguishing, preventing, detecting, or
investigating fires. Employees for whom the state court administrator is the negotiating employer
are not essential employees. For Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc. employees, "essential
employees" means all employees.
    Subd. 8. Exclusive representative. "Exclusive representative" means an employee
organization which has been certified by the commissioner under section 179A.12 to meet and
negotiate with the employer on behalf of all employees in the appropriate unit.
    Subd. 9. Fair share fee challenge. "Fair share fee challenge" means any proceeding or action
instituted by a public employee, a group of public employees, or any other person, to determine
their rights and obligations with respect to the circumstances or the amount of a fair share fee.
    Subd. 10. Meet and confer. "Meet and confer" means the exchange of views and concerns
between employers and their employees.
    Subd. 11. Meet and negotiate. "Meet and negotiate" means the performance of the mutual
obligations of public employers and the exclusive representatives of public employees to meet at
reasonable times, including where possible meeting in advance of the budget making process,
with the good faith intent of entering into an agreement on terms and conditions of employment.
This obligation does not compel either party to agree to a proposal or to make a concession.
    Subd. 12. Principal; assistant principal. "Principal" and "assistant principal" means any
person so licensed by the commissioner of education who devotes more than 50 percent of the
time to administrative or supervisory duties.
    Subd. 13. Professional employee. "Professional employee" means:
(a) any employee engaged in work (i) predominantly intellectual and varied in character as
opposed to routine mental, manual, mechanical, or physical work; (ii) involving the consistent
exercise of discretion and judgment in its performance; (iii) of a character that the output
produced or the result accomplished cannot be standardized in relation to a given period of time;
and (iv) requiring advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a
prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction and study in an institution of higher
learning or a hospital, as distinguished from a general academic education, an apprenticeship, or
training in the performance of routine mental, manual, or physical processes; or
(b) any employee, who (i) has completed the course of advanced instruction and study
described in clause (iv) of paragraph (a); and (ii) is performing related work under the supervision
of a professional person to qualify as a professional employee as defined in paragraph (a); or
(c) a teacher.
    Subd. 14. Public employee or employee. "Public employee" or "employee" means any
person appointed or employed by a public employer except:
(a) elected public officials;
(b) election officers;
(c) commissioned or enlisted personnel of the Minnesota National Guard;
(d) emergency employees who are employed for emergency work caused by natural disaster;
(e) part-time employees whose service does not exceed the lesser of 14 hours per week or 35
percent of the normal work week in the employee's appropriate unit;
(f) employees whose positions are basically temporary or seasonal in character and: (1) are
not for more than 67 working days in any calendar year; or (2) are not for more than 100 working
days in any calendar year and the employees are under the age of 22, are full-time students
enrolled in a nonprofit or public educational institution prior to being hired by the employer, and
have indicated, either in an application for employment or by being enrolled at an educational
institution for the next academic year or term, an intention to continue as students during or
after their temporary employment;
(g) employees providing services for not more than two consecutive quarters to the Board of
Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities under the terms of a professional or
technical services contract as defined in section 16C.08, subdivision 1;
(h) employees of charitable hospitals as defined by section 179.35, subdivision 3;
(i) full-time undergraduate students employed by the school which they attend under a
work-study program or in connection with the receipt of financial aid, irrespective of number of
hours of service per week;
(j) an individual who is employed for less than 300 hours in a fiscal year as an instructor in
an adult vocational education program;
(k) an individual hired by the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and
Universities to teach one course for three or fewer credits for one semester in a year;
(l) with respect to court employees:
(1) personal secretaries to judges;
(2) law clerks;
(3) managerial employees;
(4) confidential employees; and
(5) supervisory employees;
(m) with respect to employees of Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., managerial, supervisory,
and confidential employees.
The following individuals are public employees regardless of the exclusions of clauses
(e) and (f):
(i) An employee hired by a school district or the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State
Colleges and Universities except at the university established in section 136F.13 or for community
services or community education instruction offered on a noncredit basis: (A) to replace an
absent teacher or faculty member who is a public employee, where the replacement employee is
employed more than 30 working days as a replacement for that teacher or faculty member; or (B)
to take a teaching position created due to increased enrollment, curriculum expansion, courses
which are a part of the curriculum whether offered annually or not, or other appropriate reasons;
(ii) An employee hired for a position under clause (f)(1) if that same position has already
been filled under clause (f)(1) in the same calendar year and the cumulative number of days
worked in that same position by all employees exceeds 67 calendar days in that year. For the
purpose of this paragraph, "same position" includes a substantially equivalent position if it is not
the same position solely due to a change in the classification or title of the position; and
(iii) an early childhood family education teacher employed by a school district.
    Subd. 15. Public employer or employer. "Public employer" or "employer" means:
(a) the state of Minnesota for employees of the state not otherwise provided for in this
subdivision or section 179A.10 for executive branch employees;
(b) the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for its employees;
(c) the state court administrator for court employees;
(d) the state Board of Public Defense for its employees;
(e) Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc.; and
(f) notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the governing body of a political
subdivision or its agency or instrumentality which has final budgetary approval authority for its
employees. However, the views of elected appointing authorities who have standing to initiate
interest arbitration, and who are responsible for the selection, direction, discipline, and discharge
of individual employees shall be considered by the employer in the course of the discharge of
rights and duties under sections 179A.01 to 179A.25.
When two or more units of government subject to sections 179A.01 to 179A.25 undertake
a project or form a new agency under law authorizing common or joint action, the employer
is the governing person or board of the created agency. The governing official or body of the
cooperating governmental units shall be bound by an agreement entered into by the created
agency according to sections 179A.01 to 179A.25.
"Public employer" or "employer" does not include a "charitable hospital" as defined in
section 179.35, subdivision 2.
Nothing in this subdivision diminishes the authority granted pursuant to law to an appointing
authority with respect to the selection, direction, discipline, or discharge of an individual
employee if this action is consistent with general procedures and standards relating to selection,
direction, discipline, or discharge which are the subject of an agreement entered into under
sections 179A.01 to 179A.25.
    Subd. 16. Strike. "Strike" means concerted action in failing to report for duty, the willful
absence from one's position, the stoppage of work, slowdown, or the abstinence in whole or in
part from the full, faithful, and proper performance of the duties of employment for the purposes
of inducing, influencing, or coercing a change in the conditions or compensation or the rights,
privileges, or obligations of employment.
    Subd. 17. Supervisory employee. "Supervisory employee" means a person who has the
authority to undertake a majority of the following supervisory functions in the interests of the
employer: hiring, transfer, suspension, promotion, discharge, assignment, reward, or discipline of
other employees, direction of the work of other employees, or adjustment of other employees'
grievances on behalf of the employer. To be included as a supervisory function which the person
has authority to undertake, the exercise of the authority by the person may not be merely
routine or clerical in nature but must require the use of independent judgment. An employee,
other than an essential employee, who has authority to effectively recommend a supervisory
function, is deemed to have authority to undertake that supervisory function for the purposes of
this subdivision. The administrative head of a municipality, municipal utility, or police or fire
department, and the administrative head's assistant, are always considered supervisory employees.
The removal of employees by the employer from a nonsupervisory appropriate unit for the
purpose of designating the employees as "supervisory employees" shall require either the prior
written agreement of the exclusive representative and the written approval of the commissioner or
a separate determination by the commissioner before the redesignation is effective.
    Subd. 18. Teacher. "Teacher" means any public employee other than a superintendent or
assistant superintendent, principal, assistant principal, or a supervisory or confidential employee,
employed by a school district:
(1) in a position for which the person must be licensed by the Board of Teaching or the
commissioner of education; or
(2) in a position as a physical therapist or an occupational therapist.
    Subd. 19. Terms and conditions of employment. "Terms and conditions of employment"
means the hours of employment, the compensation therefor including fringe benefits except
retirement contributions or benefits other than employer payment of, or contributions to,
premiums for group insurance coverage of retired employees or severance pay, and the employer's
personnel policies affecting the working conditions of the employees. In the case of professional
employees the term does not mean educational policies of a school district. "Terms and conditions
of employment" is subject to section 179A.07.
    Subd. 20. Court employee. "Court employee" means a public employee employed by the
Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, or a judicial district that is under section 480.181, subdivision
, paragraph (b).
History: 1984 c 462 s 4; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 186 s 15; 1987 c 384 art 2 s 1; 1988 c 605 s
4; 1989 c 255 s 2; 1990 c 377 s 1; 1991 c 308 s 2; 1992 c 582 s 3-5; 1993 c 12 s 1; 1995 c 212
art 4 s 64; 1995 c 226 art 6 s 3; 1996 c 425 s 7; 1997 c 7 art 1 s 81,82; 1997 c 156 s 3; 1998 c
355 s 1; 1998 c 386 art 2 s 65; 1Sp1998 c 1 art 3 s 20; 1998 c 398 art 5 s 55; 1999 c 216 art
7 s 3-6; 1999 c 221 s 5; 2000 c 345 s 1; 2003 c 130 s 12; 2005 c 125 art 2 s 1-3; 1Sp2005 c 5
art 7 s 16; 1Sp2005 c 6 art 3 s 81

NOTE:The amendments to subdivisions 7, 14, and 15 by Laws 2005, chapter 125, article 2,
sections 1, 2, and 3 respectively, are effective the day after the Hennepin County Board files a
certificate of local approval in compliance with Minnesota Statutes, section 645.021, subdivision
. Laws 2005, chapter 125, article 1, section 29, as amended by Laws 2005, First Special Session
chapter 7, section 34; and Laws 2005, chapter 125, article 2, section 10.