The Board is composed of three members, all appointed by the Governor and subject to confirmation by the New York State Senate; the Governor designates one of the members to serve as Chair. Each member is appointed for a six year term, with one of the three terms expiring on May 31 every other year. The law stipulates that “not more than two members of the board shall be members of the same political party.”
The Chair of the Board is a full-time employee of New York State, while the other two members are per diem members, and may pursue other non-public employment. Each member has an equal vote on decisions of the Board and any two members may constitute a majority.
The responsibilities of the Board include: (1) setting policy standards for the agency; (2) issuing final agency rulings on appeal from decisions and rulings by agency program sections; (3) assigning appropriate penalties against unions found to have engaged in work stoppage activities; (4) issuing rulings, as appropriate, regarding certification of unions seeking to represent public employees, and the proper maintenance of provisions and procedures by local governments establishing “mini-PERBs;” (5) enacting Rules of Procedure by which parties and agency personnel are bound; and (6) maintaining an appropriate panel of qualified labor relations neutrals to provide mediation, fact-finding and interest arbitration services on a per diem basis.
The Board fulfills its responsibilities by meeting regularly to consider cases on appeal, to issue rulings on the appeals, and to act on other matters within its jurisdiction. The Board determines its meeting dates, with the administrative details, agenda publication, recording of minutes, case calendar and dissemination of Board decisions and rulings handled by the Secretary to the Board.
The Chair, in addition to being a member of the Board, is the chief executive officer for the agency, responsible for carrying out policies set by the Board and for overseeing the function and administration of agency program sections. To fulfill these responsibilities, the Chair meets regularly with his executive staff, composed of the Executive Director, the Deputy Chair, and each of the program directors. Meetings are utilized (1) to allow input by executive staff regarding agency activities and policy; (2) to keep directors and members of their staffs informed regarding major cases and/or activities throughout the agency; and (3) to advise directors of changes in agency policy or changes in state policies and how PERB operations will be affected.
The Deputy Chair & Counsel acts as the chief legal advisor to the Board. In that capacity (s)he is responsible handling any and all procedural matters which arise in connection with cases pending before the Board, including requests for oral argument, extensions of time, and other motions, upon consultation with the Chair and Board members as requested. (S)he is responsible for assuring a timely flow of cases to final disposition by the Board, and is responsible for conducting legal research and analysis, and the drafting of Board decisions for review and adoption by the Board. The Deputy Chair & Counsel also advises the Chair and the Board concerning Board policies and possible amendments to the Board’s Rules of Procedure.