Except for good cause, the DLR does not process a petition during the term of a valid collective bargaining agreement unless the petition is filed no more than 180 days and fewer than 150 days prior to the termination date of the contract. This is generally referred to as the "open period."
No collective bargaining agreement operates as a bar for a period of more than 3 years.
The open period for a petition filed under M.G.L. c. 150A is no more than 90 days and no less than 60 days prior to the contract's expiration.
Except for good cause, the DLR does not process a petition in any bargaining unit if, after the approval of a consent election agreement or the close of a hearing, but before the election is held:
- the petitioner withdrew from a prior petition for the same unit within the preceding 6 months,
- disclaimed interest in continued representation of the bargaining unit within the preceding 6 months, or
- withdrew a written majority authorization petition after the designation of a neutral, but before the start of the verification process within the preceding 6 months.
Certification year bar
Except for good cause, the DLR does not process a petition within the 12 month period after the DLR certifies a bargaining representative, either by election or the written majority authorization process.
Election year bar
Except for good cause, the DLR will not conduct an election if an election has been held among the petitioned-for employees in the previous 12 months, or if a neutral has conducted a written majority authorization verification process in the previous 12 months.
Recognition year bar
Except for good cause, the DLR does not process a petition for any existing bargaining unit for which a voluntary recognition agreement has been executed in the preceding 12 months in accordance with 456 CMR 14.06(5).