Section 9R. (a) There shall be in the department of labor relations a commonwealth employment relations board, in this and the following 5 sections called the “board,” consisting of 3 members to be appointed by the governor. The board shall in no respect be subject to the jurisdiction of the executive office of labor and workforce development except to the extent of compliance with reasonable requests from the secretary for the sharing of information which does not interfere with the efficient and independent functioning of the board. Each member of the board shall be appointed for a term of 5 years; provided, however, that a term of appointment shall be shortened, if necessary, to ensure that the members’ terms are staggered such that a term expires every 2 years. Any vacancy in the board shall be filled by appointment in like manner. No more than 2 members shall be from the same political party. Upon the expiration of the term of any member, her successor shall be appointed in like manner. Any member may be removed by the governor for neglect of duty or malfeasance in office, but for no other cause.
(b) The governor shall designate one of the members of the board as chair. The chair shall be responsible for convening meetings of the board. The position of chair shall be classified in accordance with section 45 of chapter 30 and the chair’s salary shall be determined in accordance with section 46C of said chapter 30. The chair shall devote her full time to the duties of her office and shall not engage in other employment or business activities during regular business hours.
(c) The board members other than the chair shall serve on a per diem basis, to be reimbursed at an appropriate rate to be established by the director, in consultation with the advisory council. The board members shall hold no other public office or public employment in the commonwealth, and shall devote whatever time is necessary to fulfill the obligations of their positions.
(d) Pursuant to section 11 of chapter 150E, the members shall be responsible for reviewing orders and issuing decisions.
(e) A vacancy in the board shall not impair the right of the remaining members to exercise all the powers of the board, and 2 members of the board shall at all times constitute a quorum. The board shall have an official seal which shall be judicially noticed.
(f) The appointment or reappointment of a member shall be made by the governor from names submitted to the governor by the advisory council. Before any appointment or reappointment to the position of member of the commonwealth employment relations board, the advisory council shall review all applications for such nominations and consider the following factors: (1) basic understanding of the commonwealth’s public sector labor relations law; (2) skills in decision-making; (3) a law degree; and (4) demonstrated familiarity with legal processes. The advisory council shall rank each candidate as qualified, unqualified, or highly qualified. The governor may select 1 or more candidates recommended by the advisory council; provided, however, that the governor may decline to appoint any of the proffered candidates, in which case the council shall reopen the application process and submit new candidates for the governor’s consideration.
(g) Attorneys employed by the division may appear for and represent the board in any case in court.