Section 9O. There shall be within the executive office of labor and workforce development a department of labor relations, in this and the following 6 sections called the “department,” which shall be administered by a director, who shall be appointed by the governor. The department shall include: (1) a dispute resolution office; (2) an advisory council; (3) the commonwealth employment relations board; and (4) the joint labor-management committee. The department and its staff shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the executive office for all administrative functions, but shall not be subject to the executive office in the performance of adjudicatory functions, including but not limited to the assignment, evaluation, hiring, and firing of individual adjudicatory personnel.
It is hereby declared to be the public policy of the commonwealth that the best interests of the people of the state are served by the prevention or prompt settlement of labor disputes; and it shall be the responsibility and objective of the department to take such steps as will most effectively and expeditiously encourage the parties to a labor dispute to agree on the terms of a settlement or to agree on the method and procedure which shall be used to resolve a dispute.
It is recognized that a constructive and harmonious long-term collective bargaining relationship is the most positive way to avoid labor disputes, and such a relationship can be effectively developed in the public sector through the use of joint labor management committees.