Section 25. The directors shall have authority to bargain collectively with labor organizations representing employees of the authority and to enter into agreements, with such organizations relative to wages, salaries, hours, working conditions, the assignment of work schedules and work locations on the basis of seniority, including: (a) hours of work each day and days worked each week; provided, however, that a change in such assignment shall not provide for a change in classification; and (b) the filling of vacancies by promotion or transfer of qualified applicants on the basis of seniority, health benefits, pensions and retirement allowances of such employees; provided, however, that the directors shall have no authority to bargain collectively and shall have no authority to enter into collective bargaining agreements with respect to matters of inherent management right which shall include the right:
(i) to direct, appoint, and employ officers, agents and employees and to determine the standards therefor;
(ii) to discharge or terminate employees subject to the provisions of clauses (a) and (b). (a) No such action to discharge or terminate shall be sustained if, in a proceeding invoked in accordance with the provisions of clause (b), the employee shall establish by a preponderance of the evidence that it was based upon race, sex, color, religion, creed, sexual orientation, age, national origin, handicapping condition, marital status, or political affiliation, or activities or union activities or union organizing of the employees; a reprisal against the employee for disclosure of information by an employee which the employee reasonably believes evidences a violation of any law, rule or regulation or mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, or abuse of authority; a reprisal against any employee for the refusal of any person to engage in political activity. (b) The parties may include in any written agreement a grievance procedure culminating in final and binding arbitration which may be invoked in the event any employee of the authority is aggrieved by any action taken to so discharge or terminate employees;
(iii) to plan and determine the levels of service provided by the authority;
(iv) to direct, supervise, control, and evaluate the departments, units,and programs of the authority; to classify the various positions of the authority and ascribe duties and standards of productivity therefor;
(v) to develop and determine levels of staffing and training; provided, however, that to the extent that levels of staffing and training have an impact on the safety of authority employees the determination, development and implementation of such levels of staffing and training shall not constitute a matter of inherent management right and the directors shall have the authority to bargain collectively on such subjects with labor organizations representing employees of the authority; and provided further, that such directors and labor organizations may include in any written agreement a grievance procedure culminating in final and binding arbitration before a neutral arbitrator which may be invoked in the event that an employee of the authority to whom such agreement applies is aggrieved by actions taken by authority directors or management respect to the development, determination or implementation of levels of staffing and training which have an impact on the safety of authority employees;
(vi) to determine whether goods or services should be made, leased, contracted for, or purchased on either a temporary or permanent basis;
(vii) to assign and apportion overtime;
(viii) to hire part-time employees.
The authority is hereby prohibited from bargaining collectively or entering into any agreement to make pension benefit payments to its employees that are determined in a manner that includes the amount of overtime earnings of said employees.
The authority is hereby prohibited from bargaining collectively or entering into a contract which provides for automatic cost-of-living salary adjustments which are based on changes in the consumer price index or other similar adjustments unless specifically authorized by law. Except as provided in sections 28 to 32, inclusive, the employees of the authority shall submit all grievances and disputes pursuant to arbitration provisions in agreement existing at the time of the creation of the authority or subsequently entered into with the authority or, in the absence of such provisions, to the state board of conciliation and arbitration, or other board or body having similar powers and duties. The provisions of general or special laws relative to rates of wages, hours of employment and working conditions of public employees, shall not apply to the authority nor to the employees thereof, but the authority and its employees shall be governed with respect to hours of employment, rates of wages, salaries, hours, working conditions, health benefits, pensions and retirement allowances of its employees by the laws relating to street railway companies.