Public Administration ETDs

Publication Date



This thesis has for its purpose to determine whether New Mexico should enact a collective bargaining law or a" meet and confer II law, in order to regulate labor relations in the State career service.

The reasons for undertaking such a study are clear. Public employees in the State service are organizing at a rapid rate, and the legal structure under which public administrators are negotiating agreements is inadequate.

In 1975, the Thirty-Second New Mexico Legislature attempted to resolve this problem by considering two legislative proposals designed to regulate the conduct of employee-management relations in the public employment sector. Neither proposal was enacted into law; yet the need for a firm policy still remains.

HB 91, entitled the Public Employee Bargaining Act, proposed to authorize the right of New Mexico public employees to bargain collectively with their employers on matters of wages, hours, benefits, and other conditions and terms of employment.

SB 199, entitled the Public Employees Labor Relations Act, proposed not to authorize collective bargaining, but rather to provide a formalized grievance procedures program which would have allowed public employees to "meet and confer" with their employers in an effort to resolve disputes or complaints arising over general personnel policy and practices.

As this study notes, public policies supporting either approach can be found, and in actual practice throughout the various states, are considered the only two viable methods for Legislatures to consider.

In order to accomplish the purpose of the study, an extensive research investigation of attorney general opinions, judicial rulings, and current policy in New Mexico and other states was carried out in order to test the hypothesis that when the constructs of a collective bargaining law and a meet and confer law are examined, each on their own merits, and in terms of their individual objectives, the weight of evidence will fall in favor of legislating a public policy endorsing a collective bargaining law rather than a meet and confer law.

Basically, the methods employed in this investigation involve a comparative analysis between the two recent New Mexico legislative proposals and the existing legislation of those states which currently regulate labor relations in their public employment sectors.

Degree Name

Public Administration

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Public Administration

First Committee Member (Chair)

Albert H. Rosenthal

Second Committee Member

Donald Winston Smithburg

Third Committee Member

Leonard Arnold Stitelman



Document Type