Home Table of Contents

§ 51-101. Public policy of fire and police arbitration law

Oklahoma Statutes AnnotatedTitle 11. Cities and Towns

Oklahoma Statutes Annotated
Title 11. Cities and Towns (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 1. Municipal Code (Refs & Annos)
Collective Bargaining
Article LI. Fire and Police Arbitration
11 Okl.St.Ann. § 51-101
§ 51-101. Public policy of fire and police arbitration law
A. The protection of the public health, safety and welfare demands that the permanent members of any paid fire department or police department in any municipality not be accorded the right to strike or engage in any work stoppage or slowdown. This necessary prohibition does not, however, require the denial to such employees of other well-recognized rights of labor such as the right to organize, to be represented by a collective bargaining representative of their choice and the right to bargain collectively concerning wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment; and such employees shall also have the right to refrain from any and all such activities.
B. It is declared to be the public policy of this state to accord to the permanent members of any paid fire department or police department in any municipality all of the rights of labor, other than the right to strike or to engage in any work stoppage or slowdown. Nothing in this article shall constitute a grant of the right to strike to fire fighters or police officers of any municipality and such strikes are hereby prohibited. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, any person holding such a position who, by concerted action with others and without the lawful approval of his superior, wilfully absents himself from his position or abstains in whole or in part from the full, faithful and proper performance of his duties for the purpose of inducing, influencing or coercing a change in the conditions or compensation, or the rights, privileges or obligations of employment shall be deemed to be on strike but the person, upon request, shall be entitled to a determination as to whether he did violate the provisions of this article. The request shall be filed in writing with the officer or body having the power to remove or discipline such employee within ten (10) days after regular compensation of such employee has ceased or other discipline has been imposed. In the event of such request, the officer or body shall within ten (10) days after the receipt of such request commence a proceeding for the determination of whether the provisions of this article have been violated by the public employee, in accordance with the law and regulations appropriate to a proceeding to remove the public employee. The proceedings shall be undertaken without unnecessary delay. The decision of the proceeding shall be made within ten (10) days following the conclusion of said hearing. If the employee involved is held to have violated this article and his employment terminated or other discipline imposed, he shall have the right of review to the district court having jurisdiction of the parties, within thirty (30) days from such decision, for determination whether such decision is supported by competent, material and substantial evidence on the whole record. To provide for the exercise of these rights, a method of arbitration of disputes is hereby established.
C. It is declared to be the public policy of the State of Oklahoma that no person shall be discharged from or denied employment as a member of any paid fire department or police department in any municipality of this state by reason of membership or nonmembership in, or the payment or nonpayment of any dues, fees or other charges to, an organization of such members for collective bargaining purposes as herein contemplated.
D. The establishment of this method of arbitration shall not, however, in any way whatever, be deemed to be a recognition by the state of compulsory arbitration as a superior method of settling labor disputes between employees who possess the right to strike and their employers, but rather shall be deemed to be a recognition solely of the necessity to provide some alternative procedure for settling disputes where employees must, as a matter of public policy, be denied the usual right to strike.


Laws 1977, c. 256, § 51-101, eff. July 1, 1978.
11 Okl. St. Ann. § 51-101, OK ST T. 11 § 51-101
Current with legislation of the Second Regular Session of the 59th Legislature (2024) effective as of July 1, 2024. Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.
End of Document