PERC Holds that the WSCCCE Was Inappropriately Allowed to Intervene in a Representation Case Initiated by the Snohomish County Juvenile Court Supervisors Association

By Chris Casillas and Jordan L. Jones

intrerveneIn Snohomish County, the Commission held that the Washington State Council of County and City Employees (WSCCCE) was inappropriately allowed to intervene in a representation case initiated by the Snohomish County Juvenile Court Supervisors Association (union). The Commission also held that the petitioned-for bargaining unit was appropriate and remanded to the Executive Director to conduct a unit determination election to establish the preferred bargaining unit arrangement of the employees.

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PERC Dismisses Objections to Decertification Election

By Therese  Norton

voting-symbolsA group of individuals petitioned the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) to decertify the Public School Employees of Washington/Puyallup Association of Education Office Personnel as the exclusive bargaining representative of clerical employees at the Puyallup School District. Following a mail ballot election, the employees chose to remain represented by the union. The group subsequently alleged that the union engaged in objectionable conduct that affected the results of the election. In Puyallup School District, the Commission dismissed the election objections brought by the group.  Decision 12067 (PECB, 2014).

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PERC Examiner Rules State Government Collective Bargaining Statute Does Not Create Independent Right for Employers to Allege Union Interference

By Therese Norton

In a reStatutecent decision, PERC Hearing Examiner Robin A. Romeo dismissed an interference complaint brought by some state community colleges against the Washington Public Employees Association (WPEA). Bellevue Community College, Decision 11469-A (PSRA, 2013). The community college employers alleged that WPEA had interfered with its right to select its bargaining representative, a multi-college coalition representative called the Labor Relations Office (LRO). They alleged WPEA committed an unfair labor practice when it communicated directly with the employer and attempted to sever the relationship between the colleges and the LRO. Examiner Romeo looked at the specific language of the Personnel System Reform Act of 2002 (the law covering collective bargaining for most Washington State government employees) and concluded, “Nowhere in the statute does it state that it is an unfair labor practice for an employee organization to interfere with or discourage an employer in its choice of representative.”

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Court of Appeals Affirms PERC Ruling That UW Committed a ULP by Conditioning Wage Increase on Change in Representation

By Therese Norton

In a recent decision, the Washington Court of Appeals reinforced the fundamental right state employees have in Washington “to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing” and not one unilaterally imposed by the employer. Division One Court of Appeals affirmed the Public Employee Relations Commission’s ruling that the University of Washington committed an unfair labor practice when it insisted on moving a group of hospital employees to a bargaining unit represented by a different union as a condition of reallocating them to a position with a higher pay grade. 

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Commission Asserts Jurisdiction Over a Police Officer’s Claim that Her Union Interfered with Her Rights by Failing to File a Grievance

By Rick Gautschi 

In City of Seattle (Seattle Police Officers’ Guild), Decision 11291-A (PECB, 2012), a police officer alleged that the employer subjected her to retaliation, discrimination, and a hostile work environment, and that the employer took no action regarding those conditions.  Further, she asserted that because it claimed that there was a perceived conflict of interest between the officer and her ex-husband union member, her union failed to file a grievance on her behalf to address the employer’s inaction.  In addition, she asserted that the union acted arbitrarily, discriminatorily, and in bad faith in declining to file a grievance on her behalf. [Read more…]

Commission Vacates an Election Because the Notice of Election Misidentified the Employer

By Rick Gautschi

In City of Seattle, Decision 11413 (PECB, 2012), a union filed a petition seeking to include a group of unrepresented employees of the City of Seattle in an existing bargaining unit.  Subsequently, a mail ballot election occurred, the result of which was conclusive in favor of the union.  Two eligible voters filed timely election objections.  Only one of the objectors voted in the election.  The non-voting objector claimed that the ballot was for King County. [Read more…]